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Monday, April 30, 2012

Writing Experiment #12 - Ryann Manuscript Part 9

This is number twelve 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 30th
Progress: Day 9 complete. Following is the day's writing...


Bramwel watched Kieran scurry off back toward the sclavas’ quarters. He kicked the wall near to the door where Kieran had been standing and cursed. “These damn sclavas. I’ll see to it that they never leave this place.” He smiled and turned to walk back toward his bedroom. “But what was he doing here?” he said out loud, stopping in mid-stride. He turned back toward the half-hidden door and smiled. Now he knew. Yes, Kieran had come from inside that door.
Bramwel pushed open the door and stepped inside the corridor. It was dark and smelled of stale air and times gone past. He pushed the door shut behind him and let his eyes get accustomed to the dim light. He had never been here before. He was certain of that and yet he had passed by the door a hundred times. He set off down the corridor and soon came to a large room that was lit by light from a large window. There was a heap of what looked like rugs stacked on one side of the room and several piles of books nearby. What was this place?
Bramwel knelt down in front of one of the rugs and took a closer look. “It’s a tapestry,” he said to himself. He ran his fingers over the delicate thread work and traced the outline of the man on the white horse. “Father?” He pulled another tapestry from the pile and examined it. Yes there was no mistaking it; it was definitely supposed to be his father riding into battle on his white horse. But why were these tapestries all hidden away and not on display? He didn’t understand that at all. Bramwel got back to his feet and picked up the first tapestry he had looked at and rolled it up into a cylinder. He threw it over his shoulder and made his way back toward his bedroom. “I’ll take a closer look at this later,” he said to himself.

It was already quite dark by the time Bramwel reappeared in the main corridor again. He shifted the weight of the tapestry slightly on his shoulder and strode down the wide corridor. A few minutes later he reached his bedroom and he went inside.
“You still here?” Bramwel asked, dropping the tapestry to the floor just inside the doorway.
“Yes master,” said Ryann, curtsying.
Bramwel crossed over to his clothes chest and looked inside. “And you still haven’t finishing organizing my things yet. What is wrong with you?”
“I’m going as fast as I can, master.”
Bramwel reached inside his chest and pulled out a few of the clothes. He threw them on the floor. “Well, it’s just not good enough. Now you’ll have to refold these. Come on, get to it.” He stepped back and watched as the girl with the messy black hair bent down to pick up the things he had thrown down. “Come on. Hurry up. I don’t have all evening.”
Ryann sat down on the floor and started to refold the clothes.
“And why are you so late anyway? What have you been doing today that has delayed you?”
“Nothing, master,” Ryann said, looking up at Bramwel.
“I ought to whip you but after the fuss with that young sclava girl I’m just going to take three copper coins as a punishment. Do I make myself clear?” Ryann nodded. “And I don’t want to see you late again. Next time I will whip you as well.” Bramwel turned and walked back toward the door and picked up the tapestry. “And hurry up for goodness sake. I don’t need you hanging around in my room all evening. I have important things to do.” He took the tapestry over to the window side of his room and rolled it open on the floor. A cloud of dust filled the air and he coughed.
“You will have to clean extra thoroughly tomorrow,” he said, catching Ryann half-smiling out of the corner of his eye. “Now get out, back to your room. I’ll see you in the morning.”
Ryann picked up the clothes she was folding and placed them carefully in the trunk before closing it once more. She curtsied to Bramwel and quickly left the room.

What was Bramwel doing with that tapestry, Ryann wondered to herself as she hurriedly made her way back her room. Had he found Kieran with it, or was it something else? It had definitely been the same tapestry that she had seen in that room. But why did Bramwel have it? She smiled to herself at the memory of Bramwel coughing through a mouthful of dust, and then skipped the last few yards to her room.
“Oh, hello cook. What can I do for you?” she asked, stopping dead in her tracks in the doorway.
“You’re late back from Master Bramwel’s room.”
“Sorry cook, but the master often makes my work harder than it need be.”
Cook smiled. “Indeed. But don’t let him know I said so.” She indicated for Ryann to sit down on the bed. “I have a tally for you.”
“A tally?”
“Megan’s savings. You’ll be pleased to know that after all her debts, she had twenty-two copper coins saved up. I have added them to your account.”
Twenty-two copper coins. That was all. Ryann had hoped there would be more. “Thank you cook. That’s very kind. Thank you.”
Cook bent down over Ryann and lowered her voice. “Now little one, I need you to start behaving a little more. I know you’re young and impetuous but I wouldn’t want you to end up like Megan. No, you’re a smart girl. You need to work out how to make Master Bramwel happy and then save up your money.” She rubbed Ryann’s hair with her hand and stepped back toward the door. “And try and tidy yourself up a little bit. You look like some waif we just brought in from outside.”
“Yes cook.” Ryann smiled and watched cook as she left.
Twenty-two more copper coins. It was going to take her forever to save enough to buy her freedom.

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