Questions upon questions for #WIPpet Wednesday

The writing continues to go well, 5200 new words total last week on various projects. I also made some more dents in my goals, and on Monday I started a series of articles on my blog for beginning indie authors. You can read the first one here. In connection with the blog posts about self-publishing, I have also decided to declare Mondays my official marketing day, so that I will finally get back to actually trying to sell my books again. Wish me luck. 🙂

On to WIPpet Wednesday. Today I’m giving you the final section of the scene where Taliesin and Kustennin have been led into Cerdic’s presence, following directly after the excerpt I gave you last week. It’s about 30 sentences, if I counted right, thus 23 + 7 for today’s date:

Kustennin stared at her, wondering where she got her powers. It was clear that Cerdic had none, or else he would not need his daughter’s assistance, so they must come from her Saxon mother. But he knew so little about Saxon religion, magic, culture. He would have to rectify that — it did not do to be ignorant regarding your enemies.
“Are we now free to play our songs in your city, Lord?” Taliesin asked.
Cerdic nodded. “But see to it you sing no more songs of Arthur.”
“I have one of the rebel hero Medraut,” Kustennin said. “Would you like to hear that?”
“You sing songs both of Arthur and Medraut?” Cerdic said, laughing. “Are you not aware they were enemies?”
Taliesin shrugged. “Art is promiscuous. To me they are all stories, Lord.”
Still laughing, Cerdic waved them away. “Go, sing your songs and earn your bread, bard. I think you will find the people of Venta generous.”
“Thank you.” Taliesin bowed, and the rest of them followed suit. “Is there anyone besides Arthur who I should not sing of?”
“No, just Arthur.”
“Very good, Lord.”
They left Cerdic’s hall, and stepped out into the autumn sunshine. Nearby, several city blocks had been cleared of whatever Roman buildings had once stood there, and bearded warriors with Saxon round shields and long spears battled against each other, their grunts and the sounds of their clashing weapons filling the air.
“Do not tarry too long,” Taliesin murmured in his ear.
Kustennin nodded shortly, watching the warriors at practice surreptitiously as he followed the bard with the rest of their party. While part of his mind tallied the number of warriors and analyzed their probable experience and strength, another was still concerned with Nerienda and the mystery of why she had covered for them. Why would she want Kustennin in her debt? Perhaps she had not been a willing pawn in her father’s ambitious schemes after all?

Roman wall in Winchester
Part of the Roman wall in Winchester, with the River Itchen in the foreground

WIPpet Wednesday is the brain child of K. L. Schwengel. If you’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.

30 thoughts on “Questions upon questions for #WIPpet Wednesday”

  1. I love that phrase “art is promiscuous.” And I think, oddly enough, I like Cerdic a bit. I think because he comes off as being not as uptight and pretentious as most rulers.

    Congrats on all the words put down! That’s a great total.

    1. I’m actually very glad you like Cerdic. Through all three books, I’ve been trying to make him a more multi-faceted antagonist than many. Drystan likes him in the first book too, and is disappointed when he turns traitor.

  2. Loved the excerpt!

    I look forward to seeing your blog series for indie authors. I’m trying to take the traditional path for now, but I’m always open to learning about the many roads we can travel on our writers’ journeys. Balancing the marketing side with the writing side seems tricky. I haven’t published yet, but I’m a little apprehensive about balancing marketing with creating when the time comes, so any pointers would be greatly appreciated.

  3. I’ve been meaning to set aside time to solely do marketing. Hope it helps you out! This excerpt is great! The interactions of the characters really shows through their personalities.

  4. Thanks for writing about indie publishing AND for creating that neat way to ensure marketing gets done systematically. I love Monday Marketing! Now to the WIPpet: Here’s a heady swirl of conflict and innuendo that feeds the plot and builds a better understanding of the characters. I liked the mysterious (to me) ending focus on Kustennen and Norienda. “Art is promiscuous!” Great line that could be read many different ways . . . Is Taliesin suggesting in his roundabout, nonconfrontive way that “Art is subversive?”

  5. Why do I get the feling that Kustennin is going to find some trouble? Or a debt that needs to be paid- or maybe both?

    So much good in this post Marketing Monday sounds like a hit, and that image…lovely and enticing. Lots of words are a happy thing, too.

    Hooray for you, Ruth! =)

  6. l love the “art is promiscuous” line as well. (lt made me think of Freddie Mercury’s “I’m just a musical prostitute, darling” interview.)

    I’m really enjoying these WlPpets, particularly the intrigue surrounding Nerienda.

  7. Great excerpt – I haven’t read any of your other WIPpets yet, but I definitely get a feel for the time and place from just this one sample.

  8. Beautiful picture! I like the line about art being promiscuous, too. It really is. And often the good guys end up the bad guys or vice versa. Or the mood of the populace changes so that the guys who were “good” at one time end up being the guys that are “bad” in another.

  9. Sign me up as an admirer of “art is promiscuous.” Not only is it a great line, but it has such depths .
    Great job in the word count, and all the best getting back to marketing (never my strong suit). I’m not ready for the posts on indie publishing, but have filed them in a safe place for that time. I appreciate them in advance. 🙂

  10. Mmm…. Just spent several minutes drooling over your pictures of Roman walls. ♥

    Oh, and… typing badly. It’s hard to type with my fingers crossed, so… uncrossing and wishing you the best with your Marketing Monday experiences.

    Very nice piece. I remember Drystan’s experiences with Cerdic. All through it I kept seeing Cerdic as a very human person, mostly out to live well and keep his skin. Loyalties? Fleeting based on perceived security and comfort. I’m seeing that again here. He’s got some guilt, it seems and doesn’t wish to be reminded of his flaws, but when he’s not being put out… he seems to be a generous and good-natured man.

    Oh, yes, and… one more in the “Art is Promiscuous” fanclub. (May I make a poster of that? 😀 )

    1. Be my guest with the Art is Promiscuous poster, Eden! Maybe I can then use it for the Art is Promiscuous T-shirt I proposed above. *g*

      You’re right about Cerdic — loyalties don’t mean much to him if he doesn’t benefit from them. He’s generous as long as it isn’t too much of an effort, and he’s definitely good-natured when not crossed. Glad I got that across. 🙂

      1. Art is Promiscuous as the “official” WIPpet t-shirt? (not really, but it would be fun. You should make one on Cafe Press; yes, I’ve already told the hubby I need one)

        It came across perfectly to me.

  11. So funny, I noticed the “art is promiscuous” line as well. Clearly, I’m not the only one who loved it!

    Congrats on 5200 words and your refocus on marketing. I hope you’ll share some marketing tips as part of your indie author articles series. I love so much about the publishing and writing process, but I find marketing an enigma.

    Wishing you a productive round; sounds like you are off to a great start.

    1. Thanks, Tia!

      I find marketing pretty difficult too, and with my sales figures, I certainly do not have the answers. All I can really do in my posts is outline the options. But as I figure them out, I will!

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