For Your Reading Pleasure - A Snip!

Rosa dictated a few scenes to me this morning; I woke up thinking I knew exactly which scene I wanted to explore (The Ending Scene. The Last One.) but she - and her husband and father - had other ideas. I also figured out where Arcturus went when he disappeared inside the Imperial Palace.

But I digress. I can't share any of those scenes as they're freshly handwritten but, inspired by Al who has a new snip on his blog, here's a piece from Out of the Water where Santiago tells Rosa how he met her mother, near London, c. 1472:

"The first thing I did was befriend her father. He was as interested in me as I was in him. I spoke enough English, at least, for the two of us to ask each other questions about our homelands and the ships that came in and out of the ports every day. He had a longing in his face, I remember, listening to my adventures, of storms and tides, of new towns...
"I'm not ashamed to say I played on his feelings. I added what romance I could to my stories, I embellished every detail. By the third night, I was invited round to his house with a few other men. Magdalena - your mother - had retired, of course. We sat in the dim kitchen, drinking ever more ale, our voices rising as our tales grew wilder.
"I spent my days wandering the streets about her neighbourhood, a place called [Blackwall], hoping for a glimpse of her. When night fell, I was desperate. We gathered again at the Three Sailors' Inn, a large crowd; over 20 men, all strangers. None of my shipmates joined me on these excursions; they frequented - well, needless to say, I did not go round with them of a night.
"My only chance would be to leave the inn early. Shall I tell you how I managed that?"
"Yes. I want to know everything."
"I'm not proud of what I did... All right. I promised you the truth. We were at the inn; it was crowded, noisy, reeking of men. A crowd of fishermen came in. They'd been at the market the entire day; they were sweaty and hungry, dying for an ale. I couldn't even wait until they'd finished their pies. I looked them over, chose the loudest, largest man, yelled out that he'd spilled my drink, and [decked] him."
"You did what?" She leaned back and glared, but he only smiled, squeezing her shoulder with one hand.
"I was young, Rosa. Not much older than yourself now. I was on the way to being [drunk], in a strange town, surrounded by foreigners." He sighed and continued. "The entire room erupted. Tables overturned, bodies flying, curses, punches, fists everywhere. I ducked and dodged and managed to make my way to the door. But the men followed, pouring out of the room, the innkeeper himself joining the fray. We tumbled all about the stableyard, and then a constable appeared. Half the men pointed at me as the instigator, and what did I do? I ran."
"You left them?"
"Yes, I did. I ran all the way to Magdalena's, stopping only to straighten my clothes and hair. Her mother recalled my face from the night before. She permitted me to enter, to wait for her husband. They assumed I had come directly from my ship; I did not disabuse them of the notion. They sat, knitting, in the parlour, while I did my best to hide my bruised knuckles and charm them.
"Her mother - yes, your grandmother - would not retire and leave us alone, of course. I cast looks at Magdalena - they pronounced her name Mawdlen - I contrived to touch her fingers when she showed me what she was knitting."
"But -"
"Yes, her father came home - too soon for my liking. And that's when he realised..."

For Diana Gabaldon's most recent discussion of story telling, in which she answers - again - the question of why Jamie had to suffer everything he did at Wentworth, go here.

And just in time for my nearing The End, Claire - who's also pushing her way towards the end of her second draft - brings you The Eight Stages of Writing An Ending.

Comments

Hi,

Lovely snip!

It gives a good sense of place (alehouse) scene, the characters nicely rounded and although mere snip there's enough substance to establish who is who and what is what. Great stuff.

If interested I've popped the first 2 chaps of a historical romance.

I'm now off to check your recommended links. ;)

best
F
thanks for the links, I really cant wait to read about all your characters - I just love their names.
Mary Mary said…
Although I write historical, I'm not a huge fan of Gabaldon's (sp?) I read her first book in the Outlander series and it never really took with me. Nice little snippet of writing, though.
Talli Roland said…
Loved this snip, Deniz! Well done to you for nearing that end, as well.
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks everyone!
I'm off to check out your chapters Francine.
I won't blame you Mary :-) I've gotten a lot of friends and family into the Outlander series but there are a couple who the books simply don't resonate with.
I can't wait to really call it The End, Talli!

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