It ’twas July 12, 2019. I had just finished writing up the drafts for my series on how to keep readers interested (I know, not a good idea to finish writing drafts for a series I promised after I announce it) and was combing out my thick mane of hair.
I was reflecting on past posts of mine, thinking of how far I’d come.
A sudden thought.
The comb stalled in my hair.
My mind stopped on that one thought.
My blogiversary was next month.
And I was going to be in the middle of posting a super long series.
After a few minutes of mechanical combing and racing thoughts, I came up with a solution: I’d post my super-epic-awesome post that I’d already previously promised to Abbie for her book tour (check that out here if you haven’t read it!) and then a few days later, I’d post on the day of my blogiversary.
The next problem was to figure out how to celebrate.
I had nothing to use in a giveaway, and was not interested in a Q&A.
At last, I landed on a very awesome idea.
torture myself critique my old writing! 😃
I could not write out the actual critique till August began. I was behind enough as it was on my Camp NaNoWriMo goal thanks to summer school, but that was fine. It gave me the excuse I’d been wanting for a while to read my old writing for The Triad of Caosdif.
The first question, of course, was which version. There was the original, the same plot line but edited slightly, and then there was the newest version.
But, in my heart, I didn’t want to read that newest version. I wanted the old one. And I decided that I would just read the oldest version, and once I’d decided on a scene, I’d use it from the same version but edited a bit. That way I wouldn’t have to go through the trouble of switching out names and stuff.
I asked my cabin mates what type of scene they’d like to read, and they voted on an escape. So, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: the second escape scene in the second draft of the first version of my book The Triad of Caosdif. And yes, for those of you who are wondering, there are multiple escape scenes in my book. 😂
Note: I have no idea if anything shown below is going to stay in the future versions of this book.
Also: Please do not steal anything shown below. Everything written belongs to me, Julia Herkel, and I will still be writing this book.
Also Also: I almost posted this with the wrong scene having been critiqued. Major oops.
I copy pasted the scene into here, then went through and added my own thoughts.
The dinner was delicious. Everyone was drying out from the rain, but talking excitedly about the match. Duke Alex insisted that the three travelers sit by him.
At first, the four of them ate more than they talked, but eventually, began to converse more.
‘Spoke’ would have been a better word than ‘talked’.
“Where are you headed?” the duke asked.
“Oh, toward the north,” Taylor answered vaguely. He had the opening on the front of his helmet open slightly, so that he could eat, despite the weird looks he was receiving for eating in an entire suit of armor. His voice sounded less echo-ey than usual, but still slightly garbled.
Oh yeah, I remember this; Taylor was a knight who always wore their armour, for special, mysterious reasons that I was going to dramatically reveal at the end of the book. *wiggles eyebrows*
“Do you have a particular destination?” Alex asked.
“Oh, not that particular,” Lilith shrugged; she was beginning to catch onto Maddi and Taylor’s way of telling the truth without telling the whole truth.
“But you know where you want to go?” Alex was confused.
“Mostly,” Maddi answered.
That was also true; they knew that they were going north to the mountains, but they didn’t have a particular place on the mountains in mind at the moment. Yet even though they had no particular place, they knew they wanted to go to the mountains.
But the duke had no way of knowing any of that, and so just blinked before eating another bit of brownie.
Did they have brownies in this time period?
The eating and chatting carried on easily for a while, while the rain pounded on the roof. It made a pleasant kind of drumming sound, though Lilith didn’t really fancy being out in it.
It wasn’t that long later when, all of a sudden, the doors burst open.
Well that was sudden. I should have mentioned hearing noise over the rain or something.
“Stop!” cried the voice of the old butler, who’d first opened the doors to them. “I didn’t say you could come in!”
A small group of soldiers marched in, soaking wet. Lilith immediately recognised their crest to be that of her home’s.
I had no idea what the crest was 😂
Derek’s soldiers had caught up quite quickly with them, and it didn’t look as if they had skipped the fort, like they’d been planning.
I think that was a run-on sentence.
A murmur of protest went up among the guests, but Alex stood, and held up his hands for silence. “Good evening,” he said to the soldiers with admirable composure. “How can I help you?”
Alex was such a nice character.
One of the soldiers, obviously the one in charge, unrolled a scroll, clearing his throat, and then squinting to read the wet paper. “Under order of the king, we are here to search for one escaped prisoner, one man with an unplaceable accent, and one knight, who helped the man with the unplaceable accent, who in turn assisted the escaped prisoner in escaping.” He began rolling the scroll back up, but it tore halfway. He sighed, and folded it up instead as best he could.
Haha 😂 In the original, the ‘unplaceable accent’ was an Australian one, because I love those. But I don’t think there’s an Australia in here, so I had to change it.
Duke Alex frowned. He wasn’t very happy that some soldiers – who smelt like wet dog – had come barging into his home, but didn’t protest, due to the fact that the king had sent them. “who is the escaped prisoner?” he asked.
The soldier hesitated for a moment, then answered, “The princess.”
Gasps rang out across the hall, along with several, “There’s a princess?”
For backstory: the princess was disinherited and made a kitchen maid when she was very young.
“Why would the king have his own daughter in the dungeon?” Alex asked, puzzled.
The soldiers guffawed. “King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella have been dead for over a week now!” Then he added, “God rest their souls.”
“WHAT?” the entire Great Hall cried out.
Just then, “SIRE! SIRE!”
A man came running into the room, dripping. “Lilith recognised him as the postal man. “I have a very important letter, sire!” he panted. “From the royal family themselves!”
There’s a random quotation mark here.
Alex broke the seal, and scanned the scroll. “It says that the king and queen were poisoned, Prince Tysonne was crowned King, he handed the crown down to Prince Derek, who thereafter has begun to chase after his escaped sister.” He frowned. “Keep an eye out for her… she is a villain, and we have reason to believe she’s the one that poisoned her own parents.”
These scrolls do not sound formal enough.
Another gasp rang out across the Great Hall. This time, Lilith joined in; however, her gasp was one of indignation. “I did no such thing!” she hissed, but lucky for her, wasn’t heard about the din.
Slowly, it quieted down again to just a low undercurrent of murmur. The soldier in charge stepped forward. “For safety measures, we are to search everyone.”
Lilith’s eyes widened slightly, but then she tried to make herself look only interested in what was going on, not a part of it.
The soldiers walked around the room, searching people who they suspected. The head of the soldiers stopped in front of the three of them, and studied them closely. “Who are you to sit by the duke?” he sneered.
“Julius here,” Alex gestured to Maddi, “defeated me in a duel today, and so has earned the right.”
“A good fighter, eh?” the soldier studied her. “Where would a peasant like you receive such teaching?’
“Are you suggesting that I might be the knight?” Maddi asked, then burst into laughter. The soldier, of course, could only accuse her of being that, as Maddi had used a fake accent while helping Lilith escape, and wasn’t now.
“You could be,” the soldier pointed out. He then looked at Taylor. “This one is wearing armor at the table; he looks exactly like the knight who was at the palace.”
“Why should I be the knight?” Taylor asked, his voice from within his helmet bored. “If I was, wouldn’t I not be wearing this suit of armor, as it’s a dead giveaway?”
The soldier paused to consider this. Reluctantly, he nodded. “I suppose so.” He looked at Lilith. “Who are you?”
“I’m Carson,” Lilith answered, trying to look bored – and like she had nothing to hide.
The soldier took a step closer, studying her closely. Then he called out, “Hey, Gerald, come take a look at this Carson lad.”
Another soldier came hurrying up, and Lilith recognised Gerald as a soldier who she had conversed several times with before.
The she realised: they had brought him along to be able to recognise her.
Gerald took one look at her, and then nervously shook his head in that way of his. “That definitely is no Carson; that’s the p-princess.”
The entire Great Hall leapt to its feet, craning their necks to try and get a good look at Lilith, and shouting arose in a quick crescendo.
Maddi jumped up onto the table, and kicked a bowl of boiling soup at the head soldier. Taylor dumped some water on Gerald, and Lilith kicked him in the face. She would’ve felt much worse about kicking the old soldier, except for the fact that he’d just revealed who she was.
That needed a better transition. It feels a bit too random.
Duke Alex jumped out of his chair in confusion. “What is going on here?”
Maddi turned to him and gave a smile. “Well, sire,” she told him in her regular voice, “we may have been introduced wrong.”
Then, she tossed the plate of watermelon she’d been holding at his face.
I remember thinking that line was hilarious when I first wrote it 😂
Lilith and Taylor immediately followed suit, and threw food at random people, and quickly stirring up confusion – and a food fight.
That’s way too many ‘and’s in one sentence.
The soldiers were soon in the fray themselves, attempting to fight their way to the trio, but unable to reach them because of all the food flying about.
What about the ones that were close to them? And also, why would everyone there be participating in this food fight? I obviously had some reasoning problems.
The three of them ran down the long table, and Maddi shouted, “Get out of here by whatever means you can! Split up, don’t get caught, and rendezvous at the stable where our horses are! I’ll take care of the soldiers!”
With that, Maddi bridged the gap between the next table over by jumping across, using a soldier’s head a step halfway there.
Legolas moves, I see.
Taylor did an identical move, but on her way down, slam dunked a bunch of cantaloupe on the head of the unfortunate person sitting there.
Lilith kept running down the main table, dodging food, and throwing it herself as she went.
The Great Hall became more and more chaotic, and her progress slowed. Lilith turned her head to see where Maddi was, when a pie came flying out of nowhere, and almost landed on her face.
From the other side, a plate flew past Lilith’s face and stopped the pie.
How? Wouldn’t there be cracked pieces of plate flying everywhere as well now?
Thanks to her reflexes, Lilith caught the plate, and threw the pie backward at a pursuing soldier.
Ohhhhh the pie landed on the plate like it would sit on a normal plate.
“Lesson number four!” Maddi’s voice called, and Lilith turned to see her kick a plate of brownie in the face of the soldier who was just wiping the pie off of it from her table. “When you’re stuck in an eating place – no matter where – and must get out, start a food fight!”
That was a very confusing tag line. Also, I thought they were supposed to split up 😆
With that, she began running again.
“Thanks for the plate!” Lilith called after her as she began running too.
The table quickly came to an end after that, and Lilith made it out of the hall unscathed. She dashed out of the fort, and across the drawbridge.
Her feet pounded on the stones as she ran down the street. The clatter of armor alerted her of soldiers coming out of the fort.
Lilith glanced back, and to her surprise, saw a dark figure on the wall. They appeared to be cutting something. A moment later, there was a snap. The sound of chain on chain sliding faster than normal ran through the air, and then a loud bang.
Lilith remembered how every castle and fort had a grate behind the drawbridge, for extreme measures. A series of ropes held it up.
Which meant that the dark figure had just cut the ropes.
Thought it just said that there was the clatter of chains.
The figure jumped from the wall, and at the bottom, tucked into a ball and rolled on the ground.
The fact alone that the person dared to jump from the very high wall let Lilith know that it was Maddi.
She turned, and began running again. Faces peeked out from behind curtains curiously at her. Within a few moments, though, she left them behind and made it to the stables. Rushing in, she startled several horses.
Lilith made a beeline for Thunder’s stall. She put on the saddle faster than she ever had before, and put the saddle bags across.
In the middle of doing this, Maddi and Taylor arrived. They finished in record time – before Lilith, even, who had been there first, though she could’ve sworn the Maddi had an extra saddlebag on Shadow.
They swung up into the saddles, and began hurrying for the doors single file, with Taylor in the front, Lilith in the middle, and Maddi in the back.
But then, Taylor reined up. “Soldiers,” he said, voice echoing in his helmet.
As soon as he said it, Lilith could hear the clank of armor as the soldiers attempted to move quietly – obviously surrounding the door to block off their escape.
“Lesson number five,” Maddi said to Lilith.
“I don’t think now’s the greatest time for lessons,” Lilith hissed back.
Maddi ignored her, and then instead replied, “There is always another choice.”
I remember thinking that this was somehow super epic and that the sentence was some form of foreshadowing her backstory and her mentality and whatnot (can you even foreshadow backstory?)
With that, she wheeled Shadow around, whinnying. The horse dashed toward the back of the stable, and as they went, Maddi snatched up the long metal shovel that was leaning against the wall. She held it out like a jouster would a spear, and it made contact with the back of the wall.
With an ear-splitting crack, the wood gave way, and made a gaping hole, which Shadow jumped through.
Pretty sure it would jab through, but not create an entire hole.
Taylor and Lilith urged their hoses to a gallop as well, and dashed through the hole. The horse’s hooves clattered on the street, and they made it out of the village, continuing on down the path through the woods once again.
For some reason, that ending doesn’t feel right to me? 😂 Like, it’s missing something. I just don’t know what. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯For some reason, that ending doesn’t feel right to me? 😂 Like, it’s missing something. I just don’t know what.
Was that as horrible as I expected? No, it wasn’t. Either I was suggestion better ways of description, or just saying that it was good 😛 But I hope you enjoyed reading some of my writing! It gives you a bit of a taste of what my style is like, though it’s gotten better since I wrote this
Before I can end this post, I have to give a bit of a sappy speech. (You didn’t think you’d get away without that, did you?)
Blogging is one of the best and worst things that has ever happened to me. It’s a lot of work, has given me way more stress than it should, has allowed me to share my words with the world, and has been built into my own little corner of the internet, full of mess-ups, ups, downs, and a place for writers to congregate and learn.
I moved my blog recently (you can read about why here) and honestly, it has been doing a lot better than I anticipated. It’s been just over a month, but now I have 11 followers on WordPress, and you mean the world to me. It blows my mind that people really want to stick around and read what I have to say and support what I do.
So thank you.
Thank you for being crazy, amazing you, a writer, a dreamer, and a creative, imaginative person. (or alien) You are a writer, and your words matter. You are serious about this thing.
You know how I know?
Because you’re reading this.
If you weren’t serious, you wouldn’t have tried to find information on writing. You wouldn’t have tried to become better by listening to tips and tricks from others – such as myself.
And it’s really hard sometimes. Boy, do I ever know about that. And sometimes, the answers only seem obvious after we’ve come to that conclusion. And sometimes the words won’t flow, and sometimes, we experience writer’s block and the world is a bleak place without your own little corner to go to.
Yet we still always come back.
Because we’re writers, and we have stories to share with the world.
Now go forth, my friend; you’ve got this. 😃
Did you enjoy that?
Can you believe it’s been 2 years since I began blogging at Julia’s Creative Corner?! 😱