Andrew Girle's Blog

Crime and Speculative Fiction Blooking

Posts Tagged ‘novel’

Pseudo NaNoWriMo – looks like I’m Mister Ten Percent

Posted by Andrew Girle on November 29, 2012

Ten percent is great when you’re on commission.

Not so good when you’re shooting for 50,000 words and manage 5000 or so in 30 days.


On the plus side, I doubled the number of words in my current Minim Opus (see what I did there?)


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Not NaNoWriMo

Posted by Andrew Girle on October 29, 2012

My last post on here was at the end(ish) of July.

I hope nobody was holding their breath for an update!

A couple of my writerly friends and I have decided to use the NaNoWriMo concept to get our collective (water barrels/posteriors… oh what the hay… BUTTS) into gear.

The plan is to write 50K words in the course of the month.

I have the characters, structure, world building and rough outline of the story already done – no flying by the seat of THESE pants.

Still, 2000 words (give or take) a day is going to be fairly intensive. There will be little or no editing done, and what starts as 50K may end up 25K in the cold light of day. We’ll see.

Wish me luck!

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Editing is boring

Posted by Andrew Girle on July 23, 2012

I have my novel, No Working Title, open with my editor’s notes side by side with my manuscript.

I’m up to chapter 6 out of 22.

And here I am, on wordpress. Cause, meet effect.

Before you throw rocks at me, I’m fully aware that the work NEEDS to be edited, and every comment so far has moved the story to a better place. But MAN!



*stampy feet*

*deep breath* Now that is off my chest, it is back to the editing.

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The Talking Sword – hiatus

Posted by Andrew Girle on August 17, 2011

I have smashed against a brick wall in my development of the talking sword stories. That wall is an inability to avoid preaching morality when I come to the culminating scene of the current storyline; as a result I have put it to one side to pull out and ponder. The story is still there in the back of my head, but (as they say on Writing Excuses) the voices are just not yammering to have their story told.

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The Talking Sword – Sword of Justice, post 14

Posted by Andrew Girle on June 23, 2011

As winter drew to a close a plan began to take shape in Lucca’s head. Firstly, she reasoned, she had to get close to
Auric to seek her revenge. But to do so, she would have to adopt a disguise – no Celt would be granted an audience. But if she disguised herself as a Roman woman she would not be able to carry the sword. It was too bulky to disguise, and worse, if she was captured with it her life would be forfeit, it being an
ancient rule in Roman lands that women were not to bear a soldiers arms.

This left the option of disguising herself as a Roman man, or more precisely youth. Lucca was tall for a Roman born woman, making her about average height for a Roman teenage male. She was about the right age for a foot messenger, one of those in the employ of wealthy merchants whose task was to run from place to place with packets of documents.

While technically they too were not supposed to carry weapons as large as swords, everyone knew the borders were dangerous places and the sight of a
messenger openly bearing a sword was not unusual. Of course, there was also the possibility that the sword could be disguised, but that could come later in the

The other advantage was the loose tunic that messengers wore. Lucca was quite distinctly a young woman, and to make her disguise work she would have to bind her breasts with cloth strips. Even so, she would need the extra concealment of her figure that the tunic would provide.

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The Talking Sword – Sword of Justice, post 12

Posted by Andrew Girle on May 21, 2011

“Battle practise, commence!” The sword spoke
sharply, it was an order not a suggestion.

With that, Lucca felt herself dragged through slashes
and stabs and recovers, her left hand moving an imaginary shield about.

“Alright, I believe you, I believe you!” gasped
Lucca after a minute of furious swordplay with an imaginary opponent. “I
recognise those moves; they are Roman soldier sword practise!”

“Oh? Where have you seen them before?”

“When I was little, before Auric murdered my father,
the guards at the house used to teach me. They thought it was funny, watching a
little girl waving a kitchen knife around because she couldn’t lift a sword.”

“There is nothing funny about swordplay.”

“I don’t laugh about it anymore, not now that I have
been in battle. You did miss something that they showed me.”

“And what would that be?”

Lucca shoved the sword forward at belly height,
twisted it, then took a pace forward and stamped her feet savagely. She let out
a small cry and lurched sideways, hopping on one foot.

“I must say I cannot imagine how hopping on one leg
would be a fearsome fighting skill.” The sword said. If it had been a person,
their top lip would have been curled in a sneer.

“Ow! I stamped on a rock in the dark; I think I
broke my foot!”

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The Talking Sword – Sword of Justice, post 11

Posted by Andrew Girle on May 16, 2011

***back after a couple of weeks delay, here is the next installment***

“I shay, dooth youth mind thtaking me out of thish cloth?” The voice was muffled.

Feet crunching on the dirt made crisp by the evening frost, Lucca didn’t pause as she lifted the wrapped sword. Carefully she took the corner of the cloth in the tips of her fingers and pulled it aside.

“Thank you. Much better. Can’t see a thing with that over me. Rather disconcerting, although I imagine it would be a nice way to get some peace and quiet if I need a nap.”

“So not only can you talk, you also need to sleep?”

“Actually, I don’t know. Only got created a little while ago, remember? Although there are some things I do know. Fighting, for instance.”

“I hoped you would know about fighting. But tell me, how do you fight? Do you need someone to hold you?”

“So it would appear. If there is a hand on my hilt, I can guide it. Like this…”

The cloth dropped to the ground as Lucca, her hand on the grip of the sword, struck a pose.

“First position,” said the sword, and involuntarily Lucca’s left hand formed a fist at waist level to her front, her sword hand also at waist level but with the sword forwards and a little bit up.

“Battle practise, commence!” The sword spoke sharply, it was an order not a suggestion.

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The Talking Sword – Sword of Justice, post 10

Posted by Andrew Girle on April 25, 2011

“There will be no difficult decisions in bringing Auric to justice, old man. He murdered my father. I will see him pay for that.” She reached forward and took up the sword. The sharkskin of the hilt clung to her palm, and she allowed the weight of the blade to swing back and forth in lazy arcs.

“Not like that! Hard arm, loose wrist! Good grief, don’t you know anything?” A harsh voice echoed though the small hut.

Lucca looked around wildly. The druid had not moved, and it wasn’t his voice. Besides…

It had spoken in perfect Latin.

The druid smiled, his white beard crinkling, “Good luck to you and your new companion on your quest, child.”

Lucca raised the sword. It was the same sword, there seemed nothing different about it. No magical glow or extra inscriptions.

“Don’t you know it is rude to stare?” Again the faultless Latin, only this time Lucca had the feeling that it was the sword that had spoken.

“Did you say that?” Lucca squinted suspiciously.

“Of course I did. Do you see anyone else here?”

“How… but… I didn’t know swords could talk!”

“It’s a big world, lots going on. There are a lot of things you don’t know. You should really try and learn something new every day.”

Lucca narrowed her eyes and tightened her lips to form an intense glare. “My father used to say that.”

“Did he now?” There was a sound like a man nervously clearing his throat followed by, “He sounds like a clever man, your father. Tell me, do you have a plan to bring Auric his justice?”

The druid stood up. “You have much to talk about. I am tired from this task you gave me, and I wish to sleep. Please be so kind as to leave an old man in peace.”

“Yes, yes of course. Thank you for this, I will never forget it!” Lucca wrapped the sword in a length of woollen cloth and walked out into the chill night air.

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The Talking Sword – Sword of Justice, post 9

Posted by Andrew Girle on April 23, 2011

“Choose your words carefully in this place child,” the druid lowered his voice, “the preparations have been made, the bargains with the gods struck. Already the bindings of the spell begin to settle. This sword is already partly magical, being as it was a gift imbued with the thanks of a kingdom. Your words now will mould the bindings laid upon the sword, shaping both your destinies.”

“For ten years I have lived among your people, druid. I have grown from a frightened child to a shield maiden. I have stood in battle and shed blood, both mine and that of our enemies, to prove my worth. Now, I wish to repay the kindness shown me. Auric has become Governor, and he is no friend of our people.”

The druid arched an eyebrow at Lucca’s change in the use of the term from ‘your people’ to ‘our people’, she was by birth a Roman after all, but he made no comment.

“I would have this,” Lucca went on, “that I may bring Auric to justice.”

“And so it is done,” whispered the druid. “I felt the spell settle into place. It holds you both now, the way a mother holds her baby.”

Lucca glanced at the sword. It seemed no different than it had always been. “What now?” she asked.

“Now? Now you must grow up. Justice is not simple revenge, girl. Justice is about choices, and they can be difficult.”

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The Talking Sword – Sword of Justice post 8

Posted by Andrew Girle on April 18, 2011

Ten years passed quickly. Lucca rapidly transformed from the sheltered daughter of a provincial official, privileged and cultured, to the adopted daughter of a king, a man considered a barbarian in the eyes of Romans yet the wisest amongst the war leaders in the eyes of his fellow clansmen. Francesca never came to claim her, and no news came from the traders that went back and forth of what happened to her. The pain of losing her parents gradually became walled behind a tough exterior, even if Lucca would still cry herself to sleep some nights. Some wounds never heal.

The midwinter eve of her eighteenth year, Lucca found herself in the company of an elderly druid. The sword that had killed her father lay on the table between them, a dozen sputtering tallow candles did their best to provide enough light to see by and a billet of log lay in the hearth giving barely enough heat to fend off the winter chill.

“You are determined that this is what you truly want?” The druid’s voice was oddly high pitched for a man.

“Yes,” replied Lucca firmly. “I want you to enchant the sword to help me bring my father’s murderer to justice.”

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