I’ve decided to do NaNoWriMo this year. I have a 10k novelette already written, but it’s mostly in passive voice with large swaths of exposition and in desperate need of arcs. I even made an outline to make it better! Who am I? What have you done with the real Julie?
The goal is to have it query-ready by May 2018. By then, I should either have an agent for Ferals & Blights or have accepted that I need to try with another book. I want to be prepared for both choices.
If you want to join me during this month of writing, you can be my buddy and we can support each other’s progress and learning. Ooh, I need to find my word counter bar thingamabob for the widget on here!
Sharna woke to voices and someone bumping her. Her head was spinning, and she stumbled upright and headed for the bathroom. Except, the door wasn’t where it should be, and the bed was too big and wait…why were there people in her room?
“Morning, Mage.” Jackie was smiling with all her teeth which was probably a bad sign.
Another woman, whom she didn’t know, was standing at the bedside with small hands on slender hips and a face full of crescent moons. She remembered then, all of it. She’d murdered someone, and they’d escaped like mice. She was supposed to be a Mage worthy of commanding respect. Someone who could produce a carved seal from a fold of her robes and wave it like a wand. No one used wands. The seals were as good as magic, though.
She wiped her face and tried to make both her eyes look in the same direction.
“Jackie.” She nodded to the stranger. “…and you must be…,” she groped around in her thoughts for the name of their host.
“Birdie.” Her sharp features softened into a smile. “…and you are?”
Stars. It was too damn early to try and think of an alibi. She grabbed the first name that floated to the surface of her sloshed brain. “Melody. You’ll have to excuse me, Birdie.” She directed her feet toward the bathroom and slammed the door by accident. Her arms didn’t seem to be the same length they’d been yesterday. You need to stop getting drunk as a substitute for food, she thought.
There was muffled conversation beyond the door. She splashed water on her face and drank from the tap. Somehow she kept hopping from crisis to crisis without a plan. Where had this started? First, she’d been determined to leave the Mansion. Then, she’d been sure she could go home. Now, she wanted to go back to either her home or the Mansion. She was spinning in circles, and none of it was really what she wanted. What had Mistress Nora taught her? Think first, but also think beyond. Stop being an amateur with small ideas and timid desires.
She dared to face herself in the mirror. Her skin was dull and dry, and her hair was squished flat in the back. She’d left all her belongings behind in the attack last night. Another loss. She scrubbed at her face, but that quickly turned into crying. Stop it. She tried to tug her hair back to shape with clumsy fingers.
What do I want? She remembered the way the Stalk seed had rocked on her palm. Was wealth enough? It seemed like that’s what Jackie wanted, but if she thought beyond timid desires, Sharna imagined a place where she was not only wanted, but needed. A place where she was capable, where she could relax and be herself. A world where she made her own decisions.
Think beyond. A quick swipe at her teeth, and then she felt ready to face the farce she was about to stage.
(See you next Saturday and thanks for reading!)