As a matter of structure, stories are meant to happen in a world. They happen in the context of a place with some degree of homeostasis: There is a natural order, a way things are, and then this order is disrupted, leading to the events of the story. I feel that in a good story, there are as few of these disruptions as possible – that a good story is about how a minimal number of disruptions re-contextualise existing tensions and operating order into the path of what we call the narrative. The Netflix series Stranger Things is a good example where one major event happens and everything else is just reactions to that event, or reactions to reactions to that event. Everything is in a stable loop until the event, and then that event results in the greater narrative.
Now, I’m going to give you a chance to bail out on this reading because SPOILERS FOR ONE STONE. And I mean it, this is a pretty big spoiler, as in ‘you can read the whole book and not realise this is in there.’ I’m going to briefly outline something about One Stone I was thinking of in this vein: Continue reading
How you doing, folks? Rested up? Happy? Comfy? Feeling snuggly in your Christmas Pajamas, fiddling around with the things you got for Christmas? That’s great and I am super glad of that.
If you’re a One Stone reader – or maybe wanting to be a reader, or something like that – then I have some news for you! I’ve put it together to these formats for reading:
I do not know how to install those formats on your computery-type machines, I have to trust your judgment there. But if you don’t want to do that, then you can sit tight! Because I’m working on revising One Stone, improving and tightening it up, expanding some sections, and releasing it to the Amazon and GooglePlay Book stores.
So keep an eye out for it!
When the great wheels of The Benjamin were set right again, few people talked about it. There was just that one strange day, where three hours vanished in one, and one hour stretched out to make up the difference. To most of the people of Timoritia, that’s all they’d remember, of the day that they almost had a king. Some would remember their parts in the riots, which were over taxes, or over the nobles abusing people, or over the farming collective in Parcel Street, or some such business. They’d remember throwing punches and laughing with the people they hit, two months later. They’d remember breaking business windows in the Dims, but it was all in sport.
The hoofbeats weren’t stopping, not for Marko Fiver.
The riot had been cleansing, to be honest. To be surrounded by bodies, the press of violence, to hear people shouting and yelling over the rain, to hear anger and spite and rage, even if he couldn’t find the places where words began and ended, it was a relief. It was a relief to be fighting an actual battle.
He’d lost the knife somewhere. Probably in Yull, in the general, in his f- in the man he respected. No sword by his side when he’d fled the palace, no weapon, which it seemed, had been for the best. Nobody had died in his chaotic whorl throughout the city’s lowest places in his lowest moments. The feeling of rain on his cheeks had cut lines of emphasis for the tears that followed, and nobody seemed to want to fight him when they looked him in the eyes.
The safehouse wasn’t clean per se, and it probably wouldn’t be until some royal functionary, with their proper permissions and appropriate bottles of royally-appointed bleach turned up to get the blood off the walls. There was a royally appointed cleaning product for such things – Aderyn had used some, for a school project, once. It wasn’t particularly effective – and certainly not when compared to setting evidence on fire. Still, the bodies were outside, in a pile, by the wall, and the guard had been notified about the ruckus. Soon, a cart would come, and the soldiers Calpurnia assigned the task would load the bodies onto the cart, which would inevitably take them away to be sorted out and dealt with as some other person’s problem, eventually reaching a morgue probably no worse the wear if not for the death problem. This was, after all, a good neighbourhood – dead people would probably not lose their teeth or boots on the way to a slab. Probably. Unless they were very nice boots. And maybe then, a Gorange would find Asca’s body and he could be interred appropriately in his family grave.
Nice and tidy!
Trot past the guards, look like you belong there. Rafe unslung the book from his back and pulled it up underneath his armpit, throwing his hair back over his shoulder while he went. With an alarming efficiency, people moved out of his way – pushing open doors, stepping out of his path. Always the same basic conversation snippet.
“Ah, you’re sent by-
“And that’s the book-
“Ah, that way, then. Lord Gorange is waiting for you.”
Inside the church, four soldiers sat, wringing the rain out of their clothes and hair. Vince’s own hair was remarkably resistant to the rain, but poor Gael, with her long braid, she looked like she’d dived into the river. Brother Fratarelli’s seat at the head of the table was still, his hands folded, perhaps in prayer.
Leigh groused as the sound of broken glass tinkled from nearby. “Riots still going huh.”
“Where’d you think those bodies came from?” Stannisfeld asked, confused. “I mean, of course the riots are still going on.”
Leigh tapped her fingertips on the table, resting her elbow on the table and her chin on her hand. She was sitting on her bag, supplies forming a decent booster. “Can’t really do anything about them, can we?”
“It should wear itself out in time. Timoritians are very punctual people.” Stannisfeld said, waving a hand.
Kivis twirled the hook in her hand. Aderyn may have moved like a kingfisher, darting down to lampposts and gutters, but she was at least careful picking a route where Kivis could follow with a long, galloping, hook-assisted leap after her. They’d made their way half-way across the city, which was a useless measurement when the city had such a strange, wriggling border as Timoritia. There were points where the walls of the city folded inwards, points where they’d crossed the river by running along bridge towers’ parapets.
The house down on the ground level broke most of the rules of the homes in Timoritia. Rather than leaning against every other house, pressed into a tiny space, it had a space of around three ems around it on all sides, and a high metal fence protecting it. While the property ran up against a city wall, the wall stood far away from it, and had actual spikes jutting out from it to discourage even the birds.
I’m going to have some Words about Nanowrimo later this week but tomorrow’s a One Stone chapter! And you know how I am about those. Except you might not be!
Right now I’ve been working very hard on finishing all of One Stone. It’s almost done. Partly this is because I want to finish it and spend the rest of the year relaxing. The question I have is: If I do finish it, do you think you want to read it all, or should I still release chapters week by week?
The busy streets were not a place you wanted to be, unless you were part of that aching, roiling swell of angry people, smashing into and against one another. It was a mass of limbs and shouting, of graceless rage. It was no place for anyone who didn’t already approach life full of resentment and spite, but Ligier Rangst fit in perfectly well.
“Move it you fucking peasants,” he bellowed, raising one huge arm, elbow out, pounding and punching his way through the press of people. Bright green jacket flared behind him with every wild swing. A thoughtful man might consider how punching and kicking and fighting everyone smaller than him was slowing him down, but Ligier wasn’t really a thoughtful man.
A thoughtful man might notice the two figures in the crowd moving behind him with stout boots tied up high, work pants rolled low and knives in their hands. The push and pull of the crowd, the swell and the slack, they pulled them further away from Ligier at some points and pushed them closer together.