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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Gifting the Moon

This week I’ve dug out my first novel (currently trunked), and I’m trying to determine if it can be saved. I know this depends on the novel. So, here’s a recently reedited scene.

This scene takes place while Elswyk (the main character) is recovering from a stab wound she received when she put herself between an assassin with a knife and the king. The king is grateful (this is the second time she’s saved his life), and he’s planning on building a statue in her honor.

Elswyk doesn’t like the statue idea, nor does she appreciate any of the other rewards the king proposes. Exasperated, Elswyk makes a bad joke.
“You won’t be happy until you give me the moon,” I muttered.

The room went still. King Zontyn stopped going through his papers. He looked at me. A smile spread across his face.

“You can’t give me the moon.”

“Of course I can,” the king said.

“How? It’s not the sort of item that I can possess in any real way. You can’t pluck it from the sky. The moon belongs to everybody,” I said.

“That would not be practical, but what I will do is proclaim that the moon is for you in honor of your heroism. From now on, the moon is ‘Elswyk’s Moon’, and everyone must refer to it as such,” the king said.

The giggles burst from me before I was even conscious of them. Elswyk’s Moon! The giggles turned to laughter, and in moments I found I could not stop. My eyes watered. I grabbed the wound in my side as it felt like it might tear. That movement made me lose my balance, and next thing I knew I was on the floor.


The jerking that accompanied the hiccups stopped my laughter. I took a deep breath. I rolled and pushed and pulled until I stood. Hands on hips, I stared down the king.

“Your majesty…hic…I never asked for a reward…hic…nor did I…hic…expect to get one when I saved your life…hic,” I explained.

“But you deserve…”

“You’ve…hic…rewarded me.”

“It’s not enough,” the king insisted.

“Murder is a selfish act…hic. People who think that killing someone…hic…solves anything…hic…” Stupid hiccups! “I did not save your life…hic…expecting some reward…hic. I was there and I could help, so I did.”

Were they gone? Hic. Nope. Grrr.

“But you saved my life. I must find a proper way to say thank you,” King Zontyn said.

“You’re…hic…welcome,” I replied. “Please, don’t go trying to give me the moon.”
From this scene I took the title of the book. Elswyk’s Moon.

Now, I’ve had time to rethink and doubt whether this is a good idea or not.


I need outside eyes. Good title? Stupid idea? Believable exchange between my main character and a king? I’m leaning towards stupid idea at the moment, but I thought it was a good idea at the time.


Laura Hughes, MittensMorgul said...

I like the scene. I think it's charming. And it could be believable if the king is just that kind of a guy (not a noble high and mighty type), and depending on Elswyk's position in the court. It's easier to believe because the king obviously is indebted to her for his life. I think its great, and puts my first MS to shame. Mine is in semi-permanent time out for bad behavior. :D

Patchi said...

I like the premise and her reaction to being gifted for something that she considers her duty. I think this scene is a great opportunity for characterization, of both the king and Elswyk. And if the story revolves around Elswyk's deeds and the kings gifts, then the title is awesome. Now I'm not so sure about the hiccups... I found them a bit overdone.

Melissa Ann Goodwin said...

I think the title is lovely and it would definitely catch my eye. I'm not that crazy about the hiccups ... but I like the rest.

DEZMOND said...

I wouldn't know how to pronounce it :) But I love the moon factor in it :)

Jess said...

I can't tell you whether or not to revisit the whole novel, but I love the scene! It's a great and vivid exchange :)

Liz A. said...

This snippet was edited before I put it up. It was also shortened a lot.

Thanks for the feedback.

Liz A. said...

And I toned the hiccups down. Well, this still needs major revision. Thanks for the feedback.

Liz A. said...

Ah yes, the fantasy name factor. You should see some of the character names I started with.

Liz A. said...

Thanks. (I'm not about to weigh down the blog with the whole novel.)

Huntress said...

Holy Cats! (talking cats?) LMAO

This is hilarious. You have quite a flair for humor, a great trait for the kind of Voice that nails the reader to the MC.

Great piece.

mshatch said...

I agree with what others said: great scene but lose the hiccups :)

Unknown said...

The hiccups should be toned down even more, it was hard to read. Some people hiccup slowly. Make this character one of those people.

Ink in the Book said...

I really loved this scene. The entire exchange showed tons of character.

I like it. *smiles and blinks rapidly*

The hiccups are hilarious, but maybe toned down just a tad.

But, it's lovely, me dear! Don't keep it shelved. It begs edits so it can get back in the lime light!!!

DEZMOND said...

yep, fantasy is always difficult for us book translators :) Especially when you translate to a language which is phonetical which means you have to transcribe the names as they are pronounced. I had troubles with that while translating ERAGON for example :)

Liz A. said...


Liz A. said...

But I loved the hiccups...