I finally got around to working on STAYING LOST, revisions and line edits are a pain in the butt!
But I wanted to query, so 10,000 words had to go: never a problem for an overwriter with a tendency towards the passive.
Nerysa Na-gah Nuwuvi is one of my favourite characters, the product of her heritage, upbringing, training, and her determination to protect, at all costs.
Some people said Mae was a bad mother. She drank hard and smacked harder, that would tend to make people talk that way. But, Nerysa knew her mother loved her. Her mother would walk through fire to get to her. She’d walked through the baking desert for three days when Nerysa had gotten herself lost. She had been just a few weeks shy of her seventh birthday. And, if her mother hadn’t found her, sprawled in the sand, there would have been another twenty birthdays Nerysa wouldn’t have been around to celebrate.
Nerysa had learned, beyond any doubt in the moment Mae found her, that she was loved. Her Mama had plucked her limp body up from the dry river bed that gave the town its name and held her tight. She’d crushed Nerysa close and rocked her. The first water Nerysa had tasted was salty and it flowed from her mother’s sky blue eyes. When Nerysa felt the arms that crushed; the heart that raced; the sobs that racked her mother’s body she forgave her everything. Nerysa forgave her for the things she had done and anything she ever would do when she had been drinking because (deep down inside, under the hurt and the longing that things could be different) Nerysa knew that she was loved. She knew her mother would not sit by and wait for this danger to hurt her baby, she would have tried to get away to warn Nerysa. She would have tried and she would have failed. She’d have died in the attempt else, she’d be dying right about now – and that wasn’t happening.
Nerysa's voice, as she regresses to the child she had been in Dry Creek, just won't be changed. I can do snappy and sparse, Nerysa won't.
Do you find your characters need to speak in their own voice?