This is number twenty-five 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 13th
Progress: Day 22 complete. Following is the day's writing (Chapter Eleven continued)...
Ryann hurried back to the kitchen and told cook of Lord Cala’s request. “Goodness me, what are we going to do?” asked cook, as she ladled some stew into a bowl. She handed it off to another of the girls and sent her on her way.
“What about me?” Ryann asked, unsure as to why she didn’t take the food back to Lord Cala.
“I need you to attend to Master Bramwel. He is asking for his room to be completely cleaned and a large meal to be served.” She ladled some more stew into a bowl and handed it to Ryann. “With Kieran gone and little chance of a replacement, we’re going to be short-handed for a while. It’s going to mean extra work for us all. And you’re going to have to attend to Bramwel more often.”
Ryann took the stew and sighed. She was never going to escape from him. “Yes, cook.” She turned and headed back toward Bramwel’s room, making sure she didn’t spill any of the stew. When she entered his room she put it down on the table and crossed over toward the far side of the room, next to the window.
“Are my clothes ready?” Bramwel asked, sitting down and ladling some stew into his mouth.
“Not yet, master. But as soon as they are ready I will bring them to you.” She hoped they weren’t ready yet. She’d forgotten about them with everything else she was trying to do.
“Just make sure you do.” He stuck out a finger and pointed to the windows. “And you need to clean these. I can hardly see out of them.”
Ryann reached out a finger to the window and ran it along the edges. Her finger was covered in dirt. It had probably been a very long time since they had been washed. She walked across the room and headed back to the wash-room for a cloth and some water.
“And don’t be long,” Bramwel called out behind her.
A few minutes later she returned to Bramwel’s room with a cloth and a bucket of water. She also had a few of his clean clothes with her. She dropped the clothes onto the bed, walked back over to the window, and started cleaning.
“Did you know you have a brother?” Bramwel asked, walking up alongside Ryann.
She stopped washing the window and turned her head toward Bramwel. “I am an orphan, sir.”
Bramwel laughed. “No, that is what they told you. Your papers say you have a brother.”
Ryann put the bucket down and turned fully toward Bramwel. “I do?”
“So you had better start doing exactly what I say if you want to know more about him.” Bramwel walked back toward the door. “Exactly what I say.” He laughed as he walked out of the room, leaving Ryann all alone with a wet cloth in her hand.
The next hour passed without Ryann noticing as she absentmindedly cleaned the windows, all the time thinking about what Bramwel had said. Now she had to get free. She had to earn her freedom so that she could find her brother, wherever he was. Wherever he was. She didn’t know anything at all. Maybe Bramwel was making it up. But he couldn’t be, could he? Perhaps she should ask Lord Cala. She dropped the cloth into the dirty water and picked up the bucket to take it back to the wash-room.
“Ryann, isn’t it?” the old man in the wash-room asked.
Ryann nodded. “Hello.” Ryann recognized the old man from before. “You’re the man who was teaching Kieran to fight, aren’t you?”
The old man nodded. “I am.” He walked up to her, ran a finger through her hair and then took a step back to examine her body. “I think you would make a good pupil.”
Ryann laughed. “Me? Learning to fight? I am a girl.”
“And girls don’t fight?”
“No. I mean, I don’t think so,” Ryann replied, looking the old man up and down.
“Well, you should think about it. You never know when you might need to know how to protect yourself.” He took another step closer to Ryann and lowered his voice. “Especially with the likes of the master about.” He winked at Ryann.
“And you would teach me?” Ryann asked.
The old man nodded. “Of course,” he replied. “For a small fee.” He smiled. “We all have to make our living here.”
“Two copper coins a lesson. That’s what I charged young Kieran. God rest his soul.” He turned to leave the wash-room. “Just have a think about it. Let me know. You can usually find me outside. Near the stables.”
Ryann watched the old man as he walked away. Fighting lessons? Maybe it would be a good idea. Maybe she would be able to stand up to Bramwel. But two copper coins a lesson. That would eat into her savings. The savings that were already accumulating slower than she would have liked.
* * *
“I need you to be a little easier on the sclavas, Bram,” Lord Cala said as he and Bramwel sat in the sitting room. “I don’t think we’re going to be able to afford any more for a while, and there are few enough as it is. So you’re just going to have to show a little restraint going forward.”
“No more whipping. Do you understand?”
“And no more hitting. Instead, refer all problems to me. I will deal with them personally. I need to keep all the sclavas as healthy as possible.” Lord Cala took a sip from his cup. “Do I make myself clear, Bram?”
“Yes, father,” Bramwel replied. “I’ll do my best. But sometimes they need to be taught a lesson.” Especially that Ryann girl, he thought to himself. She was the worst. Always answering back. She had a real attitude. Still, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. Now that he had told her about her brother, she would be a lot easier to handle. He smiled. “But, of course, father. For the smooth-running of the household, I’ll be a little more considerate.” He turned his head away from his father. “And some marks don’t show anyway,” he mumbled to himself.