Deep In The Den – #WeekendWritingPrompt

‘You know I don’t deal with fragile little birds.’

Hanson gripped the girl by the chin and pulled her closer. Her forced her head up and grinned when she flinched away from the lantern he held.

‘She’s no fragile bird,’ Raven told him. ‘Took out two garrisons all by herself. She was about to take out a third when we caught up with her.’

‘Yeah,’ said Hanson. ‘And doped her up on opium for good measure did you? The Chains not enough?’ He dropped her face and yanked the chains connecting her feet to her wrists.

‘For her?’ said Raven. ‘Even this might not be enough.’

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Playing around with some new characters for my novel Darkened Daughter. Not sure if I’ll be incorporating Raven and Hanson yet, but this might be an interesting chapter to write on my next accountancy exam is out of the way and I have a couple of weeks free time.

Earworm – The Daily Post Daily Prompt

Write. Just write.

That’s the quote that’s been stuck in my head this week and pretty much every week since I heard it. I’m not even sure where I heard it to begin with, it’s just there now, bouncing around in the dusty corners of my brain like a demented bouncy ball that won’t leave me alone.

I’ve been working on Darkened Daughter in its many forms since secondary school. I’ve been trying to write it for roughly eight years and it has only been in the last six months that I’ve managed to sit down and hammer out an actual draft and an actual plot-line.

I suppose in some ways Darkened Daughter became an Earworm for me. It burrowed into my brain and stayed there. Characters decided to pop out of the synapses and jitterbug across my frontal lobe until I paid them attention and put them onto the page instead. No matter what other story ideas came my way, Darkened Daughter was always there, lurking in the grey matter.

In the last six months I’ve been telling myself to ‘just bloody well write it and get the dam thing down on paper.’

If I don’t write then it has nothing to do with any lack of creative spark or inspiration, it has everything to do with me being lazy.

I suppose that is the most important thing I’ve learnt so far when it comes to writing. Actually sitting down and trying to write on a regular basis as I did in September got me to the 52,000 word mark. I felt good about myself. I was proud that I managed to achieve a beginning, a middle and an end.

But then I stopped.

I let myself fall back on the old habits of sitting in front of my computer and trawling through everything and anything other than my actual novel. I didn’t sit down and write.

I’ve been doing the same thing all of today. Every time I’ve got close to writing the next chapter I’ve magically found something else to do instead. I’ve pulled myself away from Microsoft Word and wasted time on something else.

I’ve been lazy.

So I’m going to hit publish on this post, turn of my computer, open my laptop and write until I hit the 1,000 word mark. It won’t be a full chapter but it will be some of the way towards one and even if I write utter nonsense it will be something. There will be words on a page and a little bit more of the world I’m trying to create will have substance.

The only way I get to be an author is if I get writing. So that’s what I’m going to do.

Wish me luck.

Darkened Daughter Extract – Rickets Den

You did not got to the Purple Pig to drink. You went there for whores and information.

Before the new King’s reign Molly’s tavern had been one of the most successful in Dondara. Now it was nothing more than a crooked sign and a few worm eaten tables crammed into the darkness.

“Are you sure we’ve got the right place?” Mole kept close as his Captain hurried down the city streets towards Rickets Den. Behind them the stone houses of the wealthy seemed to glow softly in the moonlight, oil lamps dotted along the cobbled streets to ward off the shadows.  Rickets Den on the other hand was a mass of shadows, curling and twisting around the wooden buildings which tumbled into one another and disappeared into the depths of the old mining pits. Mole wasn’t a brave man. He was really quite timid by all accounts with a thin reedy voice and a thick, short stature that left many confusing him with a child. Danny found him useful for sneaking into tight spaces but it took some encouragement to get Mole to agree.

“Just stay behind me and keep you voice down,” Danny warned. “We’ll be fine.”

Mole nodded and picked up his pace, determined not to be left behind. If he’d dared he would have caught hold of the tails of Danny’s coat, but he doubted the pirate would appreciate it so he kept his hands where they were. Quickly the cobbled street ran out and instead they were picking their way across mud slick boarding. Mole tried to swallow the bad feeling bubbling up in his throat as he heard his footsteps echoing beneath him. When he was much younger he’d asked his father how deep the old mining pits in Dondara were,

“Deep,” his father said, and left it at that.

Danny led them further into the wooden city, dropping them further into it’s depths ladder by ladder until Mole lost count in the gloom and found himself stood outside a lopsided shack with no windows. Rickets Den was a feat of engineering. It had started when the poor began building their homes near the edges of the open mine, steadily moving closer and closer until their houses jutted out over the edge. It continued that way until eventually half the city seemed to hang in the air above the endless pit, each building pinned in place by timbers, completely interconnected. Mole wondered what would happen if just one beam snapped. Perhaps the whole thing would crumble.

“Stay alert,” Danny warned, fist raised above the door closest. “This may not go as smoothly as I hope.”

Turning away from Mole Danny rapped on the door three times and then retracted his hand quickly, his fingers wrapping around the handle of his sword as he waited for a response. For a long moment there was nothing but silence and the creak of wood as the whole place heaved and sighed around them.

“No one home?” suggested Mole.

“So it would seem.” 

“So we can leave then?”

Danny shook his head and took three steps back, something of a luxury since most of the streets in Rickets Den were barely wide enough to walk down.

“Here,” he said, shrugging off his coat and handing it to Mole. “I need you to hold this.” 

Forest Of Obscurite

The Forest Of Obscurite was dark. Not just dim, or a little gloomy, but dark. Swallowing her pride Tara allowed for Greth to lead the way and kept close, doing her best to stay in the puddle of light from his torch.

“Watch your footing,” he’d warned her. “Nothing like this bitch to send you down cliffs you wouldn’t even know existed till you’re fallin’. She’s a clever one.”

“She?” Tara asked, crouching next to him as he’d checked the horses were tied up properly.

“She,” he’d nodded, checks finished.

“You act like it’s a person.”

“Who said it’s not?”

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