Snippet Sunday – Valkyrie’s Pt 3


Courtesy of VL Locey

Courtesy of VL Locey

Holes!

New writer’s often wonder why a writer writes, then rewrites, then edits,  then hires an editor. Or in the case of a publisher, has to go through the house editor.

Because of holes. It’s all perfectly clear in the writer’s head.  Everything makes sense.  It flows, there is a sequential flow from here to there,  from point A to B but the words  that make it onto the page are often different from the story in our head.

A former business associate read through my revised draft of Faere Warrior, only to ask where’s the rest of the story? Where’s the back story?  Why does character X do this? Why is character Y so cold and distant? I was devastated. With one comment she said,  “Well, this doesn’t suck.” closely followed by the string of questions.

After a long pity party, licking my imagined wounds, and finally realizing that  it did in fact need more work,  I refiled it in my drawer. I started filling in the back story and now Faere Warrior is book 2 in my Fae series.  I’m not done with that one,  but for anyone that followed that on Storytime Tryst,  you wouldn’t recognize it.

Back to my point –  holes.  While revising Valkyrie’s Curse I’ve discovered a few holes already, and I’m only in chapter 6 of revisions. This doesn’t bode well for the balance of the story, unless I was more descriptive  in my manuscript later.  The first bit was my original first draft, unedited.

“I want to spend time with my sister as well. Do you have a problem with that Bryce?” She folded her arms over her chest not budging.

“But I wanted to spend some alone time with you baby. We’ve not had much time together over the past few weeks and now you’ll be gone for the entire summer. What am I going to do without you?”

Indeed what or whom would he do while she was gone? “I don’t know Bryce, what are you going to do without me? How are you going to manage over the summer without my money? ”

“Babe! What’s with this attitude? I know I was late today. Is that why you’re upset?” He tried to pull her closer.

A slight chuckle rose from her chest. “Now see, there’s an example. The only thing you’ve been attentive to is when you needed something.”

His expression changed to one of surprise. “What are you talking about? I went to that hearing thing of yours. I listened to you go on about this dig you’re so stoked about. Which frankly I don’t get. A girl as beautiful as you should be wearing Manolo’s and going to clubs not digging through dirt.” He lifted her hand trying to kiss her knuckle. Helena promptly pulled her hand back, her lips pursed. “Is it that Scott kid? Did he say something about me? ”

She rolled her eyes. “Typical. No, Bryce. If you hated attending the panel why didn’t you skip out? Lord knows you’ve skipped out on the rest of them. And as to the dig that I’m” she made air quotes “stoked about, this has been my dream since my parents died. If you had been paying attention, you would have known when I left the frat party after overhearing you tell Marcus how you had me in the palm of your hand.”

He flinched when she confirmed that she had overheard his drunken confessions to his buddy. “Awe babe. I was just bragging about you. You misunderstood me. ” He tried for the sad eyes.

Of course he’d try to turn this around on her. If there was ever any doubt about his motives, his actions just proved her suspicions. He didn’t care about her. How had she allowed herself to become so complacent and be so stupid?

A real relationship required effort. An effort that she wasn’t willing to give to Bryce.  Ending things with Bryce was the best option. It would stop the bleeding of her finances, it would end the emotional rollercoaster she’d been on, and it was best for Bryce to take responsibility for himself. It had to be done.

“I wasn’t the one drinking. I know exactly what I heard. I guess I’m having a bit of trouble reconciling the things you say to me and the things you say to your buddies.”

“No Helena, that’s not what I meant. Don’t do this. Don’t twist my words around to something ugly. Of course I know that you’re studying archeology but picturing you covered with dirt and dust isn’t a very sexy image.”

“Oh, well whatever it takes to turn you on. Sorry Bryce. I’ve pretended long enough. I’ve tried to fit into the mold of what you want, but here’s the thing. If I have to fit into some preformed mold in your mind, then it is obvious that it’s not me that you want to be with. Or maybe tap Rachel for funds and buy her some fancy shoes and clothes. I’m sure she’d appreciate them.” She opened the door and walked into the house shutting it behind her.

“Well that went an entirely different direction. At least the bleeding has stopped.”

“What? Who’s bleeding?” Gabriella came running from the kitchen, looking her sister over for any cuts or wounds. A puzzled expression troubled her as she got closer.

Here is the revised excerpt with a bit more detail added filling in a major hole later on.

Bryce had borrowed over five hundred dollars in the past month. His recent behavior had her questioning everything where Bryce was concerned. A few basic calculations and she realized that he had tapped her for nearly eight thousand dollars over the past year and a half. That figure had her head spinning. Her trust fund wasn’t a tremendous amount. The total for her and her sister’s funds seemed like large numbers until she started subtracting necessary expenses. By the time she graduated, there would only be fifteen thousand remaining and that was if nothing unexpected came up. Thank goodness her father was a wise investor and had things planned. When she stated that she needed to stick to a less glamorous lifestyle than he was trying to thrust her into, he acted wounded and said it was only because he was proud of her and wanted to showcase her beauty.

The sting of empty flattery left a bitter taste in her mouth, a combined tang of blood and bile.

Observations since she had made those calculations indicated that this habit of his was more about his own selfish desires than anything pertaining to her. Bryce was an attractive man, but more often than not his behavior was anything but. The previous weekend she had gone with him to one of his frat parties. After several drinks, Bryce’s tongue was loosened and she overheard him telling Marcus, his best friend that he had this in the bag.

Her curiosity got the better of her and she leaned against the door-jamb, silent and unseen as he proceeded to tell Marcus how he had her in the palm of his hand, that she’d do whatever he wanted and fork over the money. He would lay on the compliments, use the puppy dog eyes, and toss her a few token gifts then she would give up whatever he wanted – sex, money, doing his homework for him, and she’d even gone along with some kinky shit!

She eased away from the door -jamb, fumbling with her purse as she dug for her keys, then left. She couldn’t face his frat brothers, feeling as if their eyes now saw her as some freaky slut. Her sister confirmed that what he said had been true.Bryce poured on the sad eyes, whined a bit and she gave him whatever he wanted.

Ever since that night, she had paid closer attention and denied his requests. Physically she enjoyed the sex with him, but knowing that he had been using her tore her up inside. Where things would stand between them was still to be determined. She wondered when she had become  passive. It wasn’t like her to roll over and take it. Not in any circumstance.

So why had she allowed this mess with Bryce? Helena mentally flipped back her calendar, wondering when things had derailed, or if they had ever been on the same track. When had she turned into Bryce’s doormat? Resentment flooded over her causing her jaw to clench in anger.

“Because I want to spend time with my sister as well. Do you have a problem with that Bryce?” She folded her arms over her chest not budging.

He tried the puppy dog eyes then ran his finger over her arm. “But I wanted to spend some alone time with you baby. We’ve not had much time together over the past few weeks and now you’ll be gone for the entire summer. What am I going to do without you?”

Indeed what or whom would he do while she was gone? Gabriella had been telling her that many of the times that Bryce was late, she saw him leaving the apartments across the street. Which was where Rachel Byrnes lived, one of the little sisters to his frat. Bryce had been flirting with her even when Helena was with him.  Anger rose inside her, her throat tightening. “I don’t know Bryce, what are you going to do without me? How are you going to manage over the summer without my money? Without me helping you with your homework?”

“Babe! What’s with this attitude? I know I was late today. Is that why you’re upset?” He tried to pull her closer.

A slight chuckle rose from her chest as she turned avoiding his embrace. “Now see, there’s an example. You’ve been so unaware of anything pertaining to me over the past few months. The only thing you’ve been attentive to is when you needed something.”

His expression changed to one of surprise. “What are you talking about? I went to that hearing thing of yours. I listened to you go on about this dig you’re so stoked about. Which frankly I don’t get. A girl as beautiful as you should be wearing Manolo’s and going to clubs not digging through dirt to scrounge up some old dead dude’s garbage.” He lifted her hand trying to kiss her knuckle. Helena promptly pulled her hand back, her lips pursed. “Is it that Scott kid? Did he say something about me? Do I need to beat the shit out of him?”

She rolled her eyes. “Typical. No, Bryce. It’s not Scott. If you hated attending the panel why didn’t you skip out? Lord knows you’ve skipped out on the rest of them. And as to the dig that I’m” she made air quotes “stoked about, this has been my dream since my parents died. You know I’m not comfortable in those high fashion excuses for shoes or going clubbing. It’s not even your habitual lateness or not following through with something that you say you’re going to do. If you had been paying attention, you would have known when I left the frat party after overhearing you tell Marcus how you had me in the palm of your hand.”

He flinched when she confirmed that she had overheard his drunken confessions to his buddy. “Awe babe. I was just bragging about you. You misunderstood me. I was telling Marcus how cool you were, and how lucky I was to have you. I said that you had me in the palm of your hand.” He tried for the sad eyes.

Of course he’d try to turn this around on her.  Her lips pursed, as she ran her tongue over her teeth willing  her rising  temper to subside. If there was ever any doubt about his motives, his actions just proved her suspicions. He didn’t care about her. She wasn’t interested in being his sugar momma. The fact that she felt little emotion at this point confirmed her own thoughts that she’d tolerated it out of convenience. Hating what that said about herself and the fact that she’d allowed things to continue. How had she allowed herself to become so complacent and be so stupid?

A real relationship required effort. An effort that she wasn’t willing to give to Bryce. She hadn’t been willing to give him lately, if ever. Maybe to no one. She had to be focused on this project and a relationship was a distraction she simply couldn’t afford. Ending things with Bryce was the best option. It would stop the bleeding of her finances, it would end the emotional rollercoaster she’d been on, and it was best for Bryce to take responsibility for himself. Whether he did or not wasn’t her concern. The guilt that she carried for doing his homework for him had been wearing on her. It had to be done.

“I wasn’t the one drinking. I know exactly what I heard. I guess I’m having a bit of trouble reconciling the things you say to me and the things you say to your buddies. Because the things you say to me, let’s be honest are a pack of lies. A big heaping pile of manure. And as to your distaste for me scrounging through the dirt for some old dead dude’s garbage, you knew I was studying archeology from the beginning. I see it as ancient treasure, you see it as old garbage. Well at lest we have that difference settled.”

“No Helena, that’s not what I meant. Don’t do this babe. Don’t twist my words around to something ugly. Of course I know that you’re studying archeology. It’s exciting in a way, but picturing you covered with dirt and dust isn’t a very sexy image.”

“Oh, well”  She half grunted, nearly snorting as  she turned her face away, looking out into the street, her hands now firmly planted on either hip. After taking a long slow deep breath, she turned back to Bryce with focused deliberation. “whatever it takes to turn you on. Apparently, that is high fashion shoes and dresses. Sorry Bryce. I’ve pretended long enough. I’ve tried to fit into the mold of what you want, but here’s the thing.” She slanted her head,  no longer hiding the condescending tone. “If I have to fit into some preformed mold in your mind, then it’s obvious that it’s not me that you want to be with. Guess this means you’ll be finding a new squeeze that you don’t have to dress the part.” She reached for the doorknob, pushing it open then turned back facing him, her eyes clear and focused. “Or maybe tap Rachel for funds and buy her some fancy shoes and clothes. I’m sure she’d appreciate them.” She walked into the house shutting it behind her. She didn’t give him a chance for rebuttal, didn’t care to hear anything else that he had to say. Not now or ever again. Leaning back against the door, eyes closed, she let out a slow sigh. 

“Well that went an entirely different direction. At least the bleeding has stopped.”

“What? Who’s bleeding?” Gabriella came running from the kitchen, looking her sister over for any cuts or wounds. A puzzled expression troubled her as she got closer.

Now that I”ve plugged the giant hole that appeared in chapter five,  I can  go back to editing and revising. IT’s a good thing that Helena doesn’t go for the high fashion shoes,  they would be hazardous inside Aella’s tunnels.

Leave me a comment and let me know  if you like the revisions.  This may not make the final cut,  but I’m happy with it for now.

You may wish to check out my friend’s snippets.

VL Locey is sharing a sizzling bit from her latest Venom book.

Cathy is sharing a bit from her story at Cathy’s Romance.

Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie

 

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