Okay, here we go, big fun times. The festival. Fiarra’s about to be escorted there, and I’m about to write it. I struggle at this point: starting the big important scenes, the turning point scenes I’ve been working towards for days. Not that what has happened before hasn’t been important, but there’s been a build-up, and now it’s time to reveal what that build-up has been building up to. I guess the pressure is on a bit here; I feel more strongly than elsewhere that I need to get it right. And I know it’s a draft and I can fix things later, but as I’ve seen, fixing big screw-ups can take months of dissatisfaction and then weeks of fresh writing to replace the old.
So I’m breaking this scene down a bit more than normal.
Yesterday I left Fiarra in her cell, washed and with clean clothes for the execution. She’s been told to put her hands through the bars so that the guards can put her in manacles to escort her out. So that’s where I’m starting: handcuffs. Yesterday’s scene involved a brief conversation between the one guard who’d been on duty and Fiarra. And she’d been crying too. So I’ll have the other guards rib the first about making her cry, and him apologise for their behaviour. I don’t have a name for this guard and I didn’t plan him, but now I’ve decided he feels a bit sorry for her. I think I’ll have him die later in the story. Maybe.
So then the four guards lead her upstairs and out of the barracks building, through the gate and into the palace grounds, where the festival is taking place. The festival goers are busy watching a play and don’t notice her, and she’s taken behind a curtained-off area where the other convicts to be executed are also being held, near the gallows. The play ends, there is applause, and the convicts are all taken up to the gallows. There’s murmuring in the crowd, a few people clearly distraught at seeing someone they care about up there. At the back, there’s a bit of a fight – that’s Teyt and Corun, not that Fiarra knows it, because Teyt immediately thinks of rescue and Corun knows that’s what he’s thinking and punches him to prevent him from getting them both killed in a fruitless attempt. Anyway. All Fiarra sees is a lot of faces, some excited, others sad, and movements in the crowd that hint at the fight at the back.
Then the Governor comes on stage and begins her speech about how evil they all are and how important it is that the defences are finished before the Narricol ships return, and so she has decided that mercy, here, is for the greater good, as these convicts can be reformed and put to work, and pay for their crimes that way.
So here goes.
Finishing 22:02. 883 words. I got to the speech, but didn’t finish it. I think I’ll change the last paragraph I wrote when I write tomorrow. I’m not happy with it, it gives away the truth too quickly, without the crowd manipulation the Governor really needs to keep her audience with her. I think I was too light on the emotions too, but I’m stuck on that a bit, so I’ll work on it in the rewrites and just keep moving forward for the first(ish) draft.