Dunsa set down her sword. The monster was dead, the celebration ended, and Coll gone home to her husband and brothers. She stood at the edge of her fathers’ valley; their cottage and paddock directly below her. Neither was outside nor was the dog, but Dunsa lowered her profile to a cross-legged sitting position to avoid being seen. She hadn’t decided if this place was where she wanted to be just yet.
After the quest ended, Witta returned to his shop to sell the trinkets he’d collected and to make arrangements for obtaining and selling more from the Baltenes he’d befriended along the way, someone else did something else longish to describe but different from the first one on the list, and even Heb just went back to being a soldier. Dunsa hadn’t given it any thought. She stuffed her few clothes and her [quest prize thing] into a pannier and humped off into the mountains toward home expecting her enthusiasm to rise with each mile. And it did rise for the first bit. Occasionally she skipped when the trail flattened or declined. She’d even sprigged a forget-me-not and tucked it above her left ear—which made her cry and think of Coll.
Coll would be home for a week or more by now. The jumping, crying, and bellowing of her return already dulled to just a heartfelt squeeze in the kitchen or extended kiss before the day’s work dipping tapers.
240 words on day 887
Charming stood on the Leaf’s southern flit deck overlooking Song. She hadn’t expected the surviving Bennies’ reconstruction efforts to be so far along. She hadn’t expected the reconstruction to be so thorough. Her Song had been laid out like a casual meeting of like-minded friends with no purpose other than togetherness. It was built in the vernacular of what was good at the time. This new Song was something else. It was something organized. It was something purposeful.
Obviously, Mondron had worked with the architecture firm and the Lander backers to keep the river style, but from the well-plotted thoroughfares to the river-level concrete flit deck and landing pad this Song sought a mercenary goal. That goal was well enough for them because they stayed, but it didn’t serve Charming because she wouldn’t.
She pulled some cash and coins from her pants pocket. Fanning the bills, she only found pale Lander money. She cupped the coins and folded the money before tucking it away in a different pocket. Charming thought she might find a touri shell or at least a scale, but none of the coins were Song tokens. She pocketed them all.
“For what it’s worth!” She flung an imaginary coin out over the new Song and pretended it glinted in the sunlight as it sailed out over the piers and scaffolding and green redi-mades already bunched inward.
The putting idle of the flit reminded her she still hadn’t left and that she needed to go, so she mounted it and revved the thrusters to clear out the dust. She jumped it into the air overlooking Song—again—just high enough that the engine noise didn’t echo off the deck. Below, laborers called to each other across the water and the gangs. Charming checked her line, planning on dropping from the Leaf and skimming out over Song. She noticed a scale wedged into the trim of the foot-board, smiled, and picked it free.
Good luck after all, but she kept it as a souvenir instead.
Laborers’ POV of Charming out of nowhere and skimming too low and outward over Song.
361 words on day 599
Jackern resisted the urge to scrawl his signature in florid loops across the agreement. He guessed he’d always recognize and deny each moment his old self surfaced.
Condorre cleared his throat.
Jackern constrained his name to the space allotted him among the other—credentialed— generals. When Kate strode up he placed the pen in her hand. He made a point to brush the skin of her palm with his fingers but not look to her eyes. Maybe he could extend something from what had happened between them at Lan Caloon. Not today though, not yet anyway.
Sunlight streamed through the oculus like honey poured from a jar. Condorre embraced him and patted his back once he descended the few steps and joined him in the circled group. It was a good day inside and out.
“Your father would have been proud, Jack.”
“My father would have set fire to my house and raped my wives had I any.”
170 words on day 598
The other night I wrote an ending. It wasn’t happy. It didn’t go out of it’s way to offer details regarding how the two people had gotten to that point in their lives. I hoped to mirror that with a happier ending. Maybe even make up an ensemble ending for an epic fantasy adventure, but that’s hard.
Just now I considered writing the ending to some story I’d already read or a movie I’d already scene. I’m not good at recalling details, so I could probably do that easily enough. Instead I’ll root through my own stuff and see how much luck I have at jumping ahead.
And ending for A Bell Hunting Interlude featuring Charnwyn, Franwyn, and jealous narrator, Conwyn…
I placed the rega on Charnni’s chest and stepped back. The monks, who had been chanting softly, intoned the crematory spell louder. The air above Charnni’s body wavered from the increasing density of magic. I stayed close enough to feel the creche stone absorbing the that power; I hoped to be burnt by it’s release.
Then, remembering something Franny had said to me, I turned. “Conni, [something totally poinent and applicable].” The shadow of magic felt cooling on my face. It felt refereshing. It felt like an apology. I untied the silk funerary cloth from my shoulder and let it slip. The material felt like my soul sliding away as it fell to the ground an left me utterly naked in front of our gathered friends.
I stepped from the circle, through the crowd, and into the night. Charnni was dead, Franny was lost, and I was alone.
280 words on day 597
I read a writers suggestion on how to flesh out a novel synopsis: write the opening scene one day, the ending scene the next, fill in the major plot points each of the next few days. He may have suggested additional assignements on subsequent days. I zoned out after a bit so I’ll never know.
I drifted from his instructions because I got to thinking about endings. I don’t write them.
Jackson slapped shave-and-haircut on the metal roof of his car and slid in behind the wheel. I ducked to see him through the passenger’s side. Without thinking, I tapped two-bits on the sun-dried molding of the car door.
“Up or down?” I reached inside for the handle.
“This isn’t good-bye,” I said.
Jackson turned halfway to me and leaned over like he was driving and keeping one eye on the road or like a blind person looking with his ears–eyes drifting into space. I wanted to lean in. I wanted to touch his face. I wanted to kiss him. I wanted to make him believe me when I said it, so I said it again. “This isn’t good-bye.”
He chunked the handle on the steering column to D. His foot became heavy on the pedal, and I felt the car moving forward taking my arms with it for a while and pivoting my boots in the gravel. I recalled the agonizing sound when the wind rises from a different direction than the fan on a windmill already rests.
The sound of slow tires on a gravel road broke my heart.
272 words on day 595
Geminia heelsided her skid to a drift stop all the while keeping her eye on the receding ship. “I missed her.”
“Ettesa’ll be back in a fortnight or so,” said Hera.
“I said, ‘I missed her.’ I didn’t start crying.” Her skid slowly slid down the wet sand toward the waves. Too much water would tweak her gliders and she’d spend the rest of the day trimming them out. She jammed her heel into the black sand to stop.
“Shitting sea. I hate the mother shitting sea.” Geminia released her bindings with the remote in her pocket then kicked the skid upright and slung it over her shoulder like a gunslinger holstering a six-shooter or a samurai sheathing a katana. Doe-eyed Hera looked startled–she always looked a little startled, but this time she might actually be. “What?”
“You’re so good with that. Maybe you could show me?”
“You wanna ride my skid?” Hera confounded Geminia. She did or said stupid shit all the time, but she wasn’t stupid. [place demonstrative examples here]. With Ettesa gone now she’d have to look after her alone. Make sure she didn’t [do some stupid stuff].
“First, don’t talk like that. Second, no. Third, a skid’s like a thong–you just don’t share it.” Gemenia took up Hera’s hand. She realized it was the first time she’d held anyone’s hand since her mother died. “Let’s find you a maker.”
It occurred to me I’ve only written beginnings. I thought I’d kick off this year with an ending. I don’t know that the above does a great job of wrapping up any threads for a story I don’t know. But it feels like it’s written conclusively in some ways.
I might have to try a few of these. Though maybe ones without obvious ending clichés.
As for the title, I’ve been making those up after based on the material. Since this is the end of something presumably the title’s relevance to the story would have worked itself out well earlier in the story. Therefore it’s entirely nonsensical–for now. Enjoy!
Word count: 361
Thickening the plot remains elusive to me. After I practice writing I must learn to practice thickening. Even a runny plot would be better than what I regularly mix up.
If you take the time to read any of what I have written–here or elsewhere–you would likely discover that I dabble in images. The very brief element of a scene is something I feel I am good at generating. In addition to setting the scene, I like to think I am able to allude to a direction, to a conflict. Regardless of your appreciation of my abilities to do that, I have that impression. The thing is, I don’t have a plot or even a plan. I just have a finite moment or two. What I need is a next.
I’ve heard more than a few authors like to determine the beginning and end and then work out the middles. I have tried that once and still not gotten the middle worked out. Mathematician’s would argue once is not statistically valid–possibly it’s worth another shot.
What I have in my head while I am writing is this thing with Shanty. I’ve ended up with three scenes pointed squarely at a single destination. I think it’s clear that destination isn’t the end of the story, just the site of the initial physical conflict. I like these scenes and I am enjoying the characters thus far. I don’t want to let them down. I don’t want to let them down by composing crap nor by not composing anything at all. Each of the three began as a simple but concrete point of view effort to describe Shanty. There was no intention. Maybe I could just try the same technique on the ending…
Tritti held nothing more dead Johnka’s belt knife. She held no doubt that she would next kill the Killer.
Gane’s enormous hres finally paid off with the location of his sister. Behind this door.
You tug at your shackles. You pray that when they chronicle your journey that they leave this next embarrassing part out then fear for your immediate death overwhelms you.
The young witch resolves from the darkness with only that knife as a weapon. She imbues it and throws. No matter how you move or jerk or turn away it will find you heart. Gane opens the door, sees the knife, and shields you in time.
Let’s see if we can put that to some use.
I should probably look into what comprises a good paragraph before I spend too much time composing any. It’s doubtful I’ll discover anything I don’t already know about well written paragraphs, but I imagine the effort will beneficially remind me what I already know. Not doing so perpetuates bad habits.
Word count: 453