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Thursday, October 14, 2010

A New Novel, Part 11 A New Life

I hope you weren't too shocked to see Aksinya's issue.  It isn't specifically a sin, but lust drives her in many ways.  The temptation of this specific one of the seven deadly sins (they are really temptations and not sins) is extravagance specifically from Latin, luxuria or unrestrained excess. Extravagant behaviour includes the frequent purchase of luxury goods and forms of debauchery.  Aksinya doesn't necessarily lust after things or individuals, she lusts after knowledge and specifically the knowledge of sorcery.  We will see this later.  Her own desire becomes the symbol for both this luxuria and the culmination of her acts of sorcery.  The point is to give the readers symbols that relate directly to the actions of the characters.  This provides the fulcrum that moves the plot toward the theme.  This doesn't mean the storyline or the plot is an allegory, but rather that the plot becomes a vehicle for the theme through the use of these symbols.  They make the reader immediately relate back to certain characteristics that illustrate the theme within the major characters.

The last bit of chapter 2:

In the morning, the demon stood at the side of her bed. Aksinya didn’t blink, “I did not invite you into my room, demon.”

“Countess, I have your breakfast. Would you like to eat it here or in the dining room?”
Aksinya sat up, “Here, please.”
“Would you like me to draw your bath?”
“What would you like me to pack?”
Aksinya chewed on a crust of bread and took a sip of tea before answering, “Take all my mother’s dresses and mine. Also my sisters. Bring the china and silver and any of the fine artwork. The money is in my father’s safe and in his room. Get it all. If you know my mind, you know where all of it is.”
“I know where it all is.”
“Don’t forget my mother, sister, and my jewelry. Bring my sister’s shoes. They fit me.”
“Do you want me to take the furniture also?”
“Can you?”
“I can.”
“Then take it all—everything in the house and guesthouse. By the way, where will you put all of it?”
“That is my secret. What about your books and things…” he drew out the word.
“Put those on the top where I can get them at any time.”
“Very good, countess. When you are finished and dressed, we may leave. What clothing would you like me to put out for you?”
“My blue traveling dress the one with the puffy sleeves and the lace. I’ll wear my blue button-up shoes. The ones mother brought me from Paris. And don’t forget my blue traveling hat—the one with the feather.”
“Very good. I’m glad you are feeling better and in such good spirits. It’s amazing what giving in to a little temptation can do for you.”
Aksinya dropped her toast. She choked and bowed her head. After she got back her breath, she whispered, “That’s what I did, didn’t I.”
“Yes, splendidly. I was so proud of you.”
“I’m suddenly not so proud of myself. I’m not hungry any more.”
“Eat, countess. I’ll not be put off. When I am done with the packing, we shall depart. I have in mind to get your servant, and I have in mind to leave this house before the Party visits it this evening.”
“Will they?”
“My sources tell me they will.”
“And who are they?”
“I’ll not bore you with the details.”
“I should speak to the villagers before I go.”
“They know your family is dead. They assume you are too.”
Aksinya took a deep breath, “How did they know?”
“While you were a slug-a-bed, they came to check on your father. They found the bloodstains and the fresh graves in the plot.”
“I should have had you hide it all.”
“It wouldn’t do any good. They would find out eventually.”
“Surely they see the lights from the house. We have been burning them since, since, since that time.”
“I have given the impression that no one is here. I have kept it all still as the grave and hidden any signs of life. It is as if you were dead.”
“Yes. I see.”
“Because, you are dead to this life, countess. You start a new life today. Today, we shall leave for Austria and your family there.”
Aksinya mouthed the words, “So you can do evil there.”
“No, so we can accomplish evil there.”

The story must move out of Russia and to the west for many reasons.  There is little scope for the demon to act and too much scope for Aksinya to act (in the mind of the demon).  This shift of scene will allow the focus of the story to move--from just the demon and Aksinya.  The most important consideration is the problem the demon will have with Aksinya in Russia.  She will be much more vulnerable after she has been disconnected from her roots.  I may be revealing too much here, but I thought I might give you some insight to the purpose of the demon.
By the way, I've already thought of some important changes I want to make to the first chapter.  Specifically, I will add snow to the scene--this will give it more of the proper feel for the time of year, and I will be able to make some strong comparisons to the blood on the snow.

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