Last week, I talked about the narrator of my newest WIP, Rou Tao, but I haven’t talked a lot about the actual WIP itself.
It’s set in Xiamo, a seaside city in a fantasy country heavily inspired by China. The citizen’s way of life revolves around the seafood, and it is the city’s main source of income. However, there’s a element of danger to the job. Xiamo’s docks and harbor are enclosed by high stone walls and heavy gates, because outside the gates is the territory of sea dragons.
The sea dragons come out after dark and when the water is murky. They spit venom, and are known for dragging fishermen off their boats and into the ocean. A full grown male is about twelve feet long, from nose to tail, while females are around ten. Dragonlings hatch about the size of your average housecat, and it takes them seven years to reach full size.
Rou, in the first chapter of the story, is pulled from her family’s boat, but instead of being eaten, she’s saved by a very curious dragonling (later in the novel it turns out that the sea dragons don’t actually eat people. They have a near human intelligence and just attack when they feel threatened, and seeing lots of large nets that might ensnare them makes them feel threatened).
There’s also an invading army and whatnot, but dragons.
and now, for
My mother likes to say that when I was born, I came out with fins instead of feet and gills instead of lungs, and I only stopped screaming when I was in the ocean’s cool embrace. Lei likes to say that I came out red and squished and ugly, but I like Mother’s version better.
Lei smacks the top of my head. “You…you…we thought you were eaten!”
I wrap my hands protectively around my bowl of congee. “But I wasn’t!” I take a bite of the thick rice porridge. I’m glad I didn’t drown, because this is delicious and if I had died I would have missed out on it.
Zhao raises an eyebrow. “Says the girl who wears a coat three sizes too big for her.”
“More like four.” The dark green military style jacket almost reaches my knees, and I have to roll the sleeves up for times to free my hands. But it has giant pockets where I can store my notebooks. plus it looks cool when I run and it trails out behind me.
The dragon flips around in the harbor, sending little arcs of water drops shooting around with its tail. I lean out over the dock and try to get it to come closer so someone won’t shoot it. It doesn’t come. It notices a fish skulking along the bottom, gives a delighted trill, and dives for it, with much splashing and waving of fins.
I shouldn’t care if this dragon gets shot. It’s a monster. But it saved my life and I’ve grown fond of it, plus it’s only a baby. So I resort to lying flat on the dock and furiously whispering yelling at it until it comes back to me. It bumps my hand with a gray muzzle, as if apologizing. It’s so puppy-like that I almost forgive it.
Then it spits the still alive fish right at my face and I promptly unforgive it.
The soaking wet Avanka soldier glares at me through dripping wet blonde hair. Zhao nudges her with the toe of his boot. She whips around to rattle of a chain of words in Avankan that sound very much like expletives. Zhao turns her to me. “Should we feed her to the dragon?”
Fish, clearly delighted to be mentioned, pops up from underneath the water, half a squid dangling from her mouth. She doesn’t look particularly scary, but the Avankan gasps and says “No, please!” and starts crying.
I almost feel bad, but then I remember she was trying to invade my country.
I sit against the wall, a box of egg tarts in my lap. Inna, who’s still tied to the wall, looks them hungrily.
“I’ll give one to you if you don’t bite my fingers off while I do it,” I say, extremely generously in my opinion.
I grab Zhao by the front of his shirt and drag him off the dock and into the water. He comes with much thrashing and sputtering, so I have to kick him to keep him quiet so he won’t alert the soldiers.
How are your writing projects going, blogglings? Are you already starting to plan for NaNoWriMo?