Today begins my second month-long daily writing challenge. I’ve gone back to what I wrote before and found the point at which things start to change. Fiarra has just arrived in Port Barrent and been left in a cell.
In the old version, I had a festival which happened a few days after Fiarra was released from this cell and enslaved to Laik. The early part of the story didn’t feel like there was much threat in it, because it was oh, she’s been captured, but nothing too serious happens and a few days later she’s fine and she’s got to do some hard work but it’s okay, and there’s a festival, and she sees someone who’s dangerous but gets away pretty easily and finds friends by accident and then has a little argument with someone else and goes off in a strop. It wasn’t really engaging, and I think really that was probably what my subconscious was trying to tell me back in May when I stopped writing it.
So I’ve gone back to the last time she was in real danger: beaten up, slightly concussed, imprisoned and suspected of being a rebel leader. And now I’m going to raise the stakes – and use the festival in a very different way to do it. That’s my medium term goal with what I’ll be writing over the next few days: get to the festival bit. So I’m going back to the start of Fiarra’s imprisonment, and over various thinking sessions in the last couple of weeks I’ve determined the other side of those scenes, which in the old version I only had a vague idea of. See, Laik has her own story. She’s got tasks she’s working on relating to the festival and the building works she’s overseeing as part of her job in the Governor’s regime. She’s got personal relationships that have become rocky. There are questions about her judgement as a result of the escape at the mine. And in a way, her visits down to the cool, dark, quiet cellar where Fiarra is being kept is an escape from the stress of life above, because she’s in control and there are no demands on her.
Knowing that side of things now I think I’ve got a better feel for the shape of the scenes ahead.
I am going to keep one thing: her utter control of everything that goes on down there. She didn’t allow the guard who brough food and water for Fiarra to talk to the prisoner, and I’m keeping that, because that means Laik has control over Fiarra, and she likes that.
So now I’ll write Fiarra’s first impressions when she wakes, and her first proper meeting with Laik. Laik questions Fiarra about the events of the last few days. But I think she might not be quite as guarded as she intends, and lets slip that she’s not on speaking terms with Prentor at the moment.
Today’s music is Nuvole Biachi by Einaudi.
A slow start for now, with 323 words, since quite a lot fo the first part of the hour was taken up with the above. I’ve woken Fiarra up and had Laik ask a few questions. I read back a little way and recalled that I’d given Fiarra a bit of a blow to the head in the last section, so I thought I’d give her some issues arising from concussion, just to make navigating the interrogation that much more difficult. And with Laik no longer really talking to Prentor, she now thinks Fiarra really is a rebel; in the old version she’d already spoken to him and determined that Fiarra is not a rebel leader, but in this version that won’t be right away. Laik will get Fiarra’s version of events first, then talk to Prentor about it. There’s more threat this way. More fun. And I can play with Laik’s reaction to Prentor corroborating Fiarra’s version too.