Hi guys! I’ve been working half-heartedly on National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, where participants write a 50,000 word novel in one month. I did this successfully once before, but that was before I had a toddler!
This month I’m working on a fanfiction piece, continuing one of my favorite stories from childhood, The Horse and His Boy, part of the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. I am not making huge progress, but who knows, maybe I’ll be able to finish it. I really want to finish it, but it’s also taking up time that could be spent writing “real” novels.
I’ll probably put it on fanfiction.net when I am done, but for now, enjoy this except from the opening. Feel free to leave feedback in the comments (this is a first draft).
Prince Cor of Archenland was discovering quickly that although a battle involved the possibility of grave bodily injury or even death, it was sometimes easier than what came after. At least the rules for a combatant in battle were simple: First of all, Do not die, and further, Kill the enemy if you can.
That was not to say he had enjoyed his first battle. He had not particularly. It had been a bewildering muddle from the start, when he was led into it nearly unawares by the boy who would turn out to be his twin brother, Corin. He had been lucky to escape with a scratch on his knuckles, though perhaps Aslan would say it hadn’t been Luck at all. That was the sort of thing that made Cor’s head hurt when he thought about it too much, so he tried not to.
The king and his court in Anvard spent weeks dealing with the immediate fallout from the battle between Prince Rabadash’s force that had crossed the desert from Calormen and the defenders of Archenland, Narnia, and the North. That meant Cor now, too. There were messages to be sent, justice to be meted out, and the fallen to inter. But eventually all the prisoners were sent away, most of the courtiers left, and Cor had to learn how to be a prince.
His brother Corin already knew how to be a prince, having been raised as one since birth. He would continue to be one his whole life. But as for Cor, not only would he have to learn how to be a prince, once that was accomplished he would eventually have to learn how to be king. This seemed like a rather insurmountable task for a boy raised in a fisherman’s hut, going by the name Shasta and ignorant of his true origins. In fact, there seemed to be much that Cor was ignorant about. The list grew longer by the day.
He might have expected to share this onerous task of learning a new way of life with his fellow refugee from the south, the girl Aravis, but if he had any expectations of that kind, they were soon squashed flat.
Aravis did not require much training in how to be a princess. As the daughter of a Tarkaan of Calormen, she had been gently bred. (At least, she had been until she ran away.) Aravis knew how to treat servants. She knew the capitals of countries. She knew how to ride and shoot, although Cor fancied he knew a bit about riding by now. In short, it seemed to Cor that Aravis was at home right away in the court of Anvard.
The only thing that Aravis could be seen to struggle with was remembering that Shasta was now called Cor. She accidentally called him Shasta so many times that Cor half thought she was doing it on purpose.
So perhaps it was actually a good thing that Cor now had a tutor all to himself, while Aravis took her daily lessons with Corin. It was embarrassing to need remedial work, but not nearly as embarrassing as it would have been having Aravis look on as he struggled with the awful thing the tutor called Arithmetic. The name itself was as confusing as the subject.