This is number twenty 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: May 8th
Progress: Day 17 complete. Following is the day's writing...
“I just thought I’d come and check on you, Bram,” Lord Cala said, standing in the doorway to Bramwel’s bedroom with a lit torch in his hand.
Bramwel looked up from his bed. “I’m fine, thanks.”
“No change of heart?”
“No,” Bramwel smiled. “I’m committed.” He rolled over to face his father and put his toy horse down.
“You still have your horse then I see.”
“It’s the one memory I have of mother. You know that.”
Lord Cala took a step inside Bramwel’s room and lowered his torch slightly. “Your mother gave you that just two days before she died.”
Bramwel sat up in his bed. “So soon before? I never realized.”
Lord Cala nodded and took another couple of steps toward Bramwel. “Yes, it’s almost three years to the day now. She loved you very much.”
“How did she die, father?”
Lord Cala dropped his head. “It’s too painful, Bram. One day. One day I’ll tell you. For now just be happy with the memories you have.” He stopped beside his son and leaned over to ruffle his hair. “Last chance. I won’t think any the less of you if you decide not to fight this boy. It’s a big responsibility, and he may not be as easy to beat as you think.”
Bramwel laughed. “I have seen him practicing, father. I don’t think I will have too much trouble beating him.”
Lord Cala stepped back from the bed and turned to leave. “If you are sure, I will let it be known that the duel will take place tomorrow afternoon. I will have the courtyard prepared. Sleep well, Bram. Get some rest.”
“Goodnight father,” Bramwel replied. He watched his father leave and he sank back onto the bed to think some more. He pulled his toy horse to his chest and held it tightly. “Tomorrow is our day, Stampede. We do this for our honor and in memory of mother.”
Bramwel closed his eyes and quickly drifted off to sleep.
Bramwel was still in his clothes from the night before when he awoke the following morning. He rubbed his eyes and squinted at the light that was streaming through his window. “Where is that girl?” he said to himself, sitting up and surveying his room. “She should be here by now.”
He got up from the bed and cursed as his toy horse fell to the floor. He picked it up and placed it back under the table on the far side of his room. His hand wandered to the small vial that was also sitting there and he cupped it in his hands.
“Yes,” he said under his breath. Hopefully Grubb had spoken the truth and this potion would help dispatch Kieran quickly and efficiently. He slipped the vial into his pocket and tapped it unconsciously. Yes, later on he would apply it to his sword; before the duel commenced. Then he would see just how powerful Grubb’s magic was.
“Where is that girl?” he shouted out again, crossing over to his doorway. He looked outside into the corridor but she was nowhere to be seen. Didn’t she know he needed to get ready early this morning? He smiled. No, of course she didn’t. She probably didn’t even know about the duel. A smile crossed his face. He would take pleasure in telling her that; that was for sure. He stepped fully into the corridor and shouted out again. “Ryann!”
“Yes, Master Bramwel. I’m coming, sir,” came a girl’s voice from somewhere down the corridor.
Bramwel waited until Ryann appeared in the distance. “Hurry up, girl. I haven’t got all day. Where is my breakfast? Are you abandoning your duties again?”
Ryann stumbled along the corridor, trying to balance a tray in her hands that contained Bramwel’s breakfast. “Here I am, master.” She arrived all out of breath, stepped around Bramwel, and entered his room. She crossed to the table and put the tray down, nearly dropping it onto the floor in the process. “Sorry I’m late master, but cook was all behind this morning. Still, she put on an extra piece of your favorite cheese for you.” She pointed at the plate containing the cheese.
“Cheese. Is that all you care about? Why weren’t you here to tidy my room already?”
“I am here now. Please, come and eat and I will tidy your room. Please.” Ryann stood to one side of the tray and waited for Bramwel to cross over. She stepped away, making sure she remained out of reach of his long arms.
“It’s a lovely day today, Ryann. Do you know why that is?”
Ryann shook her head. “A feast day?”
“No. Today is a special day for me. My father is allowing me to partake in a duel. I am going to show my father that I am a man and worthy of fighting in his army.” Bramwel watched the puzzled reaction on Ryann’s face. “It doesn’t mean anything to you?”
“Of course not. You’re new here.” He put a piece of bread into his mouth and chewed on it. “Here, come over here so I can explain,” he said, spitting crumbs as he spoke.
Ryann cautiously took a couple of steps toward Bramwel. “Yes master?”
“There is a custom that allows sclavas to challenge their master for their freedom by way of a duel, one on one. If they win, they get their freedom, but if they lose, their debt is doubled.”
“Oh,” said Ryann.
Bramwel laughed. “You still don’t understand, do you?” Ryann shook her head. “Kieran,” said Bramwel. “Kieran has challenged me to a duel. Later this afternoon he and I will duel with swords. And when I beat him, he will be in my debt forever. What say you to that, Ryann?”
Ryann stared Bramwel in the face, unable to utter a single word.