So, a little roundabout in my usual writing projects this month, I decided to play a little with Princess Jera from the Aimee' universe, and write one of the "big revelation" chapters. When the scene open, Jera is lying on the floor of a dungeon in a deserted castle, bruised and battered. Near her lies the body of her mentor, whom she just defeated in a duel. This being a properly trained evil overlord novel, the mentor revealed little about her motives prior to opening up only to be surprised with just how powerful Jera's magic has become in the past year. Little did she realize that Jera had a second mentor who, despite being long dead and utterly scandalous, has been more than helpful.
Jera limps down to the end of the dungeon and finds the one door still ensorcelled. It is her destination. Behind that door lies a man who "disappeared" about the same time her second mentor's secret writings end. Jera's first manifestation of talent was in the working of locks and lock spells, and she easily undoes the lock. It's boobytrapped, boom, ouch, that sort of thing. Her only lightsource is destroyed. In the darkness she hears Prince Niav's voice and oh, he sounds so beautiful and so sad. She has read the diaries of The Lost Princess, another Princess named Jera from six centuries ago, and has come to love the Niav that is described. She knows that he is multiply cursed: to be lost to time, and to be physically transformed as to be unfit to rule. Even as she thinks this, she passes out.
She comes to in a field tent, the replacement Armsmage who took over after her previous Armsmage was executed for treason (on, it later turned out, false charges and planted evidence; he was getting too close to the conspiracy that inspired Jera's mentor, y'see...) who's a conservative stickler and a bit of a jerk waiting for her to wake up. He tells Jera where she is and that "the creature" is outside, chained and being watched, awaiting transporation back to the city for trial and execution. Jera calls him all sorts of terrible names, tells him who "the creature" really is, and proceeds to try and figure out what to do next. Jera and Niav meet, Jera learns the nature of the curse and decides that she still loves Niav. Much political infighting ensues.
You'd think I could do something with all that. There are things in here I haven't even touched on in this summary, like the fate of Jera's twin brother who turned out to be utterly ruthless, ambitious and, in the end, an ohonorable man. And there's the whole second timeline, where the tale of Jera's namesake and how that Jera's father ruined her country's reputation and treasury in less than two years, or how Jera's magical talent scares the heebiejeebies out of the mage's council, or any number of things.
I got 2,000 words out of that.
Bleah. Something is seriously wrong with me if I can't wrangle more that two thousand words out of that much young-adult angst and anguish, out of that much infighting in a quasi-chinese nobility system, out of that much mix-and-match chaos.
Nuke it from orbit and start over. It's the only way to be sure.