Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Next Step

   Myself and several other members of our monthly critique group have decided to form a new group that will meet in my home at least every two weeks. The four of us have full length novels that we've been working on for quite some time and are familiar with each others stories from the beginning. One problem with the monthly meeting is that too much time goes by between critiques and progress is slow. The other reason is that the other members of the group are fairly new or don't come regularly and are not familiar with our stories.
   Our hope is that by meeting more often and concentrating on only our novels, we will make better progress and receive more meaningful critique on overall story flow and character development. We have been attending the monthly meetings for several years now and I think our personalities match fairly well, so coming together in a close knit group should not pose any problems.
   Unfortunately, I need someone to hold me accountable to actually write. It's too easy for me to procrastinate when I see that a number of folks have already submitted something for critique and I tell myself I'll just wait and submit something next month. With the new group we plan on everyone submitting at least ten pages for critique every meeting. It won't be a worry for me that I'll get my hand slapped if I don't submit, but more of a feeling that I've let the others down by not doing my part. Hopefully this will force me to get off my butt and start writing seriously again.

For those of you who are interested, I'm sharing another short scene from my book, "The Princess and the Apprentice". This is a conversation between the Spirit of the Mountain Citadel and the ancient dragon who guards the entrance as they watch the companions continue on their way.
   Thanks for reading.

From the shadows of the cavern, two figures watched in companionable silence as the four young humans descended into the valley below.
The spirit of a man gazed with sadness and remorse at the emaciated body of his oldest and truest friend. “Will he come back?”
“He will, if he isss the one.”
“Nice illusion by the way. You fooled them completely.”
Broco shrugged a bony shoulder in reply. “It isss easssy to cassst an image of my former magnificence. Now if I had wanted to look like a toad that would have been difficult.”
A sad chuckle escaped the lips of the spirit. “As time passes, my old friend, I regret more and more the decision I made so long ago. Even though you may have forgiven me, I may not ever be able to forgive myself.”
“It wasss necesssary.”
“Yes but was it right?”
Broco snorted twin puffs of smoke from his nostrils as he turned and began the slow journey back to the wall of the citadel, “Bah! You humansss, alwaysss worrying about thingsss that cannot be changed.”
He snorted again, this time emitting a small flame that caused the spirit to look up at his guardian and friend.
“One thing could have ruined the illusssion. I almossst forgot how to breathe fire.”

The spirit laughed out loud in spite of himself as he passed through the blank wall into the citadel.

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