Author Topic: The Writer Prologue (841 words)  (Read 1694 times)

Offline Paige Lollie

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The Writer Prologue (841 words)
« on: January 28, 2012, 09:26:43 PM »
This is the introduction/prologue to the fantasy-series I am trying to complete and eventually, hopefully, have published. I was hoping to hear what others take from it; to see if it is something interesting, something bad, or something in-between. Advice is more than welcomed!

This is my first time posting a New Topic on the site, so let me know if I do something wrong! Don't want to make any enemies :)

--
The Writer
Book I: War of the Horizons

   “Once upon a time, war was the dream of the people.” The voice carried around the room, sounding more beautiful than any song. Her tone was smooth but coated with wisdom that could only be gained from an experienced life. It was like a vibrant story written on old, worn parchment paper. “It was once an exciting game that citizens of all classes took part of. Simple farm boys became heroes which epic poems are meant for. Soldiers were the bringers of gold and bread. And the kings' desires only brought about prosper.”

   The small child with golden freckles on her skin listened with silent awe. Her teacher's voice was mesmerizing and spoke of the past like a fairy-tale. It kept her rooted to her bed and her heart pounding against her chest. No history text could ever have a child like her react in such a fashion.

   “There were never losers in these War Games. Just winners who could hold up a trophy of victory until another dispute started it all over again. It was an endless spiral of perfection. Battles were seen as picnic opportunities where families could eat and be entertained. Just a short time ago, war brought excitement to mundane lives, business opportunities to those who were in need, and the chance of gaining heroic statues so one name would be known throughout all of Horizon. Just a short time ago, war wasn't just beautiful, it was exquisite.” She took a moment to let these words sink into the mind of her young pupil.

   A question lingered on the little-one's tongue, but she did not want to speak and ruin the magic that was filling the room. Her teacher would explain. It was a part of the story, soon the answer will be known; how did something so beautiful become something so barbaric?

   Sensing the need to know, the adult continued, “The West Kingdom fell. After its collapse the balance everyone has become so use too began to crumble. There has always been four Kingdoms with the Horizons. Always a North, East, South, and West. Each land benefiting from one another and none holding more power than the rest. Now, there was a chance to gain more power and more land than everyone else. There was an opportunity to becoming the leading, if not the only, Kingdom within Horizon. The remaining kings seized at the opportunity...and that is how the War of the Horizons began.”

        She pushed a strand of dark hair from her face, smokey eyes firm in their stare towards the girl. “You must understand this; the people of this land are weak. They have lost their spirit and sense of reality. War became something sinister after decades of being glorious. No one is sure what to do anymore. And the kings are of little help. They barricade themselves within their protected walls and never look for a way of peace or stability. Families have been torn apart, cities are in ruin, and there is no sign of help from fellow man. That is what greed can do to people.”

   Greed was an evil word. It was the cause of unforgivable actions and broken homes. It was greed that brought this world to its hopeless state and it was greed that kept it that way. Through all the hundreds of stories she has been told, greed was always the villain within them.

   “This is why I teach you forgotten abilities. Why you are given new stories to ponder about every night. And why you must learn how to make them yourself. This was a history lesson and one you will need to keep with you throughout your life.” She then pushed the child back into the soft pillows, “Now the lesson has ended for the night, Melanie. It is time for sleep. Remember, document your dreams when you awaken. This ability we have may very well put a stop to this idiotic war.” The candle at the nightstand was blown out. “Go on and sleep.”

   “Teagan,” the child called out softly, “Do you really think I can save it...everything? Just like the heroes in all of your stories?”

   “I think you should shut your mouth and sleep. You are to get up at dawn.” Teagan covered her up and left her side, going towards the door. She paused before turning to face Melanie, “This is your story. You are the Writer. The ending of it will be up to you.” And then closed the door, off to her own bed.

   Alone within the dark room, Melanie reached under her pillow, her ink stained thumb brushing at the pages of her journal, her thoughts in a whirlwind. “A hero...” She smiled, the taste of the word could make any six year old giddy. “I'm gonna be a hero.” She wiggled under the covers, hoping her dreams were filled of her future saving her world.

Offline FranR

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Re: The Writer Prologue (841 words)
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2012, 05:52:03 AM »
I like how you write, it reads well. However, I'm not entirely convinced that the lesson told as it is can be fully understand by a six years old.

I'm also wondering why this Teagan first tries to inspire with a history lesson to follow up with a shut up and sleep response. To me, it doesn't make sense. It makes me dislike Teagan and damages the impression I got from the history lesson. Like a teacher who's on the last day of her career.


Offline Leach

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Re: The Writer Prologue (841 words)
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2012, 11:25:54 AM »
The story mentions that greed is always the villain and responsible for most problems. However, their society glorified war- which is also greedy in it's own right.

I would be more specific about why the West kingdom fell. Was it a superior enemy or internal corruption?

How were there never losers in the war games? Someone had to die right?


Offline Leach

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Re: The Writer Prologue (841 words)
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2012, 11:38:05 AM »
1. The kindgom used to be strong and successful in battle
2. Now it is in danger of collapsing (is this an allegory about America?)
3. The girl will save them

Your foundation sets up a lot of intriguing possibilities. Especially for a young girl hero.

Offline Paige Lollie

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Re: The Writer Prologue (841 words)
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2012, 12:01:24 PM »
First; thank you both for replying/reviewing this. It has given me a lot to consider and think about when concerning this novel, especially the prologue.

FranR: Thank you for saying that. I think it is a big concern of a lot of people to know if their writing alone is acceptable or not.  So thanks, that gave me a little boost :)

I was a bit worried about that, but I guess with how I see Melanie, and how she was raised this would be a concept she was to be raised with

Hmm, I might consider rewording that then. You are not the first who has mentioned that part about Teagan. I was wanting to push that she is a strict and tight individual. I will consider and weigh the options on editing her introduction a little. I might not change that part, but instead edit her exit-stage-left moment. I don't want her to be hated, but I don't want this image of a sharp-edge teacher be lost.

Thank you for pointing these out. It will really help.

Leach: I was hoping that these questions would be asked, because they are either answered within the first ten chapters of the book, or become mysteries throughout the whole series (like the West Kingdom collapsing). Does that make the prologue seem a bit more acceptable, or would not knowing items like this really turn you off instantly?

No, no allegories here, at least one that I am consciously aware of. but yes, that is the basic; a kingdom has fallen for a reason and now this girl is suppose to save them. However, I want to sorta point out this isn't a prophecy-story. It probably sounds like it, but there is nothing "written in the stars".

Wow, thank you so much :) I am so glad to hear that you like the foundation of it. It means so much to hear such great questions, advice, and response!


Offline Drbojangles

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Re: The Writer Prologue (841 words)
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2012, 12:01:46 PM »
I also didn't care for teagans response to shut up. I think you should incorporate her writing ability earlier so we can see what is so special about her

Offline Paige Lollie

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Re: The Writer Prologue (841 words)
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2012, 12:12:33 PM »
Ok, that will be looked after then. Well, the ability is introduced within chapter one and discussed on chapter three. I didn't want the prologue to instantly have what her ability is. Just a short introduction to set the story up.

But I will be considering what has been said about Teagan.

Thank you for inputting your opinion and advice!

Sam Cooper

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Re: The Writer Prologue (841 words)
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2012, 12:22:42 PM »
Why does she have to be only 6?

To be honest, I don't believe you need this prologue. She is only 6, so has her whole lifetime to see what the world is like. I understand you wish to show a history of this world, and also you mentioned her power, but I believe your story can do this better.

In your writing you tend to over-write the scenes/descriptions. Not much, but enough to add extra words when there is no need.

In truth I wasn't keen on the idea of 'The Writer' as a title, is there a better word that can add more importance to the art, that speaks more to her ability?


Offline randi.lee

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Re: The Writer Prologue (841 words)
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2012, 12:25:26 PM »
Having read the first seven chapters of this story I know where it is going and I think it's grand. I do like having the prologue as the beginning as it sets the world up without having to do so much explaining in chapter one. It's a portal to get right into the action.

Offline Paige Lollie

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Re: The Writer Prologue (841 words)
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2012, 12:37:39 PM »
Sam Cooper: Well, this isn't a growing story in that she starts her "adventure" at a young, preteen age. Within the next chapter she will be older. But if this age continues to be a big problem I can see upping her age to around ten.

Now within the description issue, is it within or outside the dialogue? Just want to make sure because I see Teagan being a bit of a poet. But if its outside the dialogue, I will look into it and see if I won't go overbored with it. I don't want to be overwhelming with adjectives and details (though I think my writing shows I like those).

Not really because that is what her title is. However, I am open to changing the title. Like the series overall be called the War of the Horizons and the first book be called the Writer or something like that. Is it just the title of the book itself or what she is called?

randi.lee: Hello you, glad you found it! Yeah, I was a little concerned since i have so much written and planned and this is only the very tip of it. I guess I will see how any the responses go when chapter one is placed up (within a few weeks of course lol) I glad you like it Randi :) I am pretty confident I am keeping the prologue, but I am open up to more editing of it.

Offline Paige Lollie

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Re: The Writer Prologue (841 words)
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2012, 12:40:19 PM »
Ah! Forgot to say my gratitude! Sorry about that. I always like to show my appreciation when someone takes the time to give me any advice. So thank you Sam Cooper for what you pointed out to me.

And of course, thank you Randi lol

Sam Cooper

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Re: The Writer Prologue (841 words)
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2012, 12:53:20 PM »
She may be a bit of a poet, but you are writing a story, not a poem. But in answer to your question, it is in both.

example:

Quote
“Once upon a time, war was the dream of the people.” The voice carried around the room, sounding more beautiful than any song. Her tone was smooth but coated with wisdom that could only be gained from an experienced life. It was like a vibrant story written on old, worn parchment paper. “It was once an exciting game that citizens of all classes took part of. Simple farm boys became heroes which epic poems are meant for. Soldiers were the bringers of gold and bread. And the kings' desires only brought about prosper.”

I'd remove the 'once upon a time' - Once, war had been a dream of our people.

The voice carried, sounded beautifully coated with a wisdom only a lifetime's experience could achieve.

(it was a vibrant story.......paper) - is over told. So far you have not told the story, so it isn't yet vibrant, but also, the simile does nothing but distract from the dialogue spoken at that time.

Citizens of all class took part. Farm boys became soldiers and then heroes to write epic poems about. All driven by a King's desire.

Remember this is not your story, this is a setup, so don't dally too long, or over describe, because I want to read the story, not read about a history too much.



Quote
The small child with golden freckles on her skin listened with silent awe. Her teacher's voice was mesmerizing and spoke of the past like a fairy-tale. It kept her rooted to her bed and her heart pounding against her chest. No history text could ever have a child like her react in such a fashion.

listened in awe - When we are in 'awe' we are silent, it means the same so you describe the emotion twice.

watch out for your use of gerunds(ing) Though you can use them in a past tense story, only do so sparingly because a tense correct choice is always stronger.

Her teacher's voice mesmerized, kept her rooted and caused her heart to pound.

**no history text .... - does not help your story and so can be removed.

***

All these extra words add up, take the place of stronger words which could be used. It is something to be mindful of.

Sam

Sam Cooper

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Re: The Writer Prologue (841 words)
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2012, 12:55:06 PM »
The Writer - would be better as a sub-title for the first chapter, when you introduce the child and her future.

Offline Paige Lollie

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Re: The Writer Prologue (841 words)
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2012, 03:51:57 PM »
Yeah, I can understand what you mean. I still would not want to get rid of too much of it, but I can see where you are coming from. I will look after that when I go back and edit, see if perhaps I could tone it down on the "poetic prose". I still want to keep the "once upon a time" because it sort of follows the theme i am trying to go with for Melanie's life. I will look after those words that either give off a repetitive feeling. Maybe I can tone the over all, I suppose, "romantic" feel of it.

As for the Writer being another title, I would have to think about that, because I don't think I want it as a chapter title, because the story itself is centered around this girl with this powerful ability.

Thank you for pointing these things out :)


Offline batibchar

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Re: The Writer Prologue (841 words)
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2012, 04:51:24 PM »
Your story has a lot going for it with the dialogue continuing to move forward. Leaving room for interesting events to unfold.