Should Have Been


English: Chinese swordsman.

English: Chinese swordsman. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We’re really back into Courting the Swan Song  again.  Or rather, I am really back into the story.  It’s been a bumpy start this month, but editing and plotting and planning and just writing out new scenes here and there have started.And so, here are 11 sentences from Alanii’s POV of a (completely raw) scene I’ve been building.

BTW, I actually forget the WIPpet maths I used to get my number today.  It made sense when I started plotting out the post last week…

Alanii had only been able to close his eyes at the time. Too many times these past few days he had felt his world being collapsed down around himself, and now his heart felt deflated, the very pressure of his sinking chest painfully squeezing all desire to live out of him. “So what was all that about talking to my father for me?” he whispered, the effort to speak louder impossible to draw up.

“I will, just in case your father’s feelings are not as strong on the matter as you fear. But if he says ‘No’, then it will be ‘No’ from me as well.” The commander’s heart must have been made of ice, Alanii decided as the man continued to look directly at him, his gaze more calm and determined than even Val could manage on his best days. Alanii wanted to look away, but he didn’t. Something in him demanded that he stay firm, even in this denial of his hopes. If he were not going to ever be allowed in the service, Alanii intended that he make sure the guard commander wished he had been. He would make sure that every mean wearing the House baldric knew he should have been given the chance, that he would have been as valuable an asset to their ranks, of as much worth to them as they were to himself and his family.

And so he’d only nodded. “I understand, sir.”

Happy Internet Cheers to Kathi the WIPpet Goddess for her willingness to herd cats… I mean host this bloghop.  The WIPpeteers hang out over at this  linky; come on and visit!

ROW80 Check-In

ROW80LogocopyForward momentum!  Ain’t it just grand?  😉

  • write every day; at the minimum, do 5 sentences one of two
  • finish a complete (rough) draft of Courting the Swan Song   slow progress, but progress
  • make twice weekly blog posts (WIPpet Wednesdays and Some Thing 4 Sundays) check
  • maintain active sponsor participation on track, am trying to decide if I should sponsor again this next ROWnd
  • energize myself with more physical activity Monday workout and dancing yesterday
  • reclaim my writing space  more stuff down and dusting done
  • go through some piece of my electronic home (desktop, laptop, server space, Dropbox, etc.) with two new online classes, the “stuff” has grown
  • laugh more, hug my family more, share myself with friends more…  just some “Me Time” (though I’m meeting Mom for lunch in 20 minutes
  • attend chats and sprints on Twitter (at least one of each) nope
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26 responses to “Should Have Been

  1. Ah the frustration of being denied what you really want. Nice WIPpet!


  2. He seems to have something of a passive-aggressive strain. I can relate!


    • Mostly because he feels he’s been driven to it. Someday he’ll shine, but right now, he’s young and till learning. It’s not a bad thing.

      😀 Me too.


  3. You really conveyed both the rawness of emotion and the forced restraint here. Alanii comes across as quite a strong character in the way he forces himself to be noble even in the face of severe disappointment.


  4. I like Alanii’s “vengeful” thoughts. They speak a lot about his character. Instead of trying to find some direct, petty way of getting back at the commander and his father, he intends to make sure he’s as great as great can be. Somewhat passive aggressive, but possibly a very good source of motivation.


    • Alanii hasn’t (at least at this point) had a chance to develop a real mean streak. Well, there was that one incident…. (but he feels like he’ll be paying for that time his whole life). His character gets tested more than a few times in Courting the Swan Song… or at least, I hope that I’m testing him well enough to make an enjoyable story. 😀


  5. Oh, poor Alanii! Your first paragraph really makes me feel his devastation. And the rest .. what a strong and determined person he is even in the face of such disappointment! Most excellent work! It’s such fun being mean to our characters, isn’t it? 🙂

    Lovely title, too. Very poetic and intriguing. Speaking of intriguing, the picture you chose makes me very interested in your WIP, too …


    • I’m glad that I got the sense of despair Alanii feels through to readers. Perhaps I “told” more than I should have… But if everything just came to him by rote, what fun would it be to read his story? 🙂

      Thanks, Xina. I rather love the title too.


  6. Here’s a joke that my dentist told me: How many tickles does it take to make an octopus laugh? Ten Tickles!

    Good luck with your goals this week!


    • Ten tickles? Hmmm… I’ll have to tell that one to my son.

      Thanks. How’s Defcon coming? (Guess I should pop over and see, ne?)


  7. Eden,

    For me, the first paragraph felt a bit – disjointed? That’s not it, quite. More like he was outside himself, analyzing, maybe. It might help to change ~ Too many times these past few days he had felt his world being collapsed down around himself, and now his heart felt deflated, the very pressure of his sinking chest painfully squeezing all desire to live out of him.~ to something more like “his world kept getting smaller and heavier, deflating his heart, the growing pressure…”

    It gets better as it goes on, so maybe it was just the getting into the moment.

    One little nit – if he’s feeling like he’s losing the desire to live, his commitment to proving his point to everyone involved only sentences later seems a little contradictory, to me. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong; I think we emotionally contradict ourselves often, and it can set up a very intense inner conflict.

    Maybe there could be something in those intervening lines that renews his intensity and resolve to overcome one way or another- a glance, a shading of tone, something small, but significant to him?

    I do like Alanii better, for getting to know him while he’s young!


    • I’m glad you noted the opening sentences. This is completely first draft material and felt somewhat rocky to me. Not sure I like the phrasing you used (didn’t feel quite “him”), but the idea, yeah…

      The conflict is intentional. Alanii’s “talent” has him running hot and cold in his head a lot of the time. Part of the reason he’s so sheltered is because his father felt someone of such a ‘sensitive’ nature needed to be protected. And all the feelings that come on both sides of this get to play in the story… Is Alanii the son his father believes him to be or the man he believes himself to be? And the family secrets and the warring political factions setting themselves upon his family… In the end, Alanii must be more than even he hoped he can be.

      Or at least that’s the story I’m trying to write.


  8. Poor Alanii, but such strength of character to show the restraint he does. His resolve to prove them all wrong if they don’t allow him in the guard is a nice seed to plant, and a good look at how he thinks.


    • Yep… He’s not “mean” but he determined. He’s not loud about it, but he’s stubborn. 😉

      Hopefully he’s a likable enough too… I want to save people calling him a pig-headed git for after he’s lived a full and entertaining life.


  9. I like the sense you give us of Alanii’s crushing disappointment Eden. In fact I had to reread the excerpt because from reading the first couple of lines I thought he was being physically hurt by someone! Good stuff. 🙂


    • Hmm, not sure making the reader have to reread things is a good idea… Having the reader want to reread things, now that’s gold! 😀

      I’m glad though that I’m portraying how defeated Alanii feels for a moment before his resistance to failure kicks in.


  10. Ah, great job of turning the screw on your character, Eden! Making ’em suffer makes the best stories.

    Congrats on the progress on your goals!


  11. I like Alanni’s perspective here. That’s the kind of attitude more people should adopt.

    And I stand by you with the sentiment that any kind of progress is progress and progress is good. Go progress! 🙂


  12. Argh, I can really feel his disappointment and pain in here. Some great descriptions!


    • Alanii’s an easy one for me to describe, I think. I’m afraid I’ll be a lot less apt with Atyr or some of my other characters. :-/