NaNoWriMo 2011 Excerpt

Here is an excerpt from my novel. If you must know, it’s set in medieval times. Sebase is a traveling player sort of person, and Dolor is a King who dethroned himself to look for his lost brother who is also King, under the same name as Dolor. It’s complicated, but I won’t explain later. It is completely unedited.

After walking for hours, Sebase decided to stop for a rest. Dolor was relieved. The pace Sebase had set was the customary traveling player’s pace, which ate up miles without making a fit man tired quickly, but Dolor neither knew this nor was very fit. So he was thoroughly exhausted when Sebase finally called the rest. The player went off into the grasses to do his business, as he called it. Dolor looked around at all the travelers moving by. Sebase came back, adjusting his lower garments.

“Is that you, Pepe? I haven’t seen you in years!” A man driving a cart toward them obviously recognized Sebase as someone else. The man was obviously a soldier, dressed in rather rusty old armor and a rather shiny helmet. He also had a blue cape that was ripped in half. He wasn’t the greatest judge of fashion in the country, that was obviously obvious. “Pepe!”

Sebase saw the man and jumped on another passing ox cart, pulled, as most ox carts are, by two oxen. He bulled the driver off of the seat and pulled Dolor up, slapping the reins as he did. “Who is it?” asked Dolor.

“It’s an army captain I knew once. I don’t know why he’s calling me Pepe, but I do know that he wants my blood.”

“He seemed happy to see you, though!”

“Seemed is the key word there, mate. He seems like everything anyone could want in a friend until he shows his true colors.”

“Which are..?”

“I don’t know, purple, maybe! Come on! Hurry up!” This last part was aimed at the oxen.

The man behind Sebase also slapped his oxen, trying to overtake them. Sebase looked back almost constantly and groaned at the slow progress they were making.

Dolor had never been in a high speed ox cart chase before, and found it a rather boring experience. The term high speed is relative to a snail, and the term chase isn’t really comfortably placed here. It was more of a slow follow the leader on ox carts, driving through throngs of travelers. A couple enterprising young men jumped onto Sebase’s ox cart for a free ride. This further burdened it down, slowing the cart more than Sebase wanted it. Sebase looked back at the hitchhikers and frowned. “Dolor,” he said. “Take the turnips in the back there and throw them at those guys. We don’t want the extra weight.”

Dolor nodded. He climbed back and picked up a heavy looking turnip. He threw it at one of the men. The man dodged easily, nimbly hanging onto the side of the cart with one hand and one foot. The turnip sailed past him and lodged in the hat of an extremely fat lady. She, with surprisingly good aim, threw it back with such force that it knocked Dolor flat on his back. Sebase looked back at the thump he made and frowned again. “Here. You take the reins. I’ll get rid of these guys.” Dolor nodded again and painfully switched places with the player. He urged the oxen to go farther and watched the road. He was new at cart driving, and didn’t want to total the cart. He ran over three potholes and two dogs before he learned how to steer. Sebase’s voice came from the back. “Do you want me to get that lady who beaned you?”

“Sure,” Dolor said, not really concentrating on what Sebase had said. He heard a muffled thump and a loud screech. He hit a bump which rocked him in his seat, causing him to narrowly miss the huge turnip flying past his ear. That hit a man ahead of him, who promptly threw it back. This time Dolor couldn’t dodge, but the man luckily had a bad arm. It clipped his ear, drawing blood faster than a kindergartener draws a circle. It hit another man behind the cart, the companion of the fat lady, who took the turnip again and sent it sailing over Dolor’s head to hit the man ahead of him. Sebase opened the back door to the cart and yelled, for all to hear, “FOOD FIGHT!!” Turnips soon flew as the fat lady’s horse collapsed when it tripped over a large specimen and she retaliated at Sebase. Soon the young men, still smarting from their defeat by turnips on the cart, joined the fray, throwing all the turnips they could lay hands on at Sebase and Dolor. Dolor wasn’t as good at dodging the airborne missiles as Sebase was, but he kept driving. Sebase gave tips as they went.

“The turnips will slow the captain down. Veer left here! Other left! Watch the pothole! Wrong pothole to watch! Oh, just give me the reins!” Sebase grabbed the reins and skillfully maneuvered the cart out of the danger area, narrowly missing an old lady as he did. The old lady’s son in law cursed at Sebase, but didn’t do anything else. Dolor thought that the cursing was just for show anyway, and that the man wouldn’t care if his wife’s mother was run over by a thousand ox carts. But the mother in law joined the turnip fight, along with her seven grandchildren. There were soon just as many turnips flying through the air as there had been in the cart. No sooner had one turnip fallen than it was picked up and learned to fly all over again. Sebase and Dolor were the popular targets for the adults, who knew who had started the fight, but the children were content to throw their veggie projectiles at any adult who they thought needed a spanking or two. Looking back, Dolor saw the caped captain stop at the beginning of the fight and look after them.

“He’s stopped, Sebase,” Dolor said.

Sebase looked back quickly and nodded. “Good. Jump off.” Dolor just looked at him. Sebase started getting a long black cloak out of his pack. “Get off!” reiterated Sebase. He gave a little push, helping Dolor make up his mind. Dolor fell and rolled gracefully as a dancer, which he was. He ran, stooped, to the side of the road and hid himself in the long grasses that were present even here. He watched as Sebase wrapped himself in the cloak and jumped off as well, effectively disguising his red and blue and black and white costume. Sebase joined Dolor in the grass, then picked up a rock from the ground and threw it at the oxen he had moments ago been driving. They snorted and moved again.

Sebase trampled down another man sized place for himself and fell asleep.

Now, as I read this over again, I realize how much I let myself go when I write. I don’t even remember writing most of this stuff. And I definitely wouldn’t have used the same vocabulary if I rewrote this, but not because it’s bad use of synonyms; because I just don’t remember what I wanted to signify. Yeah… I’m weird like that. But also, I realize that this isn’t any different than any other writing’s I’ve written. It’s all spontaneous, unedited, and completely… well, spontaneous and unedited. So I don’t see what the difference is between writing a novel in a month and writing a novel in a year for me.


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