Well, Camp NaNo is over for another year, and I finished The Adventures of Victor, getting to over 51,000 words, well within the time limit. This is, of course, because I had an old version I was pullling apart and putting back together. But I completed it, with lots of new passages, and new themes and problems for Victor to sort out. And then I decided it would be good to make all of Victor’s narrative in the present tense…
Well, I searched and replaced 843 instances of “said” to “says”, and then “I says” to “I say”, and considered doing the same for didn’t to don’t and things like that, but decide in the end just to go through and change them. In the process it makes me change a few other things, so it’s not a bad exercise. I think changing “asked” to “ask” would have saved some effort though. The next stage is to put it away for a couple of months and then start a real edit – cutting and reshaping and making it altogether tighter. I expect it’ll end up at about 42,000 words, but when I changed the tense I rather enjoyed the dream sequence. Maybe I’ll keep it!
I fancy giving you another excerpt, but I don’t want to give you the end, as I rather like it. This is from Chapter 19 (of 24). If you haven’t read book one yet (why not?) you won’t ‘get’ the cliffhanger!
You’re going to need to have read at least Books 1 and 4 to make sense of this book, I think (and preferably the whole Trilogy).
From: Ch 19 – Return to Castle Marsh
I walk into the Cheeky Parrot and ask Archi when the next stage to Marsh is due.
“Hi Victor, it’s this afternoon – about an hour’s time. Shall I book you on it?”
“Yes, please, Archi. Er, is Py around?” I add, thinking I haven’t seen Py since the funny inn at Main, and wondering what he was doing if Archi was all on his own.
“Not at the moment. He’ll be back soon though.”
“Soon as in hours or days?”
“A few days. We’ve got lots of business interests,” he says, grinning.
I bet you have, I think.
“I’ll just send a message, then.”
“Please yourself, the operator’s in there,” he says, nodding at the vacuum post office door.
I knock and go in. The operator is very helpful and suggests I fill in a standard form with no more than 12 words, for the cheapest way of sending an express message. I think Lupin should have it express, but I can’t afford a long message.
“Lupin – have urgent package from Hugo for you. Some value. Victor.” I suck the end of the pencil for a bit as I draft it. Hard to say enough but not too much. I end up with a word spare. I think they could allow you to put the addressee and the sender’s name free. I suppose I should have put Prince in front of Lupin, but I only think of that after I’ve written it out, and I’m not going to change the whole thing just for that. I’m sure he’ll appreciate my economy of effort.
I’ve just sent it when I realise I should have told him I am going to Castle Marsh. He’ll think I am still at Castle Wash. Bother. I come out of the office, thanking the young lady for her help, and sit at the bar.
“Would you like a drink after your perilous journey on the waves?”
I reckon Archi’s joking. It wasn’t perilous, just bumpy. “Yes, please,” I sigh.
“How about this new one, just came in this morning from Castle Deeping? Free sample to every inn, they say.”
“What’s it called?”
“Moonlight. By the way, you’ve got stuff on your lips.” And he hands me a small cloth to wipe them on. Pencil marks make the cloth look very grubby.
“Thanks. And thanks, yes, I’ll try a Moonlight,” I say, handing the cloth back.
He takes the top off the bottle and pours the contents into two glasses, handing one to me. “Cheers!”
“Cheers,” I echo, sniffing the drink.
And tasting it.
And slurping it.
Archi is doing the same.
I look at him, and he looks at me.
“This is Wozna,” we say at the same time, except he adds “isn’t it?”
The last line
Would you like to know the last line?
“That’s a yes, then,” I say, grinning again.
+++ Just four more days to enter the Lazy Days of Summer Giveaway Hop +++