Summary: Not all who wander are lost… but most of them are.
NOTE: This is a very rough draft with no editing at all (per National Novel Wiriting Month rules) and is presented for amusement value only. Think of it as a periscope into my writing process rather than a coherent story!
There will most likely be spelling and grammatical errors afoot as well as flat out bad writing, info dumps, plot holes, contradictions/retcons, uneven characterization and pacing. These snippits are also posted out of order, so please refer to the Outline to figure out where it’s supposed to fit.
A Star To Sail Her By
There are no stars in the sky, or moon, or sun. And Gray can’t figure out how anyone knows where they are going. It’s only after a while that she figured out that they can tell the direction by the city’s growth rings. They line every surface, making the city look as if she was built from wood instead of grown. There’s not enough bark for it to feel real, as if she was walking through a city built by a thousand hidden master carpenters.
Once she figures out what the others are using as guides, she pays much more attention to the markers. There’s a code hidden in the swirls and knots, things that shouldn’t exist without branches and damage to create them. She and Tan focus in, and soon they can guide themselves, much to the amusement of the others.
“Most people aren’t too stubborn to ask,” they say when she asks why they are amused.
“You didn’t offer the information,” says Gray in annoyance. “I thought it was a test of some sort.”
“Well, I guess it is,” they said, “but it’s more a test of how long it takes people to give up and ask rather than how long it takes them to figure it out. You’re actually one of only a few that sorted things out by themselves.”
Gray tries not to be proud, but it’s always nice being told that she did a good job. That’s something she misses from home, the end to work. Here there is no end to anything, she’s either always working or always not working and she hates the lack of distinction.