An excerpt from the novel. Don’t judge too harshly, this is a hastily-written first draft:
They fought their way through the underbrush until they found a smaller road, then they walked along it. Leva strode next to her with his head down, contemplating something. Probably how much he hates peasants, she thought. “So,” she said. “Can you do any magic whatsoever outside of the school?”
He smirked. “I guess I haven’t tried that much,” he said. He turned that well-known, cocky expression on her. A smile played around his lips – the same smile that he always had when he knew he had the upper hand.
Her hair burst into flame.
She couldn’t help the scream that erupted from her mouth. She dropped the rucksack and threw herself to the road, dislodging Cat as she rolled back and forth on the hard ground.
“Stop,” Cat was shouting – as loud as a cat could shout. “Stop it. Stop!”
Leva was laughing.
After a few moments Marian realized that she wasn’t in pain – and she didn’t smell burning hair. She stopped rolling and tentatively put a hand up to her head. Her hair was as long, as lush and as curly as ever. It was a bit dustier now, but otherwise undamaged.
Leva was almost on the road himself. His face was red and tears glinted at the corners of his eyes as he snorted with laughter. “It was an illusion,” he gasped. “You should have seen yourself -”
What she was seeing was red. She scrambled to her feet, ready to punch him in his smug, upturned mouth. Cat was shouting something but she couldn’t really make it out. She didn’t care.
She opened her hand at the last moment so that her punch turned into a hard slap. Leva’s laugh became a choke as he was thrown off balance and onto the road.
Today’s lesson for me is: if you have personal problems, write them right in to your novel.
When I started writing today, I was behind by almost 3000 words and I was not in a good mood. I’m currently having some personal problems with my best friend – my ex-best friend, I should say, since our friendship is a bit on the rocks these days. I had just finished having a totally unsatisfying non-conversation with him and was (and still am) unsure of how to proceed along the road of our relationship.
This novel, and the interactions of the two main characters in it, has become an outlet for my frustration with my friend. While I didn’t come up with the idea with him strictly in mind, he soon became the jumping point for the easy, arrogant Leva, and the problems and flaws we both have were easy to make the starting point of an argument that got out of hand.
When I started writing I didn’t think I would make that many words. But I managed to make up for yesterday’s lack of writing, and keep going. And I could write even more – but I’m going to go home and make some dinner, instead.
Mood: frustrated but in some ways satisfied.
Word Count: 13,358
Music: The Host of Seraphim, by Dead Can Dance.