Every writer starts their story somewhere. The journey of my WIP launched from this point. It isn't the first scene in my story, but writers often don't start writing at the beginning. In many ways, this is embarrassing to read. The sheer number of times I use the is enough to entangle you in a thicket of th's. Don't believe me? Just hit ctrl+f and see for yourself. Boy, is it rough. But that's the point, isn't it? The first time you write a scene, if you create a masterpiece on your first try, you're better than 99% of writers. Go your nearest publisher and write your manuscript in front their eyes. Bewilder them with your perfect writing! No. For most of us, writing takes multiple pass-throughs. First drafts exist to direct your future self into making better choices when you go back to edit. Enjoy this incredibly rough draft and keep your eyes out for Part 2 where I'll show you my next draft.
Light gleamed along the east side windows of the council room. It set the room awash in a glow that made the stone and wood structuring feel as natural to the world as the forests. Sitting in the centre, alone with a bounty of parchments and inks, Thibault looked as one with the surroundings as the chairs and tables. In comfort and composed, he prepared himself for the oncoming meeting of the day. He spent most mornings like this. Shifting through manuscripts and old laws, scribbling out a new idea, and authoring speeches. It was something he did for the past twenty years of his life and if the tedium of these tasks ever got to him, his exterior would never reveal this to be true. It wasn’t a deception, though. At least, it wasn’t something that Thibault himself saw as a lie. And to this, the nature of the room spoke volumes about the nature of the man.
Pandora eyed her father from across the room. Dust, floating through the morning light parted as her eyes thrust like spears towards him. The only thing protecting him from the onslaught were the papers, which fluttered about every which way in his hands. Each time Thibault flipped a page, it made a satisfying sound while it dragged through the wind and gently drifted onto the table. As if purposefully interrupting her father’s symphony, she spoke. “How can you sit there like that without any thought?”
“I’m thinking quite a lot more than you’d expect,” Thibault said. He shifted further back into his seat. His concentration broke from the papers, looking up for only a moment before throwing himself deeper into his work. “I can’t be expected to think about everything at once. That’s why we’ve the luxury of Time.”
“There’s never enough Time.” she said.
“Clearly not. I’ve spent 57 years living yet haven’t a clue on how to have regular conversations with you.”
“You know why I came to talk.”
“I haven’t a clue.”
Pandora walked in closer to her father. She placed her hand on the desk and leaned into peer above the papers. “Hiding behind your work might work on Lucina, but it isn’t going to work on me.”
“That’s because Lucina can respect a father’s wishes to be left to his work.”
“And Bellona would do anything to be just like Lucina. Again, dad, it’s not working.”
Thibault finally set down the pages. She watched as half his finger seemed to disappear on the side of the table as he rubbed his finger-sized divot into the wood. White eyebrows sunk towards his eyes, smoothing the outer parts of his forehead.
Pandora stood opposite him in anticipation. He had all the time in the world while the world seemed to close tighter and tighter on the two of them. Suffocating them in no end of possibilities. A timeline, inked out into multiple tendrils, each with too many variables to contemplate in full. Yet, he still took his time to weigh the options.
This was a true puzzle to Pandora. She was much like her father in many ways, but the importance that he placed on every moment of time seemed to be the one thing that separated him from her. He could think for an hour and come to the same conclusion that she would take two minutes to decide on and still, his prowess in decision-making would be praised as something of excellence. Pandora saw it as negligible. That time could be put to better use. Putting plans into action. That’s what needed the most time.
“Why don’t you sit in on the session today?” He finally said.
“I have no interest in listening to you talk for an hour about the uneven farmland on the north-end banks.”
“I’ll let you have the first words. When you see that no one in the city is interested in war and you storm out of the room, you won’t have to listen to me speak.”
“I think I can do that.” Pandora smiled. She’d won this round. She would finally have the court to voice her opinions.
Pandora strode across the Assembly Hall, towards the corner chair. Sitting, she crossed her legs with the precision of a dancer. In her own time, she reached for the floor beneath her chair, plucking from it, a stack of ten or so papers. She quickly flipped through the pages causing her yellow-blonde bangs to fly out of her face for a moment. When she was satisfied that she grabbed all the pages she intended, she sat straight again in the chair.