Wednesday, November 6, 2013

NaNo Snippets #1 Wolfsblood

As promised, here's a snippet of my NaNoWriMo WIP, Wolfsblood. If you missed the post where I introduce it, look here.

As a note, this is an entirely unedited scene, as I am not doing any editing until I read my 50,000 goal, so I apologize for poor grammar or typos. As always, I appreciate any constructive criticism you may have. Let me know what you think!

I had a strange feeling before I even got to the gate. The fort seemed lifeless. Having grown up around military forts all my life and spent three years in one, I knew how much activity they produced, even when viewing them from afar. Here I could feel no active buzz, nor could I see any sentries posted on the walls. I was immediately irritated, beginning to see exactly why I had been sent here. If these men were so lazy they didn’t even post a normal sentry, then I had no idea what the inside of the fort would look like. If an attack came, they would never know until it was too late. Another thought crossed my mind that that was exactly what had happened and I would find nothing but bodies inside the fort.
            But as I got to the gate, I pounded on it with a fist and shouted out, “This is Centurion Alexandrus Arelius Crispus. Open up!”
            I waited a few seconds, my horse shifting uneasily underneath me, making me slightly nervous. But then I heard shuffling footsteps on the other side of the door and it was hauled open to reveal two legionnaires, looking haggard and like they hadn’t slept in days. I glared at them as I entered, and they gave me weary salutes.
            “Sir,” one said.
            I dismounted and handed him the reins of my horse, but the beast balked and I was forced to calm him. The man made no move to take the horse into his care and I practically had to shove the reins into his hand. “See to my horse,” I told him. “I need to see your commanding officer.” I took out my orders to check the details. “Decurion Scaevola, I believe.”
            “He’s indisposed, sir,” the other man said.
            “Is he,” I stated blandly. “Very well, if no one will help me, I suppose I will have to see to things myself. Where’s the officer’s ward?”
            He pointed in the general direction and I strode off, giving him no second glance. This was not a good start.
            What I found next nearly had me in fits of disbelief. When Gallus had told me this fort needed disciplinary help, I had pictured snarky soldiers with tendency to gamble and drink on duty and problems with following orders. I didn’t expect to find the entire cohort napping on the parade ground and surrounding areas. I halted at the sight, my mouth hanging open before I could stop it.
            At least twenty men at most—and I was sure there were others doing likewise elsewhere—were lounging lethargically around the parade ground—what is normally used for training. Some were asleep, some were polishing weapons or just staring off into the middle distance, looking as if they hadn’t slept in days. I finally snapped my mouth shut, and set my jaw at a determined angle, striding into their midst with my cane held ready.
            “What is the meaning of this?” I shouted. No one started and leapt to their feet as normal soldiers do when caught in some nefarious act by an officer, but just turned their eyes languidly to me, seeming to have a hard time focusing. “On your feet, blast your eyes! By Mithras, I will have the skin off your backs for this, all of you!”
            I strode forward and tripped over an outstretched foot. I whirled, seeing a large man with dark hair and unshaved chin grinning wolfishly at me, his head lolling. I gave him a nasty look before I strode on, singling out one man, a tall, lithe Celt with a shock of bright red hair on his head.
            “Get up, man,” I told him firmly.
            He did nothing, seeming to be attempting to focus his strange gold eyes on me. There was a smudge of something in the corner of his mouth and I thought for a moment it looked like blood. Delightful—drunk and fighting. Could it get any better?
            “On your feet, soldier!” I shouted in my best parade ground manor.
            This time, he attempted to pull himself to his feet, leaning a shoulder on the palus he had been siting against, propping himself upright. A smirk snaked over his face and he saluted tiredly. “Sir.”
            “You will sir me,” I told him menacingly, putting my face close to his. To my chagrin, he seemed to care not a bit for it. “And you will stand in the presence of an officer. I don’t know what the officers here let you get away with, but you will not do so with me, is that understood? What’s your name?”
            “Justinius, sir,” he said, saluting again, and straitening slightly.
            “Very well, Justinius,” I said. “You will lead all these men here on a tour of the latrines, and when you’re done, they will be clean enough to eat in, do you understand? I want that done by tomorrow morning. If you have to stay up all night, then so be it.”
            “Yes, sir,” he replied, his smirk finally subsiding with a look of sheer exhaustion. I flicked the corner of his mouth where the bloodstain was.
            “And clean yourself up. You’re a disgrace to the legions.” He touched the spot with a frown, then rubbed his sleeve against it. I turned and strode off across the rest of the parade ground. Some of the men, I noticed, made an attempt to stand and salute, though most just stayed slumped or snoring in their regular positions. I made sure all of them received a glare to tell them I was not in the least pleased, nor would I forget about their punishment. 

I hope everyone else is doing okay with their Nano writing. I actually just hit 24,000 last night which has kind of had me mindblown. I'm just really happy my characters are talking to me, and I have come to really love them a lot. I'll have another snippet for you next week, and hopefully some other fun posts as well throughout the rest of the month! 


  1. Is this your opening scene? Well done for getting so much done in such a short time, you must have been up most of each night! Good idea not to worry about the editing just yet. The worst thing you can do is fiddle ith an unfinished piece.

  2. This is actually a bit from my third chapter. I've been writing at least three hours a day/night whenever I get the chance, which isn't all that different from what I normally do. The key to my success is the fact I wrote the entire outline before I started so I don't have to work out any bugs in the story and all I have to do is look at what I'll be writing each night.

  3. Enjoyed this! Great job. And congratulations on your word count -- I'm jealous! I just haven't had the time for NaNo so far this month -- midterms and all that-- but I'm hoping I'll be able to get back on track this weekend.

    I like how there's already tension simmering under the surface here. I think Alex (can I call him Alex? I'm calling him Alex) needs some lessons on how to win friends and influence people. I have the feeling he's in for a rude awakening. (Actually, I really want someone to pop him in the teeth, but I'd settle for something subtler. :-P)

    1. I always call him Alex lol ;) Oh yes, he's rather a snob at the moment isn't he? He's suffering from daddy issues. Yeah, no actual popping in the teeth, but he might end up flat on his face. If fact, that might be another snippet I post ;)