Wednesday, November 25, 2009

WIP Wednesday: Getting My Hands Dirty

Loathsome has some kinks, but I'm rolling up my sleeves and pushing my fingers into the mud. It's a helluva lot of fun right now. I just edited the first big attack from the Ruined Men. Good stuff.

I like this excerpt because it reveals a little about some of my characters (before the attack, they've just found a body on the beach with its throat torn out):

“Oh?” I pushed the brass gadget into my pocket. “We have what choice, Mr. Olson?”

Olson looked down the line at each man in succession. Captain Greig’s eyes were fastened to the water at his feet. John stood tall, the gun still dangling like a toy at his side. Jim held his rifle cradled at an angle across his chest; his eyes shot occasional daggers at Silas who stood a step behind me and to the left.

“Well, given this,” Olson waved to the black smoke rising from the burning body, “we can head pack to St. Helens. Tell them it’s not safe. We need more men. Different men. The Army.”

Silas stepped forward. “Listen, Mister Olson, it’s real easy for a fella to die out here. Mr. Nobody back there isn’t a sign of anythin’, let alone a reason to tuck tail and scramble back to yer mother.” He glanced at Jim next. “Even though I doubt a mountain lion’s gonna take after a full grown man like that.”

Olson’s eyes widened at Silas’s verbal onslaught, and he took a step back.

“What Mr. Kirchmier is saying, I believe, is that we have a job to do, and the river will not traverse itself. If we stand here and talk about it, we’ll loose the light before we make the first station.” I glanced skyward to emphasize my point. Silas relaxed his shoulders, and Olson nodded with resignation. Jim shook his head.

Too bad most of those guys will be dead by the end of the book.

NaNoWriMos...can you smell the finish line? (If so, what does a finish line smell like?)

13 comments:

Laura Eno said...

I crossed it yesterday but it didn't smell like anything because I was breathing so hard I gulped air through my mouth. :)

Jodi Lee said...

Interesting excerpt, Aaron. I don't know why, but it made me uncomfortable. I have that 'don't do that' feeling..know what I mean? It's a trap...

I'm so far from the finish line, I'm practically at day one. But, while I've resigned to not winning this year, I'm also not checking my word count until Monday morning. If it's at all better than it is now, I'll maybe use the day to push hard and give it a final go. How're you doin'?

Aaron Polson said...

Laura - I know that feeling well.

Jodi - Good call (about not checking the word count too much). I do better when I'm just writing. I've skipped Nano this year so I could edit Loathsome and polish some short stories. Glad the snippet made you uncomfortable. I think (hope) that's what I was going for.

Cate Gardner said...

If I remember correctly, the Finish Line smells of chocolate.

Ooh, Ruined Men.

Natalie L. Sin said...

As I recall, it smells like dirty laundry. Nano leaves little time for household chores.

K.C. Shaw said...

I love how you use speech rhythms to enhance your characterization. Nice. :)

The NaNo finish line is just out of reach. The only real problem I'll have reaching it is finding time to type up what I've written out longhand.

Jamie Eyberg said...

I couldn't tell you what the finish line will taste like this year. I have given up on crossing the line at the end of the month, but not the race altogether.

Ditto what Jodi said. That gave me an uncomfortable feeling.

Danielle Ferries said...

It gave me a feeling of dread.

And the finish line smells like wine. White wine.

Aaron Polson said...

Cate - I never get tired of that phrase...these men are truly Ruined.

Natalie - Yeah. Nano. I was a hermit last year.

K.C. - Thanks. I didn't even notice the dialogue until you mentioned it. I'm sure you'll scrape together the time.

Jamie - That's what I'm here for: making people uncomfortable. Keep plugging away.

Danielle - Ooooo...I like wine. Dread is good, too. Not together though. ;)

Alan W. Davidson said...

Great excerpt. The end is in sight (sort of). I can almost smell the finish line. I think, though, that it's being overpowered by the aroma of dog crap from the underside of my shoe...

Alan W. Davidson said...

I like your new profile picture, by the way.

Aaron Polson said...

Alan - Ah...the wiff of dog. I'll let Max know you like his pic.

katey said...

Very cool excerpt, Aaron. The dynamic between those fellows is pretty intense. It's nice to take Nano off to accomplish something like this, and then find that you're actually having FUN with it, isn't it? :D