Pretty good. Definitely has potential.

I realize this is fantasy and often the prose is on the elaborate side, but my main issue with this is that I just feel the imagery is overwhelming. That might sound complimentary, and if that's your goal then great, however as a reader (of fantasy) I would prefer it toned down just a little. You can do this I believe without losing the vivid aspects of the scene.

Cliche as it may sound, when I think of the two best epic fantasy writers I think of Martin and Tolkien. The interesting thing I think about both of those writers is that their prose style is actually relatively low-key, in so far as they tend to write in a relatively modern manner with a surprising degree of brevity. I think that's something you should consider. So what am I talking about?


Quote Originally Posted by Mythos View Post
A furry head appeared over the crest of the mountain, fangs bared in a victorious grimace. A shadow loomed over the creature and death followed. Black blood spurted from a hole in it’s head as it toppled down the cliff, sending even more climbers plummeting to their demise. Two more monsters, both scaled, peeked over the summit. Their eyes bulged in fear as an axe blade sliced through the air towards them. The tops of their heads detached from the rest of their bodies before they rejoined their cohorts at the mountain’s base.
^ This is your opener so I understand the desire for impact. However, it appears what you have done here is inject as many superlatives as possible in like steroids. I do not think this is necessary. Here is how I would rewrite it - not trying to change your style, just wanting to demonstrate...

A scaled head appeared over the mountain. A shadow fell, and death followed. Black blood spurted from the headwound as it fell, bringing the climbers with it. Two more peeked over, only for their eyes to bulge as an ax came slicing. Moments later their severed heads followed the rest of them down the mountainside.

^ So I don't know if this is really better, but I feel it's more direct. It's also about half the length and contains, I think, all the main points of what you are describing. Be sure to ask yourself questions with every word you write. It's time consuming and infuriating, but its amazing how much better the results are. Example: A phrase like 'eyes bulged in fear'. Do eyes ever 'bulge' for any reason other than fear or shock? Would a reader read about bulging eyes in the context of 'death followed' and think these eyes were bulging out of, say, love or hunger? Probably not.

The number one amateur issue (and one I am still learning myself!) is to not micromanage the reader's comprehension of a piece. If its more than likely from common sense they will 'get it' then don't pile on the explanations. I actually feel its better to under explain than over explain and, while neither is preferable, ambiguity is better than overload.