Lasting Advice from Writers and Teachers #2

#2. “Nobody dies on page two.” – Erica Duncan, author/teacher.

I lived in Sag Harbor, N.Y. at the beginning of my full time writing life, where I attended a writer’s group lead by *Erica Duncan. Erica, a celebrated literary voice, believed there was no such thing as a person who could not write. How lucky for me, as I had neither read a great body of literature nor acquired the degrees someone of her caliber might expect of a student.

Nobody dies on page two. A character might die anywhere in the book, but if death comes as early as page two, then it probably belongs on page one.

grim-reaper4Writing this blog caused me to review the first chapter of my latest novel Time Blade, about to go off to my editor. Gosh be darned, if I didn’t find the inciting incident of the story on page two!

I write fantasy, and Time Blade opens with Sky, the main character, traveling by train to Cornwall, UK. Crossing the River Tamar, Sky meets Tamara, Spirit of the River, who appears in a glittering body of astral light. Tamara tells Sky he must return to the ancient lost Kingdom of Ruberah to fulfill a promise he wrote eons ago. I had preceded this scene with seventeen-year-old Sky interacting with an elderly fellow passenger, a woman who never appears in the book again!

I wrote that scene to reveal certain character traits about Sky, which it did and which writing I perfected daily, as the document opens on page one and I could not resist tweaking it at every glance. Now I recognized it as one of those ‘darlings’ that must be killed.

Writer-Up! Off with its head! Nothing is lost! Sky’s character unfolds naturally within the story.

I knew next to nothing about writing when I attended Erica’s workshops, which was a blessing, otherwise I might not have dared to set foot in her establishment. Erica critiqued me as fairly and evenly as she did her most outstanding students.

Thank you, Erica.

*Erica Duncan: A Wreath of Pale White Roses

Unless Soul Clap its Hands: Portraits and Passages

http://www.christinagreenaway.com

Advertisements

Excerpt #2 Time Blade: Age of Jeweled Intelligence, book two

Excerpt from “Time Blade,” coming Fall 2015

Lessons With the Master: Luca, Spiritual Master for Earth, instructs his eight year old student about Time Blade.

“Can I kill someone with Time Blade?”

If a person poses a threat to the future of mankind, you may approach him and offer him an Honor Killing.

“What will I say?”

You will know when the time comes. Time Blade offers a quick, karma-free death and the intended recipient will understand the magnificence of that in his own terms. You, as guardian of the Blade, will have trained in the fighting arts and be capable of causing death with one thrust of the Blade.

“Will I cut his throat?”

No. You will learn a move known as the Glorious Thrust. The Thrust requires great skill. You must stab the Blade below the ribcage, push up through the diaphragm and the lungs and enter the heart, killing swiftly.

The student salivated, thinking about the Glorious Thrust. Violence was shunned in Ruberah. Fighting was an art. Young people trained and fought in competition. Most used light blades—swords powered by Rube. Taking someone’s life was forbidden, but killer instinct had a mind of its own. The student felt it bubbling in his gut as he prepared for a fight and he could smell it on his opponent. He trained rigorously and competed with light swords, fists, wrestling, and spirit fire, the art of using the opponent’s energy against him.

Excerpt from Time Blade, book two in The Age of Jeweled Intelligence trilogy

Excerpt from TIME BLADE, book two in The Age of Jeweled Intelligence trilogy

Luca, Spiritual Master for Earth, instructs his eight year old student about Time Blade.Blade_illustration

Where does the blade come from, Master?

Time itself.

What’s that?

Time, as we use it, is a law—a post of consciousness—composed of multi billions of particles of perfect impersonal intelligence—the soul of the world.

Why?

So we can be conscious of our lives on earth, without the Cycles of Time, Time is no time, or all time all the time.

Why do I carry Time Blade?

It chose you.

Does it know me?

It trusts you.

Why?

We’ll see, won’t we?

Time Blade, coming soon from Girl by The Sea Publishing