Thankfully, the furniture was delivered (with one major hitch), and I managed to get on a ferry last night (though 4 hours later than I intended). It was nice to sleep in a real bed again :)
While waiting around, I managed to get an almost-5,000-word-writing-day in yesterday, though I'm still about 12,000 words short of where I *should* be according to the NaNo schedule.
Half-insane with exhaustion, I managed to complete the crow-goddess scene I posted (part of) a few days ago and get a little further while on the ferry home last night. This isn't all of it, but I'm starting to get a handle on the temperament of the gods/monsters in this story, and I think this crow goddess is going to be a larger part of the story than I originally intended.
Right now though, too much of my own voice is coming out in the writing... a natural product of being overtired. The whole thing feels too distant, which I know is something I struggle with as a writer, this tendency to add too *adult-a-voice* in the wording/descriptions/etc... which is something that distinctively separates YA from adult stories.
I find it to be very difficult work, to go in and rip apart scenes like this to create a better connection between reader and characters. I think that's probably the biggest change between a fresh first-draft, and the single editing-pass I always make before handing it off to my CP's/beta-readers.
With heavy footfalls, Komil ran through the snow and stopped at my side. He bent low, using his spear to prop himself up as he tried to catch his breath. “Those bastards,” he exhaled the words between gasps, “attacking you out of nowhere.”
Mica circled around and fell on the birds I had cut, his teeth tearing the wings from their bodies as he devoured them.
The birds in the tree grew louder, their sharp sounds of displeasure resonating through the trees.
“Little human,” the crow lady spoke, “you would try to make a god?”
I wasn’t sure how to answer the crow goddess’ question. Yes, wasn’t right, but neither was no. To say it was a mistake, or an accident seemed vulgar, or blasphemous.
Komil was no help at all. He just shrugged, but kept the bow ready and an arrow notched.
Mica had already eaten the crows I had cut down, and was now ripping apart the ones Komil had shot. His paws held the arrows still as he crunched through their rib cages, then pulled their bodies free of the wooden shaft with a swift shake of his jaws.
“I’m sorry.” It was the only thing I could think to say that I truly meant.
A few crows spread their wings and slid through the air to a lower branch. I was starting to see it, how small groups of movements within the flock could nearly mimic the body language of a single crow.
I nodded at Mica. “For killing part of you.”
Clusters of wings beat the air, but not a single black body rose to flight. Their sharp claws held tight to the knotted bark, their heads turning left and right. They watched me with a hundred single eyes, but the intensity of their gaze felt like a thousand.
“I will breed and nest this summer. I will grow larger and stronger. Take heed, little human, not all gods devour their own to gain strength.”
Her words were strange, but then what did I know of gods? “Only the young and the weak?”
She laughed, in that off-kilter chaos of croaks and cackles. “And the foolish.” A section of crows side-stepped together, their beaks clacking in unison. “Or if the opportunity happens to present itself.”
“Ah.” I thought about it. “Like it did with me, just a few minutes ago?”
“You are not a god, little human.”
“No, but I still might taste good.”
There was another jarring laugh. “It’s a pity you had allies.”