Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Drafty Drafts & Precarious Situations

Sorry, sometimes my brain can't come up with a suitable title, but maybe this one works.

So, you know how it is. Working along in a WIP, that you've been going through it seems like forEVER. I'm trying to catch some weak passages, or weak phrases that need to go. It's easy to write 'I looked', or 'I felt', when you might want to reconsider what it is you're trying to say.

I've been working through some areas that needed to be cleaned up. I had one place where I'd written: I felt Drachen's breath on my neck. I cleared out I felt and here is how it reads now:
Drachen's breath feathered against my neck. His large, dreamy eyes lingered on the pulse there.

In this third book, Sabrina finds herself in tight confines with Drachen, Jett's cousin--who is with a newly becoming vampire. I've been thrusting the two together, teasing readers with their situation.

In this passage you don't know that their coach just took a spill. They're on a snowy mountain road, and the coach could easily slide off the side of the cliff. I thought to compound the situation where she's having to deal with both, a life altering situation and a life or death situation would hold suspense for the readers. The question posed is which is more dangerous? The vampire, or the precarious place the carriage is in.
Here's a peek at the scene...

We hit a bump. Aljehambra made a half-scream, then went into a full scream as the coach lurched horribly, and then tipped as a grind of steel filled my ears, and men's voices outside shouting something. But it was too late. I saw a body sail past the window as the diligence leaned precariously, then Drachen's body crashed into mine. I heard his startled cry. Horses screamed as the whole thing toppled over on its side. My shoulder was crushed against the side of the coach, and Drachen's weight pressed against my other side smashing me more; it was as though a log had fallen on me. The feeling of being trapped and unable to stop things that were in motion threw me into a panic. Ali's screams punctuated the moment of terror. I wanted to tell her to quit screaming, but couldn't because my own situation called for a scream, but it wouldn't come. The air suddenly forced out of my lungs as we landed with such a hard crash I was certain that something was broken—an arm, a clavicle, perhaps—the pain overriding every other sense—as well as clear thought.  
CAVEAT: I'm still working on this scene. But I think it's coming along. I need to get rid of a few repeated words, like snow, but I'll get to it.
If you feel the need to comment, fine. If not, just enjoy.
Something cold hit me in the face and added insult to my various injuries. Confused initially, I thought the glass in the window had broken and cut me. Why was I feeling a cold splash, instead of warm liquid?
Then all motion stopped when I realized what it was that had hit me: cold snow pressed into my face while I was squashed against the side of the coach. I realized the window hadn't broken because it had been down. Now Drachen was on top of me, both of us in awkward positions and I was unable to move because of him pinning me. I realized the coach had stopped sliding.
Now that things had stopped moving, Drachen rolled off me, and his strong arms turned me so that I was now on my back looking up at him. I heard Aljehambra's soft whimpers, and Joha asking her the same thing Drachen asked me.
Are you alright?” We were both lying side by side on cold snow. I realized snow had poured into the window, and we were half covered in it. If it were not for the warm cloak around me, I'd have been much colder than I was.
I don't know.” I had to move my arms to see. Nothing seemed broken, but I was sore. “I think so.” I spat snow and hair out of my mouth and Drachen helped brush it out of my face. “Maybe my shoulders are bruised a little.”
Ali? Joha?”
We're still alive,” Joha said.
Aljehambra began crying fitfully.
Quiet, Ali!” Joha said to her and she quieted.
The carriage shifted, then budged a few inches. The sliding sound beneath us hammered into the forefront our precarious situation. Mine and Aljehambra's gasp filled the carriage.
Don't anyone move!”
I froze with Drachen holding me close. His body fully against mine, I found my face inches from his, his glimmering gaze wandered my features. His gaze stopped at my lips, a brow arched as though the idea of kissing me fully on the lips was overriding the whole idea that we were in a precarious situation, in a life and death situation. It were as if we were alone somewhere else entirely, and I felt his aura and vampire thrall entice me. I held my breath as the sliding carriage stopped, but who knew for how long.
I won't,” Drachen said in a low whisper in answer to Joha's edict. A smile tipped his lips ever so slightly as he gently stroked my hair, his fingers moved downward to tease the flesh along the column of my neck. I let out my held breath very slowly as I felt myself succumb to his vampire charms—he was getting to me in a big way. A ripple of alarm—more so than when the coach had tipped—shuddered through me. Crapola, what happened to my ring?
How's Sabrina?” Joha asked.
I'm fine,” I said stiffly. Drachen's breath feathered against my neck. His large, dreamy eyes lingered on the pulse there.
Don't even think about it,” I warned, pulling my right hand from the awkward position between us and pressed the hand against his chest.
What? Kiss you?”
Right.” I glanced away, realizing that he was pulling a thrall on me. I realized my gloves were on both hands (for warmth), and that's why I couldn't stop him. His aura was stronger than it had been last night. Possibly after having fed on blood he may have become stronger in a vampire way as he morphed from human to vampire. However, he would have to hold my eyes in order to keep me in his thrall, but he didn't seem to know this. Or, rather, I knew this before he could really pull on my desires.
A noise above us made me start. Drachen looked up. The door, which was facing up toward the sky, opened and someone peered down at us. It was one of the coachmen from Drakulya's coach. “Everyone alright?” he had a strange accent.
We all answered that we were alright.
I hit my head,” Ali complained.
Joha poo-pooed her fussing. “You've had worse scrapes, I think. Remember when you fell off the garden wall when you were ten? Everyone thought you were going to die.”
This is worse!” she cried stubbornly.
Come, then. Women first,” the man said. I let Ali go first since this had upset her so.


  1. Loving it so far. You are right about the snow but I don't have any ideas for you. I like how you changed "I felt Drachen's breath on my neck"
    I like how smoothly it flows now.

  2. Hi, Vivienne, yeah... I'll find a way to smooth that passage out too.

    Thanks for your comments!


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