Guys, this book is being weird. This is the third novel I’ve written, right? Which, I know, doesn’t make me anywhere near an expert on how these things generally go but I’m not exactly a complete novice. But I’ve never written anything like this story before, where every four or five thousand words I get ahead means I need to double back and hit “reset” on most of the last ten. I’m writing the book in circles, and every couple of big scenes in the “now” part of the book has resulted in me going back and either rewriting or adding stuff earlier in the book. It’s growing from the *middle*. My books don’t usually do that.
I’m not complaining, mind you; I’m just kind of fascinated at how the process is working on this one, and how damn stubborn the book is being in refusing to come out the way I initially intended it to.
For example, after the jump you’ll find the first little bit of the book, at least as it stands now. Why “as it stands now”? Because this is the third beginning of the book. The other two beginnings have been shoved to other parts of the book. 🙂
Standard first-draft caveats and all that, but here’s your first little look at Benevolence Archives 8, also known as THE TITLELESS.
He opened his eyes to find himself bathed in white light.
No, not just the light– the whole room was white, white walls curving into white walls and a white ceiling, a perfect, clean oval with no corners for darkness and shadows to collect in. The light came from everywhere, sourceless.
He looked down at himself. His body was not his own; the one he wore much younger. A child’s body, genderless, dressed in a simple, soft white robe. He felt like he could wrap the robe around himself and sleep forever, content. There were no scars, no calluses on his hands, the nails neat, even and pink.
He opened his mouth to speak, then closed it again. Better to let them talk first.
A symbol flashed once, burning into the back of his eyes. An oval eye, with four arms protruding from each side.
YOUR OFFER IS ACCEPTED, the voices said. There were dozens, speaking in unison; masculine, feminine, old, young. SHOULD YOU SUCCEED, YOU WILL BE RETURNED TO US.
“To Azamoeg,” he said, weakly. His voice was quiet, high-pitched.
THAT DOES NOT MATTER, NOW. WE AGREE TO YOUR RETURN, SHOULD YOU SUCCEED. THAT IS ALL.
“And if I fail?”
DO NOT FAIL, the voices said. WE ARE WATCHING.
The symbol flashed in his eyes again, and the white faded away. He came back to himself, to his own body, to the small, dirty room he occupied.
He stood up, stretching. His hand still sat atop the statue. He removed it, working the feeling back into his fingers, running his thumb along the ring he wore.
A large shape appeared in his doorway. A very large shape.
“We in business?”
“We are,” he said, feeling sudden relief to hear himself speak in his own voice. “Bring him. We have much to do.”
(Buy The Benevolence Archives, Vol. 1 here.)