It’s a Motley Process
Exciting news: last night I finished the second draft for The Last Motley! And what a pleasant romp it was, going through that story again. It had been nearly two years since I’d penned the first draft so I had forgotten many of the details. In many ways editing it was like experiencing the story for the first time. In other ways, it was like visiting old friends as the characters came alive again in my imagination. There is so much to love in this book and I can’t wait to get it into print.
But, it’s a motley process. There are many colors that go into the editing of a manuscript. Lots of red. Definitely lots of that. And black and blue, sometimes tending towards purple. So there will be a third draft before this one gets sent off to the editor.
The road goes ever on and on
I ended up adding about 20,000 words to this draft. Highly unusual that. Usually I add some, but not that much. I hope it’s still fast paced enough to work, but I just felt that several scenes and descriptions needed to be fleshed out. The plot remained almost completely untouched. I barely changed a thing. Which again is a break from the norm and that’s why this edit was my quickest yet by a wide margin.
And continuing the trend of firsts, this will be my first fantasy novel. As much as I’ve loved writing The Chronotrace Sequence, fantasy is actually closer to my heart when it comes to what I love to read and write. So I’m excited to finally try my hand at a type of story that is so near and dear to my heart.
In honor of this milestone here’s a little excerpt, the first few paragraphs of the novel itself. These may change before the final draft, but I hope they’ll give you some idea of what this story is like.
The Fallen Apple
The half-eaten apple hit the dirt and rolled under the cart.
“Eck! Rotten,” whinged the merchant who had tossed it to the ground.
Roderick the tailor couldn’t believe his eyes. Rotten or not, apples were not in season and that piece of fruit probably cost half a day’s wages. The merchant must have been even richer than he looked.
“I should have known that hawker wouldn’t have anything fresh,” the man remarked with a huff.
Roderick nodded politely, hoping the man’s ill humor would not affect his purchasing habits when it came to clothing.
“To top it all off, I soiled my knickers just now. Ruined a perfectly good execution. How much for those?” the gentleman asked, dabbing the corners of his mouth with an embroidered kerchief.
The tailor was tempted to overcharge the man. Business had been terribly slow that day; though the crowds were starting to pick up, everyone had spent most of the day over at the magistrate’s watching the execution. A few extra miras would hardly be missed by someone of this man’s obvious resources. The velvet doublet the merchant wore was worth half the items in the tailor’s stall.
“Fifty,” Roderick replied. He could almost hear his wife say, a fair price is its own reward.
The merchant guffawed, spewing a few flecks of apple onto the cart. “Really? No wonder the people in this province live little better than paupers. Here—” The man slapped five ten-mira coins into Roderick’s hand. Then, without waiting for a response, he swiped the knickers off the counter and disappeared into the bustle of the open market.
Roderick let the coins fall into his money box. It wasn’t much, but it was honest coin. Besides, there was still that apple the merchant had tossed under the cart. The tailor hadn’t seen one in months. If he cut out the rotten bits, there still might be enough to bring home some to his wife and daughter.
He knelt down onto the muddy ground and craned his neck to look under the cart. The apple was gone.
“Drat,” he said under his breath.
He stood up to see if it had rolled to the side and caught a bit of movement out of the corner of his eye—a flash of color in the midst of the otherwise drab selection of cloaks.
He quietly reached for the little knife he kept fastened to the underside of the counter. There were always scoundrels and pinch purses lolling about on market days and he had been filched more than once over the years.
Roderick thought he saw the cloaks ruffle slightly. He was almost certain there was someone in there now. His hand shot out and flung one of the cloaks off its hanger and into the mud.
“Ha, ha!” he shouted, brandishing his knife at the small figure hiding amongst the apparel.
The urchin bolted straight at him. Roderick was so unprepared that the little nogger dashed between his legs and was racing past the cart by the time he turned around. The vagrant surely would have gotten away if he had not slipped and fallen headlong onto the cobblestone street.
Roderick was on him in a single stride, grabbing him by the arm and yanking him to his feet.
“Gotcha!” the tailor exclaimed. But the next moment he took a step back. Though the boy’s face was masked in the shadows of his large hooded coat, Roderick caught sight of glistening tears running down his cheeks.
“I’m sorry, sir,” came a little voice, high as a flute and quivering with fear. “I didn’t know you wanted it.”
The little urchin held out the rest of the apple in his small, gloved hand. The tips of his fingers poked through the cloth like tender shoots of grass through the spring earth.
He’s just a boy, the tailor thought to himself. And he looks to be freezing. Though it was only late fall his fingers were as blue as the bachelor’s buttons that grew in Grace Tullum’s garden.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this little snippet. I may post more down the road. I hope to have this book out late 2015 or early 2016, but as I said, it’s a motley process. There is still much to be done between then and now.
Thanks for stopping by.