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Red-James
November 4th, 2011, 02:34 AM
Forsaken Book 1The Touch
Prologue
The heavens covered the earth in a black, hazy emptiness, and only the brightest of stars braved shining through the misty void. Their brilliance came out as amber hues. The moon was full, and hung low in the night sky, vividly, emitting a crimson omen upon the world and all those who witnessed it. The night was dead silent, aside from a light breeze that sifted delicately through the tall majestic fir trees of the ancient forest, swaying their long, thick out reaching arms hypnotically.
Countless shadows stalked fiercely through the dense woodlands, soundless as death, overtaking the army of immobile giants that fortified their mark. Viciously crafted weapons were brandished impatiently in the clutches of the swiftly surrounding horde, a malicious lust for ruthless slaughter fueling their every step.
The Elvin village laid almost entirely dormant, in the wake of the sinister night. Aside from a quad of sentries that resided on a platform high above the earth, concealed ever so flawlessly in the trees guarding each corner. They watched over their elaborately constructed village with uncanny awareness. Their keen ears picking up the slightest sounds, from the swaying of the cord suspended bridges that connected the elfin sanctuaries, from the cool breeze that whispered through the treetops. To the falling of pinecones that carelessly battered thick branches as they passed by on their quest to the soft dirt below. Their devoted eyesight scanned the forest ground beneath them, the dark hindering their vision only vaguely.
The quad of elves gripped finely crafted long bows tightly in their firm hands as they all felt an eerie sensation flood over them, causing the tiny hairs on their necks to flare up in anticipation. Arrows, were notched in tightly braided bowstrings and pulled back tautly as they searched for a target amount the growth.
A twin tipped lance shredded unopposed through the undergrowth of the trees with unnatural force and precision. The elf’s keen ears singled out the rapidly impending weapon, a moment to late. The tips of lance exploded through his chest effortlessly, tearing him from his feet and pinning him helplessly to the truck of the tree. His eyes widened as he witnessed the ruthless oncoming assault that melted into view from nowhere. He was about to yell out, but death quickly stole his last breath, leaving him hanging limp from the treetops as his village was overrun.
The remaining trio of sentries let loose arrows rapidly, slicing through the demonic fiends as they bled through the woods and streamed into the village in a murderous rage. The warning horn sounded, waking the Elvin village in a petrifying urgency as they scrabbled to arm themselves against the unknown foe. The horde of demons swarmed in, hoping to seize the remarkably skillful elves before they could fortify a defense.
A massive, deformed, boar faced demon grappled onto the oversized tree in the middle of the haven and began his ascend towards the Elfin snipers. His rigid, physique bugled as his vicious claws slammed into the tree and he pulled his impressive weight upwards, unpredictably quick for his size. The elves felt the vibrations in the giant tree and were alerted to the attack. Their bows angled downwards and arrows rained down on the looming demon. Arrows pierced through his arms and embedded deep into his shoulders and back. His claws dug deeper cutting through the thick bark and timber as he slide down several feet, but held on, and was back climbing instantly. Vigorously he scaled the last of the tree and was imposing face to face with the three Elvin archers. A final arrow was released and struck squarely in the boar faced demons chest. He hollowed in rage and charged the scrawny attacker before he could draw his slender sword. He swatted the gaunt elf with a dominating arm, launching him off the towering podium, plunging to the chaotic world below.
He turned to face the remaining duo of Elvin warriors who were fully organized for him now. Blood gushed from the many profound arrow wounds, glazing his twisted body in a glossy scarlet, weakness was beginning to sap his strength. He lunged in a maddening frenzy for the duo, claws extended with a hunger for flesh.
The Elves easily avoided his sluggish attack and now circled him from both sides, twin blades tantalizingly spinning in each hand. The elf on his right jolted in for a quick strike, one blade cutting deep into the thigh, the other cleaving the demon’s arm clean off. A bitter, pained hollow erupted from his maw as he swung violently with his remaining arm at his attacker, opening his back up for an easy assault from the Elf on his left. The Elf’s blades severed deep into the exposed beasts’ hamstrings, chipping into bone. The demon’s legs almost buckled underneath him but he raged forward, his shear weight keeping his momentum. He bowled into the puny elf, taking both of the elves blades deep into his lungs. His arm wrapped tightly around his opponent as finally his legs gave out. With his last dwindling strength he heaved himself with his captive over the edge of the platform and cascaded to the earth for a bitter victory.
Dwelling doors were cleaved wide opened and plagued by blood thirsting fiends and their cruel ornaments of death. The humming of steal on steal and screams of agony and terror, filtered through the village and into the never-ending darkness. Elves from the residences above bolted out their doors still in their nightwear, weapons in hand. They leaped from their perches in defiance, their blades leading the way into the storm of combat that awaited them.
The elves on the ground formed tight formations, furiously doing their best to fend off the malicious hell spawned invaders. But for everyone they killed, two took their place and they seemed to only get larger and stronger and they were slowly being herded into the center of the village.
The small village of Elves were organized now and defending their homes fiercely. Arrows hissed from all directions from atop the suspended bridges, into the masses of demonic warriors, dropping scores of the ruthless monsters before they ever entered the haven, but it wasn’t enough. The utter numbers of the enemy was slowly overrunning the small defense force on the ground.
Chain grapping hooks were thrown, latching onto the cords of the bridges. Scores of demons heaved ferociously on each chain, overpowering the bridge’s reinforcements. Cords frayed and snapped toppling the viciously accurate defenders who resided, into the awaiting blades of enemies beneath. With the archers abolished, defeat was imminent as twisted forms and cruel beasts infested the village.
The last handful of defenders were forced into the middle of the village and surrounded. Before the bloodthirsty horde could massacre the remaining elves, a deep commanding voice shouted over the jeers and taunts. “STOP!”
The crowd of demons went silent and all eyes went towards the strong, majestic stature of the archangel that approached them arrogantly. He wore only a long, black tanned loincloth. His body was hard and muscular, his skin, sleek and faultless. His dark hair was long and straight spilling over his impressive black-feathered wings that peeked brilliantly over his burly shoulders. There were no whites to his eyes; they were forceful and black as coal. The angel’s facade was sharp and spellbindingly beautiful.
“Where is your goddess now? When you need her the most. How many must tolerate such suffering, before she comes to aid you?” The archangel spoke tauntingly, standing boldly in front of the enduring elves that still gripped their stained weapons.
“Gaia is always with us in life and in death!” An older elf barked out to the imposing angel.
“Is she really?” The angel mockingly laughed. “In death, yes, she may receive you into her loving embrace. But in life her powers are no match for mine.”
“You are the excrement of pathetic, Lucifer. You are no God!” A young female elf declared ruthlessly stepping out to face the fallen Angel. “All you are is the truth that even the Gods, make mistakes!” The elves behind her jeered their agreement.
The archangels’ abysmal eyes seemed to burn as his lips drew back to reveal a row of glistening fangs. A momentary lapse of control sent a twitch through his wings as he fought back his fury. The back of his hand connected effortlessly with her jaw, spinning her around violently to the cold earth at his feet. The elves behind her raised their weapons, but the snarls and sneers from the demons around them, reminded them of the situation. “Do not disregard me so easily girl.” He replied, his features confident again.
The elvin girl leaped to her feet with astonishing swiftness and dexterity. A thin, curved, dagger appeared in her tightened fist as she dove for the false Gods heart with an acidic rage. He made no move to impede her attempt and the dagger hit its mark penetrating to the hilt. Her eyes stared into his; she begged to witness the unsuspecting defeat course through those apprehensive orbs. But none was found, only a disdainful grin glared down at her.
“Feeble creature, no heart beats beneath this chest.” He mused as she stepped back, dread gripping her senses at her mistake. “Did you really think it would be so easy to dispatch the likes of a God?” Slowly he pulled the slender blade from its flesh-hewn sheath, the usually lethal wound healing immediately, leaving no trace that it had ever been.
“What do you want from us Lucifer?” The old elf asked, trying to stand proudly. “We have nothing of use to you.”
Lucifer leered into the old elf’s eyes and could sense his mounting fear, though it wasn’t for his own life. A sinful smirk creased his lips. “Your right.” He responded, his voice void of sentiment. “Kill them.” He turned to walk away but stopped. “Except her,” he smirked. “I am ever so resource full in finding uses.” Lucifer melted back into the woods, the song of murder playing in the background.

QDOS
November 4th, 2011, 04:23 PM
Hi

Orchestrated battle scenes, ominous outcome, what can I say, I think I’m out of breath. As a first draft it needs a fare bit of rework. Some spelling errors, wrong word usage and many of the sentences are far too long.
But Red-James - Soldier on!

QDOS :cool:

ravag3
November 4th, 2011, 04:29 PM
You use a whole lot of adjectives ...which is helpful for the audience but be careful not to have your sentences run on with too many 'ly' descriptiv words. Leave something to the imagination. Overall you use good sentence structure but double check your comma use. Keep it up

Red-James
November 4th, 2011, 06:11 PM
i enjoy description, if you have ever read Alan Canpbells work, you will know where i get it from. As far as grammer i am horrible, hence why i pay an editor..lol

Cody
November 25th, 2011, 07:23 AM
Waaaaaay to soon in a story for a battle scene for me. If I can't manage to care about who lives or dies, or even know who to cheer for then I don't want to spend too much time wading through it. I love the font that you used. I would have loved to seen some indentation on the paragraphs for the sake of readability. It sounds a bit fanfic ish just because of how you dive into it. I have read stories and seen movies where they start the action right at the start, and loved it, but this doesn't pull that off.

Rob
November 25th, 2011, 09:44 AM
Hi Red-James. Yeah, I think you've gone overboard a little here with your adverbs and adjectives, where pretty much every noun and verb is modified at least once, sometimes more. That's okay. It's a draft. It could do with a good edit so that you're using modifiers where they are most effective, rather than automatically. They should be used to strengthen the prose. If you use too many it weakens it, reading it becomes a slog, and the important, telling detail is lost, swamped by unimportant details.

One way to achieve this is to make a copy of the prologue with all of the adverbs and adjectives stripped out, then add back in only those that really need to be there, the ones you think the story can't live without.

In addition to weakening the writing, in places it leads to the writing not making sense. For example:


The night was dead silent, aside from a light breeze that sifted delicately through the tall majestic fir trees of the ancient forest, swaying their long, thick out reaching arms hypnotically.
Here you have a light, delicate breeze swaying thick branches.

Consider your word choices generally when you come to revise this. For example, you have elves gripping long bows tightly in firm hands. The word 'gripped' by definition implies tightly or firmly.

Sometimes less is more, and with description it's about using words effectively. What you have here is a draft, a good starting point. Some careful revision will strengthen and improve the description. If you like Alan Campbell's work, take a hard look at it and see how it differs from your own, whether it's written more tightly than yours. And preferably, consider other authors too, analyse their word choices and see how they handle description.

Hope that helps, and good luck with this.

Red-James
November 25th, 2011, 11:43 AM
Hey Rob, thanks for the comment, thou i disagree completely with you, and aside from getting edited (which is coming shortly) this is not a draft. And i would recommend you picking up alan cambells Scar Night and giving it a read and you will see i am actually tighter in my discription than he is already...lol Again i disagree with you. The joys of writing is there is thousands of different styles to fit everyones desires.

Rob
November 25th, 2011, 12:11 PM
No worries. Good luck. And while you're waiting for it to be edited, maybe go sit in the woods and watch the thick branches sway in the delicate breeze ;)

Red-James
November 25th, 2011, 07:04 PM
As a matter of fact the night before i wrote this i was doing just that with a nice cold rum and coke in hand.

outoftheblue
November 26th, 2011, 11:50 AM
Hey Red-James! I've read through this piece, and although there is a hell of a lot of adjectives and descriptive passages, I do like it. It's very atmospheric, and I get the impression that it was your intention to make it as 'atmospheric' as possible. There are a few grammatical/ spelling errors, but they've already been mentioned by others so I don't need to repeat them already. But yes, I get the impression that you probably like 'The Lord of the Rings' too, because I had that kind of feeling when I began to read some of the description. I particularly liked your description of the attack on the Demon! Great work, I'm sure with some editing it'll be just fine :applause:

Red-James
November 26th, 2011, 01:21 PM
outoftheblue, thanks a lot, and yes it was my intent to make it vivid and provoking.

marrow
November 26th, 2011, 07:47 PM
Being a descriptive writer myself i really enjoyed your story. The only crit is the description kind of gets in the way of the flow at some points. most writers have to flesh out a story to make it work i believe you could trim it down a bit. You can be just as descriptive with a few well placed descriptions that lets the mind fill in the blanks without even realizing it. for example my rough draft is usually twice as long with descriptions and scenes. But i go through each sentence and try to make each one say the same thing with less words. And i do this again and again until the story flows at a good pace and my descriptions don't bog the reader down. I don't usually post crits but i really enjoyed your story and feel that it has alot of potential :)

Red-James
November 26th, 2011, 09:16 PM
Thanks Marrow

josh.townley
November 29th, 2011, 05:04 AM
Hi Red-James. I really liked this. I think it's a great prologue that throws the reader straight into the action. I also like how you give little bits of history and background through the dialogue near the end, rather than just info-dumping, which gives the prologue purpose.
I have to agree with the others that you overuse adjectives and adverbs a bit, or occasionally use one that doesn't fit.
Here are some specific examples in no particular order:


standing boldly in front of the enduring elves
'enduring' doesn't seem like the right word to me. It might be better off with nothing there.


elves gripped finely crafted long bows tightly in their firm hands
This sounds over-worded. 'Gripped' implies they are held tightly, and 'firm' hands doesn't really add anything.


waking the Elvin village in a petrifying urgency as they scrabbled to arm themselves
I didn't get the impression that the elves were petrified, as that implies frozen in fear.


The Elf’s blades severed deep into the exposed beasts’ hamstrings, chipping into bone
Again, 'severed' doesn't seem like the right word, as I think of it as meaning 'cut off'.

There are a few more instances, but I think you get the idea. They're fairly minor things, but for me they detracted from the experience, which was generally really good. Shouldn't be too difficult to change, though, if you decide to. The story sounds great. A bit cliche, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
I'm guessing that the elf girl is the main character? Seeking revenge for her slaughtered people? I'm interested to know more about her, how this affects her, and how she tries to get revenge.

P.S. One more thing I just noticed. You haven't used the word 'said' at all. There's nothing wrong with 'said'. It doesn't impose itself, so allows the dialogue to keep moving fluidly.

Red-James
November 29th, 2011, 05:08 AM
thanks josh, and no the girl is not the main charater, but the mother to the main charater, but is long dead by the time the real story starts.

Die Oldhaetunde
November 29th, 2011, 05:46 AM
I think my eyes just imploded. Please do something about proper formatting.

Thank you.

Red-James
November 29th, 2011, 05:51 AM
formatting is fine, accept it.
Thank you.

Rob
November 29th, 2011, 09:40 AM
formatting is fine, accept it.
Thank you.
Hi Red-James. It's something of a convention to insert a blank line between paragraphs for ease of on-screen reading for the benefit of the reader. Some readers can be put off by large blocks of text on-screen, which means you miss out on their feedback, which might otherwise have been useful to you. If you check out some of the other posts, you'll see what I mean.

themooresho
November 30th, 2011, 01:51 AM
Some notes from a fellow amateur that may or may not be valid.

Your first paragraph I felt was somewhat cliché as a beginning. The impression I got was that you were looking for a platform to launch from and found a weak one. If you are trying to set a mood, I would do it from the perspective of one of your characters. It doesn’t have to be a main character. It could be one of the Elvin guards who is observing the tense atmosphere.

Also, “… swaying their long, thick out reaching arms hypnotically,” is awkward. Try, “… hypnotically swaying their thick, outreaching arms.” This puts “hypnotically” in the right place, and it also takes out a redundant description. Remember, description is fine, but if your reader has to read a sentence twice in order to understand it, it will only frustrate them rather than draw them in.

There are a number of incomplete sentences and other grammatical errors. Yes, your editor will catch them, but you don’t want to make him or her work too hard on simple things like these. These are basic skills that all editors expect a writer to know and practice before it even touches their desk.

“The elf’s keen ears singled out the rapidly impending weapon, a moment to late.” You’ve just gone from describing a quad of elves to talking about one elf without transition. When reading this, I again had to read it twice to make sure you hadn’t previously introduced this one particular elf. I would have written it like this, “One young, blond haired elf pricked his keen ears as they singled out the…” This gives a small transition from one subject (the quad) to the other (the individual elf). This also personalizes him in some small way, which gives his death greater impact.

There are several words which are out of place. For example, “A bitter, pained hollow erupted from his maw…” I think you meant bellow instead of hollow. There are several others too. Look for these and try to replace them with the correct words.

I thought that the dialogue at the end was pointless. I don’t know why Lucifer would tell his hoard to stop, just to throw self-aggrandizement at the elves, then as if he had forgotten why he was there, he says, “Okay, you can kill them now.” I think it would be much more effective in building tension if you main antagonist, especially one as archetypal as Lucifer, didn’t show his face until much later in the book. I don’t think he would be bothering himself with little village of elves if it was for no other reason than extermination. That is was underlings are for.

I will say that I like your premise. I like the thought of portraying Lucifer in his original form of Archangel rather than the bull-horned goat-hoofed creature he is usually depicted as. If you are going to go that route, I would highlight it a little more by imagining him as he once was before his fall. What kinds of features would he carry over into his fallen form?

In summery, I would not consider this the final draft because it really does need more work. But I think that your idea is good enough that you could have a great story if you do the work it takes to make it great.

valondon
December 3rd, 2011, 05:56 PM
To start off - the readability is horrible. Personally, I can't stand the font. Added to that there is not enough white space. As an earlier poster mentioned - try indenting the paragraphs, and put blank space between each paragraph.

Now, as for the actual writing - there was too much of an emphasis on describing what was happening. To clarify what I mean, I'm going to quote an earlier poster, "I have to agree with the others that you overuse adjectives and adverbs a bit, or occasionally use one that doesn't fit."

Otherwise, it is good and I am interested.

MFAer
December 3rd, 2011, 09:08 PM
It's perfectly acceptable to have an acclimation to descriptive writing. The best writers are seasoned enough to merit a slower-pace. However, descriptions need to be honest in order for them to work. Your descriptions in particular are overwrought and flowered. Despite what you think, this draft isn't even a knot away from being tight. It's young, rushed, clumsy.

Rob gave you good advice. I agree with him. You use adverbs in excess and most of them don't make a lot of sense. Verb choice in particular is skewed. Why would stars need to "brave" the "misty void?" They're stars. In all, the writing leaves much more to be desired. Most of the descriptions are either reworked cliches or copied verbatim. Dead silent, misty void, etc...