PDA

View Full Version : Prologue - The Meadow



HKayG
June 14th, 2012, 08:50 PM
Right, this is the second story I have in my mind. I have literally just written this first page after having this idea spring into my mind. I'd like to know if you think it's worth writing - whether you would read on.

Also, please ignore the way the paragraphs are split as i've done it for reading conveinience only!

My other story is also in this board, it's the electric gold and if you've read it you'll know how different this is.

Enjoy! (I hope...)

“I want to see who’s in charge”
“Please” a scruffy but well placed teenage boy stood leaning casually against the old grandfather clock in the cramped hallway. Sending a cursory glance at the intruder the boy looked like he had heard it all before “how do I know I can trust you – you could be with the authorities” Marlin asked. The young man in the door scowled back at him as if to say such a thing would be completely out of the question, not to mention offensive.
“Well, I give you my word” his eyes glinted in determination. His very presence brought some kind of noble air with it. As if an army of thousands should be following him to the ends of the earth and back by his gaze alone. His muscular figure and broad shoulders blocking out the light in the doorway only served to back up this air with his dark unkempt hair and tanned olive skin clashing with his clear blue intelligent eyes. They were not the type of eyes you often saw; they had a spark of hope, of vitality and belief about them. These days you were lucky to come across anything more than feeble faith in the great spirits.

“Sorry” Marlin looked the man up and down, slowly, deliberately, assessing how his chances would be if he was to get in a scuffle with this fellow. Slim. Less than slim were his chances. But not to worry. This unknown would have no chance against the powerful individual hidden in this house. “I’m afraid we don’t take the word of unknowns mate, besides, if words meant anything I’d be a rich man. And if you came here wondering who was in charge – maybe you shouldn’t be here anyway”. Marlin wasn’t of course being deliberately awkward, he had to protect the leader at all costs, and he was prepared for that. After all, the leader might be their last hope.
“Well what can I do – to earn the trust? To prove I’m no unknown?” The man in the doorway took a step forward. His head was above the doorframe causing him to duck when he stepped inside. He wasn’t particularly tall; maybe a head taller than Marlin and doorframes weren’t built to accommodate height, but something about his posture and the way he held himself made him seem the tallest man Marlin had ever lain eyes on.

“Look, you’ll have to find another way because this isn’t it. Sorry mate but no chances taken. Good day to you” Marlin made to move the unknown from the room opening the door wide and holding his hand out, signalling for the man to leave. The man turned and Marlin began to close the door behind him.

“Marlin” a voice came from behind the furthest wall’s door. The building was just like all the others down this very normal street. The two small but comfortable bedrooms upstairs and downstairs the basics of a small kitchen, toilet and a slightly larger living space. Marlin was rarely invited into that section of the house but when he was he always noticed that it was sparsely furnished. A simple house both out and in. Simple white paint and black beams adorned the outside with a thatched roof. Marlin had always thought that thatched roofs were a bad idea in a close knit street like this. If one roof went up in flames they’d all burn down like match sticks lain end to end. The two small windows either side of the door gave a view of the bustling cobbled street. The midday activity of the little town saw carts being pulled by donkeys and carriages pulled by horses squeezing side by side in opposite directions trying to get where they all needed so badly to go. Women carrying food bought from the small local shops were hurrying home to no doubt feed their hungry husbands and children home from a hard day’s work, occasionally looking up just in time to jump out of the way of an oncoming cart or carriage.

“Let him through”
Marlin looked at the unknown, distrust etched deep into his young face, defiant eyes scrutinising his every move, his every breath.
“But sir-...”
“Now” the firm authoritative tone of voice stilled Marlin’s arguing tongue and finally persuaded him to close the front door escorting the unknown man back in to the door which lead to the larger living area where the voice had come from.

“You’re very lucky...” Marlin growled under his breath “the leader sometimes invites unknown’s in like this... you’re lucky. She must have seen something in you”. The man’s eyes bunched together in a slight quizzical look.

“But how can they have seen something in me?” Marlin just shrugged and opened the door hurriedly pushing the man inside. He didn’t want to keep the door open and the room exposed to his eyes too long. After all, it wasn’t him who had been invited in.
Inside the room the man was greeted by a darkness only alleviated by one candle situated beside him in a cold metal bracket under which sat a wide wicker chair with a rather plumped looking pillow. As his eyes adjusted to the darkness the man began to realise that although the room was fairly spacious the reason it looked big was because the room was simply furnished giving it the effect that it was bigger than it truly was. From what his eyes could make out in the semi-darkness the most extravagant furniture in the room was the large thick white and black rug in the middle of the floor and a bookcase on the far wall filled with tired and worn looking books in all different shapes and sizes. As his eyes traced along the wall they fell upon corner which revealed a large armchair upon which sat a figure shrouded in a dark hooded travellers cloak lined with fur. It revealed nothing of the individual but well-worn sturdy boots protruding from the bottom of the cloak. Judging by that appearance the man deduced that there was no doubt that this leader, whoever it may be, was one to sit around in one place for too long.

“Please sit”. The voice from underneath the cloak was strangely mellow and relaxing but at the same time so very sure and almost imposing. A muscular arm suddenly but calmly surged from beneath the cloak to disappear under the hood to supposedly rest a covered face in the palm of that hand. The young man glanced at the wicker seat but did not sit down. His fists clenching at his side his face took to an authoritative stare.
“I want to know what you are planning. What you intend to gain from all this, and just how you are expecting to achieve it! Maybe I should introduce myself. Maybe that will persuade you. I am...”

“I know who you are Rahyne Maximillian” the young man looked taken aback at this turn of events. Rahyne came here believing he knew everything about this group and their so called ‘leader’. But he now realised that in fact he didn’t even know the name of this potential threat. Quickly masking his surprise to show no weakness, Rahyne thought to turn this situation to his advantage. A barrage of words tumbled from his mouth. This is what he’d been preparing all day.

“So tell me stranger, are you so fearful of me that you cannot show your face? You are too afraid for one man to know what you look like and yet you are supposed to lead all these people. How can you head a revolution when no one knows who you are? No one even knows your name!” Rahyne’s voice rose in frustration. His eyes glinted in the little light there was whilst his fists clenched harder his nails almost puncturing the skin. “The people aren’t ready! You can’t make them believe in something they can’t understand! You can’t possibly take on an army of that size! Even if they somehow understood it’s impossible!” Rahyne’s breathing laboured and began coming out in long pants which slowed once the echo of his words had faded in the room.

In the long silence that followed his fists began to unclench and he slowly slumped into the wicker chair feeling drained of emotion. There was nothing he could do. This was insane. From the corner of his eye Rahyne saw something twitch at the end of the carpet. Only now his emotion’s had calmed was he realising the atmosphere of this room and the person in it. There was no sense of panic and urgency as he so expected there to be, as there so should have been but it was instead as if they were merely chatting about something no more important than the state of affairs in town. The cloaked leader was giving off an air of extreme confidence, despite being completely covered up. Rahyne could sense that this person wasn’t putting on a show, they genuinely were not afraid of Rahyne and they weren’t shy about letting him know it. Something else he wasn’t expecting when he came here.

“Very compassionate words Lord Rahyne” Rahyne frowned at the unfamiliar practice of his title being used in such a place “spoken like a true fool”. Rayhne’s eyes flared in indignation. Even in this meagre light his eyes looked to have the purest skies captured behind them. He moved to rise from his chair but settled back down after a casual wave of the cloaked hand.

“I do not take to being called a fool lightly. Tell me, how do you know my name? Why is it that you call me a fool?” The cloaked figure slowly rose from the chair making deliberate slow movements careful so as not to reveal themselves.

“I can assure you Lord Rahyne Maximillian” the figure rose their arms to rest on hips under the cloak, stance wide allowing the cloak to split a little in the middle. This revealed tight brown leather trousers tucked into the rather tall boots Rahyne had seen before and there was now no doubt in his mind that this person was a traveller by trade.

“These people are safe under my care. Like they would be under no other but yours. I have planned everything to the very last detail and beyond that. I can also assure you that if these people did not understand they would not now know who I am and they would certainly not follow me. Most people cower when they realise my true nature. They run and hide behind their mother’s skirts, but those that believe in freedom believe in me and what I stand for. For what they stand for. They welcome me as one of their own, after all, how is it that I came to be here in this position if they did not understand? There would be no call for me. You underestimate your people my Lord. And as for your last question, possibly the easiest to answer. I know you Rayhne” the way Rahyne’s name was said was laced with an intimacy that a best friend or sibling would have for their brother.

“I know you because I have been watching over you your whole life and before”. Confused as he was by this statement Rahyne pushed on determined to see if this really was the right leader to help the people, to help the world, to help the magic. To help him.

“And what is it people have to fear from you? You don’t look to be as strong as men I have encountered. Men I have fought and killed”
“Rahyne” the name was said affectionately as a teacher to their .student “You don’t have to be big, or male, to be strong. You of all people must recognise that by now. And please” the voice took on a hard edge that nearly cut Rahyne through like a knife through butter “tell me you didn’t come here without knowing, without being aware, of what magic it is I wield” the figure’s arms dropped and surged out from beneath the cloak grabbing either side of the hood that was framing the unseeable face lurking behind. “I am able to take on this army and lead these people” the hood slowly was being lowered “I am feared, I am the leader because I am none other than a Guardian” long winglets of golden hair tumbled from beneath the hood to frame a strikingly beautiful strong face of a woman whose eyes were so gray that they almost looked silver with the light and the determined flare within them “what many less knowledgeable would only know as a Beast Caller”. Rahyne stared in disbelief. They were rare. Inexplicably so. Yet another thing he had not expected before coming here. Rahyne began to see his predicament, felt the tension in the air and knew he had outstayed his welcome. While getting up from his chair slowly but strategically, Rahyne again saw a twitch from where the carpet lay. He studied it closer to ascertain what it was. With no warning the carpet began moving, unfurling, right before his very eyes.
“My name is Serenity and this-” she pointed to the now expanding and enlarging carpet “is Brogan”.

Where the carpet had only moments ago lain was now replaced by something Rahyne could explain a million times but no one would believe. A huge white and black striped tiger the like of which Rahyne had never seen before.
It turned to stand beside Serenity its huge tail swishing gently brushing the books on the cabinet behind. The pure white contrasted against the endless black of the stripes. The paws were nearly as big as Rahyne’s head and when it yawned its mouth gaping wide there were teeth longer than some of his fingers inside. Its bright sunshine yellow eyes gleamed with intelligence and curiosity at him. Rahyne stood motionless not sure what to do in the presence of such a grand beast and the one who led it. Not sure now where he stood. Too many unexpected things had happened, and what happened next just added to the list.

“Serenity Hart. High leader of the Guardian’s and strategist to the revolutionaries. And of course yourself. Welcome to the war Lord Rahyne”.

TheStory
June 15th, 2012, 03:19 AM
Okay I'll stick my nose in here and try to give some decent input. There are a couple of things that stood out to me as something that should be changed. The structure in the beginning made it hard for me to tell who we were initially following. We jumped between a few viewpoints and sometimes I got confused who's thoughts we were following. I would settle down on Rahyne since we seem to be following him as the lead thus far. When Marlin is talked about it would feel stronger if it is from the same viewpoint as Rahyne. So anything about the boy would be what he can ascertain by himself. Or what he just sees.
Just an idea. I don't do a lot of criticism on writing so I don't know how valid it is but that is what got me hung up while reading.

As for if I would read on...I don't know yet. I was a little more intrigued towards the end of the writing but overall I think a lot is being revealed a bit fast.

Oasis Writer
June 16th, 2012, 01:05 AM
I was enticed to see what you had written, based off your disheartened blog post earlier. I will come out right now and let you know that it isn’t a bad start. You’ve created a space and time for these characters and you’ve started something that could be balanced into something great. The biggest issue I see is grammar. The story, with some tightening up, will shine by its own merits. Focus on getting the words on the page and moving the story in an interesting, original way. Once you’ve completed that, editing is a simple task.

Biggest focuses that I noticed with your grammar:

Proper sentence syntax
Ending Punctuation
Transitional Statements and Comma Usage
Dialogue


“I know you because I have been watching over you your whole life and before”. Confused as he was by this statement, Rahyne pushed on, determined to see if this really was the right leader to help the people, to help the world, to help the magic. To help him.

“And what is it people have to fear from you? You don’t look to be as strong as men I have encountered. Men I have fought and killed.”

The above is just an example of what I’m seeing that could be improved. The ending syntax for punctuation should be the period first before the quotation marks. All sentences, including dialogue, needs some form of punctuation to end the statement. It could be an ellipses, em-dash, period, exclamation point, question mark. It could be a number of things! However, it is a requirement.

Try using direct words to describe action statements that revolve around dialogue. Instead of “this” which could be a number of things, try just using the or delete the word entirely and reframe the sentence. The sentence could even be reworked into the following:

Rahyne thought about the confusing statement for a moment before deciding to ignore it and push on with his quest. He was determined to see…

Be careful with statements that involve everyone and everything. You’re building up to something much greater, so direct the scene into something more encompassing.

…help the people, maybe the world, all of magic too! More importantly to Rahyne, maybe this could help him.

It doesn’t have to be the exact up there, but it moves the sentence along. Dialogue has to do the same thing. Make sure you're using strong and believable language to bring the meaning of the statement alive. "I've fought stronger men than thee!" Maybe that's what you're going for. I could even believe it. However, using that type of tone and style is very hard and for it to be believable, you're going to have to focus all of your attention on making his sentences all sound like that. They would all have to have that old English feel, that intensity, that power. It's tough. Don't over complicate dialogue though, because it can make it even harder to really attach oneself to the character.

A lot of this stuff can be looked up in reference books, on websites all over the web (including this one) dictionary.com, or any other venue. Don’t give up on writing, just remember that everyone had to start somewhere.

HKayG
June 16th, 2012, 05:23 PM
Thank you. This really made my day actually. And recently i've read about the fact that barely any writers publish there first works, so i'm definetely going to leave this as my next project and just write the other one i have as i should be viewing it as a learning experience, not something to be disheartened about!

I really do appreciate your words and thank you, i'll look into it all.

grant-g
June 16th, 2012, 09:06 PM
Hi,
I read your Blog entry which is how I found this string. You mentioned that maybe you should consider a creative writing course.
One thing I noticed was:

You use subordination, separation with commas, subordinating thoughts, wanting to develop the reader through a chain, so you can be more thorough and usually reach a deeper, more meaningful, transition or conclusion. What I notice is that there are places that, more or less, require subordination and you haven't used it. Other sentences you do.


Classes are fun, but don't shy away from ones that sound less interesting, like composition, critical thinking and writing. creative writing is usually a survey course. I got a lot of good tips from a book called "Technical Writing Handbook" vol. 9

HKayG
June 21st, 2012, 12:26 PM
Thanks for that, i have a full time job so i'll have to look into it but i'd love to take a class just to freshen up on everything!

Jeko
June 22nd, 2012, 01:12 PM
Hi HKayG

I'll do my usual thing of focusing on the first few lines/paragraph.


Overall, I stumbled a bit on the issues of punctuation, flow, and couldn't get into the scene, which was a shame, because I had a feeling that there was something exciting in there, shrouded in the simple mistakes many make. I thought about mending the paragraph somewhat, to what I gathered was the syntax (some of it might be wrong), to see what I could find:

“I want to see who’s in charge. Please.”
A scruffy but well placed teenage boy stood leaning casually against the old grandfather clock in the cramped hallway. Sending a cursory glance at the intruder, the boy looked like he had heard it all before.
“How do I know I can trust you?” Marlin asked. “You could be with the authorities.” The young man in the door scowled back at him as if to say such a thing would be completely out of the question, not to mention offensive.
“Well, I give you my word.” His eyes glinted in determination. His very presence brought some kind of noble air with it; as if an army of thousands should be following him to the ends of the earth and back by his gaze alone. His muscular figure and broad shoulders blocking out the light in the doorway only served to back up this air with his dark unkempt hair and tanned olive skin clashing with his clear blue intelligent eyes. They were not the type of eyes you often saw; they had a spark of hope, of vitality and belief about them. These days you were lucky to come across anything more than feeble faith in the great spirits.


The latter half didn't really need anything. I liked the description, although the repetition of his eyes became slightly tiresome, like you could be describing more. Is there some sort of artisitic direction that means you want to focus on his eyes? If not, I'd work on having a bit more content there. The style you use to describe him works well.

I still stumble over the first few lines, because they confuse me. The first line - who is talking? There is an introduction to a character - was he talking. Or is he being talked to? His body language suggests different to his tone, if he is talking. If not, who is?

A scruffy but well placed teenage boy stood leaning casually against the old grandfather clock in the cramped hallway.


I do feel this line does not achieve scene setting as well as it could. I get thrown by the term 'well-placed' every time I read it.

With a decent dose of development, these issues can quickly be fixed. I might be being a bit blunt with it all, but the first lines are more important than the hundreds of pages that may follow them.

Nevermore
June 22nd, 2012, 08:11 PM
I think that I should be the first to congratulate you on not falling head first into the greatest prologue pitfall of them all; the infodump. I hate it when writers start things off by "Once upon a time the Zor spheres were united by X to Y. Now, Z must gather the X, which work by V to Z the X. Only then will the evil Q be defeated." The work itself is very well written, in my opinion, however it suffers from three main flaw that can easily be fixed. The first is the flow. The placement of phrases can be rather clunky at times, but this could be solved by simply reading it aloud to yourself. Third is your blocking of the story itself. It's a very, very small things, but the aesthetic appeal of writing can influence whether or not someone will read it. For example, keeping the paragraphing constant. Split this:


“Let him through”
Marlin looked at the unknown, distrust etched deep into his young face, defiant eyes scrutinising his every move, his every breath.
“But sir-...”
“Now” the firm authoritative tone of voice stilled Marlin’s arguing tongue and finally persuaded him to close the front door escorting the unknown man back in to the door which lead to the larger living area where the voice had come from.

“You’re very lucky...” Marlin growled under his breath “the leader sometimes invites unknown’s in like this... you’re lucky. She must have seen something in you”. The man’s eyes bunched together in a slight quizzical look.

“But how can they have seen something in me?” Marlin just shrugged and opened the door hurriedly pushing the man inside. He didn’t want to keep the door open and the room exposed to his eyes too long. After all, it wasn’t him who had been invited in.
Inside the room the man was greeted by a darkness only alleviated by one candle situated beside him in a cold metal bracket under which sat a wide wicker chair with a rather plumped looking pillow. As his eyes adjusted to the darkness the man began to realise that although the room was fairly spacious the reason it looked big was because the room was simply furnished giving it the effect that it was bigger than it truly was. From what his eyes could make out in the semi-darkness the most extravagant furniture in the room was the large thick white and black rug in the middle of the floor and a bookcase on the far wall filled with tired and worn looking books in all different shapes and sizes. As his eyes traced along the wall they fell upon corner which revealed a large armchair upon which sat a figure shrouded in a dark hooded travellers cloak lined with fur. It revealed nothing of the individual but well-worn sturdy boots protruding from the bottom of the cloak. Judging by that appearance the man deduced that there was no doubt that this leader, whoever it may be, was one to sit around in one place for too long.

“Please sit”. The voice from underneath the cloak was strangely mellow and relaxing but at the same time so very sure and almost imposing. A muscular arm suddenly but calmly surged from beneath the cloak to disappear under the hood to supposedly rest a covered face in the palm of that hand. The young man glanced at the wicker seat but did not sit down. His fists clenching at his side his face took to an authoritative stare.
“I want to know what you are planning. What you intend to gain from all this, and just how you are expecting to achieve it! Maybe I should introduce myself. Maybe that will persuade you. I am...”

Into this:

“Let him through”

Marlin looked at the unknown, distrust etched deep into his young face, defiant eyes scrutinising his every move, his every breath.

“But sir-...”

“Now” the firm authoritative tone of voice stilled Marlin’s arguing tongue and finally persuaded him to close the front door escorting the unknown man back in to the door which lead to the larger living area where the voice had come from.

“You’re very lucky...” Marlin growled under his breath “the leader sometimes invites unknown’s in like this... you’re lucky. She must have seen something in you”. The man’s eyes bunched together in a slight quizzical look.

“But how can they have seen something in me?” Marlin just shrugged and opened the door hurriedly pushing the man inside. He didn’t want to keep the door open and the room exposed to his eyes too long. After all, it wasn’t him who had been invited in.

Inside the room the man was greeted by a darkness only alleviated by one candle situated beside him in a cold metal bracket under which sat a wide wicker chair with a rather plumped looking pillow. As his eyes adjusted to the darkness the man began to realise that although the room was fairly spacious the reason it looked big was because the room was simply furnished giving it the effect that it was bigger than it truly was. From what his eyes could make out in the semi-darkness the most extravagant furniture in the room was the large thick white and black rug in the middle of the floor and a bookcase on the far wall filled with tired and worn looking books in all different shapes and sizes. As his eyes traced along the wall they fell upon corner which revealed a large armchair upon which sat a figure shrouded in a dark hooded travellers cloak lined with fur. It revealed nothing of the individual but well-worn sturdy boots protruding from the bottom of the cloak. Judging by that appearance the man deduced that there was no doubt that this leader, whoever it may be, was one to sit around in one place for too long.

“Please sit”. The voice from underneath the cloak was strangely mellow and relaxing but at the same time so very sure and almost imposing. A muscular arm suddenly but calmly surged from beneath the cloak to disappear under the hood to supposedly rest a covered face in the palm of that hand. The young man glanced at the wicker seat but did not sit down. His fists clenching at his side his face took to an authoritative stare.

“I want to know what you are planning. What you intend to gain from all this, and just how you are expecting to achieve it! Maybe I should introduce myself. Maybe that will persuade you. I am...”

The final flaw is a bit of a small one, but I'd recommend reworking the way you assign speech to the speaking characters. Some times it isn't clear, other times it can be a bit flat. Of course, that may be because I have a habit of doing the opposite and overusing adverbs, but it's still worth checking out.