"If you write FOR a particular market or FOR a particular editor you will often miss the mark. But if you write because your fingers have danced across the keyboard, because a character has tapped you on the shoulder, because a story has settled in your heart, then even if you never sell it you have done the work you were meant to do. And sometime, dear readers, real magic happens." Jane Yolen

2/12/10

Handmaiden To A Princess (rough draft excerpt): Friday Fiction

35k in 28 days

11449 / 35000 words. 33% done!

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Fiction Friday,button,karlene


Welcome to my contribution to Fiction Friday, hosted by Vonnie Blake at My Back Door. Make sure that you head over to her blog and link up with your own fiction. Or, if you just want to read some great fiction (ALWAYS great in my opinion!), head over to Vonnie's blog and check out the links there.
For those of you who have been reading my blog regularly, you know my current Work In Progress is a book I'm calling Handmaiden To A Princess. It is set during the time of King Saul, and tells the story of Rivka, the handmaiden to Princess Michal, who ends up being King David's first wife.

I am currently working to get as much of my rough draft written as fast as I can (that's what my 35k in 28 days thing is), and I'm doing all right that way.

I thought, just for fun, I would post short excerpt of what I've written over the past week and a half. This is going to be in the beginning of the book - probably one of the first few chapters. King Saul is having a banquet. His entire family is there, and they are expecting an emmisary as guest of honor. Michal has asked her handmaiden to come along and stay with her. Again, keep in mind this is a VERY rough draft. Hope you enjoy it nonetheless!

HANDMAIDEN TO A PRINCESS excerpt
THE BANQUET

A pounding on the table silenced the room, and led all eyes to turn toward the head of the table. The king sat there, his glass raised and his eyes fiery.

“Jonathan, my son, where is the emissary?”

The prince stood and scanned the room, worry in his eyes. “He doesn’t appear to be here, Father.”

“And why not? Was he not called? Does he so dishonor the king of Israel by shunning this banquet?” His volume increased, and face reddened, with each word.

Jonathan walked toward his father, resting his hands on Saul’s shoulder. “He is not dishonoring you. I am sure of it. Perhaps he is running late, or has been unavoidably detained.”

The king pushed his son, making him fall to the floor. “I am the Lord’s anointed! The king! He must be found and punished. He is plotting my overthrow. He is off in the caves with his army, planning to kill us all by the sword when we are least prepared. In fact, his plan is to come soon, during this very banquet, when we are unarmed.” The dining table shook with his pounding fist, and each guest, including the queen, had stepped back toward the rear of the dining room. Only Jonathan, just arisen from his fall, remained within a few cubits of the raving monarch.

“Sit down, Father.” Jonathan attempted to ease his father into his chair. “The emissary is not plotting against you. He is simply detained. I will send one of my servants to find out what is keeping him. There is no reason to make these assumptions.”

Saul pushed his son away yet again. “You are on his side! You are plotting to take the kingdom from me as well! How dare you?”

“Father, you know me better than that. I am loyal to you, both as a son and as a subject. When have I done anything to make you doubt my dedication?”

“You are all against me! All of you!” Saul rose and grabbed a spear from behind him. Just as he was about to throw it, one of the servants slipped it from the king’s hands and ran to Jonathan, handing it to him.

Rivka, shaking in the corner, almost fainted when she saw what happened next. Michal, who had apparently moved away from her handmaiden during the uproar, tiptoed toward the king.

Once she was three cubits away, she stopped and looked into her father’s raving eyes.

“Papa? What’s the matter?”

“What’s the matter?? It’s a mutiny! Everyone is against me. I must rid myself of these traitors.” The king took a step toward his daughter.

“It’s okay, Papa. Can I come sit on your lap? I’m scared.”

The mumbling of the guests, and their gasps, filled the air.

‘There is no reason to be scared, my little one.” Saul’s voice had tempered to a loud talking volume. “I will keep you safe.” He took another step toward her, as she did the same. They were now a bit more than an arm’s length apart.

“Please, Papa?” Rivka couldn’t see the princess’ eyes, but she was certain they were pleading. She’d seen that look many times before.

“Come, my dear Michal.” He beckoned her forth, sitting in his chair. She tiptoed toward him and sat on his left leg, leaning her head into his chest. Saul ran his hands through her hair and mumbled to her, she doing the same.

“What are you all doing back there?” The king’s voice was almost jovial. “Come join us for the banquet. I see the emissary is arriving right now. Go on now and take your seat, little one. I have royal business to attend to.”

**

Thanks for reading! Be sure to stop by My Back Door for more great fiction.


Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

8 comments:

  1. Ahhh...beautiful! Well done (even in the rough draft form)! This is going to be a great book when it's done.

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  2. You do so well with bible stories. Enjoyed this one!

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  3. I like your portrayal of Saul. I'm sure his temperament was very much like this. Wonderful!

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  4. Ooh, good! Not bad for a rough draft! I like the way Michal was able to calm her father down. Good job!

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  5. What a brave girls! I love it, Jo! I cannot imagine the mood swings that man must have had. Wow!

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  6. That's a rough draft??? Loved the dialogue!

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