Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Edits and Other Insanity

Today's been quite busy, oh loyal blog readers. Between work, a brief critique for Julie Cross from Diary of an Unpublished Wannabe Writer, and incorporating edits that will result in Major Edit Three of CALLARION AT NIGHT, my brainpower is pretty much all sapped.

So yeah ... no actual blog post today, but I wanted to share some of my rewritten work. The following scene takes place in Chapter One, when Moriah notices men from the northern kingdom of Edom on the steamer deck below her (the "dark thoughts" will be expanded on later):

Moriah shook her head to stop the dark thoughts from coming, and saw six tall, fair-haired men, probably from Edom, at the back of the crowd around the priest. The men wore longcoats lined with thick furs and remained silent when the other humans cheered the Brother on. Moriah frowned. The Edomi didn’t leave their northern kingdom if they could help it. Especially not since the civil war that left their capital city in ruins.

A blonde Edomi tapped a white-haired comrade on the shoulder, and pointed to Moriah when the other man turned. The white-haired man scowled. Moriah gave a little wave. A show of possible friendship was never out of place. Even if she had played a part in ruining their capital. The blonde Edomi walked away from his fellows after a brief conversation. Moriah dropped her hand to her gun. Half a minute later, the blonde Edomi stood at the railing beside her.

“Kvedja, Moriah Rowani,” the Edomi said. “We did not expect to see you here.” His full beard covered a face that had seen many years of fighting. Perhaps during the mercenary work the northerners loved to hire themselves out for.

“Greetings to you as well, drengr warrior,” Moriah said. “I am returning home. What is the purpose for your trip?”

“Our business is our own.” The mercenary looked at her with one bushy eyebrow raised. Like he was daring her to press further. The men of Edom loved to trap people with their own words. She hadn’t been taken in with that trick for years.

“Has San Jacobo been rebuilt yet?”

“The virki lies in ruins after you and your eidbondi destroyed it. It remains as such to remind us what happens when foreigners intervene in things that do not concern them.”

“No man has claim over me.” Moriah surprised herself by keeping her voice level. “Least of all Nicolai Drovgor.”

“We understand.” The Edomi looked at his comrades, nodded, and then turned to her. “I must return to my countrymen. May the Njordr smile on you, Moriah Rowani.”

“And may Donani always protect you from Appolyon’s ill will, drengr.” Moriah bowed her head and pounded her chest in the traditional Edomi farewell. The bearded man smiled and repeated the gesture. Other passengers gave the lanky man a wide berth when he walked away. The well-known reputation of Edomi fighters to kill men for looking at them wrong kept them back.

Let me know what you think of this, loyal readers. I'm moving right along on those rewrites. Hopefully this thing will be ready to send out for another round in about a month or so (if work and life cooperate that is).


Julie said...


I really liked this and am super curious about the dark thoughts. I don't think i could write this way - create a different world, its intriguing and I'm thoroughly impressed!

Thanks for the mention and the critique! I started reading further chapters after setting the first draft aside for a few weeks and I kept thinking "dang, I did it again!"

My guy MC "stormed off" four times in the first five chapters, like a girl with series PMS. He also mentions liking REO Speedwagon- can I get away with this?

Matthew Delman said...

Julie --

You establish Kyle as a musician fairly early on. My experience with musically-inclined male friends (I'm not one) bears out that they're allowed to have more esoteric tastes than the average.

Case in point: My good friend -- let's call him John -- is a huge fan of Nickel Creek and a lot of folk bands. This is a guy who can play 11 instruments and has one of the best signing voices ever. He played the guitar and sang during my wedding ceremony, by the way. So I think you're good on Kyle like REO Speedwagon.

Thoughts from my other male readers?

Andrew Rosenberg said...

Nothing really happens here. It's almost all backstory. What has really changed in this scene?
Let me summarize.
"Hey, how's it going?"
"Good. You?"
"Fine. Well, see ya later."

Here's how to fix it:
"Hey, how's it going?"
"Good. You?"
"Fine. By the way, your house is burning down. Well, see ya later."
"Oh shit."


Joshua McCune said...

I'm somewhat in agreement w/ Andrew, though I think given the pacing of your novel, a bit of slowing down world building is perfectly fine.

And I like the word drengr -- I had an evil little dwarf in one of my stories constantly calling his two charges "little drengs", so seeing that word brought back fond memories.

Stephanie Thornton said...

I know the pace in draft #1 was fast- there's nothing wrong with slowing it down so long as it adds to the plot or character building.

I know what you mean about work- I feel like I've been run over by a bus! Or a pile of essays.

L. T. Host said...

Word about the craziness.


You know, on your own pace, etc.

dolorah said...

I really wasn't lost, though I'm not familiar with all your terms yet. I loved the bit of background, both on Moriah's character and the Edomi culture.

Yes, this may seem slow, but it is good character building and background for Moriah. It doesn't seem like much now, but the light will kick on in later action scenes.

This was subtle, but informative.

And I like how you introduce another of your MC's. Her response to the eidbondi reference clarified the term in my mind without a lengthy info dump. And I'm clued into the type of relationship she has with Nicholai; gets that love-hate notion right out there.

Well done.