For the benefit of my wonderful Tassie Wrimos . Just to show that first drafts are allowed to be clunky and dull. This is the first page of the first novel I wrote for Nano (in 2002), typos, missing words and all.

After that, is the first page  from last year (2017).

Leila stopped in her sweeping as she saw the two people walking up the from the town gate. As they cam closer, she they were a man and a young woman. The style of their cloaks and the man’s boots marked them as being from the south.

Travellers approaching her house could only mean one thing. Leila leaned her broom against the wall and smoothed her apron. Guests at her boarding house this early in the season were few and far between.

The man stoped and looked up, as if studying the house but the woman continued up the hill.

“Good evening, lass.”

The woman smiled. “It is, isn’t it?” She glanced back at the man, who’d started to walk again, then back to Leila. “This is the Traveller’s Rest?”

“That it is. Would you like two rooms?”

The woman glanced back at the man, who hesitated then nodded. “Two small, adjoining rooms, if you have them.”

“I do, indeed. It’s still quiet in the city now, so most of my rooms are still empty.” She turned to walk inside. “If you’ll follow me.”

She walked inside and up the main staircase.

“So, how are you, Leila?”

She stopped in mid-step, wondering how he knew her name, then realised he’d probably been given it along with directions on how to get her. “I’m well, thank you,” she said in her polite voice and continued up the last of the steps.

“That’s good to hear. Your daughters are well too?”

It gets worse. Despite what we say about editing, I was unable to edit this poor novel into anything remotely functional. I revisited it last year, same premise, some characters the same, everything else thrown out. So this is from last year (and I will not correct the mistakes).

Once upon a time there was a beautiful palace and within the palace lived a king, who was both good and kind, or so I’m told but as I’ve been waiting here for almost an hour and have yet to see any sign of the bastard, I’m starting to think he is a fairy tale.

Outside, the bells in the clock tower chimes. Over an hour then.

I turned on my heel and walked back across the foyer. The guards at the door made a show of not watching me, but I knew damn well they did, for every time I stopped my pacing, their eyes moved towards me.

The young courtier at the desk, I’m sure he has a role but I forgot it, he was open in his observation of me, or the sword that swung as I walked if I was to be honest.

It made him nervous, I didn’t doubt, but I had no intention of removing it. In truth, this room made me nervous. Not the waiting, all right, the waiting made me nervous that was to be expected, but this room, this foyer, the only way to describe it is fragile. Newly constructed, at least in the last twenty years, it is three storeys of light. Not actual light, of course, not even light mages have found a way to actually convert their element into a building material, although I am sure they still try. No, this was three storeys of arches supporting a dome encased within walls transparent enough to let in light and yet not glass. Many tiny little stones ground thin enough to be transparent, embedded within a filigree of silver, so all that light that entered reflected back and forth across the walls.

I am having more luck editing that story. 

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