Friday, January 20, 2017

Excerpt from Chapter 1 of Warder Soul!

Posted by: Angela Korra'ti
For a writer, there are few things more frustrating than making about 20,000 words into a manuscript, only to realize that it's not working. This has recently happened to me, as I work on Warder Soul, book 3 of my Free Court of Seattle urban fantasy series.

The bright side of this, at least, is that I was only about 20,000 words in versus, oh, say, 90,000. And also, I was able to nail down pretty well why what I was writing wasn't working for me, because it was a problem that had come up while I was working on Victory of the Hawk. Namely, that after releasing five novels, three of which had me working extensively with a good editor, I'd developed a tendency to write too superficially in the name of trying to write more quickly.

Because of this, I just wasn't feeling suitably, truly engaged with what I'd put down for the story so far. And if the writer isn't engaged, the reader can't be!

So even though it was irritating to have to go back and rewrite the beginning, I did it anyway. I now have a new opening scene for Chapter 1, and I'm feeling a lot better about it. So I'd like to share it with you all now!

The scene is long, about 2,000 words, so I'm only going to include a small taste of it in this post:
Amount of time it took to get my hair ready for Jake and Carson’s wedding: three hours.
Amount of time it took a flock of fairies to have at it: five minutes.
The little knuckleheads divebombed me the minute Jude and I got out of her truck at the Golden Gardens bathhouse. One minute I was closing the passenger door behind me, taking care not to crinkle my skirt as I got out, because honestly, how often was I going to wear a dress in public? I’d been twitchy the whole morning about tearing it, or spilling coffee on it, or any number of potential disasters. The next minute, my field of vision filled with a disaster I hadn’t counted on: the glittering, swooping bodies of seven fairies, all of whom seemed more pleased to see me than I’d ever seen fairies be about anything. And that counted the time I’d bribed half a dozen of them to find my phone. With red velvet cupcakes. They’d brought me three other phones before I’d finally convinced them that no, really, my own phone was enough.
“Queen!” one of them caroled as it whirled around my head, so quickly that I got barely a glimpse of flashing wings and tiny flailing hands. “Queen is here!”
Want to read the whole scene? I've got it available as a PDF on my site!

The moral of this story: listen to your muse, if it's telling you you need to fix something in the story.

The other moral of this story: cake is awesome.

Angela writes the Free Court of Seattle urban fantasy series as Angela Korra'ti, and the Rebels of Adalonia epic fantasy trilogy as Angela Highland. Come tell her all about your favorite kinds of cake at, or follow her on Facebook or Twitter!


  1. I feel your pain. I started my last book twice (10,000 words trashed each time. ouch!) before I got it right.

    Nice excerpt. Love your voice!


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