Wednesday, March 27, 2013

We Interupt Our Regularly Scheduled Programming...

Here's the deal. I don't like writing book reviews. So, I'm not going to post a review of every single book I read anymore, just the ones that are SUPER AWESOME DROP WHATEVER YOU'RE DOING AND GO TO THE LIBRARY NOW worthy.

So, instead today I'm going to share something I wrote. This is the first 700 words from a story I just started called Falsely Accused (at least until I find a better title). Please feel free to critique. I'd love to hear any thoughts you have.

Awaiting your execution is nerve wracking, no matter how many times you do it.
I should know, I’ve learned the hard way.
Yet no matter how many times I try, I can never manage to convince myself that this time won’t be any different from the others.
The time I spent awaiting my sixth attempted execution was no different. Goosebumps ran a marathon up and down my arms, trying to win out over my racing heartbeat. Taking deep, calming breaths was out of the question, since the Ootwoxans had stuck me in the rankest part of the Royal Dungeon. Apparently I’d commit enough crimes against them that they’d stuck me with the murderers. Great.
At least the Spryllians kept their jails clean.
Maybe he won’t come this time. That nagging thought danced around my mind. 
“Oh, shut up.”
A dark mass moved in the cell across from mine. “I didn’t say nothin’.”
“I wasn’t talking to you, Horace.”
He humphed. “Have ye finally gone mad, then?”
I laughed. “No, I’ve been in far worse places than this.” Yes, I had.  And in far worse situations.
Well, in theory. 
At any rate, I was going to get out. No dying today.
I jumped as a loud bang raddled the room with enough force to knock my cup off the shallow ledge I’d set it on. A dim scrap of light crawled along the floor and dodged around the shadow of the prison guard.
“Mesonoxia Svensora! Your turn at the noose.”
I swallowed hard and stood. “Here.”
“Eager t’ die, are you?”
I bit my tongue and waited while he unlocked my cell.
“Nice knowin’ ye,” said Horace.
Several others mumbled goodbyes as the guard led me up a narrow flight of stairs.  He pounded on a wooded door until it whined open, flooding the dark stairway with blinding light. I blinked several times.  The first thing my eyes focused on was the noose. Not a welcome sight.
The guard laughed. He trembled like an earring on a noblewoman’s ear. “Where’s your confidence, now?”
Oh, that was me trembling. 
I scanned the crowd of people come to view my demise. My heart leapt at the sight of the back of a tall redhead. Jasp was here. I wasn’t going to die.
“We meet again, Miss Svensora.”
I turned to face the short, dark man standing before the noose. “Hello, Boris.”
“I believe we have some unfinished business.”
I smiled. “Aye, but we won’t finish it to…” The tall redhead had turned around.
It wasn’t Jasp.
I swallowed. No. No, I wasn’t going to die. Boris was short, even by Ootwoxan standards, maybe I could make a break for it and run…
“Brought before you today, ladies and gentlemen, is the notorious Mesonoxia Svensora, charged with the murder of Duke Limeberry. Her punishment…”
“Wait, what?” I asked, brought out of my plans for escape. “Murder? I’ve never killed anyone.” I was a petty thief and a traitor to the crown, but not a killer.
Boris glared at me. “Excuse me, I’m trying to announce your death.”
“But I’ve never killed anyone. I don’t even know who Duke Berriedlime is.”
He shrugged. “That’s not what they told me.” He turned back to the crowd. “She shall be hung from the neck until dead.”
A smattering of applause ran through the audience.
I shook my head. “But… you can’t hang me for something I didn’t do.” I took a step back, and bumped into the guard. My heart pounded in my ears.
“The king says you killed Duke Limeberry, you killed Duke Limeberry.” Boris stepped forward with a leather bag.
I tried to run, but the big Sudethen guard grabbed me and pinned my arms behind my back.
This could not be happening. I struggled against him, but he was too big.
“No! No, I didn’t do it! Stop!” Dizziness swept over me. 
Boris smiled. “Time to finish our business.”
He slipped the bag over my head, and the world dissolved into darkness. I gagged on the smell of other prisoner’s sweat, and I-didn’t-want-to-know-what-else.
“NO! Jasp! Jasper! Help!”
The guard pushed me forward.
“Stop stop stop s-s-stoooop!”
The noose fell down around my shoulders. Tears poured down my face. “I didn’t do it! Stop!”

And I'm going to stop there and exercise my Evil Writer Cliffhanger muscles. This hasn't been edited, and as I said before, I'd love to hear any thoughts you have.

In other news, I've recently been tagged for an "Answer 10 questions about your work in progress" blog hop, in which I'm supposed to tag 5 other people, but I don't know who to tag. Pretty much everyone in the two Facebook teen writer groups I'm in has done it already. So, if you want me to tag you, please leave a comment telling me so, and I shall do it. Here's the post by the girl who tagged me, if you want to see it.

And a good day/afternoon/evening/morning/whatever to you.


  1. Love it. Very exciting. Can't wait to read the rest.

  2. Very, very interesting. Unjust accusations, imminent death, bad smells-- all the things that go into great fantasies. The one thing I object to is the opening: you break the fourth wall a little and talk straight to the reader. Because of that, and because you're in first person, the reader knows that "I" will live. That takes away from the cliffhanger. I liked it, though.

    1. Yeah, I thought about that. Can't decide how I feel about it, especially since the very next line after said cliffhanger begins her rescue. On one hand, the story is about her having to prove her innocence, so she has to survive this execution, and if you know the plot, that's obvious (of course, I forgot to include a plot blurb in this post), but on the other hand, like you said, it takes away from the cliffhanger. I'm considering reworking that first paragraph, but I'd be sad to lose that first line. Choices, choices.

  3. I assume the POV character lives since this is only the first 700 words of the book. ;)
    An interesting thought... "Apparently I’d commit enough crimes against them that they’d stuck me with the murderers." And she actually was accused for murder. Brilliant!
    Apparently, my critique skills are off today. This is the second time I've gone to critique something today and couldn't think of anything to say critique wise. Or both girls were just that awesome. :) I may come back later and try again.
    I can't write in first POV well. Good job. :)

    ~Robyn Hoode

    1. You are correct! She does live. Actually the very next line after what I posted begins her rescue. Maybe I'll post the rest eventually.

      Thanks! I thought that was pretty cool. I can't remember whether I did that on purpose, or if that part wrote itself, but either way, it's cool.

      I've had trouble with first person, too. Sometimes I get it to work, but sometimes not. This time it worked. Go figure.

      My critique skills do that most of the time, unfortunately. :P

    2. You're welcome. Isn't it nice when things right themselves? And we don't have to think about it?

      It feels weird for me to write the "I jumped out of the way", if you know what I mean. But I've never been good at keeping a diary, either. I tend to write third person omniscient.

    3. Yes, it's great.

      Oh, that's interesting. I started writing in first person because whenever I imagine a scene in my head, I "am" the POV character. It's like I'm the actor for that character in the movie version of the story. So it made sense to write the story in first person. Though I do tend to go back and forth between first person and third person limited.

    4. I started writing in third person. I guess I never read first person before I started writing, so I just started writing like I had read.
      I also have the strange quirk of most of my MC's I write being boys... and I'm a girl. *shrug*


    5. Makes sense.
      Huh. Most of my MC's are female, though I do have two who are male, but I haven't written their stories yet. They greatly object to this.

    6. The stories have kind of written themselves like tha, I guess. I use to think I wrote boy MCs because when it comes to things like a fantasy quest story, I think boys are stronger physically and can take a beating better than girls. No offense to girls whatsoever (I am one, after all), but it's usaully true. But now I think that the stories write themselves with a boy or girl MC. I don't really choose anymore.

    7. I know EXACTLY what you mean. It's like the story shows up in your head saying, "Hi, I'm a really vague and awesome plot idea. This is my MC. All I know about them is their gender and one or two traits. Have fun writing us!"

      I write (mostly) cozy(ish) mysteries that require the MCs to be clever, rather than strong, so gender doesn't really matter in that respect. But you are right; boys being physically stronger than girls is sadly a fact of nature most of the time.

    8. Exactly!

      Ooh! You write mysteries? I would love to write mysteries, but so far I haven't succeeded.

      I write fantasy usually. And with my MC boy, I always have a girl by his side helping him. In my WIP's case, the girl is my MC's cousin.


    9. Yep. My parents love reading mysteries (I've been watching murder mystery movies since infancy), and when I was little my dad read me most of the Trixie Belden series, so mysteries are kinda in my blood. Last NaNo I decided to write a fantasy, and it turned out to be a fantasy-set mystery.

      Keep working on writing mysteries. You'll get it. And heaven knows YA is severely lacking in the mystery department.

      My female MCs usually have a male friend who isn't a romantic interest with them. And I'd say that he's usually comedic, but in my WiP I killed off his love interest. He wasn't so happy after that.

    10. Oh, what we do to our charries! My WIP female is the brains of the group, but not a love interest of my MC (they're cousins, blech!) But I do have her planned for someone else when everyone is older (they're all in young teens, right now). Hmm... I'm never considered myself a matchmaker before now... *laughs maliciously*
      Thanks for the encouragement! I recently heard of a new way to write mysteries that is pantser friendly and I want to try it one day.
      Are you in the 100-4-100?

    11. You're welcome! May I ask what this pantser friendly mystery writing method is? I'm a planner, but I'm trying out pantsing for this story, and it's sooo different from what I'm used to.

      Yes, I am doing 100-for-100! And I know you're doing it, since I've seen your name on the list. (Yes, I stalk the list to see how everyone else is doing). It's been really fun. I actually started this story because I was working on my NaNo story for 100-for-100, but then I "finished" it, and I needed something to finish up 100-for-100 with.

    12. I have Liam to thank for mentioning this method. :) Agathe Cristie was supposedly a pantser and she wrote the story never knowing who did it until the last chapter. But she made sure every suspect could've committed the murder. This sounds better and maybe even easier for me.
      I've been finishing my WIP that I wanted to have done before NaNo for 100-4-100. And I'm getting so close to finished! And then, I have a new, semi-outlined project that I'm excited about.
      What's your name on the 100-4-100 chart?

    13. Hmm, that sounds fun. I'll have to think about that.

      Yay on being close to finished! I'm Lily Jenness on the list. I'm the only Lily/Lillie still participating, I think. There used to be three of us, but the other two haven't updated their word counts in a while.

    14. Thank you. I looked at your 100-4-100. You're a little more than 2000 words ahead of me. If I pick up the pace a bit... :)
      Do you type or handwrite? And what's your writing speed (words per minute)? I handwrite my first drafts and my handwriting speed is I think around 20 words per minute or slightly higher, but I will have to check that.


    15. Did you see the girl who's doing about 20k words a week? I don't remember her name, but wow that's a lot of words.

      I type my stories, but a good portion of my notes are handwritten. I just did a typing test, and it said my speed was about 45 words per minute. And I can thank NaNoWriMo for that. I wasn't nearly that fast before I wrote my first novel. It also taught me where Z is on the keyboard, since my first MC's name was Lizzie.

  4. Do post the rest of the story! You have me hooked!

    1. When I get more of it written, I probably will! This is just under half of what I have written so far, and I need to figure out the plot a bit more, so it's not quite ready yet.

  5. Yeah, her name is Imogene. And I have an internet friend (Cait D.-- blogs at Notebook Sisters) whose word counts are pretty high, too. How do they do it?!
    My typing time is about 28 WPM.

    ~Robyn Hoode

    1. I've been on The Notebook Sisters before, and I'm in a Facebook teens' writing group with Cait, though I don't know her very well.
      You'd have to write 3000ish words a day to get those word counts. It's all I can do during NaNo to make the 2000ish words a day. I did write 5000 in a day once, but it took me all day and I stayed up late to finish.

      28 isn't bad. Get this: I just looked at the Wikipedia article on WPM, and it said that instead of counting actual words, typing tests measure how many groups of five characters you type. So "I ran" counts as one word, but "Let's go" counts as two. I never would have thought of that.

  6. Wow. NaNo about kills me and I have been doing the kids' NaNo where the word count is adjustable, even though I'm technically too old.