This is the seventh 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.
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 25th
Progress: Day 4 complete. Following is the day's writing (Chapter Two continued)...
Bramwel pushed back the bed covers early the next morning and got up from his bed. It was still dark outside and his bedside candle flickered in the gentle breeze that ran through the room. “Boy!” he shouted out. “Where are you, boy?” The door to his room opened a crack and a head appeared in the doorway. “Prepare my wardrobe for the day, will you? And organize a hot bath for me.”
The boy nodded. “Is that all, master?”
“For now.” Bramwel watched as the boy disappeared from view again. He picked up the candle-holder and walked over to his study table. Damn his father. Today he really was going to have to do some studying. His father was growing angry with him. It just wasn’t fair. Why did he have to do all this? It would be so much more fun to be able to ride into battle as a part of his father’s army. Well maybe if he studied harder. Then maybe he would be allowed.
Where was that boy? Bramwel turned back toward the door. “Boy? Where are you now?” He waited impatiently for a response and after a few moments crossed over to the door, pulled it open and peered down the corridor. “Boy?”
A pale face appeared from an adjacent room. “Can I get you something, master?”
Bramwel looked across at the waif of a girl who was looking at him and a smile crossed his face. “It appears my sclava is busy. Will you run an errand for me?”
The girl curtsied. “Of course, master.”
“Will you run down to the kitchen and ask cook to send that little urchin Ryann to me with my breakfast? And make sure you repeat exactly what I say. No mistakes.”
The girl curtsied again and ran off toward the kitchen.
Bramwel smiled as he watched her go and then returned to his room to wait. Yes, he still had some unfinished business to attend to with that girl Ryann.
“You called me, master?” Ryann said, pushing open the door to Bramwel’s bedroom and entering, carrying a large breakfast tray.
Bramwel looked up from his bed. “Over there. On the table.” He watched the girl as she crossed his room and placed the tray on the table, next to his books.
“Will that be all?” She asked, curtsying.
“Bramwel jumped down from his bed and took a few steps toward Ryann. “And where were you last night?”
“Last night? Aren’t you supposed to tidy my room and my wardrobe in the evenings?”
Ryann dropped her head. “Yes master.”
“And?” He took another couple of steps until he was standing in front of Ryann and he lifted up her head with his hand. She tried to avoid looking into his eyes.
“I fell asleep, master. I was attending to Megan. She got hurt bad.”
“And it was more important to attend to a sclava than to attend to your master?”
“No sir.” Ryann tried to look downward once more.
Bramwel slapped Ryann hard across the face, watching her reaction. She bit her lip but said nothing. “And where were you when Megan was poking around in that bedroom?” Ryann remained silent and Bramwel slapped her again. “Well?”
“Nowhere sir. I was nowhere.”
Bramwel took a hold of Ryann’s arm and yanked it toward him. “Look at me when I’m speaking to you.” He watched as Ryann slowly raised her eyes to his. He could see she was fighting back a tear as her face reddened from the slapping. “You need to do a better job, girl. Don’t you know my father saved you from the gutters? Without his help you would probably be dead by now. You should be thankful for everything we give you.”
Bramwel let go of Ryann’s arm and pulled her long black hair backward until her head was forced to move with it. “Look around you, Ryann. This is your life now. This is your forever. Get used to it because it’s not going to change.” He pushed her away from him. “Now get out of here and return a little later. I want to see this room shining from your cleaning efforts. And tidied too.” He leaned forward, picked up a leg of chicken from his plate and took a big bite from it. “Get out!” he screamed.
Bramwel finished the chicken leg and swallowed down a large glass of water before walking over to the window. The sun was just rising to his left and he could see the faint shadows of dawn rushing across the paths on the horizon. The forest looked quiet.
He returned to his table, reached down to a shelf underneath, and pulled out a small wooden horse that had originally been painted white but was now half-dappled where several pieces of paint had flaked off. He clutched the horse to him and crossed back back to the window.
“One day, Stampede, we will ride through the forest and out across the plains. One day we will fight a glorious battle and win a castle of our own to live in.” He lifted the horse toward the window so that it was looking outside with him. “See how it is out there. You see how you would love it?” Bramwel moved the horse so that it appeared to nod toward him and he smiled. “I knew you would be happy. One day we will have that castle and we will own a hundred sclavas. Then we will be the happiest people in the world.