Once again real life got in the way of good writing; a heavy work load has prevented me from making much progress on the second novel. Boo.
However, starting to get on top of things again and I have leave to take so hopefully I can progress again soon. The current word count sits at 17'700. Words are going on paper but as I said, not as much as I had hoped.
One of the writing tactics I've found very useful recently has been that if I simply can't think of a scene or description, I just write dialogue. Lines on lines of chat between characters. Slowly but surely, I find in time that I can flesh out these dialogue scenes with descriptions and situations and suddenly, from some chat, I have an entire scene. Its good stuff and good for those times when you just don't have any inspiration.
One thing I did complete recently is the latest in the 'short stories' challenge. Mine went ok (you'll find it below) but whilst it was proof read well (made a big effort!) it didn't actually fit in with what was needed for the theme.. It also can't stand on its own as a single short story; this reads more like a introduction to a bigger story.
Still, I enjoyed writing it and have taken on board critiques. See what you guys think yourselves.
Hopefully next blog post I'll have proper news for you all. For now, I leave you with my short story. 500 words based on the idea of 'A visit to a stately home'.
* * * * *
Visit to a stately home
The Australian State Coach, pulled by beautiful white horses and driven by the royal guard, rolled through the gates of Balmoral Castle in the weakening light of evening time. Within, Prince Philip and her majesty the Queen sat comfortably.
Both were exhausted from the day; it had been the opening of parliament under a new government. Both were looking forward to a restful night. They would retire to bed soon, Philip likely early as was his want, her majesty only a little later.
The coach pulled up to the entrance to the grand residence, servants already assembled. The Queens Private Secretary stood nearby, his hands clasped behind him. The carriage came to a halt and an attendant immediately rushed to open the coach door. Another attendant extended an arm and the Queen's white gloved hand took it, carefully stepping out and down the coach steps. Prince Philip followed, waving away any assistance.
The Private Secretary bowed slightly as the Queen approached.
“Christopher,” she said, her aged features turning up into a warm smile, “did we do well?”
“Indeed your majesty, exceptional as always.”
“Place was bloody busy,” remarked Philip, “too many people for my liking.”
The Private Secretary passed to the Queen a slip of paper as Philip moved on past, keen to rest his legs properly inside.
“Forgive me your majesty, but there is another matter for your attention.”
The Queens features changed to surprise. She read over the note; her eyebrows rose.
“He waits in the second state room.”
The Queen nodded. “Inform him that I shall join him shortly.”
* * * * *
Changed into less formal attire, the Queen bid her attendants open the doors to the second state room. There, seated at the end of the vast oaken table reserved for meeting world leaders, sat the visitor.
He was a tall, well built man, his height evident even whilst seated. He appeared to be in his late forties but behind his blue eyes, shone an intelligence and knowledge that was far older. He was dressed in a long brown leather coat, one that barely contained his broad shoulders, and had a tanned, clean shaven face that spoke immediately of a well travelled individual.
With a nervousness she had not felt in years, the Queen approached him. Her expression was one of barely contained shock.
“It has been so long.” she breathed.
“Too long.” he lamented, his voice a deep baritone that carried with it an immense authority. “For that, I apologise.”
He towered over her as he stood to grasp her hand in a firm handshake.
“Why are you here now?”
His face turned serious at her question, aged eyes regarding her now with sadness. Sadness at the discussion they were about to have.
“Iran.” he stated simply. “It is as the Patriarchs feared. They have the Artefact.”