This year, I continued working on the same story I have been writing for the last two Novembers. I had plans – well, vague aspirations – of finishing it this year. At a little over 67,000 words, I am nowhere near that point.
I’m hitting my stride more this year than I was last year. The first year was all very merry, under-the-greenwood-tree, and a lot of fun, but it was also the beginning. Last year was hard – a dry, too-real, unpleasant, storyless artificial wasteland, much like the setting. This year is all stories, tales-within-tales, wolves and mirror-eyed strangers, houses with roofs that ruffle softly in the breeze, gilt-paper stars, borrowed coats, belled riders and red-eared hounds. The next stage – I don’t know yet, but I think it will be sacrifice, and overcompensation, and hard lessons (but I’m not making any promises).
I suspect that, with all I have learned, I could plan a story and write it. Making this up as I go along is going to be harder in the long run, if I decide there is something salvageable in this great mass of words. But it is enormous fun, as well – amusing myself, surprising myself, occasionally startling myself.
Working title: A Golden Arrow
Appropriateness of working title: Minimal.
First line: The night before this story ended, before the world slipped away -
Middle line: “-a fine hunt, had I not seen the forest lord-” (that followed by laughter)
Last line: She wished for the stone she had lost on the road.
Things introduced which will cause me difficulties later: Fitzroi’s Theory of Sparrows; 2 leaves; 2 chickens; the rise and fall of the Roman Empire; bloody dog; wooden child; shot-gun approach to adjectives.
Titles of tales-within-the-tale (i.e. ones the main characters aren’t actively participating in during the main chronology):
- Silence and Nettles (pretty much a straight retelling)
- The Sparrow-Wife
- The House in the Woods
- The King’s Heart
- The Swan-White Harp
- The Nursemaid’s Tale
- Red-coat and that Wolf, the Wind
- The Man who would Sleep Alone
- Fitzroi’s Theory of Sparrows
It’s a stretch to call that last one a story. But I wish it was, just so I could extract it and use that title.