Because None of Us Get it Right All of the Time – WIPpet Wednesday

It’s a glorious thing to be human. But the thing about being human is that none of us get it right all of the time. And that applies especially to me in so many areas of my life. Especially when it comes to writing. At least I’m not the only one – today one of my characters, is also missing the mark.

Last week I posted an exerpt from The Legend of the Kings, and with my head on big things going on my own life – totally forgot to give you any background on the passage. Fortunately this week’s WIPpet follows straight on from where we left off, so I will redeem myself and offer up the following introduction:

When the Boundary was erected to keep the dragons out of Gaelladorn, it created an area of no-man’s land between the surrounding mountains where the dragons now live and prey on pretty much anything they can catch. Unfortunately a strategic pass between Gaelladorn and Rohanna (a hostile neighbour) fell within this area and is no longer defendable (against those willing to risk the dragons). Aiden’s home (near the pass), was destroyed and most of his family killed in one of an increasing number of Rohe attacks. His father, the only other survivor, has to Aiden’s frustration retreated into an unresponsive / vegetative state. Aiden has come to the Sanctuary as a refugee and is convinced the Boundary was never meant to be a permanent solution to the dragon problem.

With nothing left except a burning desire to unravel the mystery of the Boundary, his unrelenting search has led him not only to annoy half of the Sanctuary, but finally to a scroll containing a nugget of information that might help. Feeling certain he is on the right track, and that he has been called to a divine quest he tries to get the Overseer on board. However the Overseer is struggling. This scene took place in Tobias’ office (formerly Josiah’s office for those of you following the WIPpets). Tobias had a throbbing headache before Aiden arrived, and has been fielding complaints about Aiden’s dogmatic manner.

As luck would have it there just happened to be five paragraphs (for the 5th of March) of the chapter left:

Aiden looked like the wind had been knocked out of him. Grabbing his bag he got up and bolted out of Tobias’ office without a backward glance.

Tobias closed his door and dropped into his chair. He felt old, and exhausted, and when he looked down he was surprised to see his hands trembling.  Clasping them together firmly, he closed his eyes and bowed his head low, until his forehead rested on the smooth mahogany desk-top.

Lord, that didn’t go well.  Did I do the right thing?

But there was no answer. No peace. Just the pounding of his head, and a heaviness that seemed to settle over him. For a moment he fought an urge to run after Aiden and let him follow his quest. Maybe it wouldn’t hurt? But then people would think he was going soft.

No. There was nothing to find. He was the Overseer, and it was his call.

Poor old Tobias. He’ll redeem himself – eventually.

Many thanks to the lovely K.L Schwengel who came up with the wonderful world of WIPpet Wednesday; an opportunity for writers to share from a work in progress (WIP), with some reference to the date. If you’d like to participate post your own WIPpet and head over to this linky and join in the fun!

27 thoughts on “Because None of Us Get it Right All of the Time – WIPpet Wednesday

  1. Can I just mention again how much I missed your WIPpets while you were away? It’s nice to see you back.

    Tobias’ position is not one I envy. I haven’t gone back and read what you posted last week, but I gather this was important to Aiden and Tobias just crushed a dream.

  2. Nice little bit, here. I like the touches of weakness and vulnerability, the worry apparent in trembling hands and so forth. Yay for torturing characters! 🙂

    Welcome back! You have been greatly missed!

  3. Ah, poor Tobias, having to maintain a stern front. Can’t give even a hint that he might be going soft, even if maybe he feels like he should have let Aiden go… The internal torment is great. 😀

    1. Isn’t it funny how pride kicks in though. It would have been the right thing to do – and it wouldn’t have been the soft option at all. It’s all about perception. – Thanks Kathi.

  4. The nice thing about being a character in a book is that you always get that shot at redemption. Well… most times. I wish real life made sense like that.

    I agree. Poor Tobias.

    1. I like to think we all have a shot at redemption – the nice thing is when you write the book you know whether the character will make it through or not. In real life at least you always have hope!

  5. Great excerpt Raewyn. I felt sorry for Tobias, even though he’s wrong! Like you say, getting it wrong sometimes is part of what it means to be human. Sometimes I feel like I’m always getting it wrong, but I do get it right some of the time.

    1. I’m with you Elaine. Yes we get it wrong – but at least we can put it right. And then there are those times when we just do the right thing and don’t have to learn the hard way. 🙂

  6. It’s such a tough position, being in authority. I like the vulnerability here because it shows that Tobias isn’t just making decisions based on power and control but on what he believes is the right thing. Hopefully he’ll have another shot at redemption.

    1. He does believe it’s the right thing, but sadly the belief is held because of how it’s always been rather than really giving it his attention. I love him as a character because his motivations are good – and he thinks he is doing Aiden a favour. He will eventually see he was wrong and will get a shot at redemption, even though it might cost him. Thanks for your feedback Amy.

  7. I have to say, I feel less sympathy for Tobias after this excerpt than I did after last week’s. If he truly was as concerned with doing the right thing by Aiden, his first thought wouldn’t be about how he “might be going soft”. Nor would his second be “He was the Overseer and that was the way it was” (paraphrased).

    Still, just as we don’t always get it right… we don’t always do things (even good things) with the best intentions. He deserves a chance at redemption as much as anyone.

      1. Understandable… of course, it’s part of why “justifying our choices” often seems to do more harm than good.

  8. Great snippet again, Raewyn! Tobias knows he’s destroying Aiden’s dream, but his responsibilities force him to take the actions he does. Great personal dilemma!

  9. Raewyn,

    This was a powerful snippet of a private moment.

    One little thing: I found “He felt old, and exhausted,” to be distracting. I think the imagery and emotion of the rest of the piece say that more vividly than stating it out.

    Part of what I’m doing with my revision is messing things up for a character who always did get it right.

    Well done!

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