Work in Progress: The White Raven, week 7

This week started out strong. I made 40K words on day 46, which was the last day of NaNoWriMo… and then my forward progress slowed to a crawl. Part of it was that the bullet journal I’ve been using to track words and keep all my story notes in fell apart, and I needed to move everything into a new one. So I’ve been doing stuff that is writing related, but it’s actually writing the story. Baking starts next week (if anyone remembers my posts from last year about cookies), so I need to put some major words on the page this week.

The White Raven
Week Seven Total Wordcount

This week’s excerpt is a short one that I just wrote. Lorcan is going to make is debut in the Coliseum, and is being instructed on what to expect by the senior gladiators. Including an interesting aspect of gladiatorial life…

Excerpt:

Lorcan nodded. “Will I know who I’m fighting before?”

“It won’t matter yet,” Yaroah answered. “You won’t know any of them, and Manius hasn’t let you come see when we fight. He should have.” He frowned. “And I didn’t give it any thought, but he should have, as part of your training.”

“No matter,” Lorcan said. “I go on the sands, and I fight.”

“No, first you salute the Emperor. Or whoever of the Imperial family is in the box,” Ennius said. “If it’s not the Emperor, it’ll be Gaius. The heir. Tavi might be there, too.”

Lorcan nodded. “Salute the box, and whoever is sitting there. And then?”

“Try not to die,” Yaroah said, his voice dry. “When you beat your opponent, the Emperor decides his fate.”

Lorcan stared at him. “What?”

“If you don’t kill him right off, the Emperor might decide he needs killing, and tell you to do it.” Yaroah made a gesture with one hand. “You see that, you kill them. There’s no arguing, either. You do it, or you die with him.”
Lorcan nodded slowly. “I understand. And then?”

“Then?” Yaroah chuckled. “Then, Livia might get mad at you.”

“Why?” Lorcan looked up at Ennius, who was… well, the only word was giggling.

“You know how they scrape the oil off of us?” Yaroah answered. “Do you know what they do with it?” Lorcan shook his head, and Yaroah grinned. “Gladiator sweat is in high demand among the high-born women, Lorcan. And if the gladiator wins, and wins well? So is he.”

Lorcan frowned. “Sweat. They want sweat. Why?”

“It’s an aphrodisiac,” Ennius answered. Lorcan looked up at him.

“I don’t know that word.”

“A sex potion, Lorcan,” Yaroah explained. “They put it into their cosmetics, and they think it makes them… I don’t know. Something.”

Lorcan blinked. He looked up at Ennius, then shook his head. “You’re making fun of me, aren’t you?”

 

What do you think?