This is my writing process. Do not try this at home kids. It sucks.
Oh, a cookie.
No, not here. Other room.
Decide it’s cold.
Oh, I haven’t looked at FB in forever.
Story about trees that sleep.
Cool idea. Bookmark for future story.
Look at stuff I’ve already written.
Decide ugh I am the worst.
Oh, cute dog.
Play with dog.
Aw, cute dog…
Find first word.
Despite that, I am closing in on the shitty first draft of this novel. It is shitty and that’s what it’s supposed to be, because shitty is done, it is complete, it is killing the editor and the panic in my head to put the words down. Plus, beneath the shitty, I can see the shine. It’s like when your dog eats glitter. Ew, but also, oooh, shiny!
Here’s some of the “ew shiny.” Possible spoilers for The Poison Eaters ahead. Kind of. Keep reading at your own risk.
The shadows that walked at night kept her up, creeping on the edge of her vision. Maeryl, with her fingers broken and bloody, sat on dunes beside her.
“I didn’t recognize you at first,” Maeryl said. “I couldn’t find you in the blackweave.”
Her voice was metal and Talia realized her mouth was too. Teeth and tongue and the black hole of her threat. Her face was covered in metal bandages that shone with red from the inside. The braids of her hair were black serpents tied off with their own pink tongues and the black of her eyes were spiders that fluttered their legs like lashes.
Her eyes bulged through the bandages, became vermillion buds that bloomed open to pink insides.
“You’re dead,” Talia said.
“You’re saying the obvious,” Maeryl said. “Say something different.”
She was petting Khee with gloved hands. Gloves that were hands. Carved from someone else’s body and sewn to her arms at the elbows. They billowed, fabric or synth or skin. Inside them, things small and black shifted and scuttled.
The thing that wasn’t Maeryl flicked a hand and ran it down Khee’s back. Except it wasn’t Khee, not really. It was Khee gone inside out, the red of his flesh a raw and ruddy skin. Sutures, puckered and pink, ran along the lines of his shoulders. The creature shifted, and something inside went the other way, broken and bulging. His eyes were unseeing, white and thick, run with mucus. His snout lifted—the entirety of it nothing more than two rows of long, skeletal fingers that came together like teeth. Sharped at the ends. He sniffed the air and blood spattered from the holes in his bones.
Or maybe it was
the creature said in something that had once been Khee’s voice but now was bitter acid in the bowl of her stomach. Talia put her hand over her mouth, trying not to retch.
“Why are you here?” she asked with a mouth that no longer worked.
“You know,” the thing that was Maeryl and not Maeryl said.
“Here’s your ocean,” the thing said. “Beware the salt.”
Finwa, Poison Eaters. May the moon meld you and may you shine.