Thursday, 12 May 2011

May Blog Chain @ Absolute Write - character relationships

It's time for another Absolute Write Blog Chain, and this time our theme is as follows:

Show a character's approach to relationships in a short scene. A harmless exchange between mother and daughter? A submissive character overwhelmed by a dominant partner? A passionate lover's quarrel? A forlorn, unrequited letter?

Use your characters' interaction to show the dynamics of their relationship, show how they're growing together or growing apart, or just have silly fun. Character descriptions at the beginning are forbidden this time around--let them speak or act for themselves!

I've chosen an excerpt from CARNIVAL (after a loooooot of deliberation about which novel I should pick an excerpt from, since I considered about 3-4 different ones). This is the second book (sort of; more like a prequel I guess) in the SUNDOWN series. I'm not allowed to tell you about the characters, but have to let this writing speak for itself. It'll be interesting to see if it does or not:

Adelai helped the unsteady girl up and supported her on her feet. Then she started making the rounds saying farewell to the others. I waited eagerly for her to tell me goodbye too. This was my chance. I'd wait until she was gone, and then I'd slip out quietly and head back downtown. The CBD was within easy reach, only ten minutes walk away. And nobody here would notice my disappearance. They were all off their faces.

It was a good plan, until it dissolved before my eyes.

Adelai stopped in front of me. "You coming?"

"Um…where?" My mind was suddenly working overtime.

"If he wants to stay, that's cool!" the bartender called, and others added their agreement.

Oh hell no. I climbed resignedly to my feet.

"I told you there'd be a couch available," Adelai murmured, her gaze steady. "It's a bit crowded here. You're welcome at ours."

"I'm all right," I said. "I'll just head on home."

"How will you get there?"

My mind couldn't keep up. I just ended up staring at her stupidly.

She shook her head. "Well, there you go. You're coming with us. And remember, I'm the one who dragged you into this. I wouldn't want to leave you stranded." I went to protest, but she continued smoothly, "I remember you spent all your money, too." A small smile appeared on her face. "We're getting a cab, so why don't you come along? Our couch is really comfy."

I just stared down at her, increasingly frustrated with the situation, and with myself for being so slow-witted. I tried to buy some time to think by handing the bass guitar back to the bartender. But that didn't take long, and when I turned to face Adelai again, she was still watching me with an unreadable expression.

What the hell did she want from me anyway? She was being kind and generous, some might say to a stupid degree…but what did she get out of it? What would hanging out with a walking train wreck like me do for her?

"John!" she yelled out of the blue, startling me. She turned her head slightly in the direction of the hall.

I heard a voice call out faintly from elsewhere in the house.

Adelai called loudly, "We're going home right now! You coming?"

Another muffled response followed, and Adelai smiled faintly and shrugged. Then she gestured for me to follow her.

With consternation, I did just that.

Check out the other participants in this month's Blog Chain:

orion_mk3 - (link to this month's post)
Proach - (link to this month's post)
Yoghurtelf - (link to this month's post)
AuburnAssassin - (link to this month's post)
aimeelaine - (link to this month's post)
Della Odell - (link to this month's post)
jkellerford - (link to this month's post)
juniper - (link to this month's post)
Steam&Ink - (link to this month's post)
LadyMage - (link to this month's post)
pezie - (link to this month's post)
xcomplex - (link to this month's post)
Inkstrokes - (link to this month's post)
dolores haze - (link to this month's post)


  1. I'd guess there is some kind of love connection between John and Adelai, but moreso on John's part. He's like more; she'd like less. Intriguing line: "They were all off their faces." I love it but I'm not entirely sure what that means--drunk?

    Nicely done, Trish!

  2. This is a nice passage!!! I like how he tried wasting time so he could think!

  3. I actually think it's the other way around, that Adelai is 'into' the Narrator and that John is someone else.
    Isn't that the best thing about writing? That two seperate readers get two seperate interpretations?
    I loved the ubber subtle tension between the two, underlying the narrator's tension about sneaking off.

  4. Aww, she likes him! Open your eyes, John, not that it matters, since Adelai seems to be adeptly maneuvering him into her clutches.

    I must confess to some gender confusion at first because I think of Adelai as a man's name after the politician Adelai Stevenson (sp?).

  5. Claire, I've never heard of a man called Adelai - or a woman for that matter, until my character :P

    Thanks for the comment - I had a feeling some people would get confused between John and the narrator - there were other comments before the Blogapocalypse that showed that same confusion. John is not the narrator ;)

    Anyway, cheers for stopping by!

  6. Methinks Adelai has a crush and the narrator is a bit dense. Or maybe she doesn't and I'm delusional. :)

  7. Interesting! It could be a crush, or a femme fatale, or a combination of the two. Nice interplay between the nervous/self-conscious and the confident/sparkling.

  8. Oh, he's definitely over thinking the couch offer. Dude, go crash already! Or maybe I've crashed on too many couches in my life. It's possible.

    Entertaining excerpt!

  9. @Della - actually she has a friend crush on him :D But that's clearer (I think/hope) from reading the surrounding words not in this excerpt. hehe

    @nonexistentbooks - yeah, there is a definite contrast between overly confident Adelai and overly freaked-out narrator (Jared)...their original meeting scene was one of my favourites to write :)

    @Diane - he is, but he is not used to anyone talking to him at all, so is thoroughly out of his element. :D

  10. I'll try this again. Not a fan of Blogger, it keeps dropping comments.

    You did a great job showing the narrator's frustration. He (it is a he right? I got that impression) just wants to escape. He is totally oblivious to the subtle hints from Adelai.

  11. DR, Blogger has been kind of annoying lately - I lost a fair few comments in a recent Blogapocalypse ;) Not happy!! But at least your comment stuck this time :)

    You got him right - he is frustrated, but also pretty petrified of how quickly his life is changing. He's only just met Adelai this very night. lol

  12. Aw, I sense the narrator's confusion too. He just wants to be alone/leave and then get's in this situation of the couch invite. I suspect he might like Adelai too, but the invitation is not coming at the best time for him and he's not exactly sure of her feelings.

  13. @Erin - yep, he's freaked out big time. hehe. Truth is, these two are destined to be just ...friends... ;)

  14. "What the hell did she want from me anyway? ... What would hanging out with a walking train wreck like me do for her?"

    The eternal relationship questions. Are there any answers? Maybe in the next chapter ...

  15. Oh boy! I remember way to many nights like that, the drunkenness, the confusion, the falling into the couch with a girl I barely knew.... happy times, well, not always.... :D

    Thanks for bringing back the memories, in a good way! :D

  16. @Kat - yeah, the answer is 'it's fate'. hehe. Thanks for stopping by :)

    @ralfast - lol sounds like you had fun!!

    @FF - thank you :)


Thanks for your words, me hearties! and don't forget to leave a link to your blog somewhere I can find it!