Otherwise known as a Work In Progress… ain’t acronyms grand?
A “Still Life” the term I use for small, short pieces that I create as writing exercises. Most often I concentrate on one scene, or even just a single image, to work on description, imagery, dialogue construction, or a specific aspect of writing. I challenge(d) myself to keep everything distilled down to the critical components of a technique (at least as I see them). Occasionally one of those exercises expands itself into something more than a set piece, but less than a short story.
As The Jagged Earth began to take shape, I discovered that a traditional character “origin story” could grow from a Still Life. The challenge then became telling a self-contained story about a single character that could stand on its own, augment other work, and/or be expanded into more detail. Faithful visitors (thank you) have seen this once already in the short origin for a minor character in Orchids Ablaze named Constance Sorrow ( Top of the Charts ).
For this next installment, I decided to bring out more of a background excerpt for a major character in the book: Twilight Huntress AKA Rachel. To keep things interesting, I elected to integrate another aspect of The Jagged Earth into this particular Still Life for Rachel. The result is part origin, part background, and part character study. Will it ever see the inside of a novel? Too early to tell. Writing it helped me nail down another foundation aspect of her character. If you haven’t read the book, then you may not recognize all the names and locations, but those should be ancillary to the characterization anyway.
I hope you enjoy