caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 1,050 words.  Kate gives the Duke both barrels.

Not loving this version of the Family Fight scene so far, since it is coming out as something very much like a Great Kate Coredump.  I seem to have this problem with the first drafts of her epic speeches, though several have caught alight some way into the proceedings, and shown me unexpected ways forward.

She's going to be blasting right away for a good few paragraphs yet.  I'll decide which ones I need to blast away in a month or three's time, if my master-plan stays on track.  Probably rewrite most of the rest, too.

For now, I can only follow her into the fire...

caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 700 words.  Kate presents the Young Duke with two words about the Revolting Peasant Demands: he thinks she just gave him both barrels.

She hasn't taken the gun off the wall yet.


caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 590 words.  Kate and her raggle-taggle embassy array themselves for the Conference, and come to the doors of the presence-chamber.

This is the last scene tranquil enough to finish before bedtime, that I expect to get for quite a while.  Now we emerge from the brief bright calm before the storm...

Some looming visiting and travel may delay the full blow of the tempest until about Tuesday.


caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 1,500 words, finishing the Young Duke's viewpoint, cutting his trio of scenelets off into a short chapter of its own, and beginning a pure Chapter of Showdown which is now told entirely from Golden Kate's perspective.  In her first scene, all has been very literally darkest before dawn; but dawn is what we have come to.

Decided who exactly is going to be present for the Conference, and why.

It's today...


caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)

Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 500 word scene, setting up a diplomatic move in the foreground and the chapter climax on the sly.  How subtle I'm being, I'm still too close up to tell.

Yet again it is seen that when Golden Kate is the best person you can look to for consolation, your life is pretty much snorting chili powder off the toilet lid.

If there is really any equivalent of Freemasonry in the Kateverse, it is secret even from me, and therefore not a very close equivalent at all.

caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)

Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: Two or three hundred words of the new chapter, which I had to run away before I could count them.   There are no flowers in this northern winter.  D'oh!

Kate tries to keep alive a beloved memory that wants to sublime out of everyone's world.  The Dubious Miracle turns out to have had unexpected consequences for both sides back in the equally Dubious Woods, and one of my favourite minor characters has turned this to good account offstage.  But this must complicate negotiations with the Duke still further.

The Low Road beckons.

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 360 words. Tiger talk, in flames of red and black. Fiery Younger Sister draws the people horribly, heroically in.

Wherefore Bonecold Refugee - small, timid, maimed in mind and body - takes up her walking-stick against a sea of hostility, and blows them out again. Because Bonecold is not a hero. She is more like what Katy Elflocks might have been, had chance and wickedness smashed Katy down like a bug in her very first chapter.  And she gets why even the poorest and most levelling hero, born to song and power and freedom, is more like a lord than a peasant.  She knows what Younger Sister's fires will leave as they burn out.

Silent and ice-hearted, she speaks because she must, to save people she can no longer like or even very much care about.

Fiery Younger Sister is the last person in the world who will ever understand this.  So this is it, seen closer in: this is where Kate finds the speech that wakes the dale, for love of Luke and Katy and - the boar-spear's stabbing point, now - of Bonecold Refugee.  Not the old speech of the story's roots, too much of which Younger Sister has made disastrously already.  Not the old hero's speech, ironically turned about to serve an unheroic side.  But the old woman's words who, alone of all here, knew Katy in her youth, and has learned at last what she really was, and who else is really like her.  And today - becomes something like her at last.

Not Bonecold's move, setting the cynical tinder to Kate's furious spark.  The other way: Kate, clashing flint and steel in her rush to Bonecold's aid, when nobody else knows how.

Let Bonecold finish now, and Kate Fireguard come to her side.  Can I tell that tonight?  Then tomorrow - the chapter's final conflagration, and with it the Rising's...

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 500 words.  Out of darkness and doubt, she rises in the red morning, with porridge and honey and one great big boar-spear of an idea.  Next, a short hard council scene, and fanning a black and bitter coal back to flame again.  Tonight, if I can.  And, last, work for the weekend: Langdale, and the fell speech in the wood, and the long-awaited gloaming.

When all this is over, the epilogue is not going to be quite as I'd planned it.  Now I've travelled with Kate so far and seen what she's become, she simply isn't that kind of person any more.  I wonder more and more how all this is going to settle.

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 550 words, and the Grey Wolf's chapter started.

Not as I'd anticipated when I conceived this story, with big striding chords and my old hero-villain resurgent, finding her greatness in the right cause at last and in her people's direst need.  But low, halt, broken, clambering out of the pit of her stalking hell only with all the aid her well-meaning friends and unfriendly fellow-sufferer can give her; at such an ebb that her great inspiration is nearly splained and soothed away even by such men as are used to taking vehement, erratic old women equally and seriously.

Now, of course, I see it must be so, to rise in the true crescendo.  This was never going to be Great Kate battering down Giant Despair with potmetal swords.  This is her standing foursquare at last with the low and the halt and the broken, and bringing them together to Jericho walls.  And that is why, when her trumpet-voice rings again after such long silence down the Dales -

- hearts and walls of stone must tremble.

Crescendo. 

Slow abrading writing for me, this end: being Kate, through one long bloody thread of her.

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
230 words of a conversation which is, in every sense, difficult.  I'd have done more over the weekend by skipping ahead to the guerilla manoeuvres in the other strand - but I left my notebook at work chiz chiz!  I've noticed before now that when things get to the stage where I need to make a mass of notes, my backbrain then feels entitled to forget just about everything that made it to the paper.  This is not so good when I mislay the notes, since it leaves me much more clueless than I was before I wrote them.

Found again, thank goodness!

The practical in-world reason this conversation is difficult is that it's in a not-friendly stronghold and must not be overheard.  Three out of five of the participants can do some sort of magic, but the only one who can do anything useful about this is the wizard - and the best solution he can jury-rig is not a good one, because this is really the sort of thing you want an experienced witch for.  It's essentially a glorified system of cocoa-tin telephones.

The poor quality of the resulting reception annoys everybody, which yields a plot point by the way.  What I didn't think of until I was writing it was how much worse it must be for Golden Kate, who is sixty in a harsh mediaeval environment, and is - all things considered - extraordinarily fit and tough.  All things considered.  But I somehow doubt that her hearing is as quite good as all the young folks'.  This is apt to try her never-extensive patience a lot.

I have to keep reminding myself not to write her like somebody my own age who just happens to have sixty years of history behind her.  Or, on the other hand, like somebody my own age who has just had twenty years' worth of extra wear and tear suddenly dropped upon her head.  The one would be clueless, and the other depressing, and neither of them actually like a real person.  They define a passage surprisingly hard to navigate by instinct.

Revision, thy name is me.

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
Woke full of beans at something past four, and put in a first 380 words on Golden Kate's exploratory chapter in Fairfields. I used her point of view quite a bit in Katy Elflocks, but in the second half of the tale I've deliberately maintained my distance until now.

That has been an artistic decision - this is the first time in Killer-Kate when I think it's right to see things through her eyes, though it won't by any means be the last. As to the matter of craft, it's... a new kind of challenge: my attempt at a Crone's Journey. Proud, stubborn, intolerant, and trailing disasters behind her as a comet drags its tail, this is the story where she finally achieves the greatness that she thought she had when she was only the villain. But first I must break her heart again with certain small kindnesses, so that it can set right at last.

Hard going. I love my old dragon dearly, but hers is not an easy or a pleasant mind to inhabit. It is, however, an exhilarating one.

Today I learned something new about her: that she knows the old dale-country dances, and that it is new leaves in springtime to her to see them and to speak of them.

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