In case you haven’t heard, I’m writing again.
It began after I found an artist interested in collaborating on Amazonomachy. He’s got that new car smell and I’m afraid the scale of the project intimidated him a bit, but I assured him there’s no rush; but then I thought about something: Didn’t you leave comics to write novels? This entire comic and its dialog are 80% complete, what’s stopping me from just writing the damn thing as prose?
I suck, that’s what stopping me! ^__^
I started on Sunday afternoon and worked on it again Wednesday. Chapter One’s bare bones are out (you know the bones: Akantha walked down to the sea…instead of talking about what the sea looked like and how the wind felt on her face). When I write, I start at the first chapter and write to the last (I do write non-master scenes and conversations here and there when the muse strikes) but when I actually sit down and write—it’s a very direct process. I’m also fighting the urge to direct the visual aspects of the narrative in conversations:
“Tell me Lady Hippolyta,” Arrhippe emptied the ladle of steaming broth into two bowls and pushed them across the table to the bundled-up sisters that shivered behind her guest, “Do any of you beach rats ever get to see snow, outside your forbidden visits to the Belt?”
“I think they saw frost once, when we visited a cattle ranch at the foot of the mountains.” Hippolyta nodded at her attendants and they moved in from the shadows to scoop up the hot bowls.
“…and still you insist on dragging these poor souls to Tyche’s Peak,” Arrhippe looked at them, “We’re so high and remote in this Belt, most normal Artemian’s won’t make pilgrimage here.”
(…) Blah Blah, talk of the geography.
“Their loyalty is to me no matter how arduous the task.” Hippolyta did not reach for the bowl Arrhippe poured for her, and averted her eyes when Arrhippe’s robe opened as she moved. Exposed were the scars where Arrhippe’s breasts should’ve been. Hippolyta felt her own nipples tighten at the unsavory notion of having a breast excised; such mutilation was the way of the Artemian, but not the Athenaika.
“The longest night of the year always finds you here, Lady Hippolyta.” Arrhippe sat back and pushed back her cowl to reveal her clean-shaven head. “I’ll give you a meal and a drink and then you must go back South, where you belong.”
(…) Blah Blah, talk of origins via Hera and why they’re divided as North and South—ends with talk of Gargareans (males born with amazon blood)
“Oh come now, surely you and yours can find some amusement in having a trembling Athenaika in your midst?” Hippolyta asked.
“This temple does not belong to me, Lady Hippolyta.” Arrhippe said, “…and even the mighty Artemis knows you’re not one to shiver.”
“You speak of me as if I’m a stranger. Do you feel nothing for me?” Hippolyta’s said.
Arrhippe was quick to respond, “I felt nothing for him!”
“This I know,” Hippolyta rose from her seat and drew her furs snug about her shoulders, “you did nothing to save him when Otrera came for me,”
“I was responsible for his arrogance as I was the one that birthed him.” Arrhippe pointed her long finger at Hippolyta, “It was my duty to see him to his final days—a duty I neglected when my Queen tasked me to gift him to your mother’s daughter,”
“That daughter was meant to be my mother,” Hippolyta snorted.
“A woman not your mother, but whose name you now bear! You don’t roll those eyes over when you speak of her, not in my presence.” Arrhippe’s jaw tightened.
“Forgive my disrespect, but I never knew her…” Hippolyta said.
“Your namesake was a good soul with a keen mind. She created the process by which my Queen’s wood-coal melts the minerals dug out of the Belt.” Arrhippe’s eyes were cast down in fond thoughts, “Sisters with minds such as hers, they aren’t born often.”
“She was no deity Presbytera! She burned rocks to fluid and put them in molds.” Hippolyta sighed.
“Don’t belittle her accomplishments, not in front of me.” Arrhippe didn’t need to shout this time; her eyes conveyed the volume of her sentiment.
Hippolyta leaned in close and through her teeth said, “I live in the shadow of her accomplishments, I am her shadow so I’m fated.”
“The first Hippolyta did many things with that mind of hers, and none of them involved revisiting a past that was never hers!” Arrhippe scolded.
Hippolyta relaxed and sat back down.
“You think me a sentimental fool to come here every year?”
“I think you a fool because you’ve given him more power in death than he ever detained in life,” Arrhippe became agitated when Hippolyta’s eyes rolled again and her full lips threatened to form into a smirk. “He was nothing but a boy born to an Amazon that didn’t have the stomach to kill him!”
Lady Hippolyta’s eyes bowed cold and her face stone, “I’ll trouble you no more Arrhippe…”
As she rose and motioned for her attendants to follow, Arrhippe called out.
“You have his eyes Lady Hippolyta…”
Hippolyta stopped, turning only when Arrhippe spoke of her hair.
“Those pale blue eyes that go gray in the sun, and that light yellow hair that turns white in the salty sea. It’s a shame his features dominate you.” Hippolyta stood then with a confident air about her that, at that moment, reminded Arrhippe so much of the Athenaika Queen that was Hippolyta’s mother.
“Queen Otrera doesn’t deserve this nonsense from you.”
“Oh Presbytera, that is where you and I disagree.” Hippolyta said.
“Oh I’m certain you get in your little torments don’t you? Certain that Otrera knows that you make this trip into the Belt every year…” Arrhippe turned sour, “Forever her punishment and for what?”
Hippolyta stepped closer.
“Was it the light eyes and white hair?” Hippolyta asked, “Is that what drew you to climb atop his father? I’m told these traits ran in his line…”
“You can’t shame me Lady Hippolyta.” Arrhippe leered, “His line was four generations deep when I acquired his father. Descended from a fool deposited by a King determined to invade an island ruled by those he was no match for!”
“I remember the last conversation I had with him. I was small but I remember. He said he never knew his father,” Hippolyta said.
“I took his father from the cleaning staff and when I was caught with child, I cut the Gargareans throat. His eyes were too gray for my liking…” Arrhippe spoke her words with stony resolve.
“I don’t believe you old woman,” Hippolyta smiled and shook her head.
Arrhippe roared with delight and slapped the bony knee that peeked out from her robe, “Lady Hippolyta, you see me true! I’m a lover not a killer. His sire died of a cough he could not cast away in the warm months. My boy was old enough to castrate when my Queen said onto me, ‘Give him to Otrera’s firstborn, for she has given us much.’
“Those years of amity between our Queens has faded,” Hippolyta said.
“It’s Otrera’s tolerance of men that troubles Queen Mopadia. It’s a thing she cannot get past.” Arrhippe said with regret and then cast her eyes to Hippolyta, “You must get past this desire to reclaim something of him. You must pass it.”
Hippolyta inhaled before she said, “If you answer me true, one question—I promise never to darken your temple again.”
“Ask of me anything, so I shall be rid of you” Arrhippe said.
“Why didn’t you hide us when Otrera came for me?”
Arrhippe didn’t pause and spoke as if she’d expected this question and prepared her answer many moons ago: “No Gargarean shall determine the destiny of any Amazon on Propontus, much less the daughter of a Queen.”
So that’s my struggle in freewriting my first draft bones; I direct too much in my dialog, it’s a curse from my days writing comics—but I’m leaving most of it in, and dispensing with it when it slows the scene down. 0_0 I’m sure my editor will do otherwise.