WIP it… (duh nuh nuh nuh)… W-WIP it real good!
Sorry, I was tired of getting Devo stuck in my head every time WIPpet Wednesday rolled around. Thought I’d try Salt n’ Peppa. You know, instead of “Push It”.
It’s not actually better. Live and learn. *sigh*
WIPpet Wednesday is the day where we post a snippet from a work in progress that relates in some way to the day’s date. I’ve been having a lot of trouble participating lately, because a) I’m busy, and I don’t post if I know I can’t get around to comment (though I sometimes miss a few who post late–sorry! I’ll try harder!), and b) I’m seriously running out of spoiler-free snippets from Torn.
Like… even saying who’s in it is a spoiler, aside from the obvious suspects.
So here’s what we’re going to do. I’m going to share a big snippet, and I’m not going to say who’s in it. The POV character (herein referred to as “I”) is female and a Potioner, and that’s all I’m saying. The other party in the conversation is a dude, and… we’ll call him Y here.
Warning: If you’ve read Bound and really don’t want to know whether certain species are going to show up again, skip it. You’ll probably guess. I doubt anyone will be disappointed, but there you have it. 🙂
Okay, it’s super obvious. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.
19 (short) paragraphs. WIPpet math: 1+1+8+2+0+1+5 = 18, plus one to grow on.
I’d only need one more ingredient. I brought out one of the daggers that my unfortunate soldier friend had left behind.
“Can I help?” Y’s voice drifted from the trees behind me.
“You’re getting quieter,” I observed. “I barely heard you coming.”
Y stood up straighter. “I’m working on it. I don’t think I’ll ever be as graceful on land as I am in [awkward redaction], though. What are you doing?”
“Trying to be prepared. You might not want to see this.”
The shadows covered much of his face, but I caught the concerned furrow of his brow. “Do you want me to leave? Whatever it is, I can handle it.”
The firm set of his jaw and the look in his eyes told me he wasn’t lying. I wondered what he’d seen in his life. Such a strange man. I couldn’t deny I was glad to have his assistance, and his company. Something about him calmed my mind, even as his presence tended to do the opposite to my body. I could ignore that, though.
“You can stay, if you want to,” I said. “Hold the bowl for me.”
He stepped into the clearing and cupped the bowl in his hands, holding it out from his body. “Like this?”
“Perfect.” I slipped off my cloak, then tried to roll up my sleeves. They were too tight. The whole thing would have to go. I thought about asking Y to close his eyes. We didn’t need to complicate things further.
Don’t be silly, I told myself. You’re both adults. He’s seen more, and probably prettier.
Y’s eyes widened as I unbuttoned my shirt, then swallowed hard as I slipped it off, leaving me in a thin under-shirt in the cold woods.
I waited for his gaze to return to mine. “Don’t [oh, so very redacted] go around naked most of the time?”
I raised my eyebrows, and fought back a smile when his eyes wandered again.
“It’s just different with you,” he said. “It’s fine. Carry on. Please.”
I took a deep breath and traced the tip of the dagger over the skin of my arm, trying to decide on the best spot to get what I needed while doing the smallest possible amount of damage. I settled on the top of my forearm and stroked the tip of the dagger gently over my skin once, twice, three times, building my nerve.
“Use my blood, if you want,” Y said.
“No. Thank you. I’ve had worse injuries.”
“So have I.”
Well, my work here is done. Smoothly done, Sparkes. SMOOOOTHLY DONE.
But seriously, guys, I think I’m out for a few weeks.
On the only goal that matters at the moment: Still editing. I think I have about eight chapters left to go, only two of which are full rewrites.
Yes, it makes things harder. Yes, it’s more work than I thought I’d be doing two months shy of the projected publication date. It’s going to be worth it, though.
I’m done stressing about dates. Some people might be irritated if things are delayed by a week, but once the book’s out, no one will care. As I’ve said before, I’m not half-assing anything to meet a deadline.
My readers deserve my best. No shortcuts.
For the record, there will be no promises, speculation, or hints about the next book’s release date until after edits (professional, not self-edits). We’re looking at the same kind of space between books as we were this time, but beyond that, my lips are sealed.
Having a deadline is motivating, but it’s useless when it stresses you out too much to do anything.
Consider that a lesson learned.
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