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Butch
September 21st, 2010, 08:50 PM
Hey guys, here's the prologue to a book I'm currently writing. I'd appreciate some feedback, so let me know what you think. thanks!


Prologue

The soft patter of rain drummed the treetops overhead. All around him the forest was still and lifeless, with nothing but the sway of the trees aloft, painting blurred shadows over the murky scrubland below. A soldier crept silently about the slimy shrubbery, his movements hampered with hard fought fatigue. His uniform was ripped and bloody, yet the blood was not his own. Perhaps it was the unpleasant gore of a fellow solider that had been smeared over his worn attire while he attempted to save their life. Or, perchance, it was the stain of some uncommon organ from one of the strange creatures he had disembowelled earlier that day. Whatever distasteful blemish marred his tatty outfit, Iím sure it had an incredible story to tell.
He walked with the grace and vigilance of an experienced soldier, a man no doubt who had seen it all. Overgrown foliage masked the forest floor, the tall leaves rigged with natural traps and impediments. Broken branches lay half covered in moss and giant blades of emerald grass, dangerous plants and flowers plagued the undergrowth, while hostile animals and poisonous insects stalked in hidden hollows. The natural elements, the indigenous wildlife and the native animals were, unfortunately, the least of our captainís concerns. What had happened thus far was hard to recall, yet one thing was certain, they were not alone. Some manner of beast, an alien species much like nothing he had ever witnessed before had ambushed his team and drove them apart and now Jack walked unaided and abandoned with little knowledge of who remained breathing and who had fallen victim to these savage abominations.
Jack understood that there were aliens upon them, a certain mysterious life form from another solar-system that had crash-landed on an outlandish planet far from their own. He closed his tired eyes and pictured the giant animal as it had towered before him. It was colossus, growing no shorter than eight foot tall, shaggy, hazelnut fur sprouted over its muscular body and its broad hands housed brutal, jagged bone that could cut through metal like it was nothing more than butter. This was the first kind he had witnessed and he wished he could say it was the worst. Yet it would seem that these brutish, inimical savages were male and only foot soldiers at the command of something higher.
He had seen her, the female queen, on two separate occasions, one of which had been more confrontational than he had cared for. She had been wondrous and fascinating; stick thin, frail but far more deadly than those compelling gladiators that had killed so many of his troops. She had appeared more masculine than feminine, her gaunt chin decorated with wispy hair and her unsightly features were too bland and virile than any females should be. Yet it was not her features, or her fragile appearance that intrigued Jack so, but the uncanny, mystical Jewell that had been melded into the skin of her forehead. This Jewell was a formidable weapon and Jack knew it had aided the slender empress with unfathomable yet majestic powers.
He stumbled on through the chilly downpour that leaked between the arched leaves. Even though the mission had turned sour, he was still alive, and he promised himself, that while his heart still beat, he would do all he could to bring this otherworldly God to her knees.

Olly Buckle
September 21st, 2010, 10:15 PM
The soft patter of rain drummed the treetops overhead. All around him the forest was still and lifeless, with nothing but the sway of the trees aloft

Is it a soft patter or a drumming, they are opposite ends of the rain spectrum, overheas is redundant, it is in the nature of trees.
Was it all still? Or were the trees swaying? Is it lifeless? The rain won't make much noise on dead trees.

A first sentence needs impact, a noun and verb together make a strong start, compare "Rain drummed on the tree tops, trees waying were the only break in the stillness around him."

Same sort of thing with the soldier, is he "Walking with grace and vigilance" or "stumbling on"

Jack understood that there were aliens upon them, a certain mysterious life form from another solar-system that had crash-landed on an outlandish planet far from their ownThis is confusing, I suppose Earth is outlandish to the aliens, but it could be made clearer, it is all overwritten to my taste, but a lot of it is to the point of total redundancy, for example try "Jack knew there were aliens among them, from another solar system they had crash landed here, far from home"
Do you see that "Aliens" in the first part of the sentence says everything "a certain mysterious life form from another solar-system" says in the second half, but leave in the "solar system" in case there is some other form of deep space alien.

Keep writing, keep editing, Olly

Kat
September 21st, 2010, 10:45 PM
Formatting- tradition paragraph indentation does not carry over when you cut and paste onto the forums. If you simply put a extra line space between the paragraphs it makes it so much easier to read. I generally write it that way but it is just as easy to go through and put a space in after you cut and paste.

Now about the story. It is a start. It needs work, tightening up. I like the descriptions of the aliens. I am confused how they got to earth though. Did they land here? It sounds like they landed on another planet. Was there a reason you capitalized Jewel? You place some significance on it by doing that but then do not give the reason that a man, not the aliens, would place that much significance to it. If the alien culture calls it that he wouldn't know it, if it is part of his culture slip that in somehow.

ArcThomas
September 22nd, 2010, 12:10 AM
first paragraph, needs to be split at "A soldier crept.." / grammatical satisfaction. contents of a paragraph are uniform.
perhaps, one too many details of the gore on his attire..
"least of our captain’s concerns." - the captain. (I haven't read on. maybe this was the best fit.)
What had happened thus far... New Paragraph there too.
Jack understood... sentence paragraph on it's own.

I didn't get through the next paragraph.
Your introduction of the creature was weak. In addition your review of the platoons annihilation was too. However tolerably so.
I like what I read up to there. I wanted to keep going.

The beast made me think of a creature I once drew. The "Venotuck", like a brute from halo, but with a much rounder forehead. And 6 tendrils liek a hunter.. from halo. I swear I wasn't trying to take their ideas.. but laughed out the outcome.

regardless. Good start.

Butch
September 22nd, 2010, 07:31 PM
Hey everyone, thanks for your feedback, I'll take on board what you've said and tighten it up.
Regards, Butch.