In Memoriam, Murdered Darlings

I'm more than halfway done with the 2nd Edit, and most of the major rewrites are finished. So now I'm mostly skimming through the remainder and changing references to things that no longer exist.

In doing so, I've had to delete bits I really liked. I'm putting some of them here in memoriam. I don't know how they'll come across out of context like this, but at least I'll know they're here, living forever in the internet.

This is from the first chapter, where Hagai goes to town to pick up the post for Aunt Booker. The village never figured very much in the novel, but I really liked the name.
Hagai hiked down the road to where the village stopped and the shady jungle began. It wasn't far. The village consisted of a dozen buildings on either side of the road. It didn't even have a real name. People called it Ontheway, because it was quicker than saying "those hovels you pass on the way to the Monastery." Hagai only had to walk past Moi's coffee shop, the restaurant that served Anican food, and Teresa's House of Virtue before he was in the relative cool of the jungle.

Originally, Hagai's father was not actually shown in the novel. Everything the reader learns about him, or Hagai's old life on the shipyard, came from little details like the one in this excerpt. Unfortunately, it had to go along with Aunt Booker.
"Who ever knows where they're going?" Aunt Booker turned to arrange some books. "What matters is how you get there."

"So how do I get there?" asked Hagai.

She laughed her loud, hearty laugh. "I ain't an augur, honey. Some things you just gotta figure out by yourself."

"Is that why my father sent me here?"

"Ha!" She whirled to face him. "Your father sent you here cuz you're a lazy, good-for-nothing lump who forgets to even eat 'less somebody tells him to."

Hagai frowned. "Those are his words, aren't they."

"No, they're mine," she said, not unkindly. "Keifer would've said it with more color."

From Sam's first chapter, in which we see him as a little boy asking why his father hasn't come back from the war yet. This was the chapter that got deleted, but I always liked the last line of this excerpt.
"Why're they fighting then?" Sam asked.

His mother sighed. "It's hard to explain. Somebody killed Justitia's emperor, then - "

"Who?"

"Who knows, love? But the Imperium got into it with Salvadora after that."

"I bet it was that piking bastard, Ignacio!" Sam drew his sword and made a couple of slashing motions for emphasis.

"Samuel Thomas Draper! Where did you learn such language?" She crossed her arms. "Is that how they talk in those picture stories of yours?"

"No," Sam lied.

"We'll see," which meant she would probably flip through his Reaper stories the next chance she got. Sam would have to remember to hide issue #8.

This last scene is also from Sam's past. He's older now, almost 18 years, and living in the big city. He works in a machinist shop by day, while by night he beats up on cruel factory owners and corrupt police. He also spends time in bars looking for information about the secret mission that killed his father.
"How'd you hear about this?" Sam asked the barkeep.

"Ain't no pub rumor, s'truth. A piking Imperial Commodore came in here the other day, poured the whole thing to me."

Sam was impressed. It was the first real bit of information he'd gotten since they moved to Grenon. He handed Alton another coin for his trouble. "So why'd he tell you all this?"

"Ah, now," Alton pinched the coin between two fingers, "man's gotta have some secrets. Else who'd pay me for my stories?"

"True enough." Sam took a sip from the cup that'd been getting warm in his hand. "You ain't getting rich from this piss, s'truth."

5 comments:

sraasch said...

I love your world's lingo. It's so unique!

Matthew Delman said...

Love the swear -- a "piking Imperial Commodore" -- very inventive, sir.

AM said...

Remarkable! Truly, remarkable.

If the entire novel is written this well, wow, I will be able to say: I knew you (sort of) when.

Adam Heine said...

It makes me so happy you guys like the slang (lingo, jargon, cant); it's my favorite part too. Now to find an agent who feels the same way...

Natalie Whipple said...

Good on ya for murdering your darlings. I've had to cut many a scene that hurt too. (Like that part at Logan's...I think you read that version. Whimper.)