Despite my lack of updates, I have been steadily toiling away on my MayNoWriMo project, Arcana. 50K by 5/31 is looking rather grim, but I’m pleased with what I’ve accomplished so far. Tonight, I broke 40K and worked through a particularly difficult stretch of “new” material. I have a murder mystery on my hand, and some surprising developments I hadn’t accounted for.
And yes, I deviated once again from my ridiculously detailed outline, but after 2-3 unplanned sections, I was able to right my course back to the outline and picked up the next planned scene accordingly. There are some rough patches in this draft, but I’m not going to worry about that now. That will be Revision Hell Deux!
MayNoWriMo total: 40,400 words
Snippet: In this section, we’re introduced to the antagonist. Well, he’s the obvious antagonist. There are other more arcane players that aren’t fully explained until later, but Aubrey drives the main conflict of the story. I hope I got the clothing details right.
This takes place at a small gathering, of which Lilias has this to say: In the long, illustrious past of Nocturna Castle, there had never been a more tedious party.
“My dear Wilfreda has made quite a conquest.”
“How wonderful, and so early in the Season? I wasn’t aware that you’d already been to Town.”
“We haven’t departed yet,” the lady preened. “We shall still go, of course, but Wilfreda is quite taken with the young man, and he’s very suitable; not a grand lord, certainly, but his family name is impeccable and he stands to inherit a barony.”
Lilias made a sound that she hoped to be appropriately impressed. She caught Violet with an imploring gaze, but her fickle sister launched into another country reel; she’d charge over and blast Mr. Nevarre with her fury, but she wouldn’t dare risk getting caught in Lady Mouls’ long-winded recounts of gossip, not even for a bit of Society news.
“You should know him, at least his name,” Lady Mouls said, jerking Lilias’s gaze back to her. The smug glint in the older woman’s eyes made her stomach tighten. “Oh, do forgive any impropriety, but he accompanied us tonight as Wilfreda’s escort. Where are they…oh, there!” Lady Mouls waved her hanky at her daughter and cooed. “Why didn’t you tell me your husband’s family was visiting?”
Lilias’s heart beat ponderously, as though her blood had thickened and congealed to syrup. Slowly, she turned her head in the direction indicated.
“Mr. Aubrey Slymere, such a handsome man.” Lady Mouls sighed happily. “Wilfreda is quite beside herself with joy, I assure you. He stated that he was your husband’s cousin, so I’m sure you don’t mind that he accompanied us this evening.”
Mr. Slymere possessed the same golden hair, high, classic forehead, and proud hawk’s nose as Lilias’s deceased husband. In fact, they could have been brothers. Here, too, was the London dandy that Violet had hoped to meet: fine double-breasted cutaway coat in sapphire velvet, white waistcoat quilted with sparkling golden thread to match the buttons on his coat, and spotless white breeches and stockings. With such a high collar and the snowy white cravat twisted in a tall confection at his throat, he surely couldn’t turn his head without risk of injuring himself.
Sensing the attention, he turned and escorted his companion in their direction. For all his charm and civility, Lilias felt a blast of cold winter’s ice creeping through her veins. Grimsgate taught only the darker arcane, and if this man were truly her husband’s cousin, she knew very well what sort of magic he might possess.
Soul darkening, life stealing blood magic.
Mr. Slymere’s mouth curved in the darkly sensual smile of a cat grinning at the frantic bird flopping on the ground with a broken wing, and the castle nexus erupted about her. Raw energy bubbled up from the earth, molten power at her command. It filled her without her consciously opening her gift and burned away the dread ice that had threatened to paralyze her.
Kill him now.