Victory, or Day 30 NaNoWriMo

I did it! I did it! WOOHOO!

As of 9.30pm, I wrote 5,118 words today for the grand total of:

50489 / 50000 words. 101% done!

I had to summarise entire scenes so I could type the words THE END (which was deeply satisfying, I have to admit). This month-long exercise has been interesting – Young Adult is a genre I don’t usually write, but it has turned out to be quite fun.

I cannot wait to write THE END for my Malaysian novel next month.

For anyone who’s interested, here’s a rough blurb and an excerpt of my fantasy YA novel which I had to submit to the NaNoWriMo website for validation. Mind you, it IS a first draft and needs much more work. I would love for any feedback. (And yes, I know there are heavy shades of The Neverending Story here : )

THE BOOKSHOP APPRENTICE (working title)

Benjie has lived and worked in Bluebell’s Bookshop ever since he was abandoned on their doorstep. Now 14, he is determined to achieve his ultimate goal – to earn the Heart of Books. This gift will not just elevate him from lowly bookchild to a Supervisor’s position, but grant him something usually restricted to the nobility: the ability to read. Fate, however, has other plans. When famous bookhunter Jacobus St Cier recruits him as an apprentice, it is the beginning of an adventure that will throw him against bullies, dragons, bloodthirsty soldiers and tyrant gods, all in the utter confusion of growing up and enduring the determined attentions of an alluring, infuriating nobleman’s brat.

Excerpt

A guttural voice echoed throughout the passageways:

WHO DARES INVADE OUR SANCTUARY?

The corridor widened into another cavern where the row of pillars ended in giant statues of wolfentae guardians. Crouching as if to pounce, the two monsters stood at the entrance of a mighty doorway, their bristling fur captured in marble. As guardians go, these looked suitably decent for the job. Furry tails ended in teeth, claws dank deep into the ground, and currently their three eyes were narrowed in baleful red lines. One could see the reason why.

From behind a pillar, Benjamin St Cier watched with detached interest as a company of Southern Knights charged the gates of the Inner Caverns. Beyond those gates, he could see the unmistakable glow of the Scholar’s treasure – the culmination of a thousand years of civilisation, the storehouse of their wealth and knowledge.

The knights’ mounts thundered down the hallway to crash past the wolfentae guardians. Their bright banners danced in their wake.

“For the White Kingdoms!” the lead knight bellowed. “For Queen Edora! For brave Prince Byron!”

Hot white beams shot out of the guardians’ eyes and turned the entire company into an explosion of chopped body parts and ash. Limbs flew. Armour clattered to the ground. Elk mounts shrieked; one of them shot past Benjamin screaming, its great hooves thundering in the other direction.

The beams flashed again, and the air went sharp with ozone and other things wet and metallic.

Benjamin gave it a few minutes, to let utter silence descend and for the red mist to settle. Then he stepped out from behind his pillar to approach the guardians.

HALT, they said.

The young man kept walking, unarmed arms at his side, eyes on their stony faces. Years ago, the stare of those eyes might have paralysed him. Now he could not falter. He stepped over some knight’s helm.

WHO DARES INVADE OUR SANCTUARY?

He lifted a hand to slip it into his coat.

PREPARE TO DIE, THIEF–

“Oh, shut up,” Benjamin said, loud enough to carry to the ears of the guardians.

That silenced them a moment.

“I am not a thief,” he added, wondering if it was possible to hurt the feelings of a stone guardian. “I’m not here to steal your treasure.”

NOT…STEAL?

They seemed to have some trouble comprehending this concept.

Benjamin found his notebook in the left inner pocket, plucked it free, flipped open the pages. “According to our records, the Scholars of Pandora borrowed this volume – I Lost my Horn: A Unicorn’s Story, hardback, non-fiction – eight hundred and sixty seven years ago from the Library of Mt Crescent.” He tapped a finger on a particular page. “To our knowledge, that book has not been returned. I, Benjamin St Cier, official representative of Bluebell’s Bookshop and Acquisitions, am here on behalf of the library to collect this overdue volume which I understand to be somewhere in your treasure horde.”

COLLECT…A BOOK?

The guardians sounded almost cowed.

“And to collect on the fine, of course.” Benjamin nodded, one hand snapping shut his notebook before reaching into his other pocket. “We have taken the liberty of calculating the amount, which Bluebell’s – taking into consideration the Red Wars and two Ends of the World – have agreed to reduce to the amount of coin only required to fill one sack. We are not unreasonable. Here is my badge.”

He held out his forged badge of office while the guardians appeared to stare at it. He flipped it closed three beats later.

“Now. May I pass?” Benjamin said in a calm tone.

…YOU MAY.

Nodding gratefully, the young man began sauntering forwards. His heart pounded as he stepped over the remnants of bones recently scoured of their flesh. He kept his eyes on the golden glow of the room ahead.

To his left and right, the guardians watched him, almost as if they were trying to decide something about him.

Ten more steps to the door.

Four more steps.

Two.

WAIT, the guardians boomed.

End of Excerpt

Now I shall go crash a hundred years 😉 Night, night, all.

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14 Comments

Filed under Books, Fantasy, Malaysia, Novel, State of Mind, Triumph, Writing

14 responses to “Victory, or Day 30 NaNoWriMo

  1. Congratulations! And what an intriguing excerpt! LOVED the imagery of confused guardians! Overdue library book! LMAO!

    On a more critique-y note, I hadn’t expected to enjoy the excerpt so much based on the blurb. I think you should consider being a bit more specific with the blurb. It was all a bit vague what was happening and what your MC had to do. Now if only you could incorporate the humour and voice in your excerpt into the blurb, you’ll be set! 🙂

    • Thank you for your comments! They’re much appreciated 🙂

      Yeah I did notice the tonal shift. I struggled with that blurb for over a hour last night while sleep-dep, and it’s one of the things I’m still working out. Although the excerpt – a kind of prologue – starts out like that, much of the novel turned out to be, well, darker and life-threatening with bits of humour in between.

      This is because that part you read was when the main character is older than how he starts out in the book – early 20s, probably – so he’s more confident and self-assured. It’s a mix of drama and humour I’m trying to balance. I might save that scene you read for another time (I don’t plan my Nano novels, I just write them as I go along, throwing crazy things in there).

      I’ll tinker with it more, thanks! Glad I made you smile 🙂

  2. Congrats on finishing! Also, I’m very much interested in reading this! I love YA, so much (my hubby sometimes pokes at me for this… oh well! lol ) I think its a really creative idea and I’d definitely pick this up at a bookstore after reading that! Good luck with your other novel as well!

  3. HUGE CONGRATULATIONS! Where do you store all your ideas? No wonder you keep losing your hats–they prob fall off every time another story explodes inside your brain!

  4. Well done, Chris-creature!!! 😀 and that sounds such a fun book.
    Of course, i especially love this bit: “Hot white beams shot out of the guardians’ eyes and turned the entire company into an explosion of chopped body parts and ash. Limbs flew.”
    ‘Limbs flew’ – love it! perfect sentence 😉

  5. Congratulations! You must be proud 😀 Your writting makes me feel as if I’m there! 😀 Good work there

    Now that you are freeish, you should drop by my space. I did my first ever dessert post and want to know what you think!

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