And yet another chapter of te fourth draft of Exile is up for download at the bottom of this page.
There have been some significant changes between the second draft and the fourth draft of this chapter. Mostly these changes have to do with the addition of Patrick Eamon's character, and things that he has done in his chapters, namely discovering the symbol that the Samirreh are carving into the Four Kingdoms. I've also delved a bit deeper into Silmera's feelings on having and needing to have a child so that she'll have a reason to live again. She's desperate, grasping at straws. It was no coincidence taht I had her relate a story of a man clinging to a root that would not support his weight over a cliff. I had her relate that story not only because it illustrated her point to Mal, but also because it illustrates how she feels now to the reader. She's barely holding on, clinging to something that wont hold her weight, praying for someone, anyone to reach down and give her a hand.
Also a little explanation on the words that Silmera uses as curses. She is a Heretic, basically my version of a vampire and a werewolf rolled up into one, with a tad bit of Japanese demon tossed in just for the heck of it. I will admit that I got the idea from watching the movie Underworld, so sue me. Anyway, her life revolves around blood. She needs to drink it periodically or she'll die the most horrible death imaginable. Her own blood is deadly poison to anything that isn't a Heretic, and she has to live her life with extreme care not to bleed on anything or anyone that she doesn't want to die the same horrible death that she would if she doesn't drink blood. Since blood plays such a large part in her life she uses it as a curse, bloody this, bleeding that, blood cursed whatever and so on. I didn't just toss it in because it's the least offensive way of swearing I could think of, there's a real reason that she uses these words as curses.
In my experience, people tend to use words that describe what is most dear to them as curses. Someone who uses the word f**k in excess is normally someone who is mostly preoccupied with f**king. Someone who takes the lord's name in vain is typically religious, or was raised in a religious home and uses the curse for shock value or as a way of putting himself aside from his roots. To someone who is deeply religious, using the lord's name in vain is a far more potent curse than saying f**k. So, in wiritng, when you want to have someone swear, you first have to figure out what is most important to that person, then you can come up with curses that revolve around it. It makes the curses seem more real if you do it that way. One of the largest parts of Silmera's life is blood, either seeking blood to drink and put off a gruesome demise, or keeping from bleeding on anyone or anything by accident and killing them. It's her curse that she has to live with it, and so she uses it as a curse.