My NaNo novel this year is a YA Fantasy. One afternoon several weeks ago, I swung the mini-van out of a parking lot after an appointment in town right into mega traffic at 3:00 p.m.
That's when I had a vision of a teen whose face had been scarred terribly in battle so that she had to wear a robe to cover herself. She began to tell me her story and I pulled out my notebook from my backpack to take dictation at the red lights. I have a lead foot anyway, but I made it home in record time that day, itching to get to my computer.
I played around with some literary devices and came up with a bland title. I don't plan anything but I do usually start out with plot points even if I never use them. Last year I had a list of 25 and went astray by the third one, never to return to the original idea. C'est la vie! This year, I started some word count pages early to get some extras in if I have to miss a day - I still haven't gotten to my first plot point. See what planning does for me?! I write my tagline first and do character sheets after writing the story - I'd never make it in a traditional writing class.
For now, for your reading enjoyment, here is the tagline and an excerpt with the new improved title for my NaNo 2010 novel. NaNo is such a rush!
The Bleeding Doves of Killeen
by Karen McGrath
Roseline accepts her father's calling after his early demise; the mantle of leadership for her poor town and with it the weight of the Revolution. The secrets of an ancient order rise to the surface in the whirlpool of war as she trembles in the boots of her ancestors and raises her sword to the wind. The future is sketchy but one thing is certain, the doves are in flight signifying change. Destiny calls to us all but only one will bring a nation to it's knees and raise a world long forgotten in Killeen.
* * * *
She leaned behind the large oak tree, hidden in the background amongst the forest shrub. The King had called for this clandestine meeting and she'd obliged. Reardon moved past her quickly, touching his hand to her shoulder.
"I will handle this now. Don't let them see you."
"Aye. I have your back, my friend."
"I want for more than that."
"I cannot leave them, you know I love you..."
"Shh, if I don't survive, kill them all for me, promise? Every last one, like you did for your father?"
She smiled then allowing her hood to reveal the ragged line across her lips. "Aye, of that you can rest assured. The pleasure twould be all mine. Remember, if they make a threat, glint the sword. The doves are flying high. It is a time for victory."
He walked with purpose toward the men in the glade, with seven others. All swords were drawn on both sides.
"We were told your army is led by a woman, why is she not here? Do you mock us?"
"Nay she is among us but I speak for her now. What will you to say? We will not hear you at arms."
The men immediately sheathed and the leader and Reardon laid their swords on the ground between them as was the custom.
"The King wishes a meeting in the castle. There will be finery. He is for peace, he calls a truce."
Roseline kneeled by the tree and peered through the throng of legs beyond to the tethered horses. The dove sat on one of them; it was covered in blood. There was no time. She glinted her sword to blaze across Reardon's face in the scant sunlight through the trees. He turned discreetly and she gave the signal.
"Tell the King we will not come. Our leader has spoken." He took up his sword. The meeting was over.
"What shall we say her name is?" The man drew his sword as Reardon smiled. Good work, she thought, show no fear. The dove never lied.
"Tell him she is Roseline, the Bleeding Dove of Killeen."
Gasps and murmurs rode through the crowd and Reardon thrust his sword in the air.
"Tell your King he will not defy us or he will suffer at the hand of the Doves. I trust you have work to do, lad," he shouted.
The man flashed angry eyes on Reardon and searched the edges of the clearing. Roseline arose with her sword in the air and her men returned to the forest. She watched from the covering of her hood as the King's men rode off, rage trailing behind them. The dove painted blood in their path.
"Aye, tis trouble they bring and trouble they'll see," she said.
* * * *
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Happy NaNo'ing everyone!
photo credit: morguefile.com