I decided to start myself on a new writing challenge that will take up little of my time and also provide me with an opportunity to try and capture more “moments” in my writing. I love writing novels but I fear that I depend too much on the long narratives that allows me, rather than condensing my writing down as I’m sure I’ll need to during numerous edits. How does this writing challenge work? I have a book, I write in a letter and must fill that page with a snapshot of an element, emotion or verb that contains that letter. I work through the alphabet, it’s as simple as that!
So tonight I started work on A and in a rush I chose the word “anger”. Perhaps a negative start to this challenge but it was the first thing that came to mind. I chose to write a loose situation regarding Philly and Cabel, my steampunk characters. Philly is a phoenix in human form, a god to the people of the world who has now chosen to be a young woman. She adjusts badly to her new powerless form and the frustrations when people do her harm that she could have destroyed without a second thought.
Here is the page when it was finished, took me a couple of minutes and felt very weak and unfocused, as all of my writing does when I work spontaneously. I’m also not sure going from another person’s perspective allowed me to really present the character’s emotions effectively, to that end it’s more about Cabel’s anxiety than Philly’s anger. Also I misspelt Philly’s name at one point… which was embarrassing…
Here’s a transcript:
In a moment, Cabel saw that she was boiling, not a turn of phrase so often attributed to men with a face that palpitated and convulsed but an actual boiling that heated everything about her till the gentle rain sizzled and boiled when it met with her skin. Filly’s face didn’t redden and instead turned dark, her fists gripped themselves into twin balls that could not convey their master’s displeasure. To all the world, she was a maddened child but Cabel saw more behind it: the face of an all powerful creature that could sweep others out of existence. Her hands rose and Cabel saw her eyes alight with malice in a way he’d never seen. One of the hands, shivering with emotional and pocked with marks from her own nails rose further. No movement came from her lips but the eyes flared and raged. When the hand came down, the single lantern blared in response and engulfed her enemy like a slave at work.