Category: Weekend Writing Warriors

Weekend Writing Warriors: Dex Continued

Back again after a quiet month, and with new Jasper content for Weekend Writing Warriors.  This picks up immediately after this scene with Dex and Lilith in the abandoned park.

It’s simple and fun. Sign the linky list with your name, blog url and email address on Mondays, 8:00 AM EST. Each week, the list remains open until Saturday, 11:59 PM. Then on Sunday, post 8 sentences from a current writing project, published or unpublished. Visit other participants and offer opinions, critiques, support. Writers hanging out with writers, a good time with a great group of people.

Previously, Dex confided in his wife all of the doubts that he had about his new promotion and the case assigned to him.  Mayor Calvin is playing a game with him, he feels, and it wasn’t likely to end well.

“What am I going to do now, Lil?  No matter what, I’m not safe.  And neither are you or Natalie.”

Lilith swung backward, thinking for a moment.  The corroded chain squeaked as she moved.  “The way I see it,” she finally said, “If you’re in danger either way, you might as well do whatever serves your conscience better.  Which option does that for you?”

“I was hoping for an option that saved my life.  I’m no good to anyone dead.”

I’ll continue this scene next week.

Weekend Writing Warriors: Ascended 3

In NaNoWriMo spirit I am continuing to post excerpts from my current project Ascended.

Lately I’ve been showing a lot of anti-Shipwreck Island sentiment and how the local movement seems to have the upper hand in comparison to the refugees.  But with Lord Mark about to marry a prominent Shipwreck Islander and remaining hospitable to the refugees, this isn’t always the case.  Here’s a scene with Foreman Zander where the tables are turned on him.  He tries to enter Sunforge Castle and speak to Lord Mark regarding the plague epidemic, but is stopped short by castle guards.

“You can ask for an audience, sure, […] but that doesn’t mean you can just barge in on your say so.  The Duke is busy, now come back another time!”

“I think he needs more convincing,” the first guard said.  Sunlight flashed from his sword.  Zander recognized the make of the swords, as they came from his own factory.   I hope you appreciate them, boys.  They cost perhaps more money than you ever saw back home.  Did Lord Mark find this amusing, to send Shipwreck islanders to guard the castle from him with his own company’s steel?

Weekend Writing Warriors: Ascended 2

Another excerpt from Ascended.  I made amazing progress on Thursday when I had a break from work, writing nearly 7,000 words.  I’m still behind on my wordcount goals, but I have plenty of time to catch up.

It’s simple and fun. Sign the linky, then on Sunday, post 8 sentences from a current writing project, published or unpublished. Visit other participants and offer opinions, critiques, support. Writers hanging out with writers, a good time with a great group of people.

In my last post I touched on the hostility of Sunforge citizens toward refugees from Shipwreck Island.  Sallei Corvus may be preparing to marry the Lord of Sunforge, but the citizens have not forgotten who she is or where she was born.  This excerpt introduces Foreman Zander, who is the main antagonist of the story.  He is a foreman in one of Sunforge’s arms factories and member of the emerging middle class.

Some snipping has been made to fit the 8-sentence structure and help the excerpt flow better.

“You appear to be lost, my lady,” a voice said behind her.  “These streets are no place for someone like you.”

Sallei turned.  Peering from behind the stationary [automaton] was a man … easily large enough to match the intimidating machine.  He placed a hand on the [automaton’s] shoulder and smiled.  “At least you brought yourself a bodyguard,” he said.  […]

“It’s not here to defend me,” Sallei said.  “Are you suggesting that I need protection?”

This is probably one of my favorite scenes so far.  Everything that Zander has said to Sallei at his point has the hint of a veiled threat in it.  It displays his feeling of superiority toward Sallei and her people, and at the same time his knowledge that he is lower in the pecking order.

Weekend Writing Warriors: Ascended

And now that I’m back from my blogging break, this entry comes from my NaNo project Ascended.

It’s simple and fun. Sign the linky, then on Sunday, post 8 sentences from a current writing project, published or unpublished. Visit other participants and offer opinions, critiques, support. Writers hanging out with writers, a good time with a great group of people.

There are two protagonists here:  Lucas Mark, Duke of the Mountains and Lord of Sunforge, and his fiancee Sallei Corvus, heir to Shipwreck Island.
Due to the speed-writing, plothole-inducing nature of NaNoWriMo, expect this excerpt to be rough.

“I saw a doctor beaten in the streets today,” Sallei said.  “Three children ganged up on him.  One of them took his cane and struck him with it until he fell.  Then while the other two kicked and stomped on him, he broke the cane in two and stabbed the man with it.  I saw parents nearby, watching out of the corners of their eyes, and did nothing.  That was only one doctor, but the violence will escalate.  I know it will be hard, Lucas, but you are the only one in this city who can do something.  So find a way and do it!”

Weekend Writing Warriors: Dismembered

This Weekend Writing Warriors excerpt is taking a short break from the Jasper series in favor of my plans for NaNoWriMo this year.  It began as a contest entry which I’m still polishing, and once finished I’d decided it would be a good fit for a NaNo novel.  So once again I’m going t rebel against the standard rules, having inadvertently written a small portion of the opening chapter.
Dismembered is about two killers who leave pieces of their victims in plain sight, but the bodies as a whole are nowhere to be found.  Detective Miguel Mancini and his new partner have their work cut out for them to determine whether victims are still alive and identifiable, much less track down who attacked them.
In the opening scene, a young girl finds a human tooth inside a gumball machine.

The associates behind the desk gasped; he guessed the woman hadn’t seen fit to show them after all. 

“What the hell?” Brian shook the bubble. Inside, the bloodied tooth rattled. The spectators around them showed mixed reactions of horror. One woman swooned. 

The little girl piped up, ignorant of or ignoring the spectacle. “Can I still get a gumball?”

WWW: Edward and Cynthia

This Weekend Writing Warriors excerpt comes from Jasper City, about an outlaw bent on revenge and the captain appointed to stop him.

Earlier excerpts revealed a more than casual connection between Cynthia Madden and the outlaw Edward Jasper.  What happened when the two of them met?  Cynthia was full of questions, and Edward had a story to tell.  This is part of it:

(First line is spoken by Edward.)

“[Mayor Jasper] didn’t want me dead. He just wanted to make me into an outcast.” 
“It would have been easier to kill you,” Cynthia said without thinking. “But I’m not saying that he should’ve done it.” 
“I know what you meant. Still, it would have been difficult for him.” 
“And why is that?” 
“Would you be able to kill your own brother?”

WWW: Cynthia’s Photos

This is another excerpt from Jasper City, about an outlaw seeking revenge against his brother and the man appointed to stop him.

Last week’s excerpt mentioned photographic evidence that Cynthia was in league with Citizen 71/Edward.  Turns out that Dex previously received these photographs courtesy of an informant.  Significant snipping was required here:

Several of the pictures were of a tall, hooded figure who matched the description of citizen 71.  Standing with him was another figure he recognized.

He paused at a photo of the two of them, locked in an embrace that she initiated.  What have you done, Cynthia?

“Have you shown these to anyone else?” Dex asked.

“No, sir.”

“…I’ll take them.  Tell no one about this.”

WWW: Cynthia and Dex

This excerpt is from Jasper City, about an outlaw seeking revenge against the Mayor who overthrew him and the Captain of the Guard sent to stop him.

In previous excerpts I’ve alluded to a relationship between Dex, Captain of the Guard (his title in earlier drafts was General.  That has changed.) and Richard Madden’s daughter Cynthia.  Cynthia’s escape from the Guard following the bombing of the Madden residence, and her future involvement with outlaw Edward Jasper/Citizen 71, further complicates relations between the two of them.  But what happens when the two of them are reunited?

“You think too little of me,” he told her as he [handcuffed her.]  “We broke up, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have cared whether you were hurt.  I worried for days for your sake.  I made it a priority to find you.  Imagine my surprise when I discovered not only that you were with Citizen 71, but romantically involved with him.”

“You can’t know that.”

“What, you don’t think we have eyes around the city?  I’ve seen pictures of you two.”

WWW: Citizen 71

This comes from Jasper City. Tag line: An outlaw seeks revenge against a city’s tyrant Mayor, while the man appointed to stop him begins to doubt the merits of his cause.

Throughout the story, Edward is often referred to as Citizen 71.  But why is he considered an outlaw?  This excerpt explains it:

The Mayor handed Dex a file, which he opened. Dex was greeted by the mug shot of former Mayor Edward Jasper and a list of charges: 

• Multiple counts of murder, including his wife Michelle Jasper, children Julie and Thomas Jasper, and several Generals over the past six years; 
• Three counts of kidnapping in the abductions of street children known as “Philip,” “Timmy,” and “Dot;” 
• Several counts of arson and vandalism; 
• Two recently added charges of arson in the bombing of Officer B-39’s home and the kidnapping of his daughter Cynthia Madden. 

Upon reading the final charges, Dex’s blood ran cold. 

“You can see why I needed to recruit someone immediately,” Mayor Calvin said.

WWW: Mystery letter

This comes from Jasper City.  Tag line:  An outlaw seeks revenge against a city’s tyrant Mayor, while the man appointed to stop him begins to doubt the merits of his cause.

Here is part of a letter, written by one character to his brother.  For mystery’s sake I’m not going to give names here, but both characters have been introduced before.
I can’t do it anymore, Brother.  You’re a stronger man than I.  It’s time to face the fact that our attempts have been fruitless, and we’ve been doing more harm than good all along.

It’s time that we put this experiment to an end once and for all.  Believe me, Brother.  If there were any other way to go about this, I would jump at the chance.  I have given this much thought, and there exists no other option.

Know that I have always loved you, and I always will.