Yep, it's been a while since I posed a sample from the story. But here's the next scene from chapter twelve. I don't recall if I've mentioned, but the rough draft of the story is now twenty-two chapters in length, so we're only about half-way into it at this point.
My general plan has always been to stop posting samples around the half-way point, and then when I go back to do my revisions, I would start posting samples of before/after scenes, so that you could get an idea of the scale of changes taking place. In some cases, those changes will be a singe word here or there, while in other cases I may very well scrap an entire scene or set of scenes, and re-write them to be completely different.
From a writer's perspective, I thought this would be most helpful as well as interesting for those who are curious about the actual practice of novel writing. Also, I am a capitalist at heart - and I have no intention of giving away the fruits of my labors. These samples are just like what you might find in a department store - free samples intended to catch your interest, and hopefully lead to sales of the full product when the time comes.
But with all of that said, I do hope you are enjoying the samples in their own right. Even in rough draft form, they still tell a story, one that I like to think can keep a reader coming back for more.
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They wasted no time finding a place to stay in Drakenmount, for Hallgeir already knew a couple of inns that would fit their needs. Checking at the first, they found there was a large enough room available that they could share it. The innkeeper just had to carry in one extra bed, and it was setup for them. While they waited, they went down to the common room and enjoyed the local ale, a dark and bitter brew that Balfrith first found to be a bit harsh, but when he sampled some cheese with it, made his mouth water with each bite and sip. It was also much colder than what he was used to, compared with ales served in Nûmidëa and Sildara, which he assumed was simply due to their northern location and the cooler temperatures.
Finally the innkeeper approached them and said the room was ready. They finished their drinks and the cheese, picked up their things and carried them up to the room. Balfrith said as they entered, “I’ll be glad to sleep in a real bed, and not a bunk, for a change.”
“Aye, I can’t argue with that,” agreed Hallgeir. The northerner had seemed to become much more talkative as they all spent more time together, and also, it seemed to Balfrith, he seemed to talk more as they had approached Nifflgarde. Perhaps it’s just that he likes talking about his homeland, and his people.
As they unpacked a few things, laying clothes out to be washed, Hallgeir pulled out an object wrapped in burlap. It seemed to be about as long as his forearm, and a few inches in diameter. He held it up and said, “Here is the gift for master Adradomir’s associate. I haven’t unwrapped it or seen it myself. But this is it.”
Balfrith had largely forgotten about the gift, but now his curiosity was piqued and he asked, “Didn’t Adradomir tell us it was some sort of statue of a god, or something like that?”
Calunoth said, “He only said it was a small statue, but didn’t give us any other information. I remember well - I tried to get him to tell me more, before you arrived that morning. But he was as close-mouthed as always, only giving what he thought we needed to know. Typical Elf, I suppose.” Then he actually blushed, and said, “Sorry about that, Eldamir. No offense intended.”
Eldamir smiled wanly, and said, “None taken, Calunoth. I have found that most Men are more curious than is healthy for them. As they say, ‘Curiosity killed the cat’ - and I suspect that she has killed her fair share of Men as well.”
Calunoth laughed aloud, shaking his head, and wisely let the matter drop.
Hallgeir said, “I think we should try to locate the destination for this gift, and the letter, today. If no one is there, perhaps we can leave a note and try again tomorrow.”
“I agree,” said Balfrith. “I’d rather not take too long with this delivery, given that my real interest here in Nifflgarde lies further north.”
“I think we’re all more interested in your final destination,” agreed Calunoth. Hallgeir nodded as well. Though they’d not discussed payment, it seemed to Balfrith that the two men had quietly decided to accompany him and Eldamir, out of curiosity as much as anything. He smiled then, thinking of Eldamir’s comment. Let’s just hope that Curiosity doesn’t decide to exact her terms of payment while we’re on this little excursion.