Cutting Words — a WIPpet/ROW80 post

I missed Sunday’s  Some Thing this week.  No excuse really.  I was avoiding being online most of the weekend.  Truthfully, I really don’t feel like being online today either.  It’s grey and snowy outside, and I really wish we’d bought that house down in Norton Hill that had a library with the marble fireplace now.

So now it’s Wednesday.  Sorry.



Innocence (Photo credit: Christos Tsoumplekas (Back again!))

Well, after some thought last week after reading the comment threads, I realized that I need to stop my NaNoWriMo project.  Well, not stop, but escape it for a while.  I needed to play a bit… and, to borrow Ruth Nestvold’s term from her apt post on changing her NaNo-focus, I needed to change horses in mid-stream.

I reached for a fanfiction I’ve been working off and on again at for the past few years.  One of those sandbox pieces that I use to practice my characters in…  Because I was really having trouble creating the father/son dynamic I wanted to portray between Alanii and his father, I figured I’d explore the father/son dynamic between Alanii and his son in the far future.

So for this WIPpet, I give you five paragraphs for the 27th.  7-2…

Still, he knew how close he’d been to death when he’d attempted that escape. He’d hoped to die in the attempt. No fifteen year old should have to pray for peace that way. He would have died if it hadn’t been for Chaz…Chaz and his father.

His father–he’d hated the man all these years, damned him for the abuse he’d received, even knowing that he’d never have lived as long as he had without the man’s near invisible guidance. What had torn them apart before he’d even been born?

Auguste Rodin

Auguste Rodin (Photo credit: rocor)

No doubt it had been Daryl. Daryl’s spiteful act of sending him to the Mines suggested that well enough. He considered what little he knew about his mother. He’d only seen her once or twice. She’d been as distant as the Andar. One time he did remember, she’d backed away from him, backed away as if he’d hurt her, if he a three-year old boy had hurt her. When Avdotya chided her, she’d… Oh, he remembered what she’d said. The very acid in her tone had burned those words in his mind. ‘We didn’t want him, either of us, Mother. How could Father force something so horrible on us like this?’

He clutched at the ring. Maybe he was just making excuses for the man who had fathered him. Maybe it wasn’t that way at all. Maybe he was mis-remembering.

But if he wasn’t…. Dear Goddess, he pitied his father.

Cheers to K.L. Schwengel at My Random Muse!  She hosts WIPpet Wednesdays (it is like herding cats, after all) for us.  WIPeteers post pieces of a draft (Work In Progress) that somehow relate with the date at the group linky and bravely invite company, comments…  even gentle (or not-so gentle) critiques.


picture of my office

In All its Chaotic Glory

Yep…  If you saw above, you know how it is.  I had to change direction, and I needed to avoid the temptation of online.  When I was writing, I wasn’t happy at all with anything I’d written (not even in the “this sucks but I can edit it later” but as in my Muse and I both were looking at the wordcount I was trying to force out and said to each other “Ack! Ptooey!“).

When I start losing connection to character I’ve spent as much time with as I’ve spent with Alanii, something is wrong.  Even he wasn’t happy with the direction most things were headed in (well, except the sex scene…  he seemed to like that 😀 ).

NaNoWriMo Calendar 2012 Fresh Ribbon A

NaNoWriMo Calendar 2012 Fresh Ribbon A (Photo credit: Monda@NoTelling)

Anyway, I’m still working on Courting, but I brought back The Dots*  to work on alongside the main project.  I’m still working on handwritten pages, but the consistency has gotten spotty.  I haven’t bothered to update my NaNoWriMo tally in a few weeks…  Oh, well.   As John Holton over at Sound of One Hand Typing has noted on a few times, anyone can copy in some text for the word count.  I’ve decided that a real victory in a Writing Month challenge comes when one gains a writing habit.

And I need to work on that one a bit more before I call myself a winner, no matter what my wordcount is.

* Re: The Dots:  I named that fanfiction off of the file names I’d used in my original WP 5.1 files, DotDot.Dot, DotDash.Dot, etc; and all the files were in the old DOS 8.3 convention.  Yes, I’m a bit of a geek.  And yes, I was still using WordPerfect 5.1 two years ago.  I used it last month.

16 responses to “Cutting Words — a WIPpet/ROW80 post

  1. Eden,

    Maybe as something for YA you would back up, but most certainly, the cutting thoughts and nihilistic, existential, near-death wish of a 15 year old are not unrealistic in the least. Did Alanii mis-remember, or was he remembering too clearly, after a time of deluding himself? Unfortunately, the scenario has too much of the ring of truth in my own experience to dismiss it as something that has to be backed away from. I do understand that however. Sometimes, it is better to sweeten that bitterness with some small comfort; we all do it. I believe it is why we write, but I think it is also why I find writers the most generous of creatures. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Mary


    • Thanks for the thoughts and considerations, Mary. I don’t think that I could ever justify Release (or any of the fanfictions that Kieri is in) as a YA. New Adult maybe, though according to most people who’ve read it in draft form, it’s more ‘a Great Russian novel’ in space opera form….

      As for Kieri (not Alanii in this case) mis-remembering… He does mis-remember some things, but not these things. He’s done a lot of trying to not remember these things for years…. and he’s discovering that none of it worked. He has to find his father (his mother is dead at this point) and learn what happened and why.

      Thank you too, Mary, for visiting. You bring smiles every time I read your words.


  2. Interesting. Driev, in my New Project, has a terrible relationship with an abusive father. I find it very difficult to write those bits and sometimes want to sugar-coat them. But that would be cheating the reader. But what a line to hear from a mother! Wow. Cuts right to the bone.


    • An abusive father is a hard thing to bear. I can certainly sympathize with Driev here.

      Kieri’s situation is a bit different. It’s not abuse in a physical sense… It’s absenteeism. There’s a reason for it, of course, but it doesn’t make it any less painful to the child.

      And yeah, his mother’s words are only a small example of the hurt. 😦

      And I agree, it sucks to write these scenes, but… not writing them? That sucks for the reader.


  3. I like the idea that real victories in a writing challenge are when you develop a writing habit. Because, yeah, being able to churn out words is great, but there’s more to writing than just tossing out the verbiage. What I’m hoping to work on most is building up the discipline I know I’m going to need to actually *finish* a novel-length work.


    • Building the discipline is the only sure way to finish a novel-length work. Kudos to you, Kathy, for pursuing that direction. Though, keep in mind, the work only starts when you’ve written the word “Finis” (or its variants). Then the editing, the rewrites, the shopping, the marketing, and depending on your chosen course…. the publication and expectations.

      Not that this is bad stuff… But finishing is just the beginning.


  4. Parent/adult child relationships can be so complex. Good job tackling it. I love Rodin’s sculptures, by the way.


    • Thanks, Alana. You’re so right about the complexity of familial (and especially parent/child) relationships. Most relationships have levels we’re often not aware of and make us uncomfortable…. It’s just harder to back away from the discomforts in a family.

      Me too. And this one just evoked the right sense for this piece to me.


  5. Can’t people have happy fathers in your world? I’m making a face like: ( ゜ロ ゜) That’s terrible.

    I’m sorry you had to switch horses mid-stream. I hoe it helps you out.


    • Hmm, not sure if I should giggle a “Of course they can… it just doesn’t make a great adventure story if I only show the happy parts” or apologize to my characters for showing them as constantly miserable. Maybe you’ll be happy to know that in about three chapters Kieri meets his father, they talk through their difficulties and achieve a kind of friendship.

      Just in time for the next disaster to happen, of course. 😉

      It’s certainly helped my piece of mind. Of course, Kathi caught my interest with her Angry Robot posts too… So, I’m spending a lot of mental energy there as well.


  6. Does this take place after the war Alanii has been so keen on getting involved in? Or before? If I remember correctly, he’s a little older than fifteen when he gets to the war, right? How sad to be rejected by his mother. 😦 Does she have a good-to-her-mind reason?


    • Long after… The POV character actually isn’t Alanii. It’s Kieri, and while Alanii’s story is set in a bit more historical (classic fantasy) setting, Kieri’s is set in a more futuristic (they do have some space travel) setting.

      And Kieri isn’t keen on any fighting. He’s good at it, but he’ll do pretty much anything to avoid it.

      Does that help?


  7. One of the best things about NaNoWriMo (and ROW80) is that it shows us how much we’re really capable of! I had to switch over to a different project about 2/3 of the way through the month on mine, too – but just wrote those chapters right into the NaNo project LOL. It worked for me! Sometimes the best thing we can do when a story stops speaking to us is walk away for a while, then come back to it later. I did that this week, and had a great idea for the scene I’d been stuck on. Good luck with yours!


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