Word Count and Excerpt

Today’s Word Count: 87, 390

Today’s excerpt was chosen because I wanted to show the strength of the friendship between Logan and Marla, the two main characters in my main Nano project this year, Some Secrets Should Never Be Known.

Excerpt:

Logan stopped and she looked up. They were beside the start of a smaller dock, to which a black boat was tied. The boat was big enough to house two or three people, definitely more of a travel boat than a fishing boat. It was somewhat wrecked and the man sitting on it looked kind of drunk. He had brown hair with a few gray streaks, a beer belly, and a big bottle of booze. Logan took a couple of steps down the dock and the man looked up. He fixed them with an angry stare.

“Who are you?” he asked suspiciously. Definitely drunk.

“Just two young lads out for a stroll,” Logan said. The man raised an eyebrow. “How far do you think that boat can travel?”

“I’d say she’s got one last trip in ‘er. One way to Duranth. Maybe back. Maybe not. Why? You in a hurry to get someplace?”

“Not particularly,” Logan said, “but we will be soon enough. A week after the Harvest Fest.”

“Where are you going, kids?”

“To Duranth, I suppose.”

The drunk looked at Logan, then at Marla, then at Logan. “You tell me straight that you’re both lads. I don’t believe it for a second. That there’s a girl.” He pointed at Marla as he spoke.

“Aye. Please do not question us any further, good sir,” Logan said. Marla shivered, eyeing the water.

“So be it. How much are you willing to pay to travel?”

“Six gold.” The man’s jaw dropped and Marla gasped. That was a lot of money.

“Then I’ll be here. Come find me any time, lad. Do you have anything you can spare in advance?”

“Only one gold,” Logan said.

“That’ll do me just fine.”

The man put out a shaky, drunk hand. Logan walked over to him and filled the drunk hand with a single gold coin. The man’s eyes widened in disbelief and he bit the coin. He yelped and drew away from it as though stunned.

“That’s real gold there, son. That’s a precious coin,” he said, grinning. “Worth the whole damn boat if ye ask me.”

“Well then perhaps you should fix her up a bit, or perhaps you can buy a new boat when our journey is over. Don’t mention us to anyone. We’ll be back three days after Harvest Fest.”

“Aye. I’ll be waiting,” the man said.

“Good. Gentle tides, good sir, and light sleep,” Logan said before turning and heading back to the main dock and Marla.

“Light sleep to you too, lads!” the drunk called down the dock. It was almost funny.

Logan took up Marla’s hand again and led her back down the docks. He clearly had no intention of staying out and about in the city. Marla wasn’t sure if it was more for her sake or his. She glanced around every few feet to make sure nobody was watching. For the first time she felt like the Queen was watching her, like she was about to get caught for something terrible.

“That’s all your pay for a year, Logan,” Marla said. “Can you really spare that much gold?”

“I can for you,” Logan said.

“But what about when we get to the other end? Won’t you need more then? Where is it going to come from?”

Logan turned around and grabbed her shoulders. “You want to escape the queen entirely, right?”

“Of course I do-”

“We can’t do that in Duranth, Marla. Not forever. Where we’re going, money won’t be able to help us very much. We’re going to have to learn to survive in the Wilds.”

“But nobody lives in the Wilds,” she said, blinking. Had he lost his mind?

“Well then we’ll live without people. Just the two of us. That’s fine by me if it’s fine by you. Think on it a while. You know when we leave. I’m willing to give up everything I have here to make sure that you’re safe, wherever you are. But it’s no good if you’re not willing to sacrifice everything you have here to make the future you want.”

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About Dianna Gunn

I am a freelance writer by day and a fantasy author by night. My first YA fantasy novella, Keeper of the Dawn, is available now through The Book Smugglers Publishing.

Posted on January 8, 2011, in Novels, Writing: The Process and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Krista,
    Your excerpt was interesting. I liked the detailed description. However, just based on this excerpt, I did not get a sense of strong friendship between Logan and Marla. I could tell they were friends but something was missing–their closeness, I guess. There is a difference between friends and a strong friendship between best friends. I wish to know more about your book though. What is it about?

    • Hello Haley,

      My name is actually Dianna. Krista is one of the authors that I interviewed. I’m glad you found this site. I am currently still moving posts over from my old blog, fictionalworlds.net. (Not all of the posts, but the recent and relevant ones.)

      Some Secrets Should Never Be Known is a novel about a young ward of the queen named Marla and her best friend, a knight’s son, Logan. Marla’s parents were killed in an accident when she was seven, and so the Queen, her mother’s best friend, took her on as a ward. Marla is one of the last few surviving members of the Baran family, which used to be the royal family, until General Allen destroyed the tyranny of King Logan’s rule. Now she is just a duchess’s daughter who spends her nights sneaking out and running around the castle with Logan. The Queen arranges a marriage for her and so Marla and Logan decide to run away together. Nanny Gwen, from a disgraced family that used to support the Baran family, shows them a secret room. In this room she finds many artifacts that are tied to her by blood and a book.

      The book tells her the truth about her family: they were kind rulers, and the Cairns, the new ruling family, were jealous because they were more powerfully magical. Before she can do anything with this, the Queen appears and Logan pulls her into the river. They are separated and live in different villages for some time, learning how to live in the wilderness. When they are reunited after years of searching for each other, they unite with their friends from the villages to take back Marla’s throne.

      Some Secrets Should Never Be Known is a work in progress. This is from the very first draft. I’m glad you liked it. Thanks for the commentary, I will keep that in mind when I write the next draft. I am currently working on the mythology of the world and then I will be beginning a new draft in February.

      Thanks for visiting,
      ~Dianna

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