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Silen
June 6th, 2012, 12:11 PM
So guys, i finally have the priveledges to post up some of my own work! Yay for me.
I was wondering if any one would be kind enough to read through this for me.
Gimme some constructive criticism and such.
(This is the first piece of creative writing i have written since leaving school, so its grammar and punctuation will leave alot to be desired.)
Good Luck and thanks in advance.

In the world of xypaxis the purple tinted sun rose to the east shining its light onto the great fortress city of malum. Its light shined onto the roofs of the large stone towers that circled the enormous citadel, it glinted through the archways with their ornate carvings illuminating there gory details. An image of an evil necromancer being burned alive on a mound of demonic skulls highlighted by the purple illumination of the rising sun. The light gleamed upon the small dwellings of the cities citizens, as well as the larger shops and stalls of the marketplace. The city appeared like a giant warren of interconnecting cobbled roads, the space for a horse and cart to move freely up and down the streets between the dwellings and in the middle of the square where a market place would be there stood a single statue as high as any of the buildings around it showing a regal armour clad warrior wielding a one handed sword and shield riding a stallion, rearing on its hind legs. The muscle tone of the horse clearly defined by the sculptor responsible the statue was a masterpiece and it stood as a centrepiece to the entire city. The warrior wore the crown of the king and engraved on the bottom depicted by the shining light shone the words “In King Omis we have great faith”.

A bird’s eye view of the city would show no movement except the scarce set of guards patrolling its streets in groups of two wearing the armour of the king’s guard the imperial swords. These were the personal body guards of king Omis clad in their mail hauberks and deep purple tunics with a long diamond tipped spear in one hand and a sword sheathed on their belts. They also wore a square shield on their backs that had the royal insignia engraved in silver in the centre. The city was silent except for the muffled footsteps of the guards. It appeared to be a normal day in the city of malum.

“We knew different, “

A shadowy figure crept through the empty streets of the city; it floated eerily as if no contact was being made with the rough beaten cobblestones of the city streets. The figure was wearing an entirely black robe with a hood that touched the floor as the figure moved. The robes inlay was a crimson red and shone in the light of the rising sun. The figure was clutching in one hand a brown sack with an object roughly the size of a human head hidden inside; it held this sack close to its body as it seemed to float towards the first gate towards the citadel.

As the figure approached the guards at this gate moved for the weapons but instantly froze in place like statues of themselves they stood as the figure uttered a silent sentence there rigamortis faded and they fell to the floor in a crumpled heap without a sound. There petrified faces showed pain and suffering and there colourless eyes seemed empty , suddenly a white flame raised from there open mouths and slowly shifted towards the figure and the object in the sack seemed to fluctuate as it eagerly absorbed the souls of the dead guards. The figure uttered another sentence and the great gate in front of him swung open silently its heavy frame uttering not even a creak as it opened to its full extent for the figure to transverse through.


The figure floated on oblivious to the deaths it had just caused with such ease. The stranger floated onwards towards the next gate that led into the gigantic citadel on the way the stranger petrified and absorbed 4 more guards on its purposeful approach. The figure had arrived at the door to the citadel, an ornate stone door with magnificent gold filigree etched into it in swirling knots and spirals. The guards there had been deep in sleep and hadn’t even awoken as the figure stole their souls and absorbed them within the mysterious object in the sack it carried. The sack seemed weightless as the figure stepped over the corpses and pushed open the giant door that blocked its way.

As the figure floated through the citadel it became apparent it knew where its destination would be, it headed straight through the building towards its centre, it then arrived at the door to the throne room. The throne room a hexagonal shaped room with a throne situated in the middle had but one man inside it. The very man the figure was maliciously hunting. King Omis. The door to the throne room was a smaller yet equally as intricate stone door like the one at the entrance to the citadel. The figure moved this door with equal ease and as he entered the king looked up from the floor where he sat on his great ebony throne. The throne was engraved with silver filigree in great spirals and vines and where these vines met flowers lay enormous gems encrusted in almost black wood.

The king was old, very old. But he was not to be underestimated legends were sang across the entirety of xypaxis about king Omis and his triumphs, behind the wrinkly visage of this old man sat hunched in his throne was the heart of a lion and the strength of an ox but still the figure moved forward till he was about 6 feet from the king and his throne. The king wore ornate gold plate armour with a lions face embossed into the chest plate the lions mane connected to the shoulder guards and the lions eyes were encrusted with enormous amethysts his golden plated greaves were shined to perfection an reflected the incoming light of the purple hued sun as it entered through an enormous glass roof. The king appeared godly clad in gold. The most deadly part of the king’s attire though was the enormous two handed sword he had resting on his lap. Its blade nearly six inches wide with a great hilt socketed with hundreds of tiny gems that circled like the planets around a central massive, silvery white gem. A vine engraved on the blade sprouting from the hilt ended at the point of the blade. Atop the kings head sat the crown of xypaxis a magnificent shining object with thousands of gems around the circlet and the black metal that held them was mysterious in itself. The kings eyes though old were an intense cobalt blue and his light gray hair fell in locks around his cheeks.

The kings eyes rested on the stranger as he approached and he slowly lifted himself from his throne, sword in hand and demanded “who are you to enter my citadel?”
The figure stood motionless; instead of responding verbally he raised one hand and pulled his cloak from his head to reveal an almost skeletal face, black eyes sunk deep into its skull its jaw bone and cheek bones appeared almost as if it were dead and then it smirked to reveal a row of razor sharp teeth that had been filed to points. From within its robe the stranger drew a crooked dagger and sliced open the brown sack he had been holding revealing a pitch black orb with gems inside it that looked like the stars in the sky. It was an eerie item that shone perfectly in the light reflecting on his skeletal face. Then with a voice as smooth yet deep as any the king had ever head the figure spoke.
“I believe you are familiar with this item”
The kings’ eyes widened not in fear but in wonder,
“How did you find it?” the king questioned surprised
The stranger smirked then began laughing insanely. His voice deep and smooth reverberated off of every wall inside the throne room. Suddenly he stopped cackling and his evil eyes fixed on the king,
“It took a very long time for me to find this item , I shed much blood and lost much of myself to recover it from its hiding place , but that doesn’t matter you know full well what me bringing this here means , don’t you my liege “
The kings face twitched and he realised instantly what the stranger was here for, with a blurred speed faster than light the king grasped the hilt of his sword and thrust it into the demonic skull at the corner of his throne, the swords blade penetrated all the way through the skull and with a clunk it sunk deep into the stone too. Within a second the sword itself vanished from sight. Yet the skull remained. The king glared at the stranger and spoke with such authority that any mortal would have been powerless to resist him.
“You shall not rule! You seek to take my throne, my life and my blade! I have denied you one of these now what shall you do. No man may rule xypaxis without the blade of the king, surely you know this?”
The figure took a step back as soon as the king spoke as if shocked by his actions but then instantly regained his arrogant grin. With a blur of shadow the figure disappeared then reappeared almost instantly behind the king and with one swift wicked motion drew the crooked dagger across his belly, under the gold plates .the king did not make a sound but the pain was apparent in his eyes as the blades poison began to take effect. The figure spoke
“This poison is a poison not of the mortal realm; it doesn’t destroy your body. It destroys your soul, can you feel it burn your majesty”
The king’s face contorted with the pain of his soul burning within him, and then collapsed into a smouldering heap on the floor of the throne room, the blade had cut him and it appeared that the poison had healed the wound as to stop the poison being removed. There was not a drop of blood spilt. Yet the mightiest warrior in all of xypaxis laid dead on the floor of his own throne room, his crown dented and his soul alight with the fires of demonic poison.

The stranger let out another insane hysterical laugh as he clutched at the broken crown, he gazed at the crown for a few seconds then strode over to the throne, and he lowered himself into the throne and placed the crown onto his head and muttered triumphantly
“At last.”
He rested his feet cross legged on the corpse of the old king and sat on the throne, the throne he has stayed on ever since.

“We know this because we were there; we witnessed the slaying of king Omis, the destruction of the alliance with our elven allies and the end of light in xypaxis. The moment evil planted its seed in the fertile soils of our world. The end of freedom. Only we remember, only we rebel; only we fight. This is our purpose, we must restore Great king omis’s blood line to the throne. This is our story, behold the past, and experience the present, plan for the future. In the name of Omis.”

Jeko
June 6th, 2012, 04:23 PM
Hi Silen,

I read over you're first paragraph (I only read the first paragraph before giving comment, usually).

Overall, I enjoyed the scene setting and concept. It's interesting, anchored well in my mind, and has plenty of scope to go places


In the world of xypaxis the purple tinted sun rose to the east shining its light onto the great fortress city of malum.

I read over the names at first, and then realised that they were names. It might be useful to capitalise them: Xypaxis, Malum.


Its light shined onto the roofs of the large stone towers that circled the enormous citadel

I find the use of 'citadel' a bit faulty. It feels like it had to be in place, becasue you had to repeat the existence of the place in some fashion. Perhaps joining the sentences, or manipulating them in some way, woulsd alleviate the need for this:

In the world of Xypaxis the purple tinted sun rose to the east. It shined its light onto the great fortress city of Malum and the roofs of the large stone towers that circled it.

Doing so, we also eliminate the repetion of the greatness of Malum (which comes through the word 'enormous). I've learnt rather quickly, recently, that repetition can make your reader feel annoyed, because they know that, and you don't need to tell them again.


it glinted through the archways with their ornate carvings illuminating there gory details.

Love this line (apart from the common 'there' mistake... I make it from time to time, though). Might apend the previous segment with it:

In the world of Xypaxis the purple tinted sun rose to the east. It shined its light onto the great fortress city of Malum and the roofs of the large stone towers that circled it, and glinted through the archways with their ornate carvings illuminating their gory details.


An image of an evil necromancer being burned alive on a mound of demonic skulls highlighted by the purple illumination of the rising sun.

Again, repetition of the sun feels unnecessary, and the lexis used feels forced into the mould. I'd rewrite this, more inventively, with connection to the sun without the repetition of it.


The light gleamed upon the small dwellings of the cities citizens, as well as the larger shops and stalls of the marketplace.

Enjoying your lexis - gleamed, glinted - but I find 'city's citizens' a mouthful - if they're dwellings, they've got to be for the citizens, so is it necessary to mention it?


The city appeared like a giant warren of interconnecting cobbled roads, the space for a horse and cart to move freely up and down the streets between the dwellings and in the middle of the square where a market place would be there stood a single statue as high as any of the buildings around it showing a regal armour clad warrior wielding a one handed sword and shield riding a stallion, rearing on its hind legs.

...and breathe. That's one long sentence you've got there, and as much as I want to appreciate the narrative, it is swallowed by the trudging, swampy pace brought about by the lack of punctuation.


The muscle tone of the horse clearly defined by the sculptor responsible the statue was a masterpiece and it stood as a centrepiece to the entire city.

I think there's a grammar issue here, but the description of 'muscle tone' is fresh, and I would enhance it more.


The warrior wore the crown of the king and engraved on the bottom depicted by the shining light shone the words “In King Omis we have great faith”.


That is the right place to repeat the light, make the whole paragraph circular, more whole.

For a moment, I thought the warrior was doing the engraving - might want to split up those two ideas to avoid the confusion.


I will read on soon, excited by the prospect of this city and its sun-lit strangeness.

Silen
June 6th, 2012, 04:46 PM
Thank you so much for pointing these corrections out to me. This is the first ttime iv written anything since school (3years ago) I woke one morning and there was this glorious idea and I kinda rushed to get it down on the paper ASAP.

The fact you have taken the time to read through this and that you actually llike my idea is already an enormous boost to my self confidence.

Once again thank you :)

Diogenes
June 6th, 2012, 10:03 PM
I read over the names at first, and then realised that they were names. It might be useful to capitalise them: Xypaxis, Malum.

I agree here. It seems like overall there are some grammatical problems which make it harder to fully understand the picture you're trying to paint. No one is perfect though, and with editing you can polish off the blemishes and make a fine piece of work.



I find the use of 'citadel' a bit faulty. It feels like it had to be in place, becasue you had to repeat the existence of the place in some fashion. Perhaps joining the sentences, or manipulating them in some way, woulsd alleviate the need for this:

In the world of Xypaxis the purple tinted sun rose to the east. It shined its light onto the great fortress city of Malum and the roofs of the large stone towers that circled it.

Doing so, we also eliminate the repetion of the greatness of Malum (which comes through the word 'enormous). I've learnt rather quickly, recently, that repetition can make your reader feel annoyed, because they know that, and you don't need to tell them again.

Big big agreement here. I said Big twice for emphasis. I explained for emphasis, for emphasis.
The above statement is just an example why repeating descriptors can be annoying and confusing. It causes the reader to think a little too hard about the setting, and one of the joys of reading books is painting the picture in your mind for yourself. While you have a lot of direction through the writer, it's still half the fun to let your imagination fill in the gaps.

It's easy to see that you're trying to go for a Gothic fantasy feel here. One thing to keep in mind about these kinds of stories is it can be very hard to do if you aren't good at describing surroundings with fluid detail. The plus side of that, is it's a great way to work on your descriptions. Vocabulary is huge as well, so if you're every not sure on how to describe something in greater detail, you can write down a couple words that somewhat resemble your intention and use Thesaurus.com to search for some other words. Another great way is: Merriam-Webster Online (http://www.merriam-webster.com/word-of-the-day/).

Keep up the work though. You may have a very good story to come of it. :)

Silen
June 7th, 2012, 10:52 AM
Another big big thank you. "I said Big twice for emphasis. I explained for emphasis, for emphasis."

The entire first draft has been written :). I can upload more on an as and when basis.

Reading back over what you guys have said i understand completely what you mean.Hopefully it comes out good with some majour re works :)

Thanks again :D

Higurro
June 7th, 2012, 05:00 PM
I really like the way this starts off. There's a nice rich atmosphere and sense of colour and space, but the arrival of the omnipotent floating figure made me roll my eyes a bit. The 'shadowy figure' thing has been done before (I'm guilty of it myself). That's not to say it can't work, but it really needs to in order to retain the interest. I think it's been mentioned before but your sentence structure and grammar are a bit hit and miss, as is your spelling of various words like their/there.

Still, I found it enjoyable and would be very happy to read it again after a rewrite to sort out the readability, cos it's pretty hard-going at the moment. Hope that helps a bit!

Silen
June 7th, 2012, 06:26 PM
Aye, i must admit my spelling and grammar are pretty poor. I would be more than willing to personal mail some more of the story to any one who is interested. Personal reviewers have said as it gets further in to the story the sentence structure and punctuation improve, i guess its just getting the flow going again, after all it was three years since id written anything Lol. Once more though thanks for the critique. As for the Shadowy figure, i was unsure how else to approach him really without using something stereotypical of the bad guy. I shall have to think about that some more.

I have begun writing the second book already, first book is only in first draft form, but i was unable to restrain myself from starting almost immediately. Didnt want to lose my ideas.

Thanks again :)

Higurro
June 7th, 2012, 06:41 PM
Not to worry; I've started my new book before the old one was in final form too. I just couldn't wait, but I thought it would only take a few months, and now eight months later I've only written eight chapters!

Diogenes
June 7th, 2012, 07:14 PM
There's nothing wrong with starting on later chapters/books of the story. You just have to be careful to make sure continuity is still there. I for one am always coming up with new ideas for whole plot lines for characters in my story. It's easier for me to keep it as one big universe and write short stories based on certain characters and when I find one that sticks with people, I advance it past a short story. In fact, that's exactly how I'm getting my first book going. Just keep in mind it's easy to get sidetracked and throw out a few extra short stories when you should be writing content for your main novel. Unless you plan on releasing your book as a compilation of short stories. Which honestly wouldn't be a bad idea. First they have to get noticed though. :)

Silen
June 7th, 2012, 07:18 PM
Well, when i finished my first draft it totalled at around 56,000 words. Bareing in mind, the suggested word count for novels in this genre is 85k plus i was kind of stumped on what to do next. I dont personally see how i can get it to an 85k plus word count, without swamping the reader with details that may not be needed. Another option i have considered is adding another couple of sub plots within the main story line to bulk it out. I think i rushed through my first draft trying to get the ideas down so not to lose the minute details i had in my mind. Short stories may well be the way to go.

So currently i have a few hard copies of my draft circulating through various friends and aquantiences and decided that while waiting for their critique i would start number two, as too keep the juices flowing :)

Higurro
June 7th, 2012, 09:37 PM
If your story is complete at 56k words then it's complete. You shouldn't need to do more to it. If it works as a novella then what's the problem? Stick it on the internet as an eBook and get on with the next one. There's a lot of money to be made by people who can churn out lots of snappy easy to read stories (I don't mean to belittle your story by suggesting that you'd 'churn' anything out, but it's worth keeping in the back of one's mind)

Elvenswordsman
June 8th, 2012, 03:11 AM
Just a note, names should be relevant to the people who are being written about, but easily read by the reader. Xypaxis is a tad bit conflicting, and has too many potential pronunciations. Zypaxis, Jypaxis, Chypachi, and so on (so many pronunciations of letters around the world) ... I've always found that when I'm not confident of pronunciation, I lose focus anytime I have to read the word in question.

Jeko
June 8th, 2012, 04:19 PM
Sorry I took so long to get back to this - currently experiencing a 'writer's buzz' (that's what I call it, anyway) that has led me to write almost half my current WIP in just over a month.

I find the previous niggles I mentioned seem to recur frequently, and so following the rule of repetition, for the purposes of not using repetition, other than in the repetition of the word repetition, I will not repeat them, by using repetition.

I'll stop that now...

So instead, I'll do more to pick out bits I really like.


The city was silent except for the muffled footsteps of the guards. It appeared to be a normal day in the city of malum.

Conceptually, you just set my mind on edge. It's normal for it to be like this? Really? Wow. This place is different.


A shadowy figure crept through the empty streets of the city; it floated eerily as if no contact was being made with the rough beaten cobblestones of the city streets.

I really liked this line, both in how it was crafted and the connotations it gives to the previous description. It's normal for few people to be around Malum, yet there are 'rough beaten cobblestones' to suggest great movement; I love the juxtaposiition of ideas there. You give your city much dimension, and originality.


it seemed to float towards the first gate towards the citadel.

Oops, repetition. We already know he's floaty.


As the figure approached the guards at this gate moved for the weapons but instantly froze in place like statues of themselves they stood as the figure uttered a silent sentence there rigamortis faded and they fell to the floor in a crumpled heap without a sound.

This line needs a lot of work, but it's only the cumulative result of several small issues.


the great gate in front of him swung open silently its heavy frame uttering not even a creak as it opened to its full extent for the figure to transverse through.

I'd cut this down, there's too much needless stuff here.

The great gate swung open, its heavy frame uttering not even a creak.

That's all you really need, I think. Everything else is just repetition or over-complicating lexis.


The figure floated

That's three...


The stranger floated

Four...


As the figure floated

Five...

I think there are other words, or just simple words, that you can use instead. I also think some use of the term 'he' could help stop you from saying 'the figure' or another similar term. The narrative gets, dare I say it, repetitive...


The very man the figure was maliciously hunting

This was at odds with the nature of your character, up to now. He seems very calm, relaxed, unaware of his evil, but malice makes him just a staple baddy.


The king wore ornate gold plate armour with a lions face embossed into the chest plate the lions mane connected to the shoulder guards and the lions eyes were encrusted with enormous amethysts his golden plated greaves were shined to perfection an reflected the incoming light of the purple hued sun as it entered through an enormous glass roof.

I like the lion metaphor, empowered by this description, and with a bit of work on the syntax of it all trhis coulde become a very powerful paragraph.


to reveal an almost skeletal face, black eyes sunk deep into its skull

A great line of description, swamped in a bit of dodgy punctuation. Making everything around this more fluent will make this desription even better than the last.

The speech needs the most work, I think. It needs to reflect the place and time, but feel natural, which it doesn't yet. Fragments work, but overall, it needs some development and refinement.

I find the tale very effective for a prologue, and with some alteration and atunement this piece would certainly grab a reader's attention. It might even grab an agent's.

Good luck with your writing, Silen.

Silen
June 8th, 2012, 04:38 PM
Thank you very much, not just for the possitives but the negatives aswell.

I completely understand how the repetition can become annoying.

I see now that there is more to writing than just a good idea.

I will make the amendments within the week and repost.

Do you really think it could grab an agent?

Thanks again!

Jeko
June 9th, 2012, 05:17 PM
I see now that there is more to writing than just a good idea.

You realised it quickwer than I did. I spent a couple of years riding my own ideas until I worked out there's technique that can be used here...

The sort of writing you are producing, in my opinion, is a contemporary take on traditional fantasy - that's what I grasp from the prologue. It's quite inviting, open, with scale and vision.

Silen
June 9th, 2012, 07:17 PM
Thanks for the advice cadence
would you be interested in taking a look over the whole story? An let me know if it forefils the contemporary style.

Thanks again :D

Jeko
June 10th, 2012, 02:29 PM
^ I'm currently beta-readering for another member (and have lost track of that a bit, because of all the writing I've been doing this week... some 10,000 words in total), but I could fit in a bit of other reading. It might take a while though - I'm currently making a dent in my local library's collection of Neil Gaiman books. Just finished The Graveyard Book, after reading Neverwhere. Such good stories, all concieved with an incredible eye for style and perspective, left emotionally fulfiled but open to make it all so personal.

Also just wrote a scene where a girl gets attacked by a giant butterfly while scaling down an inwardly diagonal cliff face. Yep, that's my kind of stuff.

Silen
June 10th, 2012, 02:41 PM
Giant butterfilies why didn't I think of that!

If you fancy taking a read through to add to your already enormous mountain of literature send me your email in private mail and I will forward it onto you :D


I will aalso have to take a look at those books you described they sound interesting :D