View Full Version : Prologue : Chronicles of Xypaxis

January 8th, 2013, 11:38 AM
Does this make you want to find out what is going on?

Xypaxis was a land of vast beautiful forests and burning, barren deserts. Mountain ranges that pierced the clouds spanned the entire horizon and oceans that stretched for hundreds of miles surrounded the land mass.

Malum was the capital city of this ancient world. A fortress perched atop a single tear shaped island that shined in the glorious morning sun, the cities only connection to the world it had dominion over, was a great stone bridge. The bridge of Malum was a feat of engineering and the work of no single race. Its foundations had been laid by the Nymphs of Asahnia; the great carved arches that supported the floor were carved by the humans, out of a stone that shone like glass. The floor was constructed in the mountain forges of the Demmen’tal, but this was no normal floor. Indeed this was no normal bridge. In times of peril the great gates of Malum would close, sending the mighty bridge down to the abyss of the ocean.

The walls of the city were crafted from the same glistening rock as the bridge and towered hundreds of meters into the sky. The Massive gates of the fortress were a fantastic piece of art, Engraved with thousands of statuettes of men, Demmen’tal and demons. The mightiest hero’s and the most fearsome of villains were testament to the wars that had been fought for this country.

For a thousand years the city had stood a permanent reminder of the suffering and glory earned by these races.

Within the fortress the dwellings and all manner of shops and smiths were laid out in such a way that the roads connecting them created one single image, the image of the wheel of magic. An eight pointed star encased within an enormous paved circle. At each point of the star a single block of colour was laid. Rubies, sapphires, Emeralds and all manner of magnificent gems had been set in reference to the orbs of magic, Fire, water, arcane, earth, nature, air, light and darkness.

At the centre of the star and city alike, stood the onyx tower of Malum, a magnificent palace that held within it the secrets of the kingdom. Within the tower was the throne room of Xypaxis and in that throne room sat king Omis.

The city began to tick into life, as it had done for the past thousand years. The tradesman gathered at their market squares, the black smith’s forges began to plume smoke in spiralling clouds and the citizens began their everyday lives.

Guards patrolled the city, but it had been fifty years since any assassin or bounty hunter had set foot in Malum, so their numbers had been reduced, often sent to garrison other cities of the kingdom.

Each guard in Malum was the kings chosen. Garbed in glorious plate armour, they carried long spears with diamond shaped tips. To their waste hung short sword and across their back hung hulking rectangular shields, each emblazoned with the insignia of the King. The insignia was engraved in silver and was shaped like a stylized T that held a crescent moon atop. In the language of the Loch, the discoverers of the orbs of magic, it meant Light.

“This was no normal day in the city of Malum. A horror was to rise. “

A lifeless figure crept like mould towards the city; no breath came from its hooded mouth, no sound from its eerie footsteps. It moved like a shadow, stalking along the bridge of Malum and towards the gate. In one hand it held a leather sack, the leather gripped tightly to its contents revealing a spherical shape and through the pores in the skin that held it, a faint glow emitted from this terrible object.

The shadow dispatched two guards without a sound, petrifying them faster than an eye can blink. Oblivious to the death, it continued onwards, avoiding the sounds of the populated areas. Four more guards were petrified as it drifted towards the shining tower at the centre.

It had reached its goal, and with a flick of its wrists the two wooden doors at the foot of the tower opened on rusty hinges without a sound. It went through, the doors closing by themselves, again silently.

It was not confused by the labyrinth of hallways that greeted it within the ornate tower. It had been here before. It moved straight towards the throne room without hesitation.

The throne room a simple octagon, in its centre on a plinth of marble rose the onyx throne of Xypaxis, besides the seat of power, sat a demons skull. It was believed to be the skull of a great demon that Omis had slain to become king.

Atop the throne sat the king of Xypaxis, clad in regal plate armour that depicted a stylized lion, its eyes crafted from great amethysts. Each shoulder guard was emblazoned with an enormous front paw. The king, though clad ceremonially, had an enormous bastard sword resting on his lap. Its blade six inches thick, at one edge it was a fluid curve, the other a jagged row of teeth like spikes. Across the blade ran a single vine, from hilt to point. The magnificent sword of the king bathed in the blood of demons, crafted by the Demmen’tal smiths, wielded by the great king Omis.

Omis had fading golden hair that hung in ringlets at his cheeks, his aging face though old, was beautiful. His sapphire eyes still burned with the fire of a much younger man. He was the epitome of leadership, and the crown that proved it sat atop his head. An onyx circlet with one small simple gem encrusted into the front.

When he looked up from the blade on his lap towards his guest, his eyes for a fateful moment shone with one emotion. Fear.

“It is time then?”

The robed figures hands stretched out from beneath the long sleeves and up towards its head, it lowered the cowl that covered its face. It was a thing of evil.

A skull with skin pulled too tightly across it, dull eyes set deep. Its lips thin and eerie, twisted into a grin, revealing razor sharp teeth filed to points. It stretched the other hand out , holding the leather bag.

From within his robes he drew a thin cruel barb. He slit the bag allowing the contents to spill onto the floor. The orb of darkness fell with a thud. The lights that shone within its void like centre flared in anger.

Omis gazed from creature to orb, Confusion rife across his face.

“Why have you brought this here?”

For the first time the creature spoke, a deep voice that made the air recoil in horror.

“It is time.”

The king arose from his seat, sword in hand. With all his strength he spun the blade as if it weighed no more than a feather and planted the point of the blade into the skull at his left.

“None may lead without the sword of the king! I have denied you Cerberax. Now what will you do!”

The creature stepped back in shock, but quickly regained its arrogant composure. Without any hesitation it disappeared, the air reverberated with the force of teleportation; it reappeared in an instant, behind the king and drove the barb into the king’s gut, underneath the chest piece of the armour.

“This poison is not of the world you know, King! It does not destroy the body, it incinerates the soul. Feel it burn!” it spoke as it leaned in towards the kings ear.

With a slight groan the king fell forward, his eyes blazing with his own soul. He fell with a clang, as his amour impacted with the stone floor.

The creature bent down and hoisted the crown from the fallen king’s head; it looked up at it in awe for a moment, and then rested it atop its own head. It sat down slowly in the throne, resting its robed legs on the still smouldering corpse of the old king.

“The time has come. At last. “

Version 3

Guys. I have rewritten the prologue once more, and would greatly appreciate your views on the comparison between the two.

Xypaxis prologue mk III

Warning bells sounded around the great fortress of Malum, awakening the cities inhabitants and its king. Citizens began to pour on to the streets, stretching in curiosity and massing together for protection. It had been twenty five years since the bells of the city guard had rung in the fortress.
Within the twilight corridors of the fortresses inner sanctum, the king was arisen from his sleep. He proceeded to clamber out of bed hurriedly. Donning a simple velvet robe he moved out through the beautifully crafted doors to his chamber and towards the nearest guard post.
As he arrived a shaken looking guard noticed his arrival and spoke quickly.
“Sire we have an intruder.”
“Speak quickly, boy.” Ordered the king.
“Three sets of guards have been reported missing, their bodies have not been located and the citizens have reported a hooded creature, lurking in the shadows.”
“Where were these guards situated?”
“At the gates between the cities levels, it has reached the third level of the city before we could raise an alarm sire. “
“Very well, gather the guard at the entrance to my throne room, this vile thing is coming for me. “

The king strode off swiftly, flanked by two of his chosen guards. He entered the armoury where a young lad stood waiting. Fear fixed in his eyes.
“Hurry, boy!”
“Yes, my lord.”
The boy began fastening the armour pieces of the king’s aged, yet beautiful, suit of plate.
After many moments, the boy had finished arming the king. He handed over an enormous bastard sword, a six inch thick blade, nearly seven feet in length. One side of the savage blade was curved delicately into a razor sharp slicing edge, the other had row upon row of savage spikes. The hilt of this magnificent weapon had a large gem encrusted into the aged steel. The lethal weapon was Cerberax, Blade of kings. A weapon that without which, one cannot rule.
The king, fully armoured and wielding his enormous blade, strode purposefully towards his throne room. The closer he came to the octagonal room, the more guards he saw. This comforted him.
He reached the room, and pushed its large mahogany doors aside with ease. He moved towards his throne and took his seat.
“Guards! Hold that front door.”
Fifty of his finest had gathered and stood in ranks beyond the wooden doors.
He waited patiently in his throne. He need not wait long.
From beyond the door the sound of his guard’s corpses collapsing to the hard stone ground struck fear into his heart. Who was this assailant, what did he hope to achieve. These questions would have their answers.
The wooden doors creaked open slowly. A robed figure strode over the corpses and into the room, its face covered, its steps were light, its breath silent. The blood of the fallen guards ran through after him, as if flowing into his very feet.
The king rose to a stand from his onyx throne.
“Who are you and what do you seek here?”
The figure before him cackled from behind his hood. It reached in to its robes and pulled a worn brown satchel, its contents was of a spherical shape. An eerie glow emitted from within.
The figure slit the bag at the top, allowing its contents to fall with a reverberating thud.
An orb of pure black, dark as the abyss of the deepest ocean, rested on the stone paved floor, pulsing an angry light.
“Where… Where did you find that?” questioned the king.
Again the figure cackled manically.
It threw the ruined satchel at the king’s feet, and then with both hands disrobed its head.
Skin as pale and eerie as any the king had ever seen, stretched over too much bone. Its grey eyes sank deep in its skull. Its lips were non-existent and as the king looked on in horror, the creature grinned, revealing razor sharp teeth, filed to points.
“King Omis.” The creature finally spoke. “You have ruled for long enough. Peace is a temporary state of being. Your kind seeks war. I will give them it. The greatest war they will ever know.” It grinned again.
With a blur of speed, the king sank his great sword into the ground to the left of his throne. A skull appeared, and then disappeared within a blink of an eye, as it left it took the sword with it.
The king let out a gasp, then regained his composure.
“I have denied you Cerberax, now what will you do. No man may rule Xypaxis without the sword of the king! Your journey has been in vain.”
The skeletal figure stepped back in shock then the air around him began to reverberate and with a pulse he was gone.
The king looked around shocked.
Within an instant the creature returned into sight. It stood behind the king, atop his throne. It clutched his golden hair in a clumped hand full and yanked his head up. Before the king could counter, a sickly blade had been drawn across his throat.
The creature hunched down and whispered in his ear.
“Do you feel it burn, the poison is not of this world, and it doesn’t destroy the body. It destroys the soul.”
The wound on the king’s throat healed over, allowing the poison to do its job within. The king’s eyes blazed with a black flame. Then the creature released him, allowing him to fall in a crumpled, smouldering heap.
He hefted the crown from the bloodstained floor, and placed it gingerly atop his head. He sat on the throne, and rested his legs on the fallen king’s corpse.
“At last!” he muttered to himself.
With a motion of his wrists the orb floated up, dripping droplets of blood as it hovered towards him.
“Now the world will burn.”

January 8th, 2013, 04:50 PM
Be ready. I'll be posting a full critique of this whenever I get a chance. If you don't see one up in the next three days, just send me a pm (I'm flying home tomorrow, could be busy). Maybe I'll get a chance tonight, but I'm certainly interested in giving you some feedback.


January 8th, 2013, 05:04 PM
If I'm not mistaken, this is a repost of this thread (http://www.writingforums.com/fantasy-sci-fi-horror/130306-first-draft-prologue-book-one.html) which recieved much critique.

The fact that you have not done anything with the critiques you recieved, as the extract you posted in that thread is the same as the one above, tells me that I have no need to critique this further.

January 8th, 2013, 06:25 PM
I find the fact that it is obvious that you didn't listen to writers that are trying to help you off-putting. Being able to crank out a story that is poorly written and built around a fairly standard fantasy idea does not entitle you to publication nor does it mean that we, who aren't paid, have to read or give you a good review.

Your grammar sucks. At least use a spelling and grammar check. Your writing is repetitious--how many times does the "figure float and the light "shined perfectly?" you also use several fantasy cliches in a way that isn't original: like the dark robed figure that means no good, the citadel city, the lion-like king, and needing a specific object to rule.

Your city is uninteresting because it feels dead--there's no one moving around and there is no noise. And that's normal? In a city? I assume it's a city of mutes or of the dead.

How did the elves survive to fight back if they were watching in the throne room, why didn't what's-his-name steal their souls too? This doesn't feel like mystery building and it doesn't make me want to read further. Instead it comes across as oversight.

I could tell that the king was going to die. I could tell that someone (probably an elf or the prince or some poor gutter rat/farmer boy) is going to rise up and get rid of the usurper. Worse is that I don't care to figure out how because I assume it'll be a quest to find a magic item that is the necromancer's one weakness. It'll be like destroying the one ring but without the character development into something nearly as depraved as Gollum.

With polish and less of an attitude from you this could be interesting enough to be a boring afternoon's read that is quickly forgotten. With a lot of polish and some work and patience this could be a good read. But getting it there takes more than cranking it out and openly disregarding advice of people who honestly want to help you.

January 8th, 2013, 07:24 PM
Whoopsy I did a bad
i uploaded the old one :/

January 8th, 2013, 07:27 PM
Sorry again guys
I have actually done a shed load on this but opened the old file by accident in a rush before work

January 8th, 2013, 07:48 PM
Amsawtell you are wrong on all counts any way
It's not elves
nor a quest to find an item that can remove te villain.
The king isn't dead.
you assume to much

Living In Britain the lion is a sign of power.
the robed figure is a practical use not for the hell of it.
the farm boy isn't going to rise up

these assumptions are not justified and I'm not particularly happy with the way you critiqued my work in such a way .

January 8th, 2013, 08:09 PM
I'm not particularly happy to have felt the need to do so. I can generally find something I like about a person's work. With posting the original work it felt as if you were being rude and disrespectful to all the lovely people who spent their personal time on reviewing your work. I apologize because I know now that was not your intent.

Thing is that it becomes difficult to separate assumptions about a work aside when it reads like a cliche. Yes, I realize that the lion is a symbol of power.

I'm sorry I was so harsh. I would love to read the revision if you post it. Now that you know that people can assume that all of that would be where your plot is going then you can watch out for it. It can be difficult to work out of clichés.

By the way, it still holds true that your grammar sucks. Don't worry though, a lot of people have bad grammar--including writers.

January 8th, 2013, 08:38 PM
I too am sorry if my Response seemed rude. Just wasn't expecting such a dismissive piece of feedback on a accidental mis-submission haha.

Grammar oh how i hate it. :D

January 8th, 2013, 08:44 PM
PS :D the cliché of the prologue is to throw the reader completely of the scent of what actually is occurring. For example, from the prologue you assumed that the king is dead. In actual fact, the king returns at the climax of the book but he is no longer himself. he becomes the villain.

January 8th, 2013, 09:45 PM
Thank you for clearing up the confusion, Silen.

Your beginning is even more of an info-dump as it was before. To grab your reader, you need to use characters. Not descriptions of places and things.

Also, there is a difference between throwing the reader off and turning the reader off. You can do both at once easily if you try to do the former at the start of your book.

You need to start with an earthquake, not an exploration.

January 8th, 2013, 09:46 PM
Still not able to post yet Silen, but just happened to get a chance to read some of the comments above. To both of you forumers, keep in mind that jumping to conclusions is what drives people off of sites like this. Next time, have a little tact and inquire as to the possibility of a repost instead of accusing someone of outright reposting and blatantly ignoring advice.

I like you Silen, keep posting and I'll have that critique for you soon.


As a P.s. I agree with Cadence, he or she is right on the money. Info dump is a little harsher than merely saying an intro needs more dialogue and action to directly draw a readers attention. But an info dump it is.

January 8th, 2013, 09:52 PM
Thank you Elven :D

Cadence... I know it is an information dump, But i didn't want to just write an action scene without having any one know where it was taking place and so on.
The reason i have explained Malum in such great deal is due to the fact that until the very end of the book the main character does not venture there and in later chapters it becomes mutated by the creature into a vastly different city.
I wanted to find a way of giving the reader an idea of what the city was like in its prime before throwing them into a new twisted city that they then have nothing to compare too.
If that makes sense. :D

Thanks all for the swift replies.

January 8th, 2013, 09:56 PM
inquire as to the possibility of a repost instead of accusing someone of outright reposting and blatantly ignoring advice.

I (a he) have come to think that people take time to consider what they post for critique, and hence did not think reposting a 6 month old piece of work was possible to do by accident. That this was posted in a rush helps me understand.

Apologies, Silen. I have before posted things hastily and made mistakes I could not notice at the time.

January 8th, 2013, 10:02 PM
In response to your explanation:

Never underestimate the power of a scene. Through the opening of Romeo and Juliet, we learn so much of not just where the story is set, but what the people are like - at the same time! Let the people of your city breathe the city through what they do.

To understand what I mean, I would suggest reading The Midnight Charter. Whitley presents his city through its characters. You can do the same with a scene or two.

January 8th, 2013, 10:46 PM
"A lifeless figure crept like mould towards the city"

I laughed out loud at this, which I'm guessing wasn't the intention?

The new piece reads much better than the one I read this afternoon. Keep cutting, keep revising, it'll get there. Take on board what people are saying about it being a little too descriptive though. It's very wordy in places, and I think you could cut it down a fair bit really.

Overall though, you have a good imagination and you know where you want to take it, and that's half the battle. Keep going!

January 8th, 2013, 10:50 PM
I took over an hour debating on what to say. I toned it down quite a bit, actually. I can be very acerbic but when I'm wrong I can admit that I'm wrong. I have already apologized to Silen and I truly meant it.

I will take the time to give your rewrite a very thorough review later, Silen. I hope that by giving you a thorough and fair review that I can work towards making up for my earlier comments which were unfair and uncalled for.

January 8th, 2013, 10:51 PM
Haha I wanted to make it sound like he was creeping
like the way a mould creeps onto somthing and then spreads
perhaps I should change it to somthing less harmless

January 8th, 2013, 10:53 PM
Thank you amsawtell
hopefully the rework is better than the original
even if slightly wordier in places

January 8th, 2013, 10:56 PM
Well, I noticed some periods so I can catch my breath if I try to read it out loud. :)

Can I give you a tip on grammar? Try reading out loud to yourself. Your ear will hear what needs changed--where you need to put periods and commas will be the places you need to take a breath usually. You'll hear what doesn't sound right and it will help. You might not get perfect punctuation that way but it will help.

January 8th, 2013, 11:32 PM
Well, since I'm reading this for the first time you can be assured that I am not bringing my opinions of the older version into my comments. This is my first critique on WF, though, so forgive me if I sound harsh, that's not my intent.

I get what you're trying to do. You're starting from an big picture p.o.v. and narrowing it down to a single scene. However, unless the shape of the planet is a major factor of the story, it just comes off as bland. Like Cadence says, you need something a little more attention grabbing. Even if you're saying "The wompwomp prowled among the dense chari tree forest, stretching their long necks to feast on the tender berries that dotted the branches high above." Don't just say "the trees were tall", say "high above the morrow tree branches stretched beyond the view of the caravan travelers who walked silently among its roots."

I know you stated before that you're afraid that your book is going to be really long, but don't use that as an excuse to shrink back from elaboration. The reader is relying on you to not just tell a story, but to show it to them. They need the visual aides.

There is a definite impression that you're saying "Everything about this planet is perfect. Everything about this city is perfect. Nothing bad ever happens here." I definitely got the impression when you felt the need to explain that all of the city guards had been sent off somewhere else because there weren't any assassins lurking about the streets. I mean, really?

First off, if this creature in the dark robe is so powerful, it doesn't really matter how many guards are standing around. In fact, the more there are the more impact the scene will have, and you could really use a good fight scene right there. I mean, after the first two guards are killed, the robe guy just seems to waltz right in. Are your characters such cowards that they would at least try to defend the King? Isn't that their job? Jumping into certain death may not be what you would do, but it's what a highly trained royal guard would do. Second, the fact that something is going to come beat up the guards and take the city is given away right there. If you're trying to fore shadow the attack, it's not necessary. Not two paragraphs before the event happens. If you're trying to tell us that there are other guards stationed through out the kingdom, also not necessary. Any large nation, even in peace, has defenses along its borders. Once you transfer the scene to "the garrison at Lac'Lemain" people will understand that this is part of the now defeated kingdom.

Sometimes, there are details that you know that you don't need to explain to the reader. Especially things that are common tropes in science fiction and fantasy. I mean, do I have to explain to you what a caravan is? Instead spend that space on populating your scene. You described an emblem in the courtyard, do the people that live there revere the emblem and walk around it, or is it a part of the everyday scenery and the pages carelessly scuff mud across it as they run to and fro on their errands. Is the emblem even that important in the story or is it something you thought up and tossed in? Take the things that are important and make them memorable.

I hope that is helpful. I know it makes sense in my head, but I'm coming to realize not everybody thinks like me.

January 8th, 2013, 11:44 PM
Firstly , I LOVE your signature.

Secondly , The idea is to set up the story , for example a lot of what happens in this prologue continues on through out the book, the sword , the villain , the orb the formation of the paths. If i were to post the second chapter. you have a massive battle scene, introduction to the nemesis of the hero and infinite gore and slaughter.

I do appreciate the reviews and have no doubt i will be acting on them, trying to add some more spice some more action. But (yes there is a but) This orb, in unison with this creature, are going to bring down centuries of "the good life".
i guess what i am trying to say is, What i am trying to portray is the basic human flaw, contentedness. The humans in Malum are content, the king is content and the guards are thinking "Gah just another day of plodding around".
Boom out from the shadows comes a creature that can turn you to a statue and waltz on by slay your king and enslave your race.

Am i rambling again? :(

When you guys say you want more action, something less of an info dump. How would you like it?
A duel?
The gruesome fates of the citizens? ( and i can tell you in advance its not a very nice way to go :P )

Thanks again guys :D

PS. What becomes apparent towards the end of the book , is the king is in on what is happening.
its part of a greater plan that has been put in motion by a force of undeniable power and influence.

January 8th, 2013, 11:46 PM
The piece is an example of why people skip the prologue. I had a difficult time reading just a few lines. Not because the language was difficult, but it was kinda... well, dry. Info dumps never work well to grab a reader, particularly in the very first few sentences.

I had a tough time myself keeping all of the detail I thought up, out of the book. A lot of the really cool world building stuff I dreamed up will never see the light of a reader's eyes because it's trapped in the background of the story. Sure my characters interact with the stuff, but it's never brought to the forefront unless it's specifically effects the characters actions. It seems you did what I avoided doing.

January 9th, 2013, 02:15 AM
Firstly , I LOVE your signature.

When you guys say you want more action, something less of an info dump. How would you like it?
A duel?
The gruesome fates of the citizens? ( and i can tell you in advance its not a very nice way to go :P )

Thank you.

To answer you question, I'll use your own words "The humans in Malum are content, the king is content and the guards are thinking 'Gah just another day of plodding around'. Boom out from the shadows comes a creature that can turn you to a statue and waltz on by slay your king and enslave your race."

I can see that you want to clearly define that period where all is calm and right in the world. There's no better way to do this than describing a slice of everyday life. Watch the opening scene to Disney's Beauty and the Beast, lot of things happen in a "provincial town" first thing in the morning. Servant are out shopping, shop owners are opening their doors, farmers are bringing food into the market, children are hurrying off to school, these are the things that would epitomize your "contentedness". Since you place the events as happening in the morning, maybe the King is still in his bed chambers having a shave. He doesn't sit on his throne fully armored 24/7, does he?

Then as the dark figure appears, the people are screaming and running through the streets. Shop windows are breaking from the chill of the figure's presence, carts are over turned as draft animals flee in panic. A rookie guard, new to his post, trembles as he brandishes his poleaxe despite the voice in his head telling him to run. Maybe a few of the guards who haven't seen a lot of fighting lose their nerve and run only to be killed by a disgusted flick if the figure's hand. The veterans, they drink up the last of their ale and figure, hell, it's a good day to die. Meanwhile the King has dispensed with the shaving and is now stomping toward the throne room as he calls for his armor and sword to be brought to him. He knows where the figure is going.

As is, your prologue just flows and keeps an even tone. The gentle tone is okay for the first part, but you really want second part to pick up until the confrontation in the throne room. I like the tone in the throne room, but you could be a bit less mysterious and a bit more descriptive.

January 9th, 2013, 10:51 AM
On a side note.
The take over of Malum is supposedly a secret.
For the next twenty years no one knows omis is "Dead"

January 9th, 2013, 04:09 PM
On a side note.
The take over of Malum is supposedly a secret.
For the next twenty years no one knows omis is "Dead"

If the King knows, start with him at the moment he's made aware of the incursion.

January 11th, 2013, 03:47 PM
Silen, I've been thinking. Is this prologue truly necessary? Think about how strong the first chapter would be if we come in and see the people of Mallum in the streets wailing and crying because their great king and protector has been killed. Think about the impact it would have if, by the end of the book we find out that it was the king we see the people mourning at the beginning that betrayed them.

We don't want to go into a book looking at all the cliches I listed above. The first thing I do when I pick up a book to buy is read the prologue. I don't buy it if there's any possibility that I'll guess the end. And, yes, that is using cliches and stereotypes but that's how anyone judges the world around them.

So, I thought that maybe your book doesn't need a prologue. Start us off at the beginning of the action.

Oh, and just so you know, Jane Austen was absolutely horrible at spelling and grammar. Her publishing house released her original manuscripts a few years ago and they were nothing like the books we know today. There's a reason writers have editors.

January 11th, 2013, 07:08 PM
The pivotal scene in this prologue is to sword in the skull. I deliberately wrote it that way so at the very end you think " ah I see what you did there"
how ever if I could find a way to implement that scene some where else I do agree that could be a very good idea. It would take some work though as its currently all written as if the king is still alive.

January 11th, 2013, 08:55 PM
You could show it as a flashback. Since I haven't read any of the other chapters it really is up to you. I think that the prologue just isn't doing what you need and want it to do.

I like the idea of prologues myself but with all the assumptions that can be made, as I pointed out, it's easy to dismiss this based on the prologue.

It sounds like you're taking this away from those assumptions which makes it more interesting than that. This certainly deserves more than someone setting it down.

January 11th, 2013, 09:03 PM
Aye. The prologue was actually written about a month before I started writing the book and I used it as a sort of guide from what I could explore later as I was writing.
Also the whole piece was written in chronological order. I don't think it would be a bad thing to restart it tbh.
Would you be interested in reading through the hole thing? Assuming my appalling grammar doesn't make you want to hit me with a spade.

Edit: their are some other chapters up on this forum, if you would rather read them than the entire thing.

January 11th, 2013, 09:33 PM
Yeah. I'll be happy to do so. I'll PM you my email address. It'll take me a while and I might go ahead and run it through my grammar check. Just in case. ;)

January 11th, 2013, 09:40 PM
Maybe you can try it like this?

"Report," the King requests, his voice bellowing in the gray sunlight room.

"Sire, we... have an intruder." The plate-clad guardsman announced. In shock his eyes expanded at sight of his King doning his old forgotten armor, tarnished and dusty from the lack of use. This not the light ceremonial armor his leader wears today, no. This day, the armor of the warrior King, adorned with Xyparis well-known symbol, the golden paw, appears on the pauldrons... and weigh his sire's shoulders down. Yet an still, with decades of inactive, the heavy plate still subtlety glints in the light, remembering the bloodsoaked days it shone bright. Days long past, but not forgotten, not completely.

His servant boy, trained to assist the King in all things but war, waddled around the great man standing before him struggling to carry the thick platemail up the step stool. "... I see." The old King says, shooing the boy's clumsy hands away from the thick leather straps that hold the armor place. Years have taken inches off of his once barrelled chest. "You have to tie it here first, see?" the King directed the youth.

"The man, he wields great magic sire."

"You cannot stop him?"

His young face stiffened at the thought of failing his King. "We are your loyal guardsman will not fail in keeping you safe."

"Fine, fine," the King responded, his still beautiful emerald eyes now fixed on his handpicked protector. They were all handpicked in fact. Chosen to protect and serve not just the himself, but the empire. "I knew your father, son. We fought together you know."

"Yes sire," Fearfully, he held the old King's gaze, memerized by the eyes that saw great war, the eyes that oversaw the longest period of peace any country has seen... the eyes he's sworn fealty to.

The point I'm probably doing a poor job of showing is at this juncture you want to draw people in, have them care about the characters. Rarely do people care about the landscape or history of a place, they tend to care about the people that inhabit the place and their history in relation to the location.

Maybe if you can find a way to start with the people as others have stated?

January 11th, 2013, 09:50 PM
The way you have written that sounds like a good place to start, the only flaw in the matter is that in its current state, the ending depends fully on the fact the king does not attempt to stop the necromancer he attempts to trick him, but in turn is tricked himself by a greater power. so to do it in this way would involve a large rewrite that i would have to plan down to the last detail. I am currently attempting to peice together what i need for such a re write.

January 12th, 2013, 05:53 PM
Please check the original post, a new version has been added