Ye are Blood of my Blood, and Bone of my Bone,I give ye my Body, that we Two might be One.I give ye my Spirit, 'til our Life shall be Done.
When I asked my da how ye knew which was the right woman, he told me when the time came, I'd have no doubt. And I didn't. When I woke in the dark under that tree on the road to Leoch, with you sitting on my chest, cursing me for bleeding to death, I said to myself 'Jamie Fraser, for all ye canna see what she looks like, and for all she weights as much as a good draft horse, this is the woman.
It wasn't a thing I had consciously missed, but having it now reminded me of the joy of it; that drowsy intimacy in which a man's body is accessible to you as your own, the strange shapes and textures of it like a sudden extension of your own limbs.
I stood still, vision blurring, and in that moment, I heard my heart break. It was a small, clean sound, like the snapping of a flower's stem.
Oh, aye, Sassenach. I am your master . . . and you're mine. Seems I canna possess your soul without losing my own.
And I mean to hear ye groan like that again. And to moan and sob, even though you dinna wish to, for ye canna help it. I mean to make you sigh as though your heart would break, and scream with the wanting, and at last to cry out in my arms, and I shall know that I've served ye well.
That dog is a wolf, is he not?''Aye, well, mostly.'A small flash of hazel told him not to quibble.'And yet he is thy boon companion, a creature of rare courage and affection, and altogether a worthy being?;'Oh, aye,' he said with more confidence. 'He is.She gave him an even look.'Thee is a wolf, too, and I know it. But thee is my wolf, and best thee know that.'He'd started to burn when she spoke, an ignition swift and fierce as the lighting of one of his cousin's matches. He put out his hand, palm forward, to her, still cautious lest she too, burst into flame.'What I said to ye, before . . . that I kent ye loved me-'She stepped forward and pressed her palm to his, her small, cool fingers linking tight.'What I say to thee now is that I do love thee. And if thee hunts at night, thee will come home.'Under the sycamore, the dog yawned and laid his muzzle on his paws.'And sleep at they feet,' Ian whispered, and gathered her in with his one good arm, both of them blazing bright as day.
I want to take ye to bed. In my bed. And I mean to spend the rest of the day thinking what to do wit ye once I got ye there. So wee Archie can just go and play at marbles with his bollucks, aye?
Overall, the library held a hushed exultation, as though the cherished volumes were all singing soundlessly within their covers.
One dictum I had learned on the battlefields of France in a far distant war: You cannot save the world, but you might save the man in front of you, if you work fast enough.
Soldiers manage by dividing themselves. They're one man in the killing, another at home, and the man that dandles his bairn on his knee has nothing to do wi' the man who crushed his enemy's throat with his boot, so he tells himself, sometimes successfully.
It's the anonymity of the war that makes the killing possible. When the nameless dead are named again on tombstone and on cenotaph, then they regain the identity they lost as soldiers, and take their place in grief and memory, the ghosts of sons and lovers.
I heard you went to Ireland...I haven't seen it in many years. Is it still green then, and beautiful?Wet as a bath sponge and mud to the knees but, aye, it was green enough.
I'll tell ye, Sassenach; if ever I feel the need to change my manner of employment, I dinna think I'll take up attacking women - it's a bloody hard way to make a living.
Once you've chosen a man, don't try to change him, I wrote, with more confidence. It can't be done. More important -- don't let him try to change you. He can't do it either, but men always try.
He was generally aware that he had been blessed in her beauty; even in her usual homespun, knee-deep in mud from her garden, or stained and fierce with the blood of her calling, the curve of her bones spoke to his own marrow, and those whisky eyes could make him drunk with a glance. Besides, the mad collieshangie of her hair made him laugh.
Not the historians. No, not them. Their greatest crime is that they presume to know what happened, how things come about, when they have only what the past chose to leave behind-- for the most part, they think what they were meant to think, and it's a rare one that sees what really happened, behind the smokescreen of artifacts and paper...No, the fault lies with the artists...The writers, the singers, the tellers of tales. It's them that take the past and re-create it to their liking. Them that could take a fool and give you back a hero, take a sot and make him a king...Liars?...or sorcerers? Do they see the bones in the dust of the earth, see the essence of a thing that was, and clothe it in new flesh, so the plodding beast reemerges as a fabulous monster?
Some enterprising rabbit had dug its way under the stakes of my garden again. One voracious rabbit could eat a cabbage down to the roots, and from the looks of things, he'd brought friends. I sighed and squatted to repair the damage, packing rocks and earth back into the hole. The loss of Ian was a constant ache; at such moments as this, I missed his horrible dog as well.I had brought a large collection of cuttings and seeds from River Run, most of which had survived the journey. It was mid-June, still time--barely--to put in a fresh crop of carrots. The small patch of potato vines was all right, so were the peanut bushes; rabbits wouldn't touch those, and didn't care for the aromatic herbs either, except the fennel, which they gobbled like licorice.I wanted cabbages, though, to preserve a sauerkraut; come winter, we would want food with some taste to it, as well as some vitamin C. I had enough seed left, and could raise a couple of decent crops before the weather turned cold, if I could keep the bloody rabbits off. I drummed my fingers on the handle of my basket, thinking. The Indians scattered clippings of their hair around the edges of the fields, but that was more protection against deer than rabbits.Jamie was the best repellent, I decided. Nayawenne had told me that the scent of carnivore urine would keep rabbits away--and a man who ate meat was nearly as good as a mountain lion, to say nothing of being more biddable. Yes, that would do; he'd shot a deer only two days ago; it was still hanging. I should brew a fresh bucket of spruce beer to go with the roast venison, though . . . (Page 844)
For several days, I slept. Whether this was a necessary part of physical recovery, or a stubborn retreat from waking reality, I do not know, but I woke only reluctantly to take a little food, falling at once back into a stupor of oblivion, as though the small, warm weight of broth in my stomach were an anchor that pulled me after it, down through the murky fathoms of sleep.
To some extent, emotions are universal and can be treated that way; no matter what the participants’ orientation or preference, they have sex for the same reasons and can experience the same array of emotions in the process. But there are three important distinctions to be made: 1. The logistics of physiology 2. The basics of sexual attraction 3. Cultural impact on character and situation
Men have external genitalia, while women have internal genitalia. This simple difference makes a lot of difference in how they write about themselves—and how you might write about your characters. Male writers don’t often address internal sensation in a character, because they don’t experience it (and probably often don’t realize consciously that it’s there). This accounts for a lot of Really Terrible sex scenes written by men (if you look at the “Bad Sex-Scene Awards” in any given year, you’ll see that the vast majority are done by male writers).
There’s a little trick called the Rule of Three: if you use any three of the five senses, it will make the scene immediately three-dimensional.
If you can’t look a line of dialogue in the face and say exactly why it’s there—take it out or change it.
Don’t go overboard in avoiding “said.” Basically, “said” is the default for dialogue, and a good thing, too; it’s an invisible word that doesn’t draw attention to itself.
You want to anchor the scene with physical details, but by and large it’s better to use sensual details rather than overtly sexual ones.
It’s not what’s happened or what’s about to happen, what’s important is the sense of emotional uncertainty between the characters and the delicacy of the mutual trust being established.
You don’t need to know the purpose as you write, but when you read over something you’ve written, you should be able to point to any given element—be that a line of dialogue, a descriptive phrase, a plot point—and say why it’s there.
As a rule of thumb, four consecutive lines of dialogue is about as much as you want to have without a tag.
Dialogue doesn’t take place in a vacuum. Dialogue is contradictory, in that it can either speed up or slow down a passage.