Donald Maass Is To Blame…Again

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I swear, Donald Maass will be the death of me. Seriously. Now I am always on the lookout for ways to up the tension.

In this scene, Thalmar (Saerowyn’s son and the head of the arcane academies) and Maeglen, a spirit walker have entered the spirit realm to try and solve the mystery of Aegis’ death and to find clues to the missing king. They have just finished “watching” Aegis’ last day.”

The original ending had them leaving the scene and returning home. It’s a lot more tense here, I hope, because Maeglen is trapped and I already set up a dangerous situation for her in the spirit realm in addition to this spirit who appeared.

I’ve already set up the way she can escape, but it’s going to require…more words. I wonder if anyone one would really notice if I don’t rescue her.

Ending of chapter fifteen.

Caidry laughed and ran his hand ran over the black stubble of beard, smearing blood across his face. The slash across his forehead gushed red. His left eye shone brighter under the blood veil. He seemed to be taunting Aegis. He wiped the blood out of his eye and his tongue flicked out to lick it from his lips. His mouth curled back in a cruel smile, revealing even white teeth tinged pink in the crevices.

Aegis dropped to his knees. Another spasm of coughing racked his body as he choked on the blood filling his lungs. Blossoms from the twig he wedged in his helmet earlier now floated in a pool of red before him. He stared at the pale petals adrift in his blood.

“He’s speaking a binding spell to this place,” Maeglen said. “I can hear the words in my mind. That’s why we couldn’t call his spirit back to his body. I knew he was there, but we couldn’t hold him.”

She looked away when Caidry jerked Aegis’ head back to expose his throat.

When it was done, Maeglen knelt beside the body. She reached out to touch the knight’s blood blossom. “Caidry killed him before he could finish the spell. He’s caught between two worlds.”

Thalmar stood beside her, still holding her bound hand. A spirit began to take form in front of them. It was pale and weak, but she recognized Aegis. He tried to speak, his eyes wide and frantic.

She turned to see another spirit forming behind her. He was surrounded by a deep red aura, his face contorted with hatred.

“Pay the price, wizard! Let your woman walk the spirit world as mine does.” He knocked Thalmar backwards. The cord bit into her wrist and then snapped.

Thalmar was back in the present, but she was trapped.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Captain Hook

    I don’t know if you were asking for a crit on this or not, but I’m going to give you one anyway (and pray you don’t crucify me after :))

    Caidry laughed and ran his hand ran over the black stubble of beard, smearing blood across his face. Which is more important here? Rubbing his hand over his beard, or the smeared blood? The smeared blood is much more visual and tense, so you want to make that the focus of this sentence: Caldry laughed and smeared blood over his face as he ran a hand over his beard. A little more oomph in it that way.

    The slash across his forehead gushed red. Again, make the blood the focus. Blood gushed from the open wound on his forehead.

    His left eye shone brighter under the blood veil. This sentence feels like a throw in, where you feel you should add description, but are not sure what. Fill it out some. The bloody veil, covering half his face, brought out a gleam in his dark eyes, making them seem to shine. Sorry about the rewriting, but you asked.

    He seemed to be taunting Aegis. He wiped the blood out of his eye and his tongue flicked out to lick it from his lips. The second sentence is bland. Give it some oomph. He reached up and wiped the worst of the blood from his eye while his tongue flicked out, tracing the contours of his mouth and cleansing it of the remaining blood.

    His mouth curled back in a cruel smile, revealing even white teeth tinged pink in the crevices. This sentence is good, but I’d exchange the word “tinged” and put “stained” in its place.

    That’s my crit of the first paragraph. Sorry for rewriting, especially since I know our styles are different, but I wanted to give you an idea of what I meant each time. Hope it helps.

  2. Julie Weathers

    Thank you, my friend. I haven’t even gotten to the edit on this, but I appreciate your comments. Still trying to figure out if I need to kill this entire scene, but I need the information.

  3. Captain Hook

    As long as it’s relevant (and it feels that way to me), keep it. Just remember, when writing for tension, take the most tense image in your sentence and focus the sentence there.

  4. Julie Weathers

    Well, it is relevant, but I could convert it to backstory. I just don’t much care for backstory if I can get away from it.

  5. Lynne

    Julie! I never saw your Christmas message to me until yesterday when Lisa and I were working on my site.
    She told me to look for my name on Google, yours was right under mine, and THAT’S when I saw the message.
    Thank you. I was astounded and it made me cry. In a good way. God bless you.

  6. Julie Weathers

    Oh, honey. Didn’t mean to make you cry. You know how much I care for you.

    Hugs,

    Julie

  7. laughingwolf

    sarah’s points make sense to me, and trying to keep back story to a minimum is a good aim, too…

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