WIPpet Wednesday: The City

I hope you all enjoyed my little character interview series I did over the past five weeks on WIPpet Wednesday! It was something very different for me, but a really productive and fulfilling exercise.  I found myself really creatively stimulated and there are even parts of the interviews that I think will make their way into Rebellion!

From next week I’ll probably be posting snippets from my rewrites/first draft of Rebellion, but for this week I thought I’d post of little bit of the description of Carithno I wrote a few weeks ago.  It’s where pretty much all of Rebellion is set, so it makes sense that it would get it’s own little introduction!

WIPpet Wednesday (in case you’re not familiar) is the weekly blog-hop hosted by Emily Witt in which a group of writers share a snippet from their WIP that somehow relates to the date! Join us here!

Today’s WIPpet math is nice and simple: 3 paragraphs because it’s now March!

The city was built upon itself, layer after layer of stone and crumbling mortar that stretched towards the mountainous castle and cold, clear sky with greedy, stubby tendrils.  More windows than one could possibly count poked out from between the rocky walls of these structures, most looking out over only the winding closes so narrow those hurrying through them were forced to press their bodies against the walls if someone tried to pass.  Small patches of garden sprouted atop the flat roofs that would soon enough make way for more storeys.  The city grew upwards, not outwards, and had since its beginnings.

The rocky mountain that formed the structure of the palace was backed to its west by steep, sheer cliffs that stretched high into the sky above it, impossible to clamber up or down.  These cliffs defined the city’s northern and western borders, whilst the sheer cliffs and plunging waterfall into the sea to the south, and the thick, wild forest to the west which few men dared to enter and no one had attempted to clear formed the other natural borders.  The river rushed through the city on its journey from the higher mountains to the sea, snaking its way through the valley that had been shaped millenniums earlier by a much larger river of ice and frozen rock, its waterways pushing with life and boats of all manner – trade and homes alike.

Some of the larger homes looked out over the more scenic parts of the river, alive with restaurants and well-dressed market stalls, or perhaps even glimpsed the forest or the tips of the mountains beyond the city walls, but the inhabitants knew that soon enough even those views would give way to more maze-like alleys as the city continued its upwards growth.  Some of the structures in the valley were ten or eleven storeys high, looking down on the rest of the thriving city from a dizzying height.  Even these structures, however, were not high enough to overlook the huge stone bridge that spanned the length of the city, crossing over the winding closes and stacked buildings beneath and slanting gradually upwards as it went.  It had been built long before even the city itself, and so many of the houses were built into the ancient bridge’s framework.  Whereas once it had provided passage over the gaping ravine for those visiting the palace of Carithno, dug deep into the rock of a small mountain shaped by the glacier’s force, now the bridge provided safe and clean passage by horse or cart for those too important to navigate the streets below, those destined only for the palace and its grounds.


12 thoughts on “WIPpet Wednesday: The City

  1. I love this, too! I got a really great sense of place. I have Brigid’s trouble, too – I’m really not good at describing settings, so I’m a bit jealous!

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