Wednesday, 9 July 2014

What I'm Writing Now: Entry #1



Hey there, folks! It's contest time again, and that means, of course, I am pretty busy attempting to come up with novellas. This year, I'm forcing myself to only focus on two projects until they're completed, though I have ideas for a few more. But I'm determined to submit more than one this year--and that means discipline!

So, I'm going to share a bit about my two stories on this blog, now that the ideas for them have solidified into actual write-ableness.

Today I'm going to share about the first, and the one I'm currently writing, which is entitled...

A TITHE OF THORNS

Cover by the ever-talented HANNAH WILLIAMS

Ruta is a young woman determined to serve the Creator she loves by becoming a missionary to the World Beyond the Sea. But first, she must pass her uncle's test: she must serve a Penitent, an ex-criminal undergoing severe penance to show his remorse and desire to re-enter society. The challenge will test Ruta's faith in ways she can never imagine--especially since Favian, her Penitent, is far more than he seems... And not only could this cost her heart, it could cost her life--or her soul.

INSPIRATION

This story comes out of many places and tales--it combines the tales of Beauty and the Beast, Bearskin, and the eerie legend of Faust. Originally Ruta was going to be an innkeeper's daughter, but eventually my own interest in missions--and love of The Sound of Music--crept in. Now Ruta is something of a mix between a novice nun and a missionary. Some of my German and French heritage has also offered itself up setting-wise. And hints of The Hunchback of Notre Dame inevitably worked their way in to my ideas for the climax. This is a story with many threads woven from what I love--and I hope to share it with you all!

CHARACTERS

Since I don't want to spoil the story too much, I won't share a whole lot about my characters--just the two main ones.

Her looks were partially inspired by this beautiful piece of art.
Ruta Albrecht

Despite wishing to become a missionary, Ruta lacks some of the patience and compassion necessary for such a feat. To test her, her uncle orders her to serve a Penitent. His reasoning: "Before you can save souls, you must care about souls." Unfortunately for Ruta, her time with Favian stretches her to the breaking point...


Was inspired partially for his appearance by this picture.
Favian Rosengart

For the majority of the story, Favian looks nothing like his normally handsome self--in fact, he looks more like a Beast. At first, Ruta and others assume he is a Penitent due to his appearance: long, unshaved hair and beard, untrimmed fingernails, and the horrid bearskin he has to wear all the time. Not to mention the smell. But Favian has far more intriguing--and sinister--reasons behind his looks... And the closer he gets to Ruta, the more sinister the consequences become.

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You can find the Pinterest board for this story here.

EXCERPT

This is just the smallest of excerpts, and it's from my outline, so it may not even make it into the story. But it gives you a bit of time with dear Ruta:

“As part of your training, Ruta, you will serve a Penitant for the span of one year,” her uncle said, his finger tracing the beads of his prayer chain.

A shiver traced its course along her spine. Raising her gaze to meet her uncle's, she fought against the protest battering the back of her teeth. He watched her struggle, a smile hidden in the tweaking corners of his lips.

“Why?” she blurted out at last.

Sinking back, he clasped his hands together before him. “Because before you can start saving souls,” he said, “you must care about souls. And there are few souls more in need of your care than Penitents. And there are few souls who will test your care more than they. If you can finish your year with more love in your heart than when you began, you will be ready to go beyond the known world.”

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That's all for me right now--keep watch later on for a post about my second entry! :) What are you all writing these days?