Man, this city knows how to party. Another night full of a thousand fireworks. Mitch and I started yelling our prayers to each other across the flat whenever we heard the ones that sound like gunfire. Y’know, the ones that are so loud your windows shake.
Today consisted of trying to write characters that can explain the plot. By this I mean, my Walton’s family (those demons). I have also decided upon the ‘language of demons’. English is not their first language, which is why they do not use contractions, e.g. don’t, I’m, haven’t. I will give you brownie points if you can guess what their mother language is.
When you come to the part of your novel where your characters explain to each other what is going on; which is called ‘exposition’ in our household; it’s a good idea to write the important parts out beforehand. Bullet points.
I would not advise you wade in knee deep, unless you really want to. Like I said, I only ‘advise’ it. This is just my method.
Bullet pointing the information you need to tell the reader beforehand helps you to A) structure all the techno-babble and information into a coherent chunk and B) stops you (usually) from going on an unnecessary tangent. Tangents are messy and irritating. Not all of the time though. Sometimes tangents are rather fun, but they often make me want to beat my face against a wall.
Rambling before and after you get to that important part of the conversation, however, is immense fun and can help build suspense.
EXTRACT #1 (dedicated to ninablues)
Foreword: This chapter is told from Li-ling’s point of view. She refers to Mercury as ‘the handsome one’ before she learns his name.
Garridon licked his lips and glanced at the handsome one. “We are here to see you,” he said. Li-ling drew her feet together and stood tall.
“Yes, are you Miss Redgrave?”
Li-ling cringed. She supposed there was no way of hiding her identity, then; no way to pretend she was someone different, for once. “I am,” she sighed. “What do you want; to kill me?”
“I don’t know why you’re laughing,” she said, “I’d kill you first in the blink of an eye.” She whipped out her knife, the warm blade in her hand, flicked it into the air so it somersaulted over her head and landed with the hilt in her palm. At the same moment, Li-ling withdrew a fire-talisman from her pocket. She held it up with two fingers for them to see the ancient symbol on the card.
“Easy now,” purred the handsome one and Li-ling stared at him.
“We most certainly do not wish to kill you,” said Garridon. The conviction in his voice made Li-ling lower her arms.
“Why do you want to help humans?” she managed.
Mercury tipped his head back. “Think of it like the RSPCA, but the Royal Society for the Protection and Care of Humans, instead.”
“Oh gee,” Li-ling sneered, swinging her arms, “I feel so valued.”
“You should,” said Garridon, “no one else will help you.”
Beginning to feel testy and aggravated by their grave purpose, Li-ling decided she didn’t want to make friends with demons anymore. They were trouble, especially for her, it seemed. A harsh wind sent a tumble of leaves through the woods and dishevelled her hair. For the briefest of moments, Li-ling thought see saw Coventina hovering behind Frederick and her ears filled with a strange, ancestral echo of sounds.
“Ai…” sighed Frederick with a dopey smile. “Laurië lantar lassi súrinen.”
Garridon chuckled and replied, “Yéni ve lintë yuldar avánier.”
Li-ling had never heard a language like it. Their mouths seemed to fill with vowels and roll from their tongue in an enchanting, fantastic way. The world was spinning. Could she hear chimes? Those echoes! They were terrifying – EVERYWHERE.
“STOP IT!” she screamed and stumbling over her own feet, she sprinted away.
Branz Schiller, first son of the famous Lord Schiller, stood grinning before her. He had a manic face, yellow eyes, sharp teeth and her knife in his hand. “How lucky for me,” he hissed.
Her right arm felt like it was broken and her right knee bruised. She began to quake, choking on suppressed tears, panic, breath and blood. With a reptilian screech, Branz dived through the air, ready to plunge the knife into the side of her head.
She screamed as hard as she could.
A wicked screech pierced the air, followed by a thudding crunch. Branz flew to the left as someone pummelled into him. They hit the ground with a bouncing roll. Too shocked to move, Li-ling watched fascinated as the demons scratched and bit at each other.
It was Frederick. He received three long scratches across his chest and in a spray of blood; Frederick swiped his claws over Branz’s face. Branz kicked Frederick off and he shot through the air to crash into a tree. Leaves sailed from the branches. At once on his feet however, Frederick tugged off his coat and shirt, his face so terrifying that Li-ling wondered why she had ever thought he was pitiful.
Black wings split from his back. The feathers were dripping with blood.
A sickening gasp left Branz, almost like he was choking. His eyes were fixed on Frederick’s wings.
“Heca ulundo!” rasped Frederick.
“Rhachon le!” Branz spat back.
“No dhínen! Heca ulundo!” Frederick’s wings flicked and a spray of blood hit Branz in the face.
Paralysed for only a minute longer, Branz bolted away without looking back.
Panting, Frederick glanced at Li-ling…then crumpling to the ground. His wings vanished, a few feathers drifting in the air, and blood pooled across his back.