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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Writing Experiment #10 - Ryann Manuscript Part 7

This is number ten in a series of posts where I document the complete process of writing a novella - Day By Day!


I am documenting (via my blog) the complete start to finish experience of writing a novella that I will be releasing for FREE once it is written.

Ryann is the story of a thirteen year-old girl who works as a servant for a tyrant of a master, and longs for the day when she can buy her freedom. The novella will serve as the introduction to a new fantasy series that I will start writing in 2013.

I will be writing approximately 900 words per day and I will post each day's writing the following morning, unedited, on my blog. This means you get to see my draft with all its original spelling mistakes, bad grammar, and clumsy sentences

The timeline for the experiment is as follows:
  • Plotting, Characters and Scene Outlines - April 1to April 20 - COMPLETE
  • First Draft Manuscript - April 21 to May 18 - IN PROGRESS
  • First Manuscript Edits - July 1to July 5
  • Reader Proofs - July 6 to July 25
  • Final Manuscript Edits - July 26to July 31


Today's Date: April 28th
Progress: Day 7 complete. Following is the day's writing...


Ryann trudged along the corridor toward Bramwel’s room. She was already late but she didn’t really care. They had taken Megan’s body away before she could even say a proper goodbye. It was the custom, cook had said. Well it certainly wasn’t how they did things in the town. Her parents would never have treated her in that way.
“You’re late,” said Bramwel as Ryann entered his room. “I ought to give you a beating straight away.
Ryann looked up at Bramwel and ignored him. She made her way toward his bed and pulled off the bedding. “Megan is dead. You killed her.”
Bramwel laughed. “Dead? I hardly whipped her.”
Ryann straightened out the covers to Bramwel’s bed and pulled the bottom sheet back onto the bed and tried to square it off. “Well she’s dead now.”
Bramwel got up from the chair he was sitting on and crossed toward Ryann. “Not like that. How many times do I have to tell you, girl? Don’t they teach you anything downstairs?” He gestured at the sheet Ryann was tucking into the corners of his bed. “Take more care. I surely am going to have to beat you again today.”
Ryann stopped what she was doing and stood up. “And will you kill me like you killed Megan?”
Bramwel laughed again. “I told you I didn’t kill Megan, I just gave her a few licks of my whip. Maybe that is what you need today. Besides, you know you are not supposed to talk with me unless I ask you a question.”
“She’s dead!,” Ryann shouted at the top of her voice. “I’m telling you she’s dead.” She guiltily lowered her head and reached out to the sheet once more. “You beat her too hard. She was only little.”
Bramwel made a huffing sound with his mouth and walked over to stand next to the window. “Well then Ryann, you’d better do exactly what you are asked if you don’t want to end up the same way. And curb your tongue when you’re in my presence. I will not tell you again.”
Ryann bit her tongue and tried her hardest not to look in Bramwel’s direction. She finished tucking in the sheet and then dragged the heavy bed-cover onto the bed. When she was done she turned and curtsied to Bramwel and quickly left the room.
“And don’t forget to bring me some fresh water,” Bramwel shouted after her.

Bramwel crossed back to his bed and sat on the edge of it, dangling his feet over the edge. He hadn’t expected the young girl to die. After all he had given worse beatings to them all at some time or another. Except Ryann. He still hadn’t caught her doing something bad enough to warrant a beating. Still, maybe he should give her one anyway, just to put her in her place. She did insist on talking back to him and that was something strictly forbidden.
Bramwel flopped down onto his side and pulled at the threads on his bed-cover. And why hadn’t the steward or the housekeeper said something about Megan? They usually did when one of the sclavas was sick. Maybe if he had known then he could have arranged a healing potion for her.
He sat back up again and laughed. What was he thinking? A potion for a sclava? No one would ever give a sclava a healing potion. No, their lives were far too cheap for that. His father could easily go to the market and get another one for him. The cost of a potion was more than a sclava could expect to earn in a month. No, it was the right thing. Sclavas die. It was as simple as that.

* * *

“Do you mind if I sit next to you?”
Ryann looked up from her dinner. “What?”
“Can I sit here?” the boy repeated.
“Yep,” Ryann replied, staring down at her plate once more. “Do whatever you want to do.”
“I’m sorry about Megan. I know she was your best friend.”
“I don’t have a best friend. I still don’t have a best friend.”
“What about me?” asked the boy.
“Ryann looked up from her plate once more. “You? You never even speak to me usually. You just feel sorry for me today.”
“No I don’t, Ree. I can call you Ree, can’t I?”
“I guess.”
“And you can call me Kieran.”
“But that’s your name.”
“Oh,” said Kieran. “So you know that then?”
“Of course I do. I’m not stupid or anything. I’ve seen you in the kitchens and helping out about the place. I know who you are.”
Kieran smiled. “Well that’s good to know then.” He sat down next to Ryann and pushed his plate along the table. “Do you want any of my dinner?”
Ryann scrunched up her nose and looked into his face. “Why would I want some of your dinner?”
“Well, just. You know?”
“Well, since you arrived in the castle you’ve been getting thinner.”
“I’m what?” Ryann shouted, getting to her feet. “You’re sorry for me because my friend died and I’m getting thinner? Did I look better when I was fatter then? Is that what you’re saying?”
“No. No. I… I just meant that…”
“Here, why don’t you have one of my potatoes? I wouldn’t want you to get thin too.” Ryann picked up a potato, dropped it onto Kieran’s plate and sat down again.
Kieran blushed. “I’m sorry, Ree. Can I start again? I didn’t mean to appear rude. I was just saying that if you’re not getting enough food then I am happy to share with you. That’s all.”
“And in return you expect me to share with you?”
“Only if you want to.” Kieran pricked a large piece of carrot with his fork and put it onto Ryann’s plate. “Now we’re even. Come on, let’s eat.”

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