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01 December 2010 @ 10:04 pm
NaScreeWriMo - Day Thirty-One  
I have more written than this, but I'm in the middle of a scene and I don't want to put up just the first half.  I've reached a point in the story, and this always happens around Act Three, where I've put together the climax but am realizing that I haven't fully set up what I need to get there.  Sometimes I go back and edit and/or revise at this point; sometimes I just soldier on and make notes for when I do go back in revision.  In either event, I will make a note of what you would need to know for everything to make sense.

But that's why I rarely bother to do a full outline for a first draft past the midpoint - I know that I'm only really going to work it out as I write.


Ilka works at a feverish pace. She unloads a bag from the wagon, PACKS it with food, clothes. She checks and rechecks the DAGGER at her waist.

A glance at Dominik in the wagon, who stares at her with open hostility. Ilka swings the bag, stuffed full, onto her back. Holds out her arms.

Come. We’re leaving the wagon here.

How far do you plan on walking, Ilka?

(edge of hysterics)
I don’t want to hear you speak! I will walk to the
ends of the earth if I must, if only to never hear
you speak again!

I thought you loved me.
That gives Ilka pause.

Who is asking?

What a silly question.

I used to love you. More than I could hold inside, more
than anyone could love. When I realized that you didn’t
love me, I was able to accept it. I would love enough for
the both of us. Then, after Beta, one day I just looked
around. I had a castle, and servants, and pretty dresses.
It seemed selfish to want more. But after our last son died, I
began to learn that it was not just that you didn’t love
me. You were not capable of love. Not for me, not for anyone.
No, my Lord. I don’t love you anymore.

But you still fear me, don’t you, Ilka?
Dominik looks back toward the mountains. Toward the castle.

You’ve sent a carriage for the boy, haven’t you?

For you both.
Beat. It would be so much easier for Ilka to just give up. She thinks about it...

Quickly, very quickly, Ilka GRABS Dominik and rushes to the bridge.

He SCREAMS, KICKS, FLAILS. But Ilka’s stronger now - in spirit at least - and she soldiers on.

A third of the way across. The day grows dim. Clouds race across the sun. The wind howls as though it had a voice.

Ilka has a harder and harder time carrying Dominik. He fights hard, far stronger than any child should be.

The water under the bridge begins to ICE over. They near the halfway point. Dominik screams - not the high-pitched shriek of a little boy, but the deep roar of a man.

The clouds overhead are black. LIGHTNING strikes behind them, the thunder following almost instantaneously.

Ilka cannot go on. She drops to her knees. One arm tight around Dominik. With her other hand she pulls out the DAGGER at her waist and holds it to Dominik’s throat.

I will kill him. I will slit his throat and watch him die
before I let him go back to that castle. Then I will do the
same to myself, though my soul be damned to hell.
The look on Dominik’s face is one of pure rage.

(in Bathory’s voice)
I will find you, Ilka. Wherever you go, I will find you.
She struggles to her feet, moving inexorably across the bridge.

You will never be free of me! You will know pain as no
human has ever known pain! I will drink the blood
from your still-beating heart!
Ilka screams as she struggles the last few steps, the wind physically pushing her back. Then--

She FALLS FORWARD when the resistance disappears. The sky clears, the wind dies. Ilka looks - she is one step beyond the other side of the bridge.

Dominik starts crying. Good, normal tears. Ilka cries with him. Behind them, the river flows sparkling blue under the sunlight.


Mira stands, blankly staring at the door knob in her hand. One beat follows another.

She opens the door. Across from her hangs the tapestry - the dragon biting its own tail.

Yes. I see it now. Every child knows that story.
She leaves her room, into--


Walking with grace, poise. Past the second door, which stands OPEN. Mira pauses. Turns to look.

The blank-faced manservant stands in the middle of the room, a DOVE held to his mouth. Sucking sounds. He notices Mira. Holds the dove out to her - blood on his face.

Mira shakes her head. No panic, no disgust, just a calm refusal. She continues walking.

Around the corner. The stairs - she descends. Down to the--


She opens the doors, the hinges squealing. She looks ahead, vague anguish on her face.

I should have listened. I should have listened to you.
At the other end of the chapel, Janos stands, wise and beneficent.

Are you now ready to do what needs to be done?
nhpw: delenn&lenniernhpw on December 2nd, 2010 04:26 pm (UTC)
More more more!


My big question, in that "are these things that are yet to be revealed?" kind of way:

What happened on the bridge to tilt the balance of power in Ilka's favor?
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on December 2nd, 2010 04:45 pm (UTC)
Good question! It was supposed to be the whole "vampires can't cross running water" thing, plus in the previous, or previous-previous set of pages, Miklos had said that he wanted to get them over the river and out of the Count's lands. So basically, his influence ends there. Be more explicit about that?

And I just realized while typing this that I needed to have at least a moment of Ilka doing something with Miklos' body - either covering it or at least making note of it. (I am writing this here not necessarily as a reply to you, but as a note for myself in the future when I come back and collate everyone's comments before revision.)
Holly: Laura shaggyhollywobbles on December 3rd, 2010 12:35 am (UTC)
I didn't understand that 100%, but I go long enough between reading sections that I might have remembered the line about the Count's lands if I'd been actually watching this as a movie. I didn't know the "vampires can't cross running water" thing though -- I'd guess that's a not a very commonly known vampire thing -- so maybe it could be a little clearer.

Question: Did Ilka already know what Bathory is?
Shannon: bsg you slay me gaiuskungfuwaynewho on December 3rd, 2010 12:57 am (UTC)
This is one of those things that I figured out as I wrote and will go back and fix - but yes, she will know that he's if not a vampire, then at least evil/supernatural.

I kind of wanted to do the more obscure vampiric stuff rather than garlic/stakes/sunlight, just because I couldn't think of any way to do that stuff fresh. But, as you so rightly point out, if it's obscure, then it needs to be made a bit more clear.

Of course, I have yet to use the word "vampire," so. IDK.
Holly: A/R UB drinkinhollywobbles on December 3rd, 2010 01:05 am (UTC)
I was thinking about that. Like, lots of blood and lots of creepy so far, but we've yet to find out exactly what he is. (Except that you told us you were going to write a vampire screenplay, but, anyway.)
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on December 3rd, 2010 01:25 am (UTC)
Well, you know, I'm pretty okay with coming up with shit on the fly and sometimes it works and sometimes it's contradictory and sometimes it requires I go back and fix things - and then it occurs to me that maybe you guys actually think I know what I'm doing, LOL. I haven't decided yet if I want to have that line of, "Bathory, he is a vampire," or not.

Like, right now the working title, meaning the name of the file, is "Vampyr." And I'm kind of thinking that if the script goes out with that title, I don't necessarily have to use the word anywhere? I'm still thinking about it.

Anywho, first draft, first draft. It's actually fairly cohesive as far as my first drafts go, but still. I worry that I'm going to let you guys down at some point. Not really, but kinda.
Holly: Mary Irish Film&TV Awardshollywobbles on December 3rd, 2010 01:39 am (UTC)
It's a *very* cohesive first draft. And I very much know that it's a first draft and very... fluid? (Sure, fluid.) It's fun to see the process. :)
nhpwnhpw on December 3rd, 2010 02:32 am (UTC)
Be more explicit about that?

Yeah, I think so. I mean, not a ton more is needed, and it could just be that I don't know jack about vampires, but... I didn't get that once they crossed the river that was that.

Shannon: bicycle dadkungfuwaynewho on December 3rd, 2010 03:37 am (UTC)
GTK, thanks!
singer_shapersinger_shaper on December 2nd, 2010 06:18 pm (UTC)
Now I get what you meant about Dominik being possessed. What's the children's story about the dragon eating its own tail?
Holly: Peekaboohollywobbles on December 3rd, 2010 12:29 am (UTC)
Yeah, I didn't get that either. :/
Shannon: ready set van goghkungfuwaynewho on December 3rd, 2010 01:00 am (UTC)
See below. :D
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on December 3rd, 2010 12:59 am (UTC)
Originally that line wasn't referring to anything at all - I just wanted Mira to say something that didn't actually make much sense, show that she was in shock, etc.

But I had put in my revision notes to go back and have Mira tell Dominik a story at the very beginning that essentially tells the background of the castle and the count, and I'm thinking that I will include some reference to the dragon in there. I haven't decided yet; sometimes as I write I figure out what the pay-off is, then have to go back and put in the set-up, heh.
Holly: Mary yay!hollywobbles on December 3rd, 2010 12:37 am (UTC)
Still waiting to see if Janos is really as good as he seems.

This is exciting! Write faster!
Shannon: tng crusherkungfuwaynewho on December 3rd, 2010 01:01 am (UTC)
Hee! Well, I'm kind of having trouble with the scene I'm working on right now, which means I really can't try to squeeze in writing on breaks/lunches. I need to have an actual sit-down writing session, so...this weekend, prob.