I was hoping to have series of fantastic announcements for you all today, but I'm 2 for 3 right now and I really want to make this a trifecta (or a hat-trick for those of you who are more athletically inclined). So, in lieu of awesomeness, I am giving you part two of The Magic Ring.
As you may recall, when last we saw princess Sandra, she has a super mean brother (current king), a missing dad (former king), and a desire to hit you over the head with her emotions (Oh, when will I learn to show and not tell!). I still make the same mistakes now. I love to really spell out exactly what a character is doing. Not how she feels about anything, mind you, but exactly where her feet are and what her hands are doing at any particular time.
Because of how I cut the sections, you miss out on the full gloriousness of the word "snuck" appearing 4 times in 5 sentences. Apparently, I had not yet learned that most word processors come equipped with a built-in thesaurus. If you haven't already checked out the first part, I highly recommend that you do: The Magic Ring, Part One.
If you've already read Part One, and want to jump in, let me give you something to get you into the right frame of mind:
Sneak, snuck, snuck, snuck.
Okay, you're ready. Enjoy!
Later that night she put the robe on over some tattered, old rags she had found in her maid's closet and snuck into the kitchen. Without turning on any lights she got a loaf of bread, some ham, and a bottle of water [Bottled water?! What year is this?]. She hid them in her bag. She went back up to her room and tied the rope onto a foot of her bed. Then she draped it out of the window. She put one leg out of the window and suddenly jerked it back in. [You do the hokey-pokey and you turn yourself around.]
"Almost forgot," she whispered as she walked over to her dresser and picked up a ring. It was the only thing she had of her father's. He had given it to her before he left to fight. All he told her about it was that it was very, very special [Hey! Did you guys get that it's special! Cause it is!] and that she should never let it out of her sight. The ring was gold with three little engravings. One was of the sun, one was of the moon, and the third was a picture of the wind [Huh?]. Her father told her always to wear it with the engravings on the inside of her hand.
"That way," he had said, "You can hold the sun and the moon and the wind in your hand."
She smiled at the memory of her father and put the ring on just like he said. Then she climbed out of the window [Yes! Both feet went out the window this time!]. As she reached the ground she let go of the rope and jumped off. It turned out she was a lot higher than she thought [Damn those bangs! Always ruining her depth perception.].
"Ouch," she groaned as she landed with a thud on her ankle. She turned and saw a guard coming her direction. She quickly got up and limbed [sic] into a niche in the castle wall.
"Who....who's there?!" the guard called out. He looked around, and started to move towards Sandra. She gasped and crouched down, engulfed by the darkness. The guard walked right up in front of her, so close she thought he might be able to feel her breath on his leg. He looked right over her and then walked away.
"Black on black! No one can see me because it's so dark and I blend in!" she thought, glad that she had grabbed a black robe. As long as she was wearing her robe she was invisible. As soon as the guard was out of sight she headed over to a humoungous tree growing near the castle wall. She climbed it quickly up [Double huh?].
Whew! What a close call. Quite the nail biter, right?
I tried to stay out of the story and not interject my current thoughts, so that you could truly experience The Magic Ring as it was meant to be experienced, but couldn't resist. I have to give myself kudos though, because there were about a million other things I wanted to point out. Like how Sandra gets so "fed up" with her brother treating everyone badly but doesn't bat an eye at stealing from her maid. I think I'll refer to her as a multi-dimensional character. And I'm going to assume that the maid had really nice clothes, and these tattered rags were in the back of the closet.
I was going to type more, but I actually laughed so hard that I have a cramp, and I think I'm going to have to go and lay down. First, I will walk into the bedroom. Then, I will pull the covers back. I will sit down on the bed and then I will lay down. Then I will pull the covers up.
I'm reminded of an exercise we did in science class (the same year that I wrote this story...) where we had to write out the steps of making a peanut butter sandwich and then one of our classmates took our instructions and followed them exactly. So, if you didn't explicitly state that you should open the jar of peanut butter before inserting the knife, the student would poke the jar with the knife and then have to stop. My instructions were fantastic, but obviously that lesson bled into other aspects of my life, because I am very explicit here with everyone one of Sandra's moves. Spoiler alert: She's a robot who needs me to tell her every exact action to take (not really).
I hate to admit that I still revert to this same style when I write today, but I like to think of it more as an outline. A way to get the action down before I go back and add the rich descriptions and characters. I think this is also where being in a writing group with more experience writers is so helpful. Hearing how they approach scenes can help me think of unique and interesting ways to tackle mine.