Current Word Count: 35, 621
It’s been a wee bit of a struggle this week, what with strange work hours and my body wanting to hibernate. Hello, Seasonal Affective! I already know that the Victorian half of the story is much stronger then the modern day one and I’m trying not to mind. After all, I don’t know Nicole as well as I do Victoria because Victoria’s been in my head longer.
At some point, I realized that I really, really wanted to write a scene that was out of sequence. Normally I wouldn’t, being a linear-type writer. But because I’m all up in the Outlander books–it’s gone to obsessive levels, people–in addition to YouTube stalking some events from when the TV show started airing, I was also doing a little reading and listening to the author, Diana Gabaldon, who apparently writes “with no outline and not in a straight line.” Which is kind of amazing, considering how long the books are.
Anyway, I feel like it gave me permission to write whatever comes to mind. I did that and yesterday, found a way to connect some dialogue to a scene I was writing. So that’s probably how I’ll get through the rest of NaNo.
This week’s excerpt is a pivotal Victoria scene:
Fortified with two cups of sugared tea and a lull in the conversation, Victoria said, “I’ve an announcement of sorts to make.”
Aunt Malden’s beady eyes swung towards her. The gleam in her gaze told Victoria all she needed to know; clearly, Aunt Malden thought this was about a man. All of them did, apparently. Conrad’s eyes had widened and Ursula’s face was beaming.
Bet you’ll be glad to be rid of me. Good luck controlling your lecherous idiot husband.
“I’m taking the 5:15 train down to London this evening,” Victoria went on. “I’ve decided, as I’m of age now, to…no longer be burdensome and depend upon your care, Uncle Malden. I know how things are fixed with the estate.”
“Well, Victoria darling…”
She steamrolled on. Her palms were slick with sweat and her heart was beating so hard in her chest that it felt as if it would stop out of its own velocity.
“I hasten to add that I’m most grateful to have had the care of such kind relations,” she added. “But I well know that I’ve failed to marry and I fail to attract suitors. Therefore, I’ve decided to take a position in London.”
Aunt Malden’s mouth slid opens slightly before she then closed her mouth.
Ursula’s forehead wrinkled. “A position? A job, Victoria?”
Victoria nodded shortly. “Yes.”
“You needn’t work, Vic!” Conrad let out a laughter more akin to a bark. “I know you’re twenty-one now, but that’s hardly on the shelf! You’re not a crone! Good God, a Ponsonby-Courtney working?”
“Well, there are young women of family obliged to have positions,” Uncle Malden said. “Young men, too. Not all of British young manhood can find themselves a lovely American wife.”
A lovely American wife with money, Victoria mentally added.
“Victoria’s hardly in that position,” Conrad argued.
She could see Uncle Malden’s mind trying to conjure up a polite way to say that actually, she was in that position. She would not inherit the portion that Beatrice would inherit upon marriage or turning twenty-one. Victoria had her father’s allowance from the estate. That was all.
“I’m no great heiress,” Victoria said. “And I do not begrudge that; I know what our Common law is.”
“What is this position, Victoria?” Aunt Malden asked sharply.
“I auditioned to be in the chorus of the Gaiety Theatre in London.”
“Theatricals?” Uncle Malden boomed. “In the chorus?”
“It’s not burlesque in nature at all, Uncle,” Victoria said. “They’re very respectable. They’re even in the most fashionable dresses and they sing and dance.” She eyed her relatives. “You’ve taken such great pains to teach me to sing and the dance. Seems rather paltry not to use those things. I cannot do much else practical, after all.”
“Don’t be preposterous, Vic,” Conrad said in his most reasonable tone. Once, she would’ve listened to that tone once. She wanted to listen to it even now. But she couldn’t.
“I’ve a theatrical agent who thinks I have a shot at this,”Victoria said. “And Mr. Edwardes of the Gaiety has forwarded him a contract. I shall be a professional actress. I’m of age now; you cannot stop me.”
“And after all we’ve done for you,” Aunt Malden said. “Hired the best governesses. Took you in like my own. Considered you the next…well, ’tis no matter now.”
“I must…I must forge my own life if I’m not to have either husband or money.”