ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

Monday, 24 June 2013

Wedding scene from Fijian Princess -- fiction extract for RomanticFridayWriters.

The hero of Fijian Princess, Bosco Brookes, is on an idyllic Fijian island for his sister  Callis' wedding. Bosco has fallen hard for the island princess, Adi, whose past lover, Ethan, has returned to the island to reconcile with Adi.

Here is a heavily-edited extract from Chapter Twelve when the wedding takes place the morning after a cyclone has hit the island.

Here Comes the Bride

Bosco!” Callis. What now? He checked his watch. Son of a bitch. The wedding! God! What a loser of a brother he’d turned out to be.


“Coming!”

He threw a soggy towel around his waist and wrenched the door open. Callis stood there, her dress white, her face red.

“What the hell are you doing, Bosco? Everyone’s waiting for us. And…look at this room!”  She pushed past him. “Looks like the cyclone went right through it! Why didn’t you shut the windows, you idiot?”

She snatched up his soggy board shorts and wet towel…then spied Adi’s ripped thong.

“Sorry sis. I…er…”

 “I know.” She scowled, kicked the wet clothes under the bed with her satin high heels. “You slept with Frieda. I’m sure she’s a tiger, but hey, today’s about me and Manuel.”

Adi must have left before first light. Why didn’t she wake me? He shrugged. Maybe she’d tried.

Callis grabbed him by the shoulders and turned him around to face her. “Speak to me, bro’.”

 “Adi spent the night.”

“No shit.” Callis grinned. “But she was with Ethan this morning. I thought they’d reconciled.”

“She and Ethan have been over for years. They run this wedding business together. They’re not together anymore.”

Well, he got back last night, so I put two and two together. He was a hero during the storm—but we couldn’t find you…or Adi.” She hugged him. “I was so scared, bro’, and Ethan was furious when he couldn’t find her.”

“Sorry, sis. Adi and I were…distracted. But you were never any good at math. It was me and Adi all the way last night. Not Frieda.”

“Well, that’s a bit of a worry then.  Tell that to Ethan.”

 “You think he’ll call me out?”

“Well, there might be some repercussions when an Aussie bloke comes and steals a Fijian princess from his betrothed. But, hey, don’t worry about that now, bro’." She pushed him towards the bathroom. "Hit the shower. We gotta get this show on the road. That wind last night! How come you didn’t hear it?”

Bosco recalled the magic of Adi in his arms as they lay in the soft sand protected by the rocks, oblivious to the wind and wild waves until it was nearly too late. “I…must have slept through it.”

“Never mind. Move it.” She nudged him. “Shower.”

Bosco had a feeling today wasn’t going to be all wine and roses.

                                                                            ☁

Callis rapped on the door and dumped his trousers on the chair. “Throw these on quick smart. No arguments.”

 “Bloody hell Callis. Do I really have to wear this poncy stuff?”

“Shut up and hurry up.”

He gave his teeth a quick brush. No time to shave. Sky blue trousers. How did I ever allow this? “Are you sure you don’t want to back out, sis?” he called. “There’s still time.”

Callis handed him a white floaty shirt with ruffles. She leaned against the door and watched him struggle with the silly little studs.

“Look bro’, Manuel and I have worked hard at our relationship. We come together today with matching wounds. His are worse than mine, I’ll admit, as I draw the line at a guy wearing make up, but we’re a match made in heaven. I love him. He loves me. It’s simple when you work it out to the common denominator…see, I am good at math.” 

She grabbed his arm and snapped shut the last row of studs.

“It’s that simple, is it?” Bosco had never, ever, thought it might be simple. If he could get Adi to love him, it would be simple.

“Put on this bandana.” Bosco grimaced. Could this day get any worse? Well, Callis could have made him wear a skirt.

 Arm in arm they headed to the wedding.


As they walked up the flower-strewn path, the Fijian choir’s haunting song made the hairs on Bosco’s arms prickle. It was the most important walk of his life—delivering the beautiful woman he’d been a father to for so many years—to her groom. The responsibility weighed heavily on him as he remembered how close he’d come to losing her to the ocean yesterday.

Bosco felt like a peacock in his weird clothes, but he pasted a happy smile on his face.  Mum, you would have been so proud of your little girl today!

He hugged his sister, finally ready to relinquish her to Manuel. As he placed Callis’ scratched hand in Manuel’s torn one, he thought, yes, they are a match made in heaven.

Adi was nowhere to be seen. Ethan stood at the edge of the wedding party, arms folded, scowling, eyes raking the crowd. His eyes lit on Bosco. Bosco saw the loathing.

Ethan knew he’d slept with Adi.

And Ethan hated him for it.

Callis’ pink diamond ring caught the sun. She’d told him that pink diamonds symbolized an everlasting and rare relationship. Well, hers and Manuel’s relationship was definitely rare; he hoped it was everlasting.

“Yesterday, today, forever.” Callis and Manuel kissed. The crowd hooted and clapped.
Bosco needed Adi. Where is she?

He gritted his teeth through the traditional Meke. He sat cross legged beside the happy couple, watching the Fijian singing and dancing without interest. He had to get out of here and find Adi.

Ethan disappeared into the jungle.

Bosco stood up, leaned back against a palm tree. I can’t bail on the bride and groom for my own selfish reasons. Callis and Manuel were sitting in their special chairs, a little table with a tapa cloth and a vase of hibiscus flowers between them. They were feeding each other fingerfuls of food. They wouldn’t miss me.


“Bruvver dear…what’s on ya mind?”  Callis hugged and tickled him.

Bosco held her at arm’s length. “Callis. Behave yourself. I thought you were drinking punch.”

“Yep. Punch with a punch.” She gjggled. “But I had to come and tell you, sweetie, that you’ve been the best father and brother a girl could ever have.” She hiccupped. “I love you s’much. I want you to find happiness too.”

Bosco scanned the crowd.

“You go find her bro’. I think she’s run away.”

 


WORD COUNT: 1035
FULL CRITIQUE SOUGHT

  • I hope you enjoyed the extract from my novel which I am currently editing and sending to critique partners before submission. I'd be happy to receive feedback and suggestions for improvement.



19 comments:

  1. Ah, how exciting - a wedding in the aftermath of a cyclone. And so many love triangles: Ethan, Adi and Bosco, Bosco, Adi and Freida. Cool. I like how you add in the cultural wedding trappings and leave it to the reader to know by context that they are. Great world building there. There is so much excitement hinted at here. Well done in keeping with the theme of the wedding day.

    Its a little hard to crit knowing this was cut and manipulated from the working novel; but I did have a couple comments on the opening.

    "Bosco!" is great as a transition from whatever last scene/chapter you were working on. But I'd suggest leaving off "Callis" as right next to it. Perhaps delete the name and add a hard return with the rest of his internalization in italics. Lets the reader wonder for just a minute who that is - especially since at this point in the novel it could logically be Ethan or Freida, and then it turns out to be Callis. Adds just a hint of mysterious tension to the transition.

    The other confusion is when Callis tells Bosco to shower, as it seems he has just come out of the shower since he's sopping went and throws a towel around himself. And you used sopping about three times to close together.

    This was really a lot of fun to read Denise. I can see your exotic travel experience will be well displayed in this novel, but not be overdone in the story.

    I hope you had a fun weekend away for your first week off teaching :)

    .......dhole

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    1. Thanks Donna. He's sopping at the beginning as he's just got in from the rain. Callis has pushed him towards the shower but he hasn't actually had it yet. But in my rewrite I can see some confusion. Always difficult cutting for specific prompts.

      Thanks for the useful feedback. Now I see a typo 'gjggled' ...Missed the reps of 'sopping'.

      Denise

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  2. I'm no good with romance, so I'll hold back any crits. Brave of you to put up your work and look for feedback, Denise!

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  3. Hi Denise .. I scanned through .. with lots of thoughts rushing through my head - sounds interesting .. conjured up lots of visuals ...

    Also just saying I've got the posts here .. cheers Hilary

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  4. Love it Denise! And you are brave for sharing because I know you've been nervous about showing your manuscript - you shouldn't be nervous though, because this is excellent, very professional!

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    1. Ah well figured I'd better get used to it.

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  5. Nice Denise!! I love Bosco as a character. I'm with Charmaine too.

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  6. I'm glad the wedding went ahead. It may just be me as a UK citizen but I struggled with the characters names at first and didn't know what gender they were immediately. I'd like to see more of the story (when you are published)because that would tie up the loose ends.

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    1. Yes Sally I understand as there's a lot of names to get your head around at first. That's why i gave a little context at the beginning. And i like that you said 'when you are published...'

      Denise

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  7. Good luck with your story. I like where its going, but agree with Sally's comments on the names. But overall good stuff!

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  8. Enjoyable wedding, and the details of wounded characters, Callis and Manuel, leave the reader wondering about their story. A love triangle is always intriguing. Looking forward to reading more!

    Well done!

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    1. I hope you do get to read more Yolanda.

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  9. Hi, Denise,

    I had the same concerns as Donna. BUT reading the pages before would have cleared the confusion about the towel.

    Nice tension though. I also like Callis. Even in this short excerpt you get such a good feel of her personality!

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    1. Thanks Michael. It's always difficult to make an extract clear which is why I rarely post one.

      Callis needs her own book.

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  10. I loved the excerpt. You showed a tortured hero, a love triangle and I would definitely like to read more. So this hooked me in as a reader, which is a good thing for a story.

    Wishing you all the best Denise.

    Nas

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    1. So am I! Very beautiful!

      http://www.elegantweddinginvites.com

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  11. June 27th, 2013

    Hi Denise,

    What an unusual setting for a wedding - in the aftermath of a cyclone. Traditionally, romantic novels always let weather conditions mirror the inner conflicts of the characters, so why not? Great symbolism here.

    Best wishes,
    Anna


    Anna's RFW - June Wedding

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  12. Well, I don't typically read this genre at all, but I think it sounds wonderful. I love the cultural aspects.

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