Beginnings in WIP Wednesday

I’m toying with beginnings for the next two projects as I come to the end of the first draft of Embracing Prudence. The Bluestocking and the Barbarian begins with my hero in a family group riding hell for leather for London, mourning-1810-cropheading for his grandfather’s death bed. He needs to do some fancy trick riding to scoop up a child from the middle of the road and return it to the lady at the gates of the orphanage where the child belongs.

A Raging Madness begins in one of three places: at the funeral of the mother of a deceased fellow officer of Alex Redepenning, in the home of the bereaved daughter-in-law, where she hears her relatives plan to put her in Bedlam, or in Alex’s hotel bedroom when she flees to him to ask for help.

How about giving me up a few lines of beginning? The first chapter, if you will, or any other chapter if you prefer. And don’t forget to share!

1819_society_ballHere are the first few lines of Embracing Prudence.

From within the protective camouflage of the gaggle of companions, Prudence Virtue watched her sometime partner and one-night-only lover drift around the banquet hall. No-one else noticed him. Like the shadow he named himself for, he skirted the edges of the pools of candle light, but even when his self-appointed duties moved him close to a group of guests, they looked right past him. None of the privileged, not even the host and hostess, noticed one extra footman.

He was very good. He had the walk, the submissive bend of the head, the lowered eyes. She had overlooked him herself for the first half hour that she sat here, just one more brown-clad, unimpressive companion among a dozen others, waiting patiently in an alcove for the commands of an employer.

But Prue’s body was wiser than her mind, and left her restless in his presence until her eyes caught so many times on this one footman among all the others she began to take notice.

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10 thoughts on “Beginnings in WIP Wednesday

  1. The opening of the first chapter of “The Firstborn”:

    There were too many letters. An inordinate amount of them, spilling out of crevices and sliding out of their well-organized stacks. Most were invitations, a fact that irritated Lord Finnian Haughton to no end. Invitations to balls, to routs, to garden parties and afternoon teas, where he would be expected to deal with the attentions of no small number of simpering females. And all of them with their eyelashes fluttering while a mere turn and snap of their fans spoke a language he would never be able to decipher.

    This morning’s stack of cards sat on his desk, the light spilling in through the window, sending a solitary beam across the topmost letter. A glance at the direction told him more than he needed to know. The lettering was too fine and flowery, a woman’s hand, and a noticeable aroma emanated from the paper, as if it had been glazed with rose water before being sent round to his townhouse.

    He understood their interest in him, and his position in polite society. He was a man. A gentleman. A titled gentleman with a rather large fortune. And, most bothersome of all, a titled gentleman, possessed of a large fortune, who—according to that polite society which insisted on tossing flowery cards and invitations at him as if they were tossing bread crumbs to a duck in a pond—had decided to remain stubbornly ensconced in his current life as a bachelor.

  2. From “A Rose Renamed.” 🙂

    “Jer!” John Smithson called into the dark apartment, as though the two rooms were as large as the two-story cottage he and his brother had left two months ago.

    No response.

    “Jer! We’ve had a response from Holsworthy.”

    Still nothing. That was odd.

    Jeremy had said he would wait before donning his gentlemanly attire and leaving the stews for the higher-price gambling establishments where they might make enough money to leave this rat-infested hellhole, to say nothing of paying their father’s debts. If Jasper Smithson had left them anything besides duns, it was the skill to make money at cards, no matter the state of their luck—usually. John had started to wonder if their luck had died with him.

    He looked around the front room, as though his brother could hide behind furniture, but the room was nearly empty, other than a table and two chairs where they ate increasingly poor choices of food and practiced their only marketable proficiencies.

    Stepping through the doorway to the bedchamber, where they were lucky to have two straw mattresses, he saw nothing, but for a boot sticking out from behind Jeremy’s bed.

    • I am rather happy. I actually remembered to log on before the end of Wednesday! As I just said, you never disappoint.

      Here is my share for the evening. It’s the start of a scene I am currently working on, although I haven’t determined exactly where it shall go. I have a hook, but I am considering nixing it in favor of weaving it in as backstory. *sigh*

      Rupert leaned heavily upon the finely carved cane clutched in his left hand. Miss Clarence walked to his right, her hand placed at his elbow, though she was careful not to place any weight upon him. Overhead, the sun broke through a bank of clouds, dispersing the slight chill in the air.

      “Unusually cool weather we have had this year, is it not, Miss Clarence?”

      “The weather, Major Clarion? Did you not tell me such idle chatter was beneath you, the providence of weak-minded females with nothing but air between their ears?”

      “You must remember everything that I say which can be misconstrued, must you not?”
      “If you didn’t act such a boor, perhaps then I wouldn’t have to.”

      They passed under a large oak, older than all of London, it was rumored, the leaves beginning to change color, some having fallen to the ground, crunching beneath their feet. The air was crisp, burning his lungs as he breathed it in.

      “Tell me, Miss Clarence, how is it that you are not yet married?” He was out of practice, and this, this small talk grated his nerves, and he made an absolute cake of himself today. He lay the blame solely at her delicate feet. In the past months, he had so well become the monster they thought him to be, he no longer possessed the social finesse he was once known for.

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