Rule of Three Story, #ROW80 Party, Insecure Writers - Drinks for All!

Hail and well met, visitors!

Stick around, we've a lot to get through. If you'd like a drink, the bar's on the left, and I believe everyone at #ROW80 is having Jello shots. Share a dram of Lagavulin with me if you like.

Now then, first up, here's my #ROW80 party photo!

Yup, that's my ridiculous FarmVille farm - but look, I've got a pub! Told ya you could have any drink you wanted. I kept my Viking costume on, too.

Need I check in for A Round of Words in 80 Days? Do we check in on party day? I'm holding my tumbler over the first draft of my query, but the words are starting to blur a little. And look - there's another party going on - Indie Book Collective is one year old!

Now comes the maudlin bit, where I've "taken as much ale as is good" for me. It's the second posting day for Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group. Boy am I feeling insecure. Out of the Water's in the hands of betas, my query and synopsis are at a Barbara Rogan course, and one of my saddest scenes is being picked apart in the October Exercise at the Compuserve Books and Writers Community. Please be gentle with me everyone!

Let me top up your drinks. I've got some pumpkin cheesecake to pass around. Everyone comfortable? Then here we go with the most important part of the party - storytelling!

The Rule of Three Blogfest is here! J. C. Martin's one of the hosts, and she was very generous to us participants - we all got to read her shivery short story The Doll; a satisfyingly creepy tale.

The blogfest runs all month; each Wednesday we'll have a new post exploring the relationship between three characters in the created town of Renaissance. The setting is the same for all of us, but everything else - genre, characters, etc. - are our own.

[Edited to add: My entry was 494 words and used these two prompts: "There is fear of an impending misfortune" and "Someone might fall in love"]

My story takes places in the 15th Century, and is historical romance. Here is the Sultan's brother Cem:
On the eve of the Traders' Festival, I hosted a masquerade the like of which had never before been seen in Renaissance. It is not I who boasts thus; the Mayor himself said as much to me, and he has been head of this town through fifty seasons of carnevale.

I had as my pretext the visit of Devran Paşa, son of the Ottoman Grand Vizier to Sultan Bayezid II, my brother. I, Cem, am exiled here with no hope of return – unless my brother should fall prey to illness, or battle wound, or an assassin's blade, and I be summoned to take his place. Until then, I remain exiled, as a so-called honoured guest of the Mayor of Renaissance.

But the masquerade, now. Devran Paşa and all his retinue were invited, being guests of my halls. Yes, all his retinue, even down to the lady's maid and companion of his translator's wife.

Ay, Ayten. Ayten the moon-skinned. Lady's maid did I call her? I do her gracefulness no justice, for she is meet to be a lady in her own right.

Shall I describe to you my awe and captivation on her arrival at my little masquerade, when I first beheld her without cape or shawl veiling her features?

Stay! Rather, I shall relate to you her appearance, attempt to create a portrait with mere words, and if I can depict but a tenth of her beauty, then you too, fair listener, shall share in my fascination.

Moon-skinned her name means, and moon-skinned she is. Fairer and more delicate than any rough maiden of Renaissance. Miners' daughters and traders' sisters have no hope of inhabiting the same realms of loveliness as Ayten. O! the touch of her arm against mine as I led her out onto the floor of the ballroom in a slow pavane. Ah, the chestnut waves of her hair, held back by flowers at her brow, to expose that high forehead, those almond shaped-eyes.

Others would still be scrabbling among the marshes at the feet of Espadon River, while she wandered high above, in the glades of the Forest of Assart.

Well, I see your eyes glaze over. Perhaps you have a maiden of your own and wish to hear no comparisons. Perhaps you are considering how best you might win the hand of Ayten, should you chance upon her long and gentle fingers cupping a rose, in the gardens at the crossroads of Targe and Kris.

You may not!

I have erred, maybe, in revealing my heart to you.

Hear this! I have seen Devran Paşa's avid gaze follow her footsteps. I have caught his glare on me as I slipped her arm through mine to lead her home. She shall be mine; she is mine.

The Mayor hosts a dinner tomorrow at the halls on the Villein route. Devran is set to sail the morning after.

If I have my way, Ayten shall not take ship with the others.

She will stay with me.


There you have it, the beginning of the intrigue.

One last item before we clink glasses in a farewell toast - if you're querying, as I am, why not submit your query to Kate Kaynak's latest query critique contest?

Have a good night everyone!


Anonymous said…
The language of this character captured the essence and timbre of speech circa 15th century style. Well done.
KH LeMoyne said…
Deniz, very lyrical and descriptive passage - loved it. And I suppose, give all your commitments, that you like to be busy. :)
Kate -
Nadja Notariani said…

Just lovely, as always with your excerpts/fiction. I'm intrigued that I don't know yet if Cum is the hero or villian...I'm thinking hero, since he's exiled - of a sort. He's most certainly in love - or enthralled at the least. Questions, questions, questions.

I'll be looking out for next week's post! ~ Nadja
Lovely excerpt, Deniz. You've definitely captured the cadence of 15th century speech. I look forward to finding out more about these characters.

I hope your various critiques go well! All the best in the coming week!
Misha said…
I love how you got the voice right. Perfectly captures the nuances of speech in the 15th century.

Also, I like Cem already. Hope he gets the girl. :-)
Cold As Heaven said…
I've always admired authors who can write historical fiction. Must be damned difficult to write a story from times you haven't lived and experienced yourself

Cold As Heaven
Marcia said…
I could almost see him, I certainly read this in his voice. Great job, Deniz! Good luck on ROW80!
Wendy Jane said…
Good work! I love it! I would definitely keep reading. And wow are you busy. So much going on and your work is still amazing. Keep it up!
Donna Hole said…
I love the old fashioned language of this. It sets the period nicely. The description of Ayten is beautiful, I can feel his love.

Nice beginning.

J.C. Martin said…
This is a note to say that I’ve been by to read your entry. As one of the judges, I don’t want to make any specific comments that could betray my judgement — keeps you guys in suspense for longer! :) Suffice it to say that I’m truly enjoying all the different and creative takes on Renaissance and the Rule of 3!


P.S. Thanks Deniz for the lovely mention of THE DOLL. I've since published it on Smashwords and Amazon, so if you're ever inclined to leave an (honest) review, it'd be much appreciated! :)
natz said…
Mmm... very interesting :)
Am already intrigued by Cem and Ayten.
Michael Di Gesu said…
I really felt as if I had spiraled back in time. The VOICE is wonderful!

Excellent entry Deniz.

Mine is up if you get a chance to drop by.
Anonymous said…
You have a wonderful way with words. A lot of this sounds like a poem even if it is a story.
Corinne O'Flynn said…
I'm curious to know who is the villain - you've woven quite a beginning here. Can't wait for more!
Jeremy Bates said…
i agree with the comments above... im amazed at people who can capture the voice of another time.... its hard enough getting contemporary dialogue right!


"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do."

-Steve Jobs
li said…
Hi Deniz - dropping by on my way through the REN3 entries. As JC said, we're trying not to leave specific comments so as not to give anything away :-)) Glad you joined up, looking forward to more!
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks Joshua, KH, and Nadja! I'm excited that everyone likes Cem's pov. Wait till next Wednesday!

Thanks Elizabeth, Misha and Cold! I guess it's fun for me to write about the past because I love to do research.

Thanks Marcia, Wendy Jane and Donna!

Thanks for the reminder JC - will go cross post the review now. But I can't do Smashwords - they won't let you unless you've bought the book :-(

Thanks so much natz and Michael and treelight! I love when inspiration strikes like this.

Thank you Corinne and Jeremy - I'm glad no one can tell who the villain will be...

Thanks for coming by li! Looking forward to making my rounds to the other participants tonight.
Deniz Bevan said…
Forgot to mention the prompts I used, 2 of the 4:
There is fear of an impending misfortune
Someone might fall in love
Deniz Bevan said…
I also forgot my word count! I thought the limit was 500 and mine came in at 494.
I love the language! It was so indicative of the 15th century. :)
alberta ross said…
very intriguing waiting for next 3 instalments - love the language
Daina Rustin said…
Love the voice, it's so lyrical. Hope Cem isn't the bad guy here, even though his last words are quite ominous. Can't wait to find out :D
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks eagle, alberta and Daina!

Going to try editing an already published post for the first time, to add my prompts and word count...
Unknown said…
A bit of the count of Monte cristo feel
Very nice down to the flower in the heroine's hair
BornStoryteller said…
Like all the back story possibilities here.

Looking forward to the next installment.

co-host #REN3
Tale Spinning
Reka Sang said…
The writing style is so reminiscent of the 15th century and I loved the brewing romance, one sided for now that you are creating. Now off to read the second part.

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