And I say: “Bring it on!”
Lol, okay – so maybe it wasn’t that kind of challenge, but still. I love a good challenge.
DarkJade, over at The Written Word, has given me the “Look” challenge.
I decided to tweak the rules a little, and added the second one just because, lol.
Here are the rules:
~ Search your manuscript for the word “look,” and then copy the surrounding paragraphs into a post.
~ Give a little background on the scene if you’d like.
~ Tag 5 other writers who’re working on, or who’ve completed a manuscript.
5 Writers I’m Tagging:
1) D.L. Summers
2) Emily Guido
I’ve seen this done two ways. Either the writer posted a couple paragraphs from a couple different parts of their manuscript. Or I’ve seen the writer post one larger section of their story that contained the word.
For fun, I’m going to post a larger section. This is from the first full-length novel in my shima series, The Blood Curse. It’s in the beta-reading/editing stage, and I’m hoping to start sending it out to agents in January. I’m putting every ‘look’ in bold italics, just to see how many times I write it. Lol, I think it’s one of those words that I use all the time without realizing it.
Background for the scene:
Ashriel has been captured, and he’s being held in the human realm. Just before this scene, in the Prologue, his enemy offers him an ultimatum – a life for a life… in a manner of speaking… Ashriel is not a happy camper about the arrangement.
If he couldn’t annihilate his enemies with his bare hands, at the very least he could go out of his way to disrupt every one of their plans.
Bits of glass crunched beneath his boots as he crossed the room, and he took great joy in grinding them into the hardwood floor. It could only help his cause.
Childish, even to his admittedly questionable standards? Definitely.
Did he give a shit? Not at all.
He figured he wouldn’t be living long, so he had to take his pleasures where he could get them.
Pausing to kick an end table over with a satisfying crunch, he scanned the offending furniture with his limited senses.
He wasn’t surprised when he didn’t find what he was looking for.
He moved on, but not without a second kick for good measure, sending splintered pieces of wood flying in different directions.
Finding things to destroy was such good stress relief.
And to think, it even served another purpose beyond the obvious. What was that human saying about birds and rocks? Whatever. He supposed that was beside the point. Just as long as there was blood and spattered body parts at the end, it was a fitting enough analogy.
“I don’t have to put up with this,” a sharp voice snapped from the doorway. “I didn’t sign up for this, and if you don’t stop I will quit!”
Ah, perfect timing… And now for the kill…
Ashriel smiled diabolically, meeting his opponent’s gaze. Her black hair was pulled back in a ponytail, and she wore jeans, old running shoes, and a t-shirt. Her blue eyes narrowed, and she glared at him.
This human woman, the live-in maid for the past week, was at her breaking point.
Right where he wanted her.
“And leave me without the pleasure of your uplifting company?” he asked silkily. “I so look forward to our time together. I even put serious thought into ways to keep you busy.” He gestured around the room, proud of the level of destruction. It was early yet, and he already had such a good start. “I wouldn’t want you to get bored, after all.”
She put her hands on her hips, and he fondly imagined she was beginning her daily routine of silently talking herself down from saying what he assumed were some very unladylike things.
He didn’t have anything against her personally. She was nice enough, for a human.
He briefly, but only very briefly, considered toning it down a bit. After all, he didn’t want her head to explode. And her complexion was almost…
Purple wasn’t a normal human color, was it?
The human took a deep breath before she spoke again. “Look, we have to find a way to get along,” she said. “Since I’m going to be living here.”
He immediately crushed all those passing thoughts of taking it easier on her.
She would see no mercy from here on out.
“Ah, I guess you have a point,” he said pleasantly, smiling in a way he knew made her nervous. “In fact, I think we should celebrate our new friendship with a feast. Your people do that, right? Cook food over open flames?” He tilted his head, watching her with narrowed eyes.
The confusion in her expression wasn’t enough. He would have to do better. It was for her own good, after all.
If he found humor in it, that was merely a bonus.
“Just as a show of my determination to make your life easier, and to prove my commitment to our new truce…” He brought a hand to his heart, attempting a look of sincerity. “Because I am so fair and rational…”
Obviously sensing danger, her eyes had become so wide that he began to wonder if they were going to pop out of her head.
“I feel I should warn you that as soon as I leave this room I’m going to raid your cleaning supplies and set them on fire.” He smiled broadly, dropping his hand. “But don’t worry too much, since you know in advance you have plenty of time to buy some food to roast over the flames…” He frowned as if a thought had just occurred to him. “Maybe we should send out invitations and make a cozy little house warming party, so everyone in town can be my new best friend, and share flame blackened food over the inferno of this giant bonfire…”
“You’re lying…” she said incredulously. “You wouldn’t…”
He looked her directly in the eye, letting her see just a glimpse of his true feelings. He dropped all pretense, wanting her to know that there would be no middle ground between them.
“Have I ever,” he asked quietly. “In the short time you have known me…” He very deliberately picked up a discarded book and began to slowly tear out pages. Balling them in his fist like he would kindling, he tossed them aside. “Not followed through on something I told you I would do?”
Her reaction was everything he could have asked for in that moment.