Friday Fiction: Checkmate

This week, an excerpt from the princess novel – a lighter-hearted interlude toward the beginning of Act II.

Kelisin frowned, moving her rook forward two squares to take Tavaril’s bishop. “You’re a terrible chess player.”

She had found the set in a drawer in her borrowed bedroom. It was plain, though made of fine materials. Since then Kel had taken every opportunity to play with Tavaril or Teoden; when neither was available she played herself.

“I have other talents,” said Tavaril. “Yours, apparently, is being humble.”

“Oh, most certainly. I’m much greater than I think I am.”

Tav’s delighted laugh bubbled forth, and Kel felt her mouth creeping up into a smile. It was hard to be anything but happy around Tavaril, who – despite growing up in the Valloran court, immersed in its ridiculous mind games – regarded everything with equanimous pleasure.

“It’s good to see you smile like that — Oh, now I’ve done it.” Kelisin felt the small smile slip from her face. Tavaril leaned forward, catching hold of Kelisin’s arm. “It’s all right to be happy.”

Kel shook her head. “I know. It’s just…never mind. Let’s keep going.” She lifted an eyebrow. “You’re afraid to lose again.”

Again? Excuse me, but we weren’t all raised from birth to fight complex intellectual battles with pieces of marble.” Tavaril tossed her head. The beads at the ends of her braids clicked together. The sound drew attention – when she tried that gesture in front of the young men of the court, it never failed to turn heads.

“I’m not some young lad you can distract with a hair flip and a pretty pout,” Kelisin warned. She waved her hand over the board. “Make your move.” Continue reading

Fancast: Princess Novel

I find myself bored, and as it happens I do not have any great desire to clean my room. So I thought I would entertain myself by imagining what actors would play my characters if my books were turned into movies. Or say rather, actors who look like I imagine my characters to look.

(Of course, before the movie adaptation you have to write the damn thing, but..)

Up first? Princess. Continue reading

My Way or the Highway

In ballet, there’s only one way to do an arabesque.

Well, okay, that’s a little misleading. In fact, there are several variants of arabesque – first, second, fifth, etc. etc. And those variants will have different names depending on the school (Vaganova, Chechetti, etc. etc.). But the basic step is the same, and there’s only one way to do it: you lift your leg up behind you with your knee straight, your leg turned out, and your foot pointed. That’s an arabesque.

Writing is not like ballet. There are as many ways to write as there are people who write! Everyone has their method.

So let’s talk outlining. Continue reading