Oops I Did It Again…

So another Thursday and another morning of waking up in a blind panic that I forgot my WIPpet for this week. Lucking, our wonderful host obviously anticipates these problems and leaves submissions open into Thursday so I can still get it in. In my defense, yesterday was filled with excitement for me since I got MY NEW CAR!!! Yay! Well, new to me anyway. It replaces my 13 year old heap of junk with 220k miles on it, so I’m a happy girl.

Thank you to those of you who offered to review my novels last week. I will be taking you up on it. Please send me your email address to sirenarobinson@rocketmail.com or leave it in the comments so I can get you your e-arc. Also let me know if you want to do one book or both. If anyone else wants to but didn’t let me know last week, just hop on board this week. I’m not looking for only good reviews, but HONEST ones, and you’ll get free e-copies of the books in exchange for the review. As a reminder, the snippets you’re reading are from Book Seven in the series and the ones coming out at One and Two, so it’s the same type of content. If you like this, you’ll like the books.

Now, onto my WIPpet. This is from Book Seven, as the rest have been, but I would really like some feedback on this section. My novels have always had some religious undertones with the use of Angels and Devils, but I’ve actively avoided using God in the book up til now. In this scene, the addition of a God-figure as a “character” felt right and like it pushes the story forward, but I’m nervous about it, so let me know if this reads like a real reaction and if the scene plays out right. It’s not supposed to be a “religious” novel. Far from it, so I don’t want to go too far down this rabbit hole. Anyway, let me know.

Amaya looked over her shoulder at the gathering of monks, then back up at the mountain. Muttering under her breath, she dropped to her knees and faced the pile of rocks.  

“So, I’m supposed to talk to you and get you to send some sort of a sign so these old men over there will take me to the Garden of Eden.” She looked from side to side, uncomfortable with the whole situation. “I don’t really believe in praying. I think you’re pretty much a jerk. I’ve read the Bible, ya know? Well, parts of it anyway.” She cleared her throat and rubbed her hands over her thighs. “I read all these stories about how awesome you are and how much you love people and cared for them and now you’ve just left us all down here to die.” 

Amaya tipped her head back and stared back at the velvety sky, taking in the twinkling stars. A breeze stirred the air and blew through her hair, gently moving it away from her face. Behind her, the monks stirred excitedly, apparently convinced that their miracle was imminent. Less certain, Amaya continued to speak, her voice soft. 

“We’re really trying. Any idiot could see that. We’re dying for this. I almost died for this. Every time, we charge out into battle without a thought for ourselves, trying to save this damn world because it’s the right thing to do.” She scowled up at the sky. “I don’t know how much more you want from us. You ask us to fight so we fight. You ask us to die, so we die. You require women to carry Nephilim and they do. I know Lucifer keeps cheating, and I know there are some morons who follow him like lemmings, but there are plenty of us who move to block everything he does. This world is more good than bad, and it’s not right of you to just sit up there and watch us all die for you and ignore the pain and suffering we’re in just because you’re pissed off. That’s just not right. So pull your head out of your ass and give these silly old men some kind of miracle that will convince them this is what you want so that I can go get the Rod and the Spear and kill Lucifer once and for all. You’re supposed to be a loving God, a merciful God, a caring God. One who cries and feels pain when we do. Prove it. Help me out here, dude. Give me something.” 

Frustrated, Amaya waited thirty seconds with no response. Climbing to her feet, she cast a look back to Deacon, about to call for Michael or Griffin when the sky split open and a streak of red lightning surged into the ground. 

Dirt and sand flew up, erupting into flame and forming a column of fire. The monks jumped and held onto each other, watching with excitement and fear. The fire swooped down, spreading out until it came within a hairsbreadth of Amaya’s feet.  

Slowly, it rose off the ground, forming the outline of a human. One of the arms reached out until the hand was pressing against Amaya’s forehead. Though she could see the fire burning, there was no pain when it touched her. After a moment of silence, a voice filled the air, seeming to come from nowhere and everywhere, all at once.  

“Fear not, child, for I am with you. The Hand of the Lord is upon you and your mission is Blessed. Blessed are those that help you, and cursed are those who oppose you. Heavy has been your load, Amaya, and heavier will it be still. Doubt not that your pain is felt, and that it is grieved. You have felt pain, and you will feel more yet. Fear has come, and will be faced again. Cast it aside for I am beside you.” The figure brought the other hands up and pressed one to either side of her head. “You will walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death and emerge victorious. You shall eat of Heaven’s manna and drink from the Cup of Christ and be purified by the blood. You will be cleansed through fire and washed in baptism, and you will crucify Lucifer. I am your Heavenly Father. Go forth and do as I command. Feel my presence with you and know that you are loved and you are blessed.” 

In less time than it took Amaya to blink, the fire was gone and the night was silent. She looked over her shoulder and saw the monks on their knees with their heads pressed to the ground and their arms stretched out in front of them, whispered prayers barely audible. She turned to Deacon and Harry, her eyes wide. 

Deacon rushed to her, taking her elbow with one hand. “That was one hell of a trick. How did you do that?” 

Amaya looked up at him as Harry came up on her other side. The Warrior clapped her on the shoulder, grinning widely. “Damn, girl. That was better than an Angel. They’ll be talking about that for a thousand years!” 

She shook her head, trying to reconcile what she was hearing with what she had experienced. “Deacon.” Her voice was shaky. 

Deacon looked down at her, concerned at her tone. “What is it? Did you drain yourself?” 

“I didn’t do that. I thought it was you.” 

Both men stopped walking. Deacon turned slowly until he was fully facing her. “I didn’t do anything. Are you telling me that you didn’t do what we all saw?” 

Amaya shook her head, her ears ringing. “I didn’t do that.” She felt tears prickle her eyelids. “Deacon, my God! That was God!” 

Harry expelled a low whistle. “Holy shit. He does exist.” 

Deacon gaped at her, his heart pounding in her chest. “What does it mean?” 

Tears were running freely down her cheeks as a wave of emotion swept through her. “It means we’re going to be okay. He hasn’t give up on us. He believes we can win.” Laughing and crying at the same time, Amaya spun in a circle, her arms spread out to her sides. “It means we saw a miracle.” 

My WIPpet math is simple. You’re getting 9+11=20 paragraphs. I’m sorry it’s so long, but this is the scene I want some feedback on this week.

For those of you new, a WIPpet is a once weekly snippet of a work in progress where the only rule is that the amount you post is somehow date related. When you’re done here, go here to read all the other wonderful WIPpets. Don’t forget to comment on them. The more you give, the more you get!

Advertisements

13 Comments

  1. Okay, so… mine may not be the most helpful perspective, because I don’t read this genre outside of what you post on WIPpet Wednesday, but hopefully it’ll be useful on some level.

    Based on what I’ve read so far, I feel that your story is using the Bible more as a source of mythology to pull from than as a source of doctrine. That being the case, you can do whatever you want with it and it doesn’t really matter. If you want a straight-up theological analysis or even just my thoughts based on my relationship with the Lord: No, I don’t think that’s the way God would react.

    I am curious about the timeline now, though. I was thinking it was contemporary, but with the reference to Eden and women bearing Nephilim children, I’m wondering if maybe it’s pre-flood?

    Like

    • I am not using the Bible as a source of doctrine, but more in little bits and pieces wherever it makes sense given that I’m playing with Angels and Demons, so yeah, mythology. That’s a good way to put it.

      As for timeline, wrong on both counts, Regi! This is set in around 2060. Book 1 is contemporary, spanning 2000 to 2030, and 2,3,and 4 cover 2031 and 2032. There is a jump between 4 and 5, with 5,6, and 7 covering 2060 and 2061. This is, however, post-apocalyptic, so you don’t get a lot of the contemporary bells and whistles in this book that are mentioned in the first few.

      I don’t think I was really looking for a theological analysis, but more a gut reaction, “does this feel right in the context” kinda thing. But maybe you guys haven’t read enough of the set-up to be able to give me that. Sigh. Either way, I hope you enjoyed the excerpt.

      Like

      • Unfortunately, WIPpets are not the sharing method that is most conducive to world-immersion. I try to keep everyone’s basic plots and main characters straight, but sometimes I miss details or get muddled. From what I’ve read so far of your WIP’s, the scene seems like it works. I’m sure someone more familiar with your style and your genre will have a better idea, though. 🙂

        Like

  2. kathils

    I love her matter-of-fact conversation with God. I will admit, though, this line “Holy shit. He does exist.” threw me right out of the piece and into the Christmas M&M commercial where they see Santa and faint. It’s a funny commercial but probably not the reaction you want right there. 😉

    Like

    • Now that you mention it….. I hadn’t thought about that commercial, but I remember it now that you say something about it. Hmm. No, not the reaction I was going for. May have to tweak with that.

      I wanted it to be matter-of-fact and true to life. Sometimes people get mad at God, and in her situation, I think she has a right to be and I wanted it to come across as stuff she would ACTUALLY say. Thanks for the feedback!

      Like

  3. Congrats on the new car! Yay!! That’s very exciting! I’m determined to get 300K from my car before I get a new one. 🙂

    The speech that God gives does sound like it’s from the Bible, so I can see why you may feel that it’s treading too close a line to religion. I wonder if you might have God appear in another way to Amaya, maybe quietly instead of with thunder and lightning? Just a thought. There’s nothing wrong with what you have here, though, so don’t think that there is. It just seems a little, I don’t know, predictable, I guess? It’s hard to say because I don’t really know what’s happened previously, so take this with a grain of salt.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Xina, my car has almost 280K now…and I’ll drive it until it won’t let me anymore! =D

      Like

    • The thunder and lightning wasn’t for her, but for the monks guarding the entrance to the Garden of Eden. They had to *see* a sign that she’s meant to enter into it, so this is less about her and more about them. I knew I was getting into Biblical speak, but I struggled with ‘would God speak like we do, or would it feel more formal and Biblical?’.

      I get what you mean though, and in another situation, I would absolutely agree.

      Like

  4. Personally, I liked this piece. I felt God came across well, in a way the monks would understand, and that his long-windedness fit. I think those monks might have been less willing to accept something very different from what was held in the Bible, given their location and their ability to grant or deny Amaya access to the Garden.

    I’m thinking that a God who wants to help her out would consider appeasing and wowing those guys a pretty high priority…I like that he’s gentle with Amaya, too.

    And I loved the “He does exist!” line. I might even say it, if I were in that situation!

    I can see where the passage might be a little predictable, but I think you could put a little spin on it in revision.

    I did catch two possible typos:

    **Deacon gaped at her, his heart pounding in her chest.**

    If this isn’t a typo, it’s a pretty cool trick! =)

    *8 He hasn’t give up on us.**

    You seem to be missing an ‘n’…did God purloin it?! =D

    I hope this helps. I’m not religious by nature, nor easily offended, so those might be good things to know.

    Like

    • Both are typos. Thanks for the catch! Though it would be a nifty trick if Deacon could make his heart beat in her chest.

      Thanks for the feedback. You got what I was going for!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I was thinking that it would be a nifty trick, too – and handy if you needed it!

        Hmmn, now I’m thinking of a species with that potential…see what you started with your typo? =)

        Like

  5. Amaya’s confrontation with God is a crucial scene to setting her leadership for the rest of the story. I love the build-up to her rant at God — How often could/would anyone say, “Get your head out . . . ” 🙂 But God’s response echoed a little too much (175 words) with phrases that are so well known from the Bible. I hope this is not too much presumption, but if this speech is cut in half, is the speech more intense? fresh? Here’s a quick try (using your words) that brings God’s speech in that one para to 91 words:

    “Heavy has been your load, Amaya, and heavier will it be still. You have felt pain, and you will feel more yet. Cast fear aside for I am beside you.” The figure pressed one hand to either side of her head. “You will walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death and emerge victorious. You will be cleansed through fire and washed in baptism, and you will crucify Lucifer. Feel my presence with you. Know that you are loved and you are blessed. Go forth and do as I command.”

    And after the miracle, I love how this trio realizes the miracle (and your readers will too!). Congrats on the car. We had 180K on ours and just gave it to our daughter!

    Like

    • That’s a nice little way to condense it. I like that.

      I did purposely pick a few phrases from the Bible that would be easily recognizable, even for those that aren’t overly religious, such as the one from Psalm 21. And I have long held that you’re allowed to be mad at God, that’s he’s a big boy and he can take our anger. Amaya has reason to be mad, and I think it’s silly to expect her not to express it. I’m glad that you liked that!

      I really liked the scene afterward where they all slowly realize what’s happened was *really* God and not just a trick one of them did. It was fun to write and I was really hoping the response to it would be positive because I love the scene, I just didn’t want to cross into writing religious fiction, but so far it seems like everyone is seeing this for what it’s meant to be, which is just a feature of the plot to move things forward.

      Thanks for the suggestions!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: