Sometimes, things happen during first drafts.
Last week, one of those things happened. I was about 4000 words into the draft of Rise of Grace, and it was getting harder and harder to write. Often, when that happens, it turns out that I’m doing something wrong.
I set the draft aside for a couple of days and came back to it, and realized that those 4000 words had issues. Issues big enough that the only real cure for them was to toss out those words (I’ll recycle some of them) and start over.
Sometimes, you have to get the wrong words out before you can get the right ones.
Thistle trotted through the narrow halls of the palace, dodging guards, her sturdy new boots thumping on the tile with a pleasantly authoritative air. She tried not to shift her shoulders in her new armor too much. She wanted her old armor back, bits and pieces scavenged from plunder and gambled for over too much beer. This armor had been made for her, and it was attractive enough with its design of feathers on the dark leather, but it was all wrong. It fit like someone else’s boot—passably only.
She was happier with the daggers that rode at her hips. Those, at least, were weapons she could be proud of, with their long, wicked blades and their fine balance.
She was going to worry at the armor, though. You can’t skulk around the place looking like a— Lynnis had thought better of whatever she’d been about to day after Thistle had objected.
Raider, Thistle had finished for her. There was no shame in it. She was—had been—exactly that.
Also a smuggler and general ne’er-do-well, she thought, and grinned. Her glory days weren’t behind her, even if she had for the moment traded her own armor for the ill-fitting garb of a Hawk. She was still a windmaga, and her identity as Seaclan was written in the tattooed blessing on her face and the tilt of her eyes.