Words now in Chapter 4: 5525
Words total: 23,422
Reason for stopping: End of scene. Need to eat a bit of lunch then I have 10 more stories to crit for the students on the fiction writing course. Not to mention ECDL tests to mark.
I glanced through the early chapters and added some notes re the crits just received from zeborahnz and SAMK. I was good, however, I didn't start rewriting and only tweaked a couple of sentences in passing.
I then looked at Chapter 4, discovered that it contained only about 1,000 words, almost all of which needed to be cut. Therefore I moved a few paragraphs into Chapter 5 before renaming Chapters 5 through 12 to reflect the disappearance of the old Chapter 4.
Finally I could settle down and revise the first scene of Chapter 4. The pacing is much better this time. Mark and Huw are about to meet the prince near the beginning of Chapter 4 and not near the end of Chapter 6. Much flab has been cut. A few darlings rescued, the rest, sadly, murdered. Except that most of the prose wasn't really as darling as I thought when I wrote it. *g*
23,422 / 105,400
"The rest of you, follow me," Brand said. "You are to wait in the guardroom, while M'lord and I deliver our report. No one is to go anywhere else, or you'll have me to answer to. Understand?"
Huw could feel his heart pounding, but he knew he had to ask. Partly to avoid thinking about Alwyn's death, throughout the journey from Cadnant he'd been turning Mark's situation over in his mind. If there was any chance that the blond foreigner could get back home, then he had to help him find out how. He raised his hand and caught the sergeant's eye.
"Sarn't? Please can Mark and I go and look in the library?"
Brand looked at him for a long moment, his heavy eyebrows lowered, his eyes narrowed. "The library?" he said at last.
"Yes, sir. I've heard the Palace has a very fine library. And my grandfather says that it's open to visiting scholars."
The sarn't's eyebrows rose a fraction further. "Scholars?"
"Me and Mark can both read and write, Sarn't."
"And that makes you scholars, does it?" The sergeant growled. "Why in Bec's name would you want to visit a library?"
"I thought they might have a book about the life of Saint Iestyn."
Brand's eyebrows twitched a fraction higher. "Now why would you be interested in a Christian holy man?"
"There would be books about Gavran and his men too." Huw swallowed. Brand seemed keen to train Mark up as a soldier, but surely if there was any chance that he could return to his home, the sarn't would want him to take it. "I thought it might tell us more about how Mark came here." Huw swallowed. "And whether he can get back."
Brand looked from Huw to Mark and back again. "All right. I'll ask," he said at last. "But don't get your hopes up."
I seem to have a fondness for scenes set in libraries. *g*