Returning to #WIPpet Wednesday — and A Wasted Land

I’ve missed a few posts, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing. For those who didn’t see my report, I was at the most recent Villa Diodati workshop in southern Spain. It was the perfect thing to do after finishing the big translation to recharge my writing batteries. In the week since I flew back, I’ve returned to a wonderfully regular writing routine of at least 500 new words a day. Eventually I will probably want to aim for more, but right now, I just want to ease myself back into the good habits I once had. I also want to experiment with how much I can do while simultaneously getting back into the marketing and publishing groove. I have some thoughts on that which I will save for another post.

Right now, I’m working on two projects:

1) I’ve returned to A Wasted Land, and am analyzing what I have, as well as brainstorming and writing new scenes. For that, I’m using Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook by Donald Maass. I’ve found it useful before when I reach the point in a manuscript where I pretty much have the complete plot arc, but lots of stuff in the middle is mushy. I like the workbook a lot better than the book proper because it’s very hands on with lots of exercises for how to strengthen your characters and plot. It was especially helpful when I was at about this point in Shadow of Stone, and the whole thing felt like a disorganized mess. Here’s hoping it will help me make something out of the disorganized mess of AWL as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

2) I’m working on an SF story collab with Sylvia Spruck Wrigley, one of my fellow Villa Diodati writers. We’ve collaborated before, and although we have yet to sell that story, we work well together and we decided to give it another whirl.

For WIPpet Wednesday, I will give you another excerpt from A Wasted Land, since that seems to be fairly popular with the Wippeteers. Easy math again: 5 + 14 = 19. So here are nineteen sentences from the same scene of the last excerpt. Kustennin has just suggested a scouting party to Venta, and Taliesin said they could go as a troupe of minstrels:

“Consider,” Taliesin continued. “If we travel to Venta as players and entertainers, there will be no need to hide and sneak. We can walk around the city in broad daylight, even play for the soldiers — perhaps even Cerdic himself.”
Kustennin saw Taliesin glance around at the others in the great hall. Yseult, Cador, and Bedwyr were strangely quiet. Finally, Cador broke the silence. “That disguise can be very effective. We used it once ourselves.”
His mother rose and picked Riona up from her father’s lap. “I think it’s time I finally put your little sister to bed. Good night.”
“Good night,” the rest of them murmured.
“It was after Drystan’s death,” Bedwyr added.
“Ah,” Taliesin said. “Forgive me. That was a part of the legend I didn’t know.”
Kustennin rubbed his eyes with thumb and forefinger, realizing the bard had just picked up additional details from the past by delving into the mind of someone present. Kustennin could have done so as well, but he had little interest in seeing into the minds of others. It was enough to see their actions — he didn’t want to also see their thoughts and understand them from the inside.
“We sought out Marcus Cunomorus, and I killed him in a fight,” Bedwyr continued relentlessly. For a moment all were quiet again.

WIPpet Wednesday is the brain child of K. L. Schwengel. If youโ€™d like to participate, post an excerpt from your WIP on your blog, something that relates to the date in some way. Then add your link here — where you can also read the other excerpts.


25 thoughts on “Returning to #WIPpet Wednesday — and A Wasted Land”

  1. That was a good exchange. I really enjoyed the subtlety there. I don’t know if I’m reading this right—did the mom take the child out because they were talking about the context of the previous use of the disguise? It’s very effective.

  2. Glad to have you back!! I always find it amusing when people pick up on things they shouldn’t be picking up on. =P I’m not sure, though, that if I delved into someone’s mind I would actually understand their thoughts.

  3. Welcome back! Hope you had a marvelous time. It sounds like you did. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Love the subtle cues laid out. Bedwyr comes off a bit like a bull here–just charging ahead, a bit heedless about what’s coming out of his mouth.

  4. This is a good excerpt Ruth. I like the way that they all seem equal to each other; no one is standing up and saying ‘we have to do it my way and that’s final’. Though I guess if one of them did say that, a decision might be made sooner…

  5. I guess I should go back and read Yseult. For some reason, I remember the situation being reversed… but I was kind of doped up on pain meds at the time.

    Still, it’s fun seeing how each player has a different reaction to the suggestion here. And i’s a great argument for being multi-talented. ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Bedwyr comes to Yseult’s aid at the last minute. But it could be I wasn’t as precise in my descriptions as I should have been. It’s been known to happen. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. We all do it. And I really did read the last few chapters of Yseult in a bit of a oxycodone haze. I should go back and reread.

  6. Ruth! That’s so exciting that you were able to attend a workshop in Spain. And I’m eager to hear your thoughts on publishing and marketing. There’s still so much I have to learn. This excerpt rocks by the way, really enjoyed this one! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Well, since I’m the one who started the Villa Diodati workshop for us expat writers in Europe, and we’ve already had one workshop in Spain before, it’s not as exciting to me as it sounds, as much as I loved it. *g*

      I have a number of ideas for publishing and marketing posts, so I hope I’ll able to offer something useful somewhere down the line. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Ooh, I want to read more, so that I really have a sense of what surrounds this snippet. I like al lthe reactins, and the subtlety, but i’m not familiar enough with the players and their relationships to pick up on all I can feel going on here…

    And welcome back. Sometimes you just need to get away to find your way home….or something like that!

  8. Great excerpt! I was especially taken by the word “relentlessly” because it so effectively describes the uncomfortable information coming out. And Kustennin’s thought process is telling about his character as well, his ability to separate himself from the emotion of the moment.

    I’ve been missing in action as well. Glad you had a wonderful writing retreat and that you have lots of projects in the hopper.

  9. great snippet – I am not so familiar with the story and characters but still manage to get a good sense of them all – enough to want to read more:) the workshop sounds fun too – keep smiling:)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s