I've realized in the past two days that 400-500 words seems to be a good output for me if I want to actually enjoy my words. Draft 1 was a whirlwind of thousands of words. But I consider that much more of word vomit than this craft that draft 2 is becoming. It's fun! And I want to share :)

Also, before I do, I also realized something else. I always thought I would work A-Z regarding plot. But turns out, with a thorough (and I mean THOROUGH 6000 word) outline, you can write by scene if you so desire and things actually don't get messy or confusing.

Anyway here it is :)

It was barely dawn.

Scarlet’s eyes brushed open. A few breaths brought her out of the dream world and back into this one. Unsure why, she noticed her body was aching. Sheets peeled back, she slipped herself gingerly out of bed, tip toeing toward the armoire. It unlatched itself when she reached it and swung its cherrywood doors open quietly. Her fingers clasped a white, wool blanket from the pile that was stacked inside and draped it over her bluish shoulders. She stifled a yawn as cold feet carried her over to her desk. The little leather journal Lena had given her yesterday was sitting right where she abandoned it. She opened it, looked at the page—blank save for the date—and closed it again.

Now was a better time to write, she thought, glancing out the window. The indigo sky was hazy and the world sprawled beneath it and around her was still asleep.

The problem yesterday had been that she’d been attempting to create around other people. And that never worked. Certainly not for poetry. To write a poem was to be so deeply in tune with your emotions you could taste them, and she was incapable of getting to that place in the presence of others, no matter how warm they were.

She wondered if that requirement of solitude existed for the others as well. She assumed it did. Though she hadn’t said anything at the time she felt that, if she was being honest, none of the rest had finished their work yesterday either. Sure, they may have thrown paint, charcoal and beads onto their respective canvases while her page remained blank, but their output, though material, seemed no different than the thoughts she was trying to sculpt poetry out of yesterday: stillborn. Alone time was key, she thought, and to deny this was to create lifeless work.

She selected a pen and a bottle of deep, emerald ink from her desk, admiring the old fashioned approach Adalira took to writing—to everything, really. She hadn’t seen a splash of technology anywhere here. Maybe you didn’t need computers or cell phones though when you had magic. Or maybe they’d seen what it had done to the human realm and decided not to follow suit. Whatever the reasoning, she found herself relieved to be a world away from blinking gadgets and gismos. Here, the only things blinking were the fairies and the stars, and neither of these seemed remotely treacherous. Yes, life here was simpler, happier. But it was also full and she would need to carve out time for herself if she was to create anything real.

Stepping into the kitchen she was surprised to find, however, that she wasn’t the only one awake now. The crisp early morning air blew through the window and curled into Charlie’s hair. He was seated at the table eating a scone and sipping tea. He was reading Les Fleurs du Mal. She’d recognize a first edition a mile away, having coveted one her whole life.

“Hi,” he squeaked.

“Hi,” she said, no less timid. She realized this was the first time they’d spoken directly to one another.

Something about the morning air intensified the feeling in the room. She looked away and walked to the counter.

“Have you seen the coffee maker?” she asked, slipping her journal into her pocket. Poetry would not be possible now.