Editing: Cut it out

Sometimes, when I’m editing, I feel like I’m doing it wrong, because I’ve not cut anything. I know you don’t always have to, but when I keep adding and adding, and the word count just keeps going up and up, I start to feel like I’m just throwing words at the problem and hoping they stick.

Today, Rain’s story went through some MAJOR re-writes. The story is barely the same as it was, and that meant some major cutting. While the new stuff tallies in a little over 2k, I scrapped nearly half as much as well. Below are today’s rejects, to join that random scene with Rain’s mom from forever ago.

My step-dad gave this to me last night, he says it’s for “bigger problems” I might run into down here, so I assume he means fey?” She left it hanging, almost expecting to be informed that giant pterodactyls were likely to swoop down on her here or something. Which was ridiculous – they hadn’t done so before she knew about magic, why would they now. But she handed the tube over to Meliki anyways, who took it from her with obvious distaste. She held it between the tips of two fingers, clearly not wanting to touch it more than she had to.

It’s been spelled, child. Doubtless its main purpose is for tracking you, though I don’t doubt there’s something truly noxious waiting to be sprayed inside as well. I would hold on to it- he’s just going to put ward after ward on you anyways, and you may need its protection at some point, certainly.”

She handed it back, and Rain clipped it on her belt again. What Meliki said made sense, even if she didn’t like knowing she was lojacked. But it didn’t really surprise her.

He’s already found you here once, so there’s no need to avoid wearing your tracker here. You might consider leaving your keys in the shop if you spend any time downstairs, however – it will block his magics, and that might worry him a bit.”

Rain scoffed at that, but didn’t interrupt.

I wouldn’t take it anywhere you don’t want him knowing you frequent, however. I think it’s stronger than anyone you might take with you to mask it, so it’s probably best if you “forget your keys” if you’re planning on being anywhere you’d prefer to keep secret.”

So don’t take it to Rook’s,” Zig said from the grass, without opening his eyes.

Meliki shot him a glare. “I wasn’t thinking of there alone boy.”

Zig shrugged. “I’m just spelling it out for her, the kid’s not too quick on the draw.”

Hey!”

Zig laughed at her protest. “I’m just teasin’ ya kiddo.”

Anyways-” Meliki said, a little louder than necessary, “it should be pretty harmless aside from that. Is there anything else you’d like me to look at, child?’

Here, Rain waffled, feeling a little silly. It made sense that she’d be tired, with so much going on, and her sleep schedule being all jacked up would explain why she was so dead this morning. And if Zig or Meliki had seen anything weird about her, they would have said something, right? Still… She couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong with her.

I, uh… could you look over me?”

 

It would have taken a minute to wear off, since we kept you steadily dosed up, so you probably wouldn’t have been able to even do anything until the next day anyways. And then you were with Rook…” He trailed off, not wanting to make accusations when he knew nothing of what had happened.

Meliki had no such issues. “Did they give you anything, child?”

Rain nodded. “A glass of water.”

Hmmmm…..”

Rain hesitated, before adding, “I don’t think it was Jon. He was very adamant about letting me go, letting me come to them on my own terms, and how I wasn’t in any danger with them….” She trailed off, feeling less certain of herself. “I dunno. I just don’t think it was them.”

Zig nodded, but it was more an unconscious gesture while he thought. “They really would have had no reason to let you leave, or even bring you back in the first place, really. Rook’s involvement doesn’t make sense – yet.”

Meliki nodded in agreement. “That little bird definitely has a plan, but he always has a plan or scheme of some sort, so I wouldn’t think too much of it. He always tries so hard to seem like he’s not up to something – makes him rather suspect.” She smiled at this, certain she wasn’t the only one that saw through him. But so many people in the communities had their own agenda – as long as it didn’t interfere with hers, she didn’t care. Taking this child of her hands would be a blessing, so long as he didn’t plan to use her death magic to wipe out the neighborhood. She couldn’t see such a social creature having such intentions – who would be left to be impressed with him?

Rain waiting patiently while Zig and Meliki entertained their own thoughts, but finally she just had to ask “So what am I supposed to do?”

Zig was the first to answer. “Well, it doesn’t matter much who put the brakes on, it has the same affects either way. Until it wears off, you won’t be able to use your magic, so I’d take this time to start training yourself mentally while the power is off, so to speak.”

Meliki nodded in agreement and stood. “That is the best course of action. You and Tripp, spend some time with her this afternoon, find out where her natural talents lie. I’ll work at this problem from my own end.” Then she went back to weeding flowers, clearly having dismissed the two.

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