This is number twenty-six 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 14th
Progress: Day 23 complete. Following is the day's writing...
Bramwel climbed the stairs that led to Grubb’s room. The last few days had been tougher than he had expected and he needed to talk to the potion-maker and see how else he could help him. He wiped his brow as he reached the door and then he pushed it open and went inside.
“Young Master Bramwel,” Grubb said, putting a large glass jar down on the table. “And what brings you back again so soon?”
Bramwel walked across the room and stood next to the old man. “I wanted to know what other potions you could provide for me?”
Grubb smiled. “I heard about the young sclava. I didn’t realize you were trying to kill off your servants nowadays.”
“I just wanted to try the poison out and see how it worked. That was all.”
“Yes. I see.” Grubb turned his attention back to the large glass jar and dropped a few herbs into it.
“Will you help me then?” Bramwel asked.
“Why? What is in it for me?”
Bramwel watched as a few wisps of smoke rose up from the jar. “For you? I don’t understand.”
Grubb laughed. “Do you think I do this for your pleasure, Master Bramwel? No, there has to be something in it for me. A reward of some kind? Maybe a coin or two? The poison I gave you was a sample.”
Bramwel took a step back from the smoking jar, coughing a little as he went. “I am sure I could offer you a few copper coins for the right magic.”
Grubb breathed in the smoke and smiled again. “I was hoping for a little more.” He looked across at Bramwel. “Shall we say two silver coins?”
“Are you crazy, old man?” Bramwel said, laughing.
Grubb waited for Bramwel to go quiet again. “I will make it worth your while. A special potion for you and a special piece of information. Information that will help you achieve what is on your mind.”
“You know nothing of what is on my mind, Grubb.”
“You would be surprised.” Grubb closed his eyes and breathed in a little more of the smoke. “You want to have this castle for yourself. I can help you with that.” He held out his hand toward Bramwel.
Bramwel reached into his pocket and slid two silver coins into Grubb’s hand. “This had better be worth it.”
Grubb smiled and beckoned Bramwel closer to him. “Of course, Master Bramwel. Of course.” He waited until Bramwel was standing next to him before he continued. “Your mother. She is not dead, Bramwel.”
Bramwel reached out and tried to take the coins back from Grubb, but the old man closed his hand and secreted them away. “Don’t play me for the fool, Grubb. I know she is dead.”
“No, she is not dead. Perhaps you should ask your father. She just disappeared one day. Gone from the castle. Not dead.” He put up a hand as Bramwel started to speak. “Not dead, Bramwel. Go ask your father.” He smiled. “That was worth two silver coins, was it not? And tomorrow, in your room, you will find a gift from me. Something a little extra. A potion that will aid in sleep. Very long sleep.” He laughed out loud. “Now go. Leave me.”
* * *
“Fifty-five,” Ryann counted. Already the total of copper coins was decreasing. Ever since she had started her fighting lessons with the old man, her savings were getting less and less. Still, it wasn’t all bad. She already felt fitter. She had lost some more weight around her stomach and her arms and legs ached from all the exercise. And today she had even beaten the old man one time in a duel with the wooden swords. Yes, perhaps this would be a good investment after all. She smiled and lay back on her bed, imagining beating Bramwel and gaining her freedom.
“No time for sitting around,” cook said, peeking into Ryann’s room. “You need to take the rest of Bramwel’s clothes back to him.” She crossed over to Ryann’s bed and dropped a small pile of clothes on it. “Hurry now.”
Ryann opened her eyes and sat up. “Yes, cook. I’ll go straight away.” She got to her feet and moaned slightly at the pain in her legs.
“Are you alright?” asked cook.
Ryann smiled. “Just a little tired, that’s all.” She bent down and picked up Bramwel’s clothes and hurried off toward his room.
“About time,” Bramwel said as Ryann appeared. “Have you got my tunic there?”
Ryann put the clothes down on Bramwel’s bed and looked through the pile. She pulled out a dark blue tunic. “This one?”
Bramwel snatched it form her. “Yes this one.” He held it back up to her. “Now help me on with it, will you?”
Ryann tried to avert her eyes as Bramwel stripped off his robe and stood there in his undergarments. Why did he always try and humiliate her? She slipped the tunic over his outstretched arms and over his head, and then took a step back to turn away. Maybe she could back to her room now and get a little more rest.
“What have you done?” Bramwel screamed. Ryann snapped her head around and saw Bramwel rubbing at a mark on the right-hand side. “You have ruined it,” he continued. “How did this happen?”
Ryann stepped closer to take a look and shook her head. “I do not know, master. I just collected it from the wash-room. Perhaps somebody did not take care enough.”
Bramwel slapped Ryann hard across the face, causing her to take a step back. “Someone? You are responsible for everything I do. Not someone else.” He turned around, walked over to the table next to his bed and took up his whip. He cracked it once, toward the door and away from Ryann. “How did this happen?”
Ryann’s eyes darted back and forth between the whip and Bramwel’s tunic. “I am sorry, master. I can have someone mend it for you. She held out her hands. Please give it to me.” She screamed out loud as the whip cracked and left a bright red marks across her two palms. She quickly dropped her hands to her side before he could strike them again, and she ran from the room.
“Come back, Ryann. Come back here,” Bramwel shouted.
Ryann ignored the shouts and continued on toward her room.