Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Page 99 – Test Your WIP
I found this on Madison Wood's Blog this morning. She got it from Selestiele who… No I'm not going to trace it back to the original, no time this morning. Maybe later tonight, when I have more time.
This title is based on the belief of Ford Madox Ford: “Open the book to page ninety-nine and read, and the quality of the whole will be revealed to you.”
However – I have it here. Page 99 of "Swallow the Moon" a conversation between June and the mad artist Van Man Go is taking place:
"I never interfere with things that don't concern me." Van shrugged.
"No?" June didn't believe him.
"Don't be a fool, girl. Once Cora gets her fangs in a man – it's over."
"I don't believe you."
"Are you saying that she doesn't owe you?"
"She owes me," Van smirked. "Big time. But she's dead, I wrote her off as a business loss. I have to move on. Business is business."
June bit her lip and thought fast. She looked around the old building, the skin on her neck prickling with the feeling of being watched. Was it Jake, Cora or some other lost soul? She didn't want to know, not really.
"I think you have more influence over her than you admit."
"I'm flattered," Van leaned back in his chair, crossing his legs. An un-lit cigarette appeared in his hand. He took a deep drag; the end smoldered then burst into flame. "So tell me, if I had the power to have Cora do her – thing – elsewhere, what exactly would you have me do?" The smoke he exhaled had a green tint to it and smelled more like pot than tobacco.
"Have you asked how she got her hooks into your boyfriend?" His eyes looked right through her. "The answer might be enlightening."
"He's just a friend." June blushed, thinking of Eric and his hot kisses.
"Rrright, my mistake." Van flashed his fangs in a smile, cutting it short with a drag on the cigarette.
"You know, the universe runs on free will." Van exhaled more smoke. "People do marvelous acts of bravery or stupid impulsive things that destroy their lives. They lie, they cheat, they kill – they even torture. They do terrible things and justify it later as 'they made me do it.' Free will makes it tricky to sort out bad guys from the good guys."
"Hardly," June retorted.
"Oh, but it does," Van leaned forward. "Motivation is a wonderful thing, makes it all into shades of gray. Good and evil aren't separate items – it's a sliding scale from one extreme to the other."
"What's your point?"
"I'm a businessman; I make deals all the time. Some are on my own behalf, for some I'm merely a proxy." He took a deep drag, leisurely exhaling as he watched her face.
"I suppose I could help you, if you make it worth my while."
"Oh?" Maybe she could get somewhere after all.
"What have you got to trade?"
"Yeah, trade – business at its most basic. What you are asking for is – tarnished and well used. What have you got of higher value to trade? I think we understand each other. Don't we?"