One of the most satisfying moments about writing a novel, is that blissful moment when you type “The End” on the last page of a manuscript.
The moment after typing that is, of course, the moment when you realise that editing is a thing. BUT for one. single. moment. you can type those words and breathe out a big sigh.
As you might’ve gathered from the title, I have just finished another novel! Yesterday afternoon I typed those glorious two words and finished my fantasy novel, PRINCE. (The title is in uppercase just because I think it looks cooler. xD )
I talked about this novel in a writing update when I first started it, so head over there if you want to refresh your memory. Or just take the elevator pitch: it’s a fantasy novel about a prince who goes to rescue his damsel in distress, only to realise that she’s already been rescued by someone else and he’s just walked straight into a trap. (Can we take a moment to appreciate that pitch? That’s the best one I’ve ever come up with and I’m very proud.)
I first started writing PRINCE in March as a little break from editing, but I only got halfway through before the end of March was upon me and I put a pause to my writing to dive into edits (A Sprig of Green). But mid-May I was able to get back to the fantasy realms! I opened the dusty old scrivener document and found out exactly where I’d stopped a month and a half beforehand.
And I quote:
An old man stands, framed between tree trunks etc etc time for bed.
—me; late at night, several months ago
Apparently I hadn’t even finished the sentence. 😯 Luckily I wasn’t totally clueless about what I was trying to talk about all that time ago, so it didn’t take me long to get back into the story.
After another month of working on the first draft, it’s officially finished now. As the third fantasy novel I’ve ever written and the first actually-decent-fantasy novel I’ve ever written, it was a really fun experience and I’ve definitely enjoyed it. Because really, who doesn’t like writing about dragons?
All the Stats
Total word count: 51,359
Highest word count in a day: 4,297 (21st May)
First line: I am a prince, therefore I must rescue the princess.
Last line: “Dragons bad breath, spare me,” I say, and roll my eyes for extra measure. “Please no.”
Total betrayal count: Only two (thank goodness for my characters)
Hidden fandom references: one! Only one! (I’ve forgotten what it was, but I had a good giggle at the time. 😛 )
Favourite character: Prince Kal (hooray, I like the main character. Although Dane and Valerie are both lovely in their own ways.)
Who’s Ready for Snippets??
It’s been ages since I last splurged with snippets. Mostly because I’ve been working on ASoG a lot, and I’ve snippetted every last snippet out of the little novel. But now there’s a new novel so that means MORE SNIPPETS. There’s actually only three snippets, but they’re on the long-ish side so that should make up for it. 😉
Something smashes into my ribs like a battering ram and I crumple to my knees with a gasp. Before I can even catch my breath, figures blur around me and a hand grabs my shoulder.
How dare they touch me. I grab the hand and flip the solider over my shoulder, releasing him at the perfect moment to send him thudding into the base of a tree. My instincts take over and I weave sideways, bursting free of the tightening knot of figures. A sword hisses past my ear, and I duck toward the wielder, smashing my shoulder into the center of his chest.
His sword goes flying from his hand and I snatch it out of the air with a breathless ‘ha.’ I spin to face the group, and something twinges in the back of my mind. There’s something wrong here—
Three of the soldiers dive at me at once and I back off a pace, knocking aside their blows with my sword. A battle axe swings at my head from a forth soldier and I leap backward out of reach. What sort of sportsman would fight a sword with an axe, that’s an unfair advantage.
I don’t get much time to dwell on it though. The ground suddenly rips out from beneath my feet and I shoot up into the air, a coarse net of rope snapping tight around me. I kick, trying to get my feet under me, but the tangle of rope mesh just gets more impossible as I struggle.
“Get me down,” I curse, managing to get one leg beneath myself, but only pitching forward and face planting into the net. My arm tangles through the ropes as I grope toward my boot, looking for the dagger tucked there.
A rumble of chuckling comes from below, and I gulp. “I said, let me down.”
“Stop being a whiny brat,” a female voice huffs up at me, and I scrabble for that dagger even more urgently, finally managing to grab the hilt.
Damsel Valerie steps into my view, hands on her hips and her eyebrows raised. “The more you struggle, the longer it’ll take us to cut you out of there.”
I yelp, and the dagger drops, slipping from my grip and thudding to the ground. “You do realise who I am—” I splutter.
– – –
“Are you the tavern owner?” I lean forward on the bar again.
He grunts. “Sure am. What can I get you?” He shoots a sideways glance at the barmaid, but she doesn’t meet his eyes.
That brings him up short. “A what?”
“A horse,” I repeat. “Honestly, man, is it so hard to understand? I want a horse, and I’m willing to pay.” I slap one of the large coins on the bar, keeping my hand over it in a protective cage so he can’t snatch it away instantly.
The man raises his eyebrows. “I don’t have a horse for sale.”
I raise my eyebrows in a mimic of his expression. “Oh yeah?”
He doesn’t shift. “You can’t come into my tavern and not buy a drink. What do you want?”
“A horse,” I hold back the curse that desperately wants to slip out afterward. I slam down another of my coins. “I don’t want any drinks.”
The man clears his throat, then I suddenly notice that his shadow seems to have grown extra arms and legs and a head. A huge mountain of a man steps out, almost stooping beneath the ceiling to avoid hitting his head. His fingers tighten around the handle of a log of wood, carved into a shape that looks uncomfortably bashable.
Aaaand would you look at that, I’m suddenly more thirsty than I thought I was. I scrape the coins back into my other hand and toss out the two smaller coins. “I’ll take a mug of whatever that’ll give me.”
– – –
The valley spreads peacefully around me, green grass dotted with ferns curling their fronds toward the stream. I roll to my feet and stumble toward the water, dropping to my knees and plunging my hands into the water. The icy shock curls around my fingers, then I splash the water across my face. A gasp breaks from my lips as the cold water totally decks any last sleepiness from my mind.
Oh for slow mornings and warm showers. I scoop up handfuls of water, cupping them up to my mouth to drink. The clenching in my stomach eases slightly and I finally wash away the remaining vestiges of that disgusting tavern drink.
Something growls from the other side of the stream. My fingers might’ve been numb from the cold, but as I raise my dripping face, my whole body turns to ice.
A red-scaled beast crouches on the opposite side of the stream, tail swishing and glowing eyes fixed on me. The deep blood-coloured scales reflect the light shimmering off the water, casting an eerie glow around the wild dragon. Another growl rumbles deep in its throat and the muscles in his back legs tighten.
I slowly shift back onto my heels, raising my hands. “Easy does it,” I murmur.
The dragon growls again, the sound even deeper than before. I curse myself inwardly. I can’t talk to this dragon—it’s a wild dragon, so it probably doesn’t understand anything I say and I certainly can’t speak in its language.
“I’m not going to steal your…your treasure hoard,” I say, keeping my voice as low and steady as I can.
The dragon obviously takes offense at the mention of treasure hoards because it leaps before I even have time to say ‘great wolloping dragon king.’
I think after my experience with PRINCE, I can safely say that I definitely do like writing fantasy as well as sci fi—although, I don’t think I could write either all the time. There’s got to be a little bit of variation between genres otherwise it gets boring. 😛
What’s next for PRINCE?
I’ve already got the rest of the year booked (pun intended) out: two more first drafts in July and November, and everything else filled in with editing A Sprig of Green. PRINCE is going to have to wait a while, but I think I probably will edit it one day.
Just…not this day. 😉
I hope you enjoyed that little update on this novel! (I let myself make some new half-collages, and that was a lot of fun.) July Camp NaNo is just around the corner, and I’ve fiiinally decided what novel I’ll be working on. I’m back into the sci fi realms for a currently-unplotted-pile-of-I-don’t-know-what called Falling Sun and I’m looking forward to seeing how it pans out.
Your turn! What novel are you working on currently? What’s your favourite fantasy cliche/trope? Are you going to be participating in Camp NaNoWriMo next month?