So, I may have finished my novel a lot sooner than I’d thought I would. Oops. I got to 44.2k, so I guess I won’t be trying for 50k after all. Oh, well. I can’t really complain. The novel is 96k all up, which is about 6k shorter than the previous version. It’ll probably get longer again when I edit for the next time since I was quite sparse in terms of description. Then again, there are some plot elements I tried but now want to take out, so maybe it’ll balance out in the end. I’m hoping to stay under 100k if possible, if only so it’ll be less likely to scare people once they realise it’s YA when I actually decide I’m ready to query the damn thing.
This is the first draft with the protagonist as a girl. I like it. I’m glad I changed her. Aside from occasionally catching myself mixing up pronouns, it wasn’t a difficult change to make. Darian did change a little in personality, but in a direction she was kind of going anyway. She’s been getting progressively angrier the more I write her, which makes sense for her situation.
Because I’m nice, I decided to pick two excerpts today. Both are pretty shippy.
“We should reach our destination sometime tomorrow morning,” Raoul told them as they packed up the car. “So make sure you get some rest tonight.”
“That’ll depend,” Cassandra muttered. Her eyes were still clouded from the previous night’s visions. She and Darian dozed on and off in the car. Darian woke up here and there to find her head on Valora’s shoulder while the other girl read over her translation notes. Reading in the car made Darian want to puke, so she didn’t bother trying to follow along.
Raoul found a signal through the radio. Some mindless pop music station. It was a wonder it was still active. Maybe Lynette had a thing for sappy love songs. Or Tamesis had developed a love for boy bands while Darian wasn’t looking. Either way, the sound was low enough to fade into the background, and it was nice to hear something other than the choking of the car’s engine. Even if Darian hated love songs with a passion. Maybe if they were less cloyingly heterosexual…
Valora’s fingers trailed through Darian’s hair. It must’ve started while she was asleep. She didn’t move, letting her eyes drift closed again. Cassandra’s head had migrated to her shoulder at some point. The position had to be uncomfortable, considering Darian was already leaning quite far from her in the first place.
“If only I had a camera,” Raoul murmured.
“Shut up,” Darian grumbled.
Valora sniggered, her fingers massaging Darian’s scalp. “Shh, honey. Go back to sleep.”
“Don’t laugh at me.”
“I’m very sorry. Sleep.”
“Mmph. Patronising.” It didn’t take much effort to fall back over the edge into sleep.
Darian’s stomach was still a rock of nerves as she lay in bed that night, but at least the knowledge of someone having their backs tomorrow eased the anxiety a little. Just a little.
Cassandra was still out with Allan, leaving Darian and Valora alone in the tent.
“How long do you think she’ll be?” Valora asked, sitting up on her elbow.
“Don’t know. She’s probably worried about having more visions. Allan’ll probably throw some magic in a bottle of water and get her to chill out eventually.”
“It’s not that late yet, is it?”
“Not really. It’d barely be dark if it were summer.” Darian couldn’t help but notice the way Valora’s body curved when she was propped up like that, her soft blanket doing little to mask the gentle dip of her waist that carefully rolled into the swell of her hip before flowing down her leg until it tapered into nothing.
Valora smirked down at her. “See something you like?”
“Is there a right answer to that question?”
Valora leaned over Darian, tracing a finger down the bridge of her nose. “Depends if you want me to kiss you or not.”
“What answer gets me a kiss?” Darian snagged Valora’s hand before it retreated, pressing those long fingers to her lips.
“A simple yes will do.”
“All right. Yes. I do see something I—mmph!”
It wasn’t a terribly unpleasant surprise. Somehow, the cinnamon scent still clung to her hair despite their limited opportunities to wash thus far. They’d dumped bottles of water over their heads earlier today, but taking full showers while everyone else in the area was mind-controlled wasn’t exactly the safest of ideas.
Valora didn’t retreat when she broke the kiss. “You know, when I was asking about Cassie…”
“You want to bring her up now?”
“Just wondering how much privacy we can get. Chill.”
“There is a super-hearing werewolf just outside, ‘Lora. I think privacy went out the window a long time ago.”
School starts back tomorrow. Help me.