NaNoWriMo Day 7: Cuteness and Cracks

A week has gone by for NaNoWriMo already–and it seems like we only just started!  I am approaching 15,000 words, which puts me well ahead of today’s 11,669 word goal, or even my 14,000 word stretch goal (which is for 60,000 words at the end of the month).  So far, so good!  I did find that weekdays mostly have been several hundred words below non-work days, but that’s pretty well to be expected.

I’m coming up on the end of the plot section I’ve been writing.  I mentioned I’m in a kind of lull part of the plot.  You know that bit in Stardust, when Tristran and Yvaine travel around the magical country and discover their skills and grow as people and in their relationship, and Gaiman decided to put all of that in just six pages?  Yeah, that’s the part of the story I’m in, except that I’m apparently spending about 15,000 words here.  And Rose and Terrence aren’t so much growing their relationship as uncovering some cracks in it.  While having some cute scenes too.

The villain puts in an appearance in the very next scene I need to write, and two scenes after that everything gets a lot more tense, so I think that will be an interesting shift to make a week into NaNo.

For now, here’s a bit I wrote today that points up a relationship crack while also having some cuteness in the scene.  It’s set just after they narrowly (ish) escaped some bandits (so there’s been some excitement in the lull section too).  Enjoy!

**********

            “It would have been much more frightening,” Rose said at length, “if you hadn’t been there.”

Terrence laughed, half at the comment and half just with the relief of the moment.  “Now you’re just trying to flatter me.”

“No, it’s true,” she protested, lifting her head to smile at him.

“Well, it is flattering, but if things had gone badly—six to one isn’t very good odds really.”  He remembered in time not to say out loud that Gregory had always been able to beat him at swords too.  He just thought it, and the thought made him think of something else.  “You didn’t mean it, did you, about my father sending them?  It’s true he was upset with us, but he wouldn’t go that far.”

Rose’s smiled faded and she looked at him for a long moment before she said, “I thought it might sway them.  It did seem to help.”  That was almost an answer but it wasn’t satisfying.  He meant to push the point, but before he could Rose continued, in cheerful tones again, “It seemed to help more that you’re Good Prince Terrence.”

Terrence groaned.  “Do not start calling me that.”

“I think it’s rather nice,” Rose laughed, stepping back and reaching for his hands.  “And what do you want me to call you?”

“Terrence is fine.”  Actually, he liked it when she called him her Terrence, but he felt a sudden awkwardness in saying that out loud, in the middle of a sunny meadow and a not especially sentimental conversation.

“It’s an interesting question, though, isn’t it?” Rose remarked, in not especially sentimental tones.  “What do you think history will call us?  Assuming we don’t get killed by bandits before we ever take the throne.  King Terrence the…Great?”

He shook his head.  “I wouldn’t aspire that high.  How about King Terrence the one who didn’t entirely mess everything up?”

“Too long.  King Terrence the Magnanimous,” she said, rolling the words off with a grin.  “Or…King Terrence the Benevolent.”

“Those are almost as bad as Good Prince Terrence.  I’m really not that good.”

But she just smiled at him like she didn’t believe it, kissed his cheek and went to remount her horse.

“What do you suppose they’ll call you?” Terrence asked as he offered her a hand up, because a counterattack seemed fair.

Rose’s attention seemed to be on arranging her skirts as she answered.  “Oh, I expect I’ll always be the Princess Behind Thorns.  Even if I’m queen for fifty years.”

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