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First look at First novel (Untitled High Fantasy Genre) (2 Viewers)

Purple Inukshuk

Senior Member
The air was dangerously heavy on my chest, as I became dizzier and dizzier by the second... I felt like I had vertigo and had to rest up and set up camp... If I had the strength. There was no sign of life for a long while... The storm brought down the air pressure which is killing everything alive at this moment, including myself. I brought an oxygen and heat spell for this case but who knows when it'll run out. I can't see a thing... The sun never rose... Will I ever get off this Godforsaken mountain? My wooden staff broke in half from the cold about an hour ago, I don't think I'll make it for too long.


But I think one of the gods looked out for me, is that a metal staff sticking out of the ground? Some poor Mage must've died on this very path, leaving his magic source to freeze over. It's not stealing if the owner is dead! I wrap my trembling hands around the shaft of it and try to pull it out of the snow, which was more difficult than I thought. As soon as the staff started to get loose, some frozen hand got yanked out of the snow along with it. That's gross, some man's stiff hand was still holding onto it. A very well preserved one at it... I left the staff be and start rummaging around in the snow, trying to find the rest of the body. It didn't take long to uncover it whole...


Guessing by his clothes, he was a warrior, from about a few hundred years ago, physically in his late twenties. But at the same time, he looked a bit too thin to have been fighting. This man was ridiculously tall, about seven feet... Dark grey hair with a rounded face dotted with freckles. I forced an eye open to see he had a strange eye color, some kind of turquoise. He has two blade by his sides so he surely wasn't part of the mages... But this magical artifact, it's very intriguing.


The staff, it surely didn't look Tuskan, which I wonder why it's lying on a mountain in Northern Tuskar. It definitely wasn't Brynilian, guessing by its material. It's shape had no signs of the weapon being built by the Hrrak. All I can recognize is ancient Rekken, which is my race. We are far from extinct, but finding something like this is quite rare. I want to know why this man had this staff in his possession. And I will find out. I am a necromancer after all...


Using this ancient staff, I use flames to unthaw this man from the layer of ice that formed around him. Then I used a barrier spell to create a heat trapping bubble so I don't die, I wish I have done that before my old staff broke, but thank the gods this happened. Waiting a few minutes, I spread a few stone runes around the body and activated them, creating a dark wave that pulsed inside of the dead man. In seconds the runes destroyed themselves and I see a faint breath escaping his mouth.
----
I really hope this isn't as horrible as I think it is, like I said in another thread, it took me a long time to get to writing this. I'm just hoping I'm going on the right track is all. I've only written this much just in case I'm going off on the wrong step in case I need to rewrite. Thanks for reading.
 

gamblingworld

Senior Member
I think the ideas of the narrative are nice but you need to use more descriptions to breathe life into your fantasy world, to make it more engaging so maybe

'I brought an oxygen and heat spell for this case but who knows when it'll run out.'

Could be something like

'I'd tried my hardest to prepare; At the enchanters guild in Eridor a plump looking rune master had sold me wards of breathing and warmth. He'd assured me they could last against the worst conditions the Falkathian mountains might throw at me. Looking back at it now how would he know what those conditions were? Its doubtful a man that fat would set foot outside of his parlour let alone climb a mountain. I look at the wards now; when I bought them the pages were off-white, fresh papyrus, but with the strain of maintaining the enchantment in conditions as dire as this, they've become brittle, the edges blacken and flakes fall away'

See with the way I've written it, I've described the world, gotten a bit of politics it, helped the reader to visualize what a spell is. Additional by describing the decaying spell I'm allowing the reader to realise there is a tension based on the fact the spell might not last rather than saying 'there is a tension based on the fact that the spell might not last' I'm sure you can do better than I just did! but keep it in mind that you should take every opportunity to fill the world with colour (without going over board and boring the reader.)
 

Purple Inukshuk

Senior Member
Hey that will actually help! I'll try revising the entirety with adding more detail, thanks for the help, I appreciate it! -EDIT; I added much more information so I hope there's some improvement, let me know if there are any faults or anything that could simple be 'described better'.




The air was dangerously heavy on my chest, as I became dizzier and dizzier by the second... I felt like I had vertigo and had to rest up and set up camp... If I had the strength. There was no sign of life for a long while... The storm brought down the air pressure which is killing everything alive at this moment, including myself. I brought an oxygen and heat spell for this case but who knows when it'll run out. Honestly, when people talked about the Klijj peaks, it sounded less bad then it actually was. I guess the rumours were true, about how the snowstorm that's lasted thousands of years has taken many lives, and as well that those who lived never wanted to go back after seeing indescribable monstrosities living on the base of the mountains. I can't see a thing... The sun never rose... Will I ever get off this Godforsaken mountain? My wooden staff broke in half from the cold about an hour ago, I don't think I'll make it for too long.


But I think one of the gods looked out for me, is that a metal staff sticking out of the ground? Some poor Mage must've died on this very path, leaving his magic source to freeze over. It's not stealing if the owner is dead! I wrap my trembling hands around the shaft of it and try to pull it out of the snow, which was more difficult than I thought. As soon as the staff started to get loose, some frozen hand got yanked out of the snow along with it. That's gross, some man's stiff hand was still holding onto it. A very well preserved one at it... I left the staff be and start rummaging around in the snow, trying to find the rest of the body. It didn't take long to uncover it whole...


Guessing by his clothes, he was a warrior, from about a few hundred years ago, physically in his late twenties. But at the same time, he looked a bit too thin to have been fighting. This man was ridiculously tall, about seven feet... Dark grey hair with a rounded face dotted with freckles. I forced an eye open to see he had a strange eye color, some kind of turquoise. He has two blade by his sides so he surely wasn't part of the mages... But this magical artifact, it's very intriguing.


This weapon of magic had a strange look, made of some type of metallic material, it was dotted with crystals all over, as well as the old language of the continent, guessing by the jagged characters carved into the shaft, swirling downwards to the bottom end, it translated roughly as; 'Ehm Krell's Scepter', along with some old spells that usually aren't used to this day. Well, no spells are used in Tuskar ever since the Church banned any type of magic to be used since it caused and uproar to the countries, causing war. Tuskar is pretty much the only place that has such a law and has ceased fighting.


But Ehm Krell... It isn't a name I've heard too often. Last time I've heard from it was from a necromancer who lived with me while in training. Ehm Krell is a nasty Leviathan that lives somewhere on the continent, but not many are sure if it's really a leviathan. It depends on the area you live in and the culture, but one aspect that is common is that Ehm Krell is a powerful God, the God of Balance, or something like that. The lore on the continent is quite vast so it's hard to keep track of these things.


The staff, it surely didn't look Tuskan, which I wonder why it's lying on a mountain in Northern Tuskar. It definitely wasn't Brynilian, guessing by its material. It's shape had no signs of the weapon being built by the Hrrak. All I can recognize is ancient Rekken, which is my race. We are far from extinct, but finding something like this is quite rare. I want to know why this man had this staff in his possession. And I will find out. I am a necromancer after all... As illegal as it is, I won't stop the practice.


Using this ancient staff, I use flames to unthaw this man from the layer of ice that formed around him, the paleness on the body is quite grotesque. Then I used a barrier spell to create a heat trapping bubble so I don't die, I wish I have done that before my old staff broke, but thank the gods this happened. Waiting a few minutes, I spread a few stone runes around the body and activated them, creating a dark wave that pulsed inside of the dead man. In seconds the runes destroyed themselves and I see a faint breath escaping his mouth.


When he awoke, I got instantly irritated with his yelling, "NOKRII! NOKRII!" He kept on telling, which is in our old language to be expressed as a call of distress. Honestly, he should've stayed dead, I regret everything now.
 
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Greimour

WF Veterans
Finally got round to this, sorry took me so long.

First person narrative turns bland for me with as little as a single sentence so this was a little tough for me. Oddly I used to prefer first person and yet now I struggle to choke it down. Needless to say, I have a few concerns with the work shown.

Going from the second posting of your piece:

The air was dangerously heavy on my chest, as I became dizzier and dizzier by the second...

As I read on, I became aware that he was actually high up, so the air is most definitely not heavy. It is light. The lack of oxygen in the light air is what steals your breathe and makes you dizzy. The sentence itself is also overly stressful on how dizzy the man is. (Also the comma, not needed. If it was third person, you can change the sentence to have need of that comma, but otherwise you do not need it.)

Read aloud:
1) The air was dangerously heavy on my chest, as I became dizzier and dizzier by the second...
2) The air was dangerously heavy on my chest as I became dizzier by the second...

When talking about yourself, you don't pause before the word "as" ... "I stumbled as I chased the ball" vs "I stumbled, as I chased the ball.." get it?

I see you like the use of Ellipses, '...' - me too, I am a sucker for them. The adjoining process for when one thought meets the next. So easy to throw them out at every opportunity. Mostly, however... a comma is usually enough but, in this instance I think a period [full stop] would be sufficient.

Rewrite example:

My head spun as the light air stole my body of oxygen and chilled my chest from the inside. I knew I had to rest- and would, could I but find a spot to set up camp. With vertigo adding to the pile-up of mental stress and fatigue - I wasn't even sure I'd have the strength anymore. There had been no sign of life for a while. The constant storms, lack of air and sparse sunlight and cold temperatures killed everything this high up. Myself included.


All of that is past tense. The problem with past tense and first person narrative - it usually means the teller of the story is alive which removes a great deal of tension from the story. You have to really convey emotions and any physical conditions the character is experiencing. Essentially, that's why I changed to third person style:

"Benny's head spun as the light air stole oxygen from his body and limbs. ..."

... I felt like I had vertigo and had to rest up and set up camp... If I had the strength.

After an ellipses, the following sentence is not started with a capital (unless it starts with 'I' or a title or a name, or anything else that may require it.... but with the above example, 'if' would start with a small- i

The misplaced commas are apparent throughout. They mess with my timing and the way I read it. I'd love to hear you read it out loud and see how you would convey the story verbally. I expect I might learn something from the method. I think at this moment however, your thought process is slightly messing up your timing. For example, how we think is not how we talk and how we talk is not how we act.

Guessing by his clothes, he was a warrior, from about a few hundred years ago, physically in his late twenties. But at the same time he looked a bit too thin to have been fighting.
Guessing works but example rewrite:

Judging by his clothes he'd been a warrior. He looked a little thin to have seen much fighting - not exactly the warrior class barbarian I'd come to expect - but then, he was incredibly tall. Seven-feet if he was an inch. At a guess, it was probably a few hundred years ago but the condition he was as though he'd been alive only days ago.

Well, no spells are used in Tuskar ever since the Church banned any type of magic to be used since it caused and uproar to the countries, causing war.

Err... :/

Well, no spells are used in Tuskar ever since the Church banned magic due to the uproar it caused in certain countries and caused wars
.

I'm not sure on that sentence at all. I'd rework it. :/

The final sentences too, 'telling' following 'yelling' made no sense to me. If he is yelling, he is yelling... not telling:

When he awoke, I got instantly irritated with his yelling, "NOKRII! NOKRII!" He kept on telling, which is in our old language to be expressed as a call of distress

I was instantly irritated the moment he woke. Not a full breath in his lungs and yells of "NOKRII, NOKRII!" filled the air. Remembering lessons of my youth, 'nokrii' had been a call of distress in the old tongue. As a necromancer, one can imagine why knowing old languages is useful. This time however, I just wondered if I should have let him stay dead.


***

There are many, and then countless more... ways to write the same scene. I find that writing that explains and shows draws a reader in more. (More than listing off events and actions in the same manner as a shopping list.) Good spacing and timing can be the difference between a featherweight jab and a heavyweight hook. (Ricky Hatton ftw)
Your writing is like watching a flurry of jabs. I'm just waiting for the follow up punch so things can really get interesting.

My examples were just to show (as did gambling) that scenes can become far more colourful with just a change of words [or punctuation]. Or if not more colourful, more informative - or just ... 'more'


~Kev.


Note on Air Pressure: The weight of air is dependant on variables, primarily Altitude and Temperature- high and cold both equate to 'light' ... Low and Hot are both 'heavy', also described as stuffy, suffocating, clammy and more. Though clammy and the like is usually dependant on the humidity. The greater the water vapour in the air, the more absolute the humidity becomes and so the less 'sweat' will help cool the body down. As such comes 'clammy'. The air you were describing is definitely light <3


Edit:

As I read another persons thread, I remembered something I didn't comment on here:
I brought an oxygen and heat spell for this case but who knows when it'll run out. Honestly, when people talked about the Klijj peaks, it sounded less bad then it actually was.
I believe the correct word would be; 'than' - sounded less bad than it actually was.

Personally, I would change the sentence as a whole.
"When people spoke about the Klijj peaks it never sounded half so bad as it really is." (is being present tense, otherwise it implies it was only bad during the characters visit. Not how bad it was at the time and remains to be now... 'actually was' is a good alternate to keep the full passage past tense.)

- "less bad" basically means 'not as bad' or otherwise, 'worse'... and clearly that wasn't your aim. (it sounded worse than it was. Meaning, it's not as bad as they made out? Lol...)

"it sounded less bad than it actually was"
"it sounded worse than it actually was"
"it didn't sound as bad as it actually was"

All those sentences (the first being yours) say the same thing... but my interpretation was the opposite. Sounded to me like you were trying to say; "it is a hell of a lot worse than people made it out to be: They had no clue how bad this place really was... or else they lacked the vocabulary to successfully stress the extremity of the mountains fury."


Signing out again;

~Kev.
 
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Purple Inukshuk

Senior Member
Whoo, there was a lot to read. But none the less, I see the point where your getting at. I'll have to sharpen a bit of writing I see. I'll take in mind what you said and edit and write out the rest of the chapter before posting again. Thanks!
 

Greimour

WF Veterans
Welcome, look forward to it.

I kind of want to see this in third person narrative, but equally - i look forward to seeing first person written in a way that can keep the story alive. I hope yuo achieve it.

Also, seen a problem with something I said:

"it sounded less bad than it actually was"
"it sounded worse than it actually was"
"it didn't sound as bad as it actually was"

Yes all three sentences are the same, but they are different too.

"it sounded less bad than it actually was" Can mean either - they made it out to be worse than it is... or it is worse than they made it out to be.
"it sounded worse than it actually was" Means they made it sound worse than it is - it's actually easy.
"it didn't sound as bad as it actually was" They made it sound easy compared to how difficult it actually is - it's life threatening how hard this is.

Such simple differences and yet so huge. ^_^
 

Purple Inukshuk

Senior Member
I really thought a bit, before I get too far I might actually put this in third person, it would be easier to put points across.

It's strange the differences some change of sentence can make haha

-Nat
 

MizzouRam

Senior Member
The 1st person/passed tense really through me off in the original reading. Now, granted, that might just because of my own limited experience with 1st person but I find it hard to connect with a character's emotional recollections. JMO
 

Purple Inukshuk

Senior Member
I was thinking the same thing about 1st person and passed tense, I might just change it to 3rd person for that fact, I might be able to put more feelings into the characters.
 

Riptide

WF Veterans
I read it and liked some of it, but your switch from past to present tense messed me up. You have your is's in the same sentences as was... kind of fashion.

The staff, it surely didn't look Tuskan, which I wonder why it's lying on a mountain in Northern Tuskar. - it's probably that second line: which made me wonder why it was lying on a mountain....

The staff, it surely doesn't look Tuskan, but here it is, lying on a mountain...

What ever you plan to do with that line, fix the second portion.

Anyway, I like first person. It was my main avenue for story telling since recently. I think it depends on how many main characters you want.
 

ussaid

Senior Member
Good try Inukshuk. I can see a interesting story developing there, but of course everything can be improved further. Also, you should seriously consider turning this into third-person since it is somewhat easier to describe the surrounding world and lore using a third-person perspective. People also tend to feel more comfortable reading third-person, especially in fantasy.
 
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MsTerious

Senior Member
I think the concept of this is quite interesting, though I'm not sure how well it works as an introduction to a story. I think, to slip into a world of high fantasy, a solid world has to be creative first, we need details to fully understand the significance of what is going on, such as the power of the staff, how the spells come about, how one handles, possesses or purchases them. Also a lot of fantasy is heavily atmospheric, and although you have some good descriptions, I think this scene could burst with life with some imagery. Otherwise you have a gem of an idea here, it jest needs some polishing :)
 

Greimour

WF Veterans
I think the concept of this is quite interesting, though I'm not sure how well it works as an introduction to a story. I think, to slip into a world of high fantasy, a solid world has to be creative first, we need details to fully understand the significance of what is going on, such as the power of the staff, how the spells come about, how one handles, possesses or purchases them. Also a lot of fantasy is heavily atmospheric,

Not for me, it works fine as an opener. I am used to reading fantasy stories that just throw you in at the deep end.

Imagine this,

A person from middle Earth reads Oliver Twist or Da Vinci Code or any other book that is essentially this world we actually live in. Would that person from Middle-Earth fail to follow the story because there are no Hobbits or magic or Dragons or Elves etc...? The stories would make that apparent to any reader over the course of the book. If we don't feel the need to describe Earth to our readers, why would someone from Fantasia decide to include all of those descriptions about where they are from?

Point is:
Someone from Fantasia would see as much reason for them to describe their world as reason we have for describing our world when we tell a story. Little to none. That's how it should be as far as I am concerned.

I also found it quite easy to discern some of how the magic was used and the importance and relevance of the staff was only hinted at - as if it's reveal will come later if it is important at all. I liked the way this story started - just needs tidying up. First or Third person; I would still read it after it has been revised.
 

Deafmute

WF Veterans
Changing to the third person I feel would really help clean up the story. I used to write in the first person for my first novel, and I found it was a lot harder to get a good descriptive narrative because its all done in such a conversational tone, it also frees you up to take multiple perspectives, which makes it a lot easier to add content and build the story. 1rst person is great for letting the audience building a strong connection with the main character, especially when you want to strike serious internal emotions. So both styles work, but I really think the 3rd is just easier to write in and easier to follow.

as to the story itself, I enjoyed it. it is a little hard to follow but changing to 3rd could clear that up. For example the first sentence is a run on

The air was dangerously heavy on my chest, as I became dizzier and dizzier by the second... I felt like I had vertigo and had to rest up and set up camp... If I had the strength.

I would suggest taking a different approach how about something like this.

The air was dangerously heavy on my chest. My head spun, as I became dizzier and dizzier, the disorientation getting worse by the second. I needed to rest... hopefully set up camp, if I could find the strength.

You also use the (...) a lot in that first paragraph. I am not sure it really does anything but make it more confusing.

Like a lot of other people said you switch between present and past tense, hopefully changing to 3rd person will clear this up just make sure you always ask yourself what tense your using.

Generally even when you are telling a story in the first person you still you the past tense. think of it like you are verbally telling the story after everything has happened, don't make it seem like you are telling the story as it happens, I imagine that style is possible but good god that would be hard to read and write.

A lot of the writing comes across like its him thinking to himself rather than telling a story.

The staff, it surely didn't look Tuskan, which I wonder why it's lying on a mountain in Northern Tuskar. It definitely wasn't Brynilian, guessing by its material. It's shape had no signs of the weapon being built by the Hrrak. All I can recognize is ancient Rekken, which is my race. We are far from extinct, but finding something like this is quite rare. I want to know why this man had this staff in his possession. And I will find out. I am a necromancer after all...


This right here almost seems like something the main character would be saying to himself. And that is fine, but make him actually say it to himself. possible like this

Taking the staff into my hand I looked it over, "It's surely not Tusken" I muttered to myself, passing my fingers along the symbols on the shaft. "But then why is it lying on a mountain in Northern Tuskar?" I puzzled over the strange relic for several moments, "judging by the material its not Brynillian, and this shape means it can't have been crafted in Hrrak." Squint my eyes I read over the ancient script that was visible, "This looks like Rekken" As a Rekken myself I was surprised. We are far from extinct, but finding something like this is quite rare.

Hope that helps, I like the story so far keep it up.
 

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