The novel is complete, finally. After seven revisions over a period of nine years, it’s finished. I have nothing left to edit. It’s in a final form ready to be sent off to agencies for representation. The next part in the process will be to polish the query letter I’ve already written and send it off to the narrowed-down list of agents who accept both historical fiction and fantasy. There are also a few more agents I’d like to research that I might add to the list.
Below is an excerpt from Chapter 2 of my novel. The scene takes place at a later point in the chapter from my previous excerpt, after Caelen has already arrived in Cenlis.
He awoke to the sound of voices from outside. The room was dark as the candle on the desk had burned out some time ago. Caelen climbed out of bed and walked to the door. He pressed his palm to the wooden frame and inched the door open so that a slit of light slashed across the floor.
Across the yard, he saw a few of the brothers talking to a group of men. Caelen counted six men in the group. Five were soldiers wearing black, and the other was dressed in a clergyman’s clothes. The clergyman was addressing the monks in a raised voice while the soldiers waited behind him. Caelen cursed under his breath.
They’ve come for me.
Caelen guessed they must have followed him from Alecon, and if they caught him, they would hang him. He needed to go now.
Caelen eased the door open and slipped out behind the buildings along the northern wall of the monastery. Rain spattered the buildings, thunder clapped, and bursts of white light filled the darkening sky. He could hear the irritation in the clergyman’s voice rising on the wind. The brothers could do nothing to calm him.
Caelen touched the wolf head pommel of his blade.
Where was Darius? Would the abbot hide him or hand him over to the soldiers?
He knew he must reach the eastern gate before they caught him. He ran. His feet slapped puddles of water as he crossed the yard, while behind him, he could see the soldiers’ torches fanning out to find him. He counted three men, including the clergyman, heading toward the guesthouse.
Caelen nearly made it to the eastern buildings when two more torches rounded the far side of the chapel. He hadn’t seen those soldiers earlier as they must have already been searching for him while the clergyman talked with the monks. Caelen ducked into the building nearest him, a tiny one-celled chamber stacked with shelves of glass vials and books. Outside, the rain pounded the thatched roof and dripped off the eaves.
Caelen peered through the wooden slats at the approaching soldiers. The two men circled behind the other buildings out of view and then re-appeared. They were just an arms throw away, so close Caelen could smell the smoke from their torches and hear their mail coats jingling as they walked. They stopped just outside the door, seemingly content to make a sweep of the monastery without checking all the buildings, and if they had been doing their jobs, they would have caught him, and he would likely be hanging from the end of a rope before dawn.
Their backs were to him, and Caelen knew he would not have a better chance to kill them both. He would have to act quickly, kill them with two strokes, and then run for the eastern gate. He wasn’t sure where the clergyman and the other two soldiers had gone, as he couldn’t see the guesthouse from inside the chamber, and it was that thought which caused him to hesitate.
And it was that hesitation which lost him his chance.