Heavenly Dragon Prologue (fantasy) (668 Words)


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  1. #1

    Heavenly Dragon Prologue (fantasy) (668 Words)

    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 itís 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 mountainís base.

    Black droplets flew from the deep red halberd, a deadly fusion of axe and spear, as it swung through the air towards more targets. Itís wielder, a young woman, glanced at the horizon where a vast army had gathered. Thousands of humanoid creatures quivering in anticipation for the coming bloodbath.

    Behind her, a section of the mountain became coated in ice and dozens of monsters lost their grip and fell, screaming. A man, scars telling of numerous battles, sat still nearby. A symbol, glowing a pale blue, floated in the air before him.

    As the first monsters finally set foot on the mountainís peak, the man rose, two blades appearing in his hands. Each movement that he made sealed the fate of an enemy and mounds of corpses rapidly grew on the mountain top. Hours passed in a blur of blades, the peak blanketed by fur, scales and hide. A pitch black waterfall pouring down the mountainside.

    Huge, feathered wings rose above the cliff edge, raising another creature above the fight. It looked upon itís unaware target and dove. Talons dug into the womanís back and shoulder as the monster slammed into her. Her panicked writhing knocking it off balance, itís beak barely missing her throat. It readjusted itself and lunged again.

    Blood spurted from a fatal wound. Claws detached from human flesh as the corpse crumpled. A stone spike, rising from the mountain, had pierced the winged monster. Itís feathers falling amidst the rubble. A breath of relief escaped her as she shot a look at her companion. He continued to fight, facing away from her, a scroll floated beside him, a brown symbol emblazoned upon it.

    ĎIn battle, a split second can bring death. Be prepared for an attack from any direction and do not get distracted.í She immediately returned her attention to the fight as the lesson resurfaced in her mind. He had taught her this, she had not kept it in mind and it had almost cost her life.

    The pain from her shoulder and back made her weapon feel twice as heavy. Her swings gradually slowed as exhaustion set in. A huge creature rammed into her back, horns piercing her chest. It raised her body into the air like a trophy, crimson dribbling from her dangling limbs, her weapon dropping from her grasp and crumbling as it hit the ground.

    He knew what had transpired but had been unable to reach her. His vision blurred and a hoarse roar escaped him as another scroll appeared, unravelling. The ground trembled beneath him, cracks surrounding his feet. The fissures grew rapidly and the mountain disintegrated. Rocks, sand and corpses plummeted to the ground, leaving a single column of stone.
    ďWhy, gods? She was my last hopeĒ The man yelled, now alone at the peak. He collapsed to his knees. He had lost everything to this war, his home, family, friends and lovers. Now he had nothing. The human race had fallen and he had been unable to prevent it.

    A tear ran down the silver chain around his neck. The droplet was absorbed into a deep blue jewel. An amulet that had been with him through it all. The pendant began to shine, visible even from the ground far below. He was completely enveloped in the light before it faded away, its purpose complete. What remained was just the lifeless shell of the man, swords still in hand. He had moved on.



    This is a rewrite of a prologue that I uploaded months ago. Any comments and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Chapter 1 will follow shortly. Thank you for reading.

  2. #2
    Hi there, Mythos.

    I liked the ending here, with the spirit departing and the body remaining behind as a shell. In terms of the action, I feel it would have more punch if we had an emotional connection to the woman who dies - a name, a physical description, a sequence where she interacts with this man so that we can see their connection.

    SPaG is mostly good, but you do put an apostrophe in "its" where you don't need to. See a guide here.

    HC

  3. #3
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    I'm not going to write any useful critque here, only note that your prologue vividly reminded me of the Addams Family episode (the original series, I am that old) where Wednesday and Pugsley were traumatized by going to public school and hearing about how the evil knight in shining armor killed the poor defenseless dragon. I too usually root for dragons over knights.

    And yeah, your prologue does what it is supposed to do. I want to find out more.

    Bill CK

  4. #4
    Hahaha i loved the old addams family series

  5. #5
    Your imagery got my attention for sure. A nicely set up prologue for what I'm sure will be an action packed story

  6. #6
    Very nice and easy read! I agree that some names would help make things more real or personal but how you describe the action scenes are very good. It really drew me in.

    Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    I think a lot of this story still remains in your head. Look at the opening from the viewpoint of a reader who has no knowledge of where we are, who we are, or what's going on as we enter the story.
    A furry head appeared over the crest of the mountain, fangs bared in a victorious grimace.
    What's a furry head? My initial impression, based on the word "furry," is something small. And the crest of a mountain calls forth an image of windswept or snow covered rock, which doesn't match with the gentle furry image. Nor does bared fangs help when we don't know if our picture should have a monkey-like face or wolf-like. So while you're describing the thing you see, because the words pull up the picture already in your mind you don't see the need to provide more. But without it, what the reader gets is a guess based on their understanding of a few words of description, And that guess is based on their background and experience, not the image you hold as you write.

    And as a not so minor point, I'm not certain I can tell the difference between fangs bared in a "victorious grimace" and one that says, "I'm about to attack you." But of the most importance, who is observing this? We assume it's the protagonist, and also that there will be more description of the beast, like what this thing is, why it's feeling victorious, and why it matters to whoever is watching. But instead of more, we're given,
    A shadow loomed over the creature and death followed.
    So this unknown creature, of unknown size, there on a mountain in an unknown location for unknown reason, is killed in an unknown way—for unknown reasons—by something unknown? Seriously?

    What you're doing is visualizing the film version of your story and telling the reader what you see happening. But you're not giving the reader what they really need top make sense of this: context. The creature falls from "the" cliff. But you've introduced only a mountain peak—no cliff. On its way down the creature "knocks even more climbers" away. How can there be "even more" when the reader has learned of none?

    The short version: There's a lot to writing fiction for the page that's neither obvious nor taught during our school years. The field has been under development for centuries, and in that time a lot has been learned about what motivates readers to turn the pages. And as in any other profession it's not optional knowledge. You can't write a scene, for example, unless you know what it is, and what makes it up. And, a scene on the page is not at all like one on film and stage. So putting some time aside to acquire the tricks-of-the-trade will be a wise investment of time.

    Sorry my news isn't better, but I thought you would want to know. Bear in mind that I'm not talking about the quality of the writing, or talent, only the craft of the writer—the learned part of the profession.

  8. #8
    I think this is a nice start to getting a prologue completed. The ideas are there. The main difficulty I had with reading this was the POV. Was it from the girl or the guy? At one point, the thoughts “resurface in her mind” and later on the POV switches to the guy “He knew what had transpired…”. This makes me feel like I am watching someone explain what is happening, instead of feeling immersed in the struggles of a character.

    Since the girl dies, I would have the POV from the guy. With a bit more about what he is thinking and his emotions you could provide some backing as to what is happening and the deep anguish he feels for failing. Then in the last part, the reader could feel what the guy is experiencing as he leaves his body.

    Keep it up! I look forward to reading Chapter 1.

  9. #9
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    So, um, I'm not really sure what's going on here. You say this is a prologue? As it is, this prologue doesn't need to be in the story. All it has told me is that there's a magic man who kills monsters, got sucked into a jewel, and somehow, a woman was his only hope, but now she is dead. That is pretty generic for the fantasy genre.

    What I would like to see is information or questions in the prologue that nag at me until they are resolved (usually in the climax). This is how authors usually hook new readers.

    So it seems you have some or all of the plot line details figured out. Why not consider revealing a few more of these details to hook the reader, to make them ask questions? As it is now, this prologue causes me to ask only the generic questions, and I don't feel hooked.

    Perhaps you could tell us more about the Woman's role? The man's role? I'll bet that would cause the reader to ask "who could possibly replace them?" Then comes a good opportunity to introduce your protagonist.

    These are only examples; I don't assume to know your plot.

  10. #10
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    Although not bad writing from a technical standpoint this prologue seems generic in that it could easily be placed in front of any number of fantasy stories. Who is "he"? "She"? "The monsters"? To me it is a group of sentences unrelated to themselves or anything else.

    A prologue should be a mini-story as well as back-story. Stories of any kind should have beginnings, middles, and endings. I didn't see that in this piece.

    What I did see, however, is an effective start of a story if the characters are identified immediately. This one little fuzzy scene could be sharpened into an attention grabbing opening to a grand novel.

    If this is just back story consider weaving it into the fabric of the story to be told. If it is the beginning of the story give it some teeth that gnaw on the reader's emotions.

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