WiP Blood Ties at 20,011 words!
I can't tell you guys how happy I am to reach this milestone for Blood Ties. I remember when I hit 20K on Untouched-- that's where my writing flow really picked up. 20K is serious business. It's not something I'm just tooling around on anymore. It's starting to represent actual story!
I'm projecting Blood Ties to be about 80K. That's the goal, but I'm starting to think I'll end up with a good chunk more. Good? Bad? I'm undecided as of yet. Right now I'm viewing it that I'm about 1/4th of the way through. Maybe I can get another 20K before NaNoWriMo, that way I'll be about half done when I pick it back up in December. That would be lovely.
Soooo, now I'm going to share a little excerpt from Blood Ties. In this scene Elle is talking to her younger brother, Ash, before she infiltrates a very dangerous city in disguise.
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We are hidden in a dry creek bed which runs parallel to the road leading into the city. I'm losing patience, getting more and more frustrated by the second. Ash is going to get me killed, I can just feel it. And now I have a headache. Great. I rub my temples and seethe quietly for a moment, then I clasp my hands together and practically beg.
“Ash, just stay here,” I plead. “I've let you come with me--”
“Yeah, but you've argued against it the whole time.”
I tip my head back and groan. “I should have jinxed you back at camp.”
He laughs and I jump up to cover his mouth. We're awfully close to the road, anyone passing by could hear us through the underbrush.
“Please. Ash. Just promise me. Stay here until I return. If I'm not back by nightfall... well, go back to camp. Warn the others. If I don't come back it's probably best that everyone clears out. Move on.”
Finally, miraculously, Ash nods his head. He hears me. He understands how dangerous this really is. “Okay,” he says. “I'll stay here. I'll climb up a tree or something and play lookout.”
“Thank you.” I sigh with relief.
“But if you're not back here by nightfall,” he pulls the string on the crossbow, readying the weapon, “I'm coming in after you.”
“Ash...” I start, but when I see the glint in his eyes I stop and bite my lip. At once I can picture Ash attempting to infiltrate the city-- trying to find me, trying to save me. They'd kill him instantly. A chill creeps up my spine, and I can't shake it off. I don't want him to think about doing this, but I can't blame him. I'd do the exact same thing in his position.
“Fine,” I snarl at him. I'm not mad at him, not really. I draw on my rage over what King Rayne has driven this family to. It's better than bursting into tears, which, honestly, is exactly what I want to do right now.
“Fine,” he replies, just as hard. Then he climbs out of the creek bed and disappears in the trees.
I take a moment to compose myself. Make sure my hair is free of leaves. My bag is secure. My boots aren't covered in dirt. When I'm all set I turn toward the trees, and hope he is close enough to hear me. I whisper, “Bye, Ash. I'll be back soon. I love you.”
A few seconds pass, then the trees whisper back. “I love you, too.”
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