My A-Z Blogging theme is to cover 26 touch-me-not categories of fiction writing. These are frequently the trouble spots which can be useful components of the story if handled properly, but when rushed through, can cause all kinds of trouble. While the genre is fantasy, the tips can apply to anything, from romance to literary fiction.
While exploring the ruins of an old castle, Mordekai and his sister Monique accidentally destroy an old tower only to find themselves in a different place, or time, entirely. Then a giant goat crashes through the wall and carries Mordekai off, leaving Monique with the unpredictable Princess Mural. After a variety of adventures, they’re reunited in the courtyard of the villains castle. They take refuge in a stable along one wall and hold off the goat forces until Mural and Mordekai are able to sing a duet and awaken their dragon allies to come to their rescue.
Monique came up to them. “So…now what?”
Mural turned to her with a smile. “If you wish to return to your world, I think I can…”
His sister held up a hand. “Nope.”
Mordekai got to his feet. “But…’Nique, what about your career? Photography?”
“I can get my camera back from that abbot. At least…he’d better still have it,” she said, a gleam in her eye that Mordekai had seen before. I hope he does, for his sake.
“You don’t like this time period. And…”
“And you think I’d like my own, living without my brother?” She tossed her curly dark hair, in full “I’m too tough to cry” mode now, but he was touched.
“You’d really live here for me?”
“And the view. I mean, where can I get shots like this?” she said, gesturing around them as a few dragons started returning. They’d fold their wings and sit on their scaly, clawed feet, quietly waiting for their next orders and try hard to seem inconspicuous. It made him laugh, though he was sure it was mostly just nerves.
“So you’ll stay,” he said, half a question still.
“I’m staying. I plan to be the chief photographer for the royal wedding, and I will make you stand and pose until you wish I was gone.”
That reminded him. “About the wedding, Mural…I don’t want to quibble, or cause trouble, but we can have a…an engagement of some duration. I mean, we don’t have to get married tomorrow, right?” As much as he liked Mural, he wasn’t ready to be a husband. Not that quickly. He knew his place was by her side, but that didn’t mean he was in love with her yet. It was complicated, and he just needed some time to sort everything out.
“Yes. Tomorrow. When the dawn rises,” Monique said with a smile.
Mural answered him at last. “We will have much to do first. The realm must be secured, and there are still pockets of my uncle’s allies to subdue. And your sister’s things to retrieve.”
“Or maybe midnight,” Monique said. “Under the stars, with torches placed strategically. I could use my flash lens and…”
Just wait. He’d get payback by photobombing a few of her precious shots at the first opportunity. But he was glad she was staying all the same. Monique was all the family he had left, and he wanted her to be part of the new chapter of his life. At least…she’s all the family I have left right now, he thought as he glanced towards Mural. I’m sure…in time, our family will expand. After all, he’d be king–or prince regent, or whatever title he got for marrying Mural once she was queen. We’ll need to have heirs and…all that sort of thing.
Then Mural turned and held out her hand, and he took it with a smile.
One of the challenges, when writing, is figuring out when to stop things. When to wrap the story up and move on. As a writer, it can be hard to leave these people and characters and move on to another project, and so you can write a lot more than you need. There’s a balance to be achieved between wrapping up every last little thread and providing enough resolution for the story to be done.
In this case, I felt it was important to indicate what happens to Monique without going into great detail about when Mordekai and Mural get married, how the abbot responds to Mural’s beating her uncle, etc. I could’ve ended it with the happy ending of the last post, or even the victorious ending of the post about deus ex machinas, but I felt that neither truly finished the tale, so I kept going until all major “Wait, what happens” questions were resolved.
Until the next letter,
Copyright 2017 Andrea Lundgren
Photo courtesy of gratisography