Welcome to my self-indulgent location for the stories (good and bad) that I can't prevent myself from writing. All comments and criticisms welcome. I post on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Nature of Magic Blogfest

Hi everyone. Today I'm participating in the Nature of Magic Blogfest, hosted by Tessa and Laura.

Write or share something you've already written that, to you, shows the nature of magic. It can be an excerpt from your WIP, something you've written especially, poetry, whatever strikes your fancy. It just needs to show the nature of magic as it exists for you or for those you write about.

Considering the task, and my own rewrites of my WIP—which you haven't heard about much as of late with all the blogfesting going on—I had hoped to have a certain conversation between two of my characters ready, in which they discuss being raised and trained in their magic. However, it's not ready.


Instead, I give you this. It's from my first chapter. This is the first magic the reader sees.

From: Fighting Fate (New Adult, Urban Fantasy/Romance)
Chapter 1, second scene

After an hour, Anabelle started feeling restless. They’d seen a model of the throne room—not even the real one—and the living quarters of the former Duke and Duchess—the parents of the Queen’s husband, the dead King Nathaniel. Lily had been right. The tour showed nothing interesting.
So when they passed a bathroom, Anabelle tapped Lily’s hand and slipped inside without notifying the pink umbrella. She waited until her watch ticked past two numbers before she prepared herself. Watching the mirror to be sure, she invoked her magic and cast a veil over her body. She examined the veil as her reflection disappeared. She spun in several directions, checking that the veil left no toe or belt buckle visible. Once satisfied, she slipped out the bathroom door and turned away from the direction of the group.
She walked on the sides of her feet, trying to keep her dress shoes quiet. When a guard stomped toward her, she flattened herself against the wall and held her breath until he turned a corner. She kept her eyes on that corner. How had she become such a coward? If she planned to do this, she needed to do it properly. She pushed herself away from the wall and continued down the hall.
She slid past another guard at the entrance to the restricted areas. The walls around her glowed a brighter yellow than the halls she’d seen on the tour, and the cherry wood tables and chairs—which lined the walls in the public areas—were absent here. She worried she might got lost back here with no identifiable landmarks of furniture. She tried keeping a map in her head of the turns she took, but direction had never been her skill, no matter how much magic she injected into a mental map.
Instead of worrying about it, she focused on the magic she knew she could control. Seeking. She’d used it in middle school to avoid the mean girls. She’d used it in high school to avoid the teachers she didn’t like. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d used it to find the person she sought instead of avoid. She concentrated on her limited knowledge of the Prince—his physique, his personality, his likes and dislikes—and hoped she could get a trace on him.
She continued wandering the halls until she sensed him behind a door. She backtracked around a corner and spotted a surveillance camera. This kind of magic she had never tried before, and she hoped she could manage. She reached up until she could reach the wires at the back of the camera. She imagined the the last thirty seconds playing on a loop, a continual visual of nothing.
Her throat constricted and she reached to tug at her collar. Despite the shaking in her chest, she listened for the door to open and prepared to drop the veil.

Thanks for coming by and reading. If you have any comments for me, I'm more than welcome to them. If you'd like to share something beyond the comment box, you can email me at rlconnolly01 [at] gmail.com.

PS--Starting next week, I will be posting on Tuesday and Thursday, and Friday begins the A to Z Blogging Challenge.


Natasha Hanova said...

OMG! I want more. I read part of this story during another blogfest and am so excited to see more Anabelle. This is so well written and a joy to read. Hope you'll post more sometime soon.

Thanks for sharing.

Mary said...

How intriguing. I'm with Natasha. I would love to read more. Thanks for the read.

Raquel Byrnes said...

This caught be by surprise. How interesting and Annabelle is very sympathetic.
Edge of Your Seat Romance

stu said...

A very nice scene with plenty of magic in it. With this sort of very straightforward "wish and it happens" magic, you must find it hard to resist the temptation to do too much with it.

RosieC said...

That's definitely a good point, Stu. It's not quite as simple as "wish it and get it", though that's not clear in this section. (Spoiler alert: her spell to mess up the security cameras doesn't exactly work.)

It's more like innate abilities that we all have, like thinking, and the potential we all have to learn, like reading. Some people read faster than others, though, because of how their brains are wired or how much practice they have.

Then there are the more difficult skills to learn, like anything from astrophysics to ballet. Some people come by these skills easier than others, and not everyone tries to cultivate those skills. If I tried to be a ballerina, I'd probably break my leg, though my niece is amazing and working her way toward a professional career.

So, using those analogies, "veiling" is like reading. Most everyone can do it, though some better than others. Anabelle has skills, though, that other people don't have, and there are plenty of skills that Anabelle doesn't have, either.

Bottom line, I do try to rein in what different characters can and can't do, instead of making it a complete free-for-all. And some people are born with no magic (*cough* that "thinking" part of my analogy). So some people just have to get by on general cunning and finesse. It's a tough life, I know :)

Michelle Gregory said...

wow. now i want to know more.

Theresa Milstein said...

Ooo, what an ending! Got me hooked.

And I love the invisibility veil.

My only comment is you have 3 paragraphs that begin with "She". Easy fix!

Carol Riggs said...

Hey, fun scene I haven't read before! Nice. I like that Anabelle is using her magic closer to the beginning of the novel! :)

Tessa Conte said...

I like your concept of magic, and this is a great scene to illustrate it.

And you've also managed to catch my interest (or perhaps my curiosity?) quite thoroughly... I really want to know what happens, and why she's out looking!

Thank you for taking part in our blogfest,


ps. please do pop in on March 30th to vote on the list of finalists!

N. R. Williams said...

An invisibility cloak, how cool. I wonder what she will say when the prince discovers her.
N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.

Anonymous said...

I like the tone, setting, and feel of this piece! Thanks for participating!

Scheherazade said...

Suspenseful. The invisibility cloak is a nice touch.

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