Monday, 23 May 2011

Where it all began.

I've mentioned this before, but I'm writing a novel (trying to anyway, some days more successfully than others), I've also mentioned a few odds and ends about it, it features hermaphroditic aliens for example, but today I thought I'd take a moment to go back to the beginning and talk about why I'm writing it (admittedly as much to remind myself as anything).
I don't mean why I'm writing at all, that's a question that makes only slightly more sense than 'why are you breathing?' I have a need to create stuff, writing seems to be the most satisfying way of doing that, I mean why this particular story? Well it actually started with a play by post roleplay game (Dark Heresy, if you know what that is, or care) and specifically with the character I was playing, one Severus Gently, charming, elegant, promiscuous and very, very dangerous, oh and he was one other thing, he was enormously good fun to write for. Anyway the game slowly died as roleplay games often do, but I still wanted to write about him, I decided that I would make write a novel about him. I also decided that I needed new novel-writing software (the program I had didn't run on my new computer) so I did an amazon search, but I forgot to specify software and the book No Plot, No Problem popped up. At that point I didn't really have a plot (I'm not one hundred per cent convinced I have one now, I suspect that is a problem) so I had a look, it looked entertaining, it looked useful I liked the idea of having a first draft to work with after only a month, the book got bought, it got read, I discovered NaNoWriMo.  By some quirk of fate it happened to be the middle of October at the time (2009, if you were curious), so it made perfect sense to sign up on the NaNoWriMo forums and spend a couple of weeks planning before starting on the actual writing part of the project.
Well by the end of November I had my 50,000 words, although the story was still lacking an ending and since then it's nearly doubled in length and most of the things I actually wrote in that month have been cut out, rewritten or are sitting on my ever expanding to do list, I have an ending, in fact I have two or three, I'm not entirely sure which is the ending yet but if I just keep working at it I'm sure I'll get there eventually.
The point of this post however (although I appear to have wandered considerably from it) was to share the one piece of stand alone writing about this character which predates my attempts to write him into a novel, it was written to give my gm some idea of what the character I was proposing to play was like and what his background was, it's nearly two years old and the character has grown somewhat more complicated since then and the writing could do with some pretty heavy editing really, but nevertheless this is the birth of the character which started it all, enjoy.


Severus doesn't need to see the woman's face to recognise her, the outline of her figure, the heady scent of her perfume, the tumbling mass of dark hair the same shade as his own, all are memories so well known they are part of him. Hearing the door open, she turns and he knows before they fix on him that her sea-green eyes will be a perfect match for his, in colour and in emotionless intensity.
Severus smiles, polite and steely "Ravia, to what do I owe the great, nay, inestimable, honour of your presence?”
“So cold Severus, you weren’t always so cold.” she purrs, stalking hypnotically towards him, her seductive tone undercut by hatred, her movements by fury.
“No.” he replies softly, his submission as real and as feigned as her seduction “Once, I burned.”
A predatory expression crosses Ravia’s face “You burned for me.”  she insists. She smiles eerily “You still do.” She reaches out a hand to caress his throat, but in the moment before she can touch skin Severus blurs into motion. When the motion stops he stands behind her, his right hand gripping her wrist, her left arm around her waist holding her tight against his body.
“Always.” he affirms huskily. He rips the poison rings from her fingers with greater violence than the simple act of disarming her requires and her cries are nine parts pain to one of pleasure.
“Careful now,” Ravia teases “You wouldn’t want to take my fingers off.”
Severus’s seeming desire turns abruptly to rage, he pushes Ravia violently away from him, sending her stumbling into the wall “Wouldn’t I now?” ire drips from every syllable. He fans out the fingers of his left hand, the velvet glove he wears hides the fact that the outer three fingers are augmetic, but she knows as well as he that they are, and she knows how he came to lose the originals “Some people.” he sneers “Might consider that justice.”
“Justice?” Ravia croons “When have you ever been interested in justice?” she leans back against the wall, alluring and defiant.
Severus doesn’t reply, his face is expressionless as he walks toward her, as he pins her against the wall, as he runs his free hand under her skirt and up to her thigh. He ignores the sudden shallowness in her breathing, pulling the knife from her garter and holding it to her throat.
Ravia’s eyes go wide, for the first time she appears afraid, suddenly aware that she is pleading for her life “Severus.” she breathes “We used to be so good together, you must remember.” She pauses, smiling at her own memories “I remember the way you looked the first time…” her voice trails off.
“I remember” Severus replies, the anger is still present in his voice, but softened now by the raw passion of his memories.
“You could have that again.” Ravia purrs persuasively “You could have me again.”
Severus’s voice is bitter “And how could I ever trust you?”
“You don’t need to trust me, tie me up, hold me down.” Ravia smiles wickedly “I’d like that.”
Severus swallows “No.” he says, but his voice trembles and the knife drops from his fingers, clattering to the floor.
Sensing victory, Ravia slides her arms around his waist, drawing him closer “No?” she queries “But I know you want to.” She lets her eyes drop meaningfully down his body “I can feel it.” She draws closer still, her lips a hairsbreadth from his “Kiss me.” She whispers.
The last of Severus’s resolve crumbles to dust, unthinking he obeys and for one, rash, everlasting moment there is nothing in the world for either of them but their passion. It burns like fire, as hot, as bright and as destructive.
Something like thought returns, Severus reaches out to open the door, and pushing Ravia away from him, he throws her out into the street “I said no.” he repeats.
Ravia curls elegantly to her feet, even in defeat her poise is exemplary “Very well, little brother.” she says, turning to leave “But we will meet again.”
“I will be watching for you.” Severus replies, watching her walk away before he closes the door.
Then, with no one to see him, he begins to shake, gathering his most necessary belongings he packs to leave, he knows this place is no longer safe for him.


  1. I do role play games too! That's where I get most of my idea's for stories, esp. the one I am working on now! Def. linking to this!

  2. People like my ramblings enough to link to them? Eeep, I'll have to start making sense, or learn to spell or even (horror of horrors) both!

    No seriously, thanks for the link, I had a wander over to your site and it looks kind of cool, I'll try to remember to do a round up of linky stuff soon and include a reciprocal link, if I seem to forget (like don't do it in the next month or so) feel free to poke me with a large pointy stick and say 'Oy, where's my link, bitch?' or something.