NaNoWriMo Day 29: The Final Excerpt

One final day remains.  I have one short chapter left to write, but I will do that tomorrow.  However, I would like to say that today I hit 100,000 words!  That is so many for 30 days.  We’ll see what my final count will be tomorrow.

Today, I have the third and final excerpt from my NaNoWriMo novel.  If you would like to go back and read any of the previous excerpts, you can do so here:

Excerpt one and excerpt two.

I would like to remind you that like with all the other excerpts, this is a vomit draft, and thus may have a lot of grammar issues and a wrong word here or there.  The only editing I did was just enough to make sure it’s readable for you.  Please enjoy!

“Don’t use mistcraft!”  Rike shouted again.

He looked around.  A few of the other horses had been calmed down, and were being pulled along to the caves.  Others were struggling.

Natty was standing out in the middle of the chaos.  She looked like she was frozen.  Her eyes were glowing and misty.  Rike ran for her.  “Natty!  Release your mist!”

She did just that.  But that didn’t stop the lightning.  Rike got to her just in time.  He leapt in the air and crashed into her, knocking her to the wet grass, which allowed them to slide a little.  The lightning hit where she was standing only a moment before.  Rike stood up, grabbed Natty’s hand and pulled her up.  Then, fearing to let go of her, he dragged her towards the cave.

It was dry inside, there were already three horses inside with Nico who was tying them up to some stalagmites.  Natty was sopping wet and had a terrified look on her face.

“Stay here,” Rike said.  “No matter what happens outside, you stay inside.”

“Don’t go!” She pulled his arm back.

“Jassa is still out there.”  He ran back out into the storm.  There was still a lot of lightning, but everyone seemed to get the idea that using energetic mist in the Break storm was a bad idea, so most of it was up high in the clouds, not striking the ground.

Naroli was pulling two horses towards the cave.  Visrium had another two horses.  That was eight of the nine living horses accounted for.  Tanroa and Epress were pushing the cart of their supplies out of the storm.

Where was Jassa, and where was Mistress Marenti?  Where was the last horse?

He spotted them near a tree.  Marenti was on her horse, its reins were tangled up in the branches of the small tree, and Jassa and Marenti was trying to get them undone.  They were also using mistcraft.  Either they was taking the risk like fools, or they never heard nor picked up on the fact that Break lighting was attracted to mistcraft.

Rike ran for them.  “Jassa!  Release the mist!”

“Rike, help me get this horse!” She shouted back when she spotted him.

“No, Rike,” Marenti shouted into the wind.  “Get back to the shelter!”

“Release the mist!”  Rike yelled.  “The lightning is att—”

The lightning struck.  It missed Jassa and Marenti, but struck the tree, catching it on iridescent fire.  Jassa was screaming.  A large branch snapped off the tree in the wind.  It fell on Jassa dropping her to the ground.  Her screaming stopped.

“Jassa!” Rike shouted.

The horse tried to flee from the blaze that swiftly descended the burning tree, nearly throwing Marenti in the process.  The fire was too fast.  It engulfed the tree in iridescent fire, and engulfed the horse as well as Marenti, burning them to ash in a moment.

Rike ran forward.  “No!”

He wanted to use mistcraft, but that would call down the lightning on him.  He needed to just rely on his own strength.  There was nothing he could do for the horse or Marenti, they were already gone, and their ash was turning to mud in the rain.  He ran for Jassa, who wasn’t moving.  He hoped she was just unconscious.  He tried to lift the branch, but it was too heavy.  By the strange light of the misty fire, he could see that she was bleeding.

“Lady of the Mist, help me!” he called.  Then he took the risk.  He drew in a little mist, and used it on the branch to empty it of weight.  He heaved it off her, then pulled her into his arms.  Then he ran.  As soon as he moved away, a second bolt of Break lightning struck the branch he had just infused with all his mist.  He ran as fast as he could with Jassa in his arms.  They were the last ones into the cave.  It was deep enough that they were probably all safe from the storm.  The eight remaining horses were starting to calm down.

Rike put Jassa down and put an ear to her chest.  Her heart was beating, and she was still breathing.  But she had a cut on her head from where the branch hit her, and she had some blood pooling on her side.  He lifted her shirt, protruding from her side was a small stick lodged into her.

“Help,” Rike said.

-Excerpt from Mistcraft; Chapter 30, by Andrew Ronzino

That will be the last excerpt this year.  I love this scene, I’m as glad I was convinced to kill a character and not just horses in it.  (Wow, that sounds so bad.)

Current word count for Mistcraft: 100,146/50,000!

Until the final day,

Andrew Ronzino, Master of Mistcraft

NaNoWriMo Day 19: The Second Excerpt

Today was a good day.  There was another great scene that I was able to write, one that I’ve been seeing in my head for a long time.  It felt good to finally write it.  So, things are going well.

Normally, I would have shared the second excerpt by now, but I’ve been too busy to do so, so I’m doing that tonight.  If you would like to read the first one, you can do that here.  Again, just like with all my excerpts, this is a vomit draft so please ignore any spelling or grammatical errors that may have gotten past my quick edit.  Let me know what you think of it.

“Krola?” Naroli said.

She was looking at Jassa like she were suddenly a meal she hadn’t had in a long time, and she was famished.  Jassa glanced at the door.  Naroli’s hand was on the handle.  Jassa was filled with a fear.  She grabbed Rike’s arm to keep he close to her just in case they needed to flee or fight.

She was surprised by the commanding presence of this mistress of mistcraft.  She exuded power.  On top of her being strikingly beautiful, she was in charge of whatever room she was in.  Right now she was in the room with them, blocking their exit.  She was in awe and terrified of this woman at the same time.

The kettle was still screaming.

“Krola,” she said again.  “Lady of the Mist, what a gift.”  She stared at them in awe, and that frightened Jassa too.

“Please,” she said, like a begging plea.  “Don’t go.  Stay.  I’ll get us that tea.  Please.  Please don’t leave.”  She moved away from the door as if it were the hardest thing in the world for her to do.  She swiftly went into the kitchen.

Jassa could hear teacups being jostled quickly.

“Should we leave?” Rike said.  “I don’t like this.”

“I don’t either,” Jassa said.  “But I don’t think we should leave, Rike.  I don’t know what’s going on.  But I want to know.”

“She was looking at us like meat, Jassa.”

“I know, please let’s stay.  If we get into trouble, we’ll run for it.  You can fight a little.”

“Not against a mistress of mistcraft, I can’t,” Rike said.  “She was kicking us out a moment ago.”

“Apparently father’s name has more weight to it than we thought.”

“Maybe,” Rike said, “but he is a little famous, isn’t he?”

“A little, I guess,” Jassa said.  She moved a few steps away from the door, but close enough that all she had to do was jump for it, and she would have a hold of the handle.  Rike stayed at the door.

Naroli walked in with a tray with three teacups on it, full to the brim of a light brown tea.  She put it down on the table and looked at them again.

“Your surname is Krola?” she said again, as if she didn’t quite hear it the first few times.

“Yes,” Jassa said, confused.  “Jassalyn and Rikenar Krola.”

“Daughter and son of the Sword.”  This was a statement, not a question, almost said to herself than to them.

“Yes,” Jassa said.  “You know my father then?”

She laughed.  “Children of the Sword!  You are no mistake.  Paalvana, you clever, cleaver woman.  No, I do not know your father other than knowing his name.  The Sword is famous, especially with my chapter of the nacres.  Sit.  Have some tea.  I have decided to help you after all.”

“Why?”  Rike said.  “A moment ago you were throwing us out, telling us we’re too dangerous to have around, now you want to help us?”

“Yes, Son of the Sword, I do.  You have no idea what having you here means to me.  Sit, sit.  I will not throw you from this place now.”

Jassa sat first, Rike slowly left the door and joined her.  Naroli handed them the tea.  Jassa took it and sipped it so it would spill over the brim.

“I knew your mother married an angel, but I never knew, nor would I have ever thought, that she would have married Krola the Sword.  It is almost unbelievable to me.  I don’t even know how to really react to this news other than to sit here in awe.”

“Why?” Jassa said.  “You’re not making any sense, ma’am.”

“I know, I know,” Naroli said.  “I’m sorry.  There’s a reason for it, I’m a little shocked.  When you learned you were nacres and you told your father, how did he react?”

“He told us that he hoped we would be nacres,” Jassa said.  “He said we might be able to help heal—”

“Heal the world,” Naroli said.

“Yes,” Jassa said.

“Paalvana, you were clever.  I should have known she was up to something.”

“What does that mean?” Rike said. “Ma’am, you’re confusing us right now.  And frankly, I want to leave.”

“Please don’t.  I apologize.  I’ve been strange.  This was the last thing I expected to happen to me when two angelic children entered my eatery today.  It’s just that if you really are the children of Krola the Sword, your forbidden blood was no accident.”

Jassa didn’t know what to think of that.  She never thought she was an accident, even with her nacre blood.  Her father had mentioned that he had hoped that they would have shown signs are nacre abilities, and when Rike never said anything after getting them, and her not saying anything either until their fight, he seemed relieved that they were, and sad at the same time.  She remembered reading his face, and wondering what would make him happy and sad at the same time.

Now this Naroli woman was telling them that they weren’t an accident.  It was starting to sound like Mother married Father on purpose for the sole reason of having them.  But she wondered why.  Is my whole life some kind of elaborate lie or plan? she thought, while reaching for the seashell pendant hanging from her neck.

“What do you mean by that?” Jassa said.

“Child, do you know who your father is, and why he’s called the Sword?” Naroli said, her eye brows raised.

Rike spoke up.  “Our father is a famous warrior from the past,” he said with pride. “He has won many battles and many wars.  He is a skilled warrior and a master of the sword.  He was one of the celestials who helped defeat Brayol after he broke the world.”

Jassa nodded.  “Our father is a hero.”

“A hero?  Maybe,” Naroli said.  “I will not dispute anything he may have told you, or deny these facts about him that you have stated, I am sure they are all true.  The celestials are a great race, and we were lucky to have them cross over from the celestial ream to the human realm.  Though I do not believe they were sent from Thane-Na.  But your father was more than what you have said.”

She paused for a long moment and sipped her tea.  “Yes, your father did help stop Brayol eventually, but only after he betrayed him.”

“What?!” Jassa and Rike said in unison.

Naroli put her teacup down on the saucer on the table.  “Your father worked for Brayol.”

“No,” Rike said, angry.  “That’s lie!”

-Excerpt from Mistcraft; Chapter 15, by Andrew Ronzino

There it is.  This is the scene where my MCs learn that there’s more to their celestial father than they thought they knew.  It was a blast to write.

Current word count for Mistcraft: 54,118/50,000!

Until tomorrow night,

Andrew Ronzino, Bob Cratchit

NaNoWriMo Day 4: The First Excerpt


I hope you all are having a good evening.  I was having some difficulty focusing on the novel today, so I went on my region’s NaNo chat server and participated in several word wars.  That kept my head in the right place for writing, and I was able to get a good number of words written because of it.  One of the things I love about NaNoWriMo is the kind and helpful community that gets involved.

By the way, The Greatest Showman soundtrack is great for writing.  I listened to it on repeat all night.

All that being said, tonight want to share a small excerpt from my novel.  It’s a little taste of what I’ve written so far.  I’m aware that all I’ve given out is the plot so you won’t have much context for the excerpt, but I would like to share it anyway.

Now, just so we’re clear, this novel is the roughest of rough drafts.  The point of NaNoWriMo is to write a minimum of 50,000 words in 30 days. Because of that, the story is being written very fast with hardly any editing.  It’s what I like to call a “vomit draft”–literally just thrown up onto the page–and it may be properly edited later on.  The only fixing up I’ve done to this excerpt is enough to make it readable for you here on the site.  Please keep in mind that it will not be that good.  Please excuse any errors you see.

So, without further ado, here is the first excerpt.  Please enjoy, and let me know what you think of it:

Rikenar Krola stood around with his friends doing his best to keep an eye on all of them.  The game was simple: One of the boys in the circle was the killer, and no one but the killer knew who he was, they had drawn cards to determine the killer.  The boys had to try to figure out who the killer was and try to stop him from “killing” his victims by tackling him before he tackled someone else.  Once the killer revealed himself, the game changed to see how many people he could “kill” before getting tackled himself.

Rike was the killer the last round, and he took down five of the seven boys before being stopped, the record for the day so far.  He smiled as his eyes swiftly swept over the other boys.  Every twitch, every move, and scratch of the face or tap of the foot was seen as a possible first move by the killer, who often attacked the person to the left or the right before starting the rampage.

“Are you the killer again, Rike?” Davion asked with an accusing tone.

Rike assessed this question, trying to judge if Davion was genuinely curious, or if he was the killer trying to throw suspicion off of himself and onto someone else so he could make a move to attack someone who was unsuspecting.  Rike had known Davion for four years, and something about the way he asked the question seemed honest to him.  There was no hint of deception in Davion voice, not like the time he stole Rike’s sandwich and tried to convince him that Jassalyn was the one who stole it.  That did not end well for Davion.

“What if I am?” Rike said.

“Don’t do that, Rike,” Davion said.  “Are you the killer again or not?”

“I am.”

Six boys moved to tackle him, all but one.  Santraal moved a few moments after everyone else did, Rike saw it right before he hit the ground with six bodies on top of him.  He laughed in victory.  According to the rules, if there is a pile of people, and the killer jumps on the top of it, it counts as him tackling the entire pile and “killing” them all, effectively earning points for each person in the pile.  Since it was all the rest of the boys and Rike, Santraal had just beaten Rike’s record by getting all seven of the other players.

“I’m the killer,” Santraal said after he jumped on the pile of bodies.

The others groaned and they climbed off of each other.  Rike laughed at their misfortune.

“You lied!” Davion said.

“Yes,” Rike said, still giggling a little.

“Why?” another boy asked.  “You were in the lead!”

Rike shrugged.  “It’s not about winning, it’s about making sure you all lose.  There was a greater victory to be had if I took the fall.  Santraal took advantage of the victory I offered him.  And like fools, you all believed me when I said I was the killer.  That mistake won Santraal the game.”

“I thought angels didn’t lie?” Ritt said.  He was a new boy to their little group of friends.  Rike was often annoyed by him.  Ritt was ten and wanted to play with the older boys, Rike and the others had discussed it and offered for him to play games with the twelve year olds if their school breaks were at the same time, which was most of the time, or at the end of the school day, like it was now.

Rike had been waiting for his sister to finish her final test of the day so they could walk home together like they usually did, so the other boys, most of whom were waiting for a parent or sibling to take them home, or were just waiting to walk home themselves, decided that a good game of Killer in the Circle was in order.  No one disagreed.

“That’s celestials, Ritt,” Rike said with a roll of the eyes.  “And it’s not that they can’t lie, it’s that they often don’t feel the need.  My father’s a celestial, so I know.”

“Another round?” Santraal said.

“Why?” Davion said.  “You already got all of us, no one can beat your score.”

“You can if Jassa joins us,” Santraal said, waving to someone up the path.

Rike turned to see his sister walking down the path with her quilting bag clutched to her chest.  Her wings looked majestic behind her in the sunlight.  She always looked so angelic with the wings.  He would be waiting for his wings for a while, he hadn’t even manifested his aura yet.

-Excerpt from Mistcraft; Chapter 2, by Andrew Ronzino

I hope you enjoyed that!

Current word count for Mistcraft: 12,921/50,000!

Until tomorrow,

Andrew Ronzino, Walker of the Tightrope