Despite whatever conclusion that statement alone may have brought you to, I have actually been writing. Yes, real writing. I have, however, made little-to-no progress. (I have half a page, at most. And it's fragmented. Very fragmented.)
Why have I made so little progress?
I am honestly not quite sure. Whenever I think I'm off to a good start, I backtrack. My original idea was to jump into the scene as though the story was already in place, as though anyone who read it already knew what was going on.
And then I started to explain everything.
Let me make this clear: if this story fragment were actually going to be a part of The Novel, and if I tried to explain what the hell has been happening in The Novel that would lead up to this scene, I would be doing A LOT of explaining. Why? Because The Novel is actually two-to-three books long, and this scene would fall somewhere in the middle of the second/third.
If I'm going to write this scene right now, I cannot stop and try to sum up what has happened in the plot line thus far. However, that is what I keep doing. I write a line, and then I'm all, "But they won't understand that unless I explain this! And this! AND THIS!"
I was originally going to start this scene in the middle of the card game between Ryenne and the mermaid. Then I thought, well, maybe I should backtrack to the spot where the mermaid proposes the wager. And then it was when they brought the mermaid aboard the ship. Then it was when they found the shipwreck that is her hang-out place. Next, I'll just be like, "SCREW THIS" and write the whole book.
Seven to ten years later, you might actually get to read the scene I was planning on writing.
This is why I can never write short stories. I cannot resist the temptation to tell the whole damn story. I mean, someday I will. But I can't right now. I don't even know the whole story yet.
I am seriously over-thinking this whole thing.
Also, I am having trouble describing ship wrecks.
Also, I just tried to spell "describe" as "discribe."
My brain is not functioning correctly.
Here's what I have thus far:
More than a month's worth of fruitless searching passed before the Rose, and her crew, finally found the place they had been looking for. The shipwreck loomed before them in the darkening twilight, a haunting specter of rotting wood and salt-stained glass, her heart pierced by the jagged reef below. Ryenne forced back a superstitious shudder as her eyes raked over the mangled corpse of what had once been a magnificent ship. If one only looked close enough, they could see the intricate scroll work that had been hand-carved into the railings, the delicate panes of leaded glass – shattered now – that jutted like broken teeth from each windowsill. A truly beautiful ship, once. She had been the Queen's Caravel, after all.
The Queen's Caravel; a Maranese ship for a Maranese queen. Both were fallen now, however, victims of the angry sea...and something else. A second shudder threatened Ryenne's composure, and this time she did not repress it. The skill of the Maranese sailors was unparalleled in these waters, the royal crew especially so. It made no sense. What had caused the queen's ship to run aground in a tiny cove, so far from anything, anywhere that made sense? And why did Rhys wish to return to such dangerous waters to plumb her depths? To find a sea maid? Ryenne shook her head, eyeing the caravel's splintered hull. What could a sea maiden have that was so damn important, that was worth a wild goose chase spanning months and miles of treacherous sea?
The wind howled, echoing against the cliffs of the cove and raising the hairs on the back of Ryenne's neck. There was an unseasonable chill in the air – the coming of night, or the lingering remnant of spirits lost at sea? Within the caravel's tangled rigging, a man-shaped shadow twisted in that same wind. Whether the man had died by his own hand or that of some other, Ryenne did not care to know. She tightened her grip on the Rose's railing, lowering her voice so that only Rhys would hear her words.
“We shouldn't be here.” Despite her efforts, she could not keep the fear from her voice. Two more dancing shadows twisted alongside their fellow, in the rigging, in the wind.
“That's not for you to say, Miss Caelar.” He raised his spyglass, refusing to meet her nervous gaze. “If you don't like it, you're welcome to another sojourn in the brig. Otherwise, hold your tongue.” His bland tone did nothing to soften the threat.
She pursed her lips, nettled. “My apologies, Captain.”
He responded only with a disinterested glance. “Keep your eyes open, gents! She's like as not hiding in the wreck itself, and I doubt she'll welcome our presence here.”
The crewmen, who had – until this moment – seemed locked in the same horrified trance Ryenne found herself in, sprang into action at his words. Torches sputtered to life, lanterns were lit and then hastily shuttered. All eyes darted toward the caravel, and away just as quickly, afraid that if they stared too long, the hanged men's fate would become their own. A hush fell over the ship, no sound but the wind and the water. They all peered into the night with bated breath; if she was not here, the sea maiden, all the months of searching would be in vain.
It was Ryenne who spotted her first. It was hardly anything – a flash of lantern light off of a pearly fin, a shadow disappearing into the water – but it was enough. “Captain, there!”
Bah. Writing is frustrating. And I am no good at scenery. That is where Tulio excels. I'm all about the dialogue. Well...usually. I dunno if it's working out so well today. You know, of the six sentences of dialogue that I actually have written.
My writing muscles have gotten all flabby.