Sample Sunday: So when you accidentally start writing a steampunk-flavoured novel…

Things you do when you’re Jacey: Accidentally start writing what appears to be a fairytale-and-steampunk-flavoured post-apocalyptic novel.

Bonus points if said novel was originally supposed to simply be a ten-thousand word fantasy story, for LiveJournal’s fantasy big bang.

Welcome to my blender of a brain.

My current WIP (the one I’ve posted snippets of, with Anchor and Desdemona) has just hit the 8k mark this afternoon (making it long enough to officially submit there as a rough draft once it’s edited); and I now know whereabouts the story is going to stop when I send it off to the big bang.

But the story, it seems, has absolutely no plans of stopping there permanently. Oh no.

It apparently wants to be a novel proper, from the look of it now.

And, well, while this certainly wasn’t anywhere near what I had planned…who am I to argue? Besides, it suits me well enough, I suppose.

This one isn’t my baby — that would be Ghostis — but I’d like to have a little more experience before I get that one officially and finally underway. I’d like to have something else under my belt, in the hopes that it will help give me the confidence I need to completely tackle Ghostis. Which I’ve been lacking for about…oh, twelve or so years now.

So this one it is. And for right now, at least, its working title is Ark. (We’ll see if it sticks.)

And I’m aiming to have it finished by my birthday, near the end of October. I figure that’s as good a goal as any, and I need something to keep me on task.

And if I put that out publically here, I’ll have to keep myself on task. :) I can’t resist a challenge, even if the challenge only comes from myself.

To seal the deal, I’ll even throw in another rough snippet! It is Sunday, after all.

So here. :)

“I’ll build you a castle,” he whispered in her hair as they sat in the corner, “where the walls are all made from bits of the old things.”

She bit back a laugh, tossing her head as if his voice had tickled her scalp, and her mane made strange scrawling scribbles where it fell down his arm. “And you would have us stay in one place, then?”

“Never! We would be…” He stopped, and struggled for the word, one of the old ones that was slipping from common speech. “We would be nomads, and the castle wouldn’t be our home, but rather our life’s work.”

Her head tilted, this time to the side. “Our life’s work?”

“Of course. It wouldn’t be a place for us to live, but rather a monument.”

“Ahh,” she murmured, already almost beginning to understand.

“Our home itself would be everywhere else. We’d travel out, walk the black streets during the day, and only return when our arms were full of interesting things. Then we’d stack them up all through the night, and sleep in the shadow of the new wall they’d made, and be out again and walking in a new direction by dawn. We could make it a monument to everything that we don’t know.”

“Everyone else would think it worthless and pointless and ugly, you realise.”

“You wouldn’t,” he countered. “I wouldn’t. And beauty is what you make of it, anyway.”

She smiled at him, sleepily, already ready to lose herself beside him in this world he painted. “We’d do this forever?”

“Forever,” he promised. “It’s a bigger world than they say, out there.”

“And there’s no one to remember it but us.”

(She thinks of the box, the one with the cracked glass lens, that he’d made her take home years before. And all of a sudden, she thinks she finally understands its purpose: Sometimes, you have to make your own memories, and you need someone else on the other end to make them worth remembering after all.)


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