Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Forever Plotting...

In the midst of writing last week, it occurred to me that I was clueless about the first book of the Descendants. I mean, I knew what point A was, and I knew what point B was, but I had only the vaguest idea of how to get from point A to point B.

A long time ago, I had an idea for it, but then that was replaced by a slightly different idea. I've since realized that neither idea was going to cut it, so I've spent most of the past couple of days trying to figure out where my characters need to go and what needs to happen. And I think I've finally figured it out. 

I also figured out a couple of plot twists I did not see coming about Gwalchmei - who I introduced last week - but sadly they probably won't make it into the books. Or if they do, it'll be in a side story. 

Other than that there hasn't been much writing done lately. Work is just so chaotic right now! We finished switching systems and testing everything - only to find out that another issue has cropped up where some items aren't taxing properly in certain regions. In trying to figure out what the cause of this issue is, we have placed so many orders, and gone through the taxes of said orders so many times, that I have a near constant headache from the math. 

Since I'm all mathed out, I'm going to keep WIPpet Wednesday simple this week. Since today's date is 11/27/2013, I'm going to share 16 paragraphs (27-11=16... See! Simple!) from my fanfic, Between Two Worlds.

This is a scene from the fanfic that won't happen for another chapter or two. The woman who is helping Domick adapt to our world, Norah, has a son, Marcus. They and Domick have gone to a local pizza joint to get dinner, and Marcus takes the opportunity to introduce the man from Pern to video games...

Here there were several wooden or plastic cabinets with screens built into them. The screens glowed as moving pictures of animated characters attacking each other, or some strange monster, crossed their surfaces. The music- if the tiny tinny sounds pouring out of the cabinets could be called that - for each game varied, and it clashed together into one annoying cacophony that set Domick's teeth on edge. He longed to return to the Faire where it was quieter and even if he didn't recognize the music being played at least he recognized the instruments playing it. Unfortunately he didn't have much of a choice as Marcus proceeded to drag Domick from one cabinet to the next, calling them games, and showed him how to play each one. Some either had little stands built into the front, and others had objects that resembled the firearms some of the members of the military guilds carried around at the Faire site. One or two even had boxy apparatuses that you could sit in with an object that reminded Domick of the steering wheel on the cart Mudd had tried to teach him to operate. Remembering how well that had turned out, Domick gave those a wide berth... much to Norah's amusement. 

Eventually Marcus introduced him to a game called Guitar Hero. Here, Domick was positive, was something he could finally excel at. Even though the so called guitar with it's colored plastic keys barely resembled a real instrument, the game still involved music, so how hard could it be? He stubbornly chose the hardest song available, despite Marcus's advice, and was promptly booed at by an artificial crowd after only two bars of music. He frowned, and tried again, only to be kicked off the stage once more. 

He heard a chuckle behind him and turned to find Norah leaning against another machine while she watched them. "Enjoying yourself?"

He raised an eyebrow at her, "What does it look like to you?"

"Like you're about ready to beat the screen in."

"It doesn't make any sense. The notes its playing shouldn't be associated with the keys that I'm hitting."

"That's because its not a real guitar."

"I can see that." She snorted at his tone, pressing a hand against her mouth to smother the laughter that threatened to spill forth. "Can you do better?"

"Here, why don't I show you how it works before we run out of quarters." However, instead of taking the guitar he offered her, she came up behind him and stood so that her chest pressed into his back and her chin rested lightly on his shoulder. Her smell, that flowery yet spicy sent, flowed around him, reminding him of the incense the moors burned in their tents, and the image of her dancing on stage, her body undulating to those weird rhythms the drummers beat out, came unbidden to his mind. He stiffened at the memory and she backed away. "Sorry."

"No... I'm... It's... Please, continue." He gestured helplessly, and she gave him a smile, and covered his hands with hers again - but thankfully didn't stand nearly as close this time.

"You're thinking like a musician and you can't really do that here..."

"This coming from the girl who can't sing a note or play an instrument..."

She raised her eyebrows. "Do you want my help or not?"

"My apologies."

"Whatever." She rolled her eyes at him, but continued with guiding him through the the song Marcus had chosen. "See - you hit the keys on the guitar when the colors come up, then you move this bar up and down to get the game to recognize that you're playing the 'notes'.” This time the crowd didn't boo, but cheered. “Not that hard, is it?”

It wasn't now that she explained it, but, despite his years of playing on all manner of musical instruments, he still couldn't quite do it. He found himself gritting his teeth in frustration, especially when he saw the level Marcus was playing on and how easily he handled it. How, could a boy who had never played a musical instrument before be so much better at this than him, a master harper? He gave up, resting the controller in it's cradle. Thankfully Marcus was too enthralled to notice that Domick was no longer there to whine or beg the man to return to the game. Instead he continued to strum away, biting his lip in concentration. Now, Domick thought, if there was only a way to direct that energy towards the real thing.

To read more Between Two Worlds, go here
To see more WIPpet Wednesday posts, go here.
To see more ROW 80 updates, go here. 


  1. I haven't read a Pern book since high school -- I think the last one I read was White Dragon? I like this snippet; particularly, the way Domick is frustrated by Guitar Hero and his lack of skill with the game.

  2. Poor Domick! To go from Master Harper to Guitar Hero flunkie. As if all the culture shock isn't bad enough. I really like how you describe what he's seeing in a way that sounds like it's coming from him -- making the connections between the games and his world or what he's experienced.

  3. An arcade to a master harper? *shudders* I think Dominick is holding himself with marvelous restraint here.

    Sorry to hear about all the work stress... A bad time to be going through a lot of work over-hauls and restructuring. I hope it gets easier soon, Christina.

  4. That's really funny. I wonder how often real musicians get frustrated by games like Guitar Hero. Particularly one from the Middle Ages. Then again, I don't suppose musicians from the Middle Ages get much experience with things like Guitar Hero in the first place. =0P