And so, I have finished editing the ms for The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings as it stands – which is at 77,000 fairly respectable words. I now have three stories left to write in order to finish the collection: “The Bitterwood Bible”, “Terrible As An Army With Banners”, and “Spells for Coming Forth By Daylight”.
I started on “The Bitterwood Bible” yesterday, here is the very first drafty opening.
The Bitterwood Bible
By Angela Slatter
All stories have a beginning, but beginnings themselves have many sparks, some slow to catch, others forest-fire fast.
Does this tale begin three hundred years ago, give or take, with the small child stolen from her parents? Does it begin the moment she ceases to cry for them, begins to forget them, loses her determination to find them again – for the best, really, so she will never know what they become. Does it begin when she is first ordered to pick up a quill, and punished until she forms her letters correctly, beautifully? Does it begin when she starts to regard as hers the book in which she records everything for her master?
Or does it begin here, at the base of the cliff? At the breach through which only she can fit? Or in the tunnels that climb upward, honeycombing the substance of the promontory of Cwen’s Reach, upon which the Citadel sits?