Author Topic: Beggining of a fantasy epic -553 words  (Read 148 times)

Offline Gabriel Lopes

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Beggining of a fantasy epic -553 words
« on: December 29, 2017, 03:12:16 PM »
This first scene is supposed to be the hook and all that, but I am afraid it might come out as confusing and badly written.

Also, this scene was heavily influenced by Patrick Rothfuss The Kingkiller Chronicle, so similarities are a given (hope this is the correct expression). Thank you all, and hope you enjoy  ;D




Snow fell gently from the sky, like leaves on Autumn's eve as a man made his way through the darkness. Only the moon hung over the sky to keep him company, but even then, he knew that she did not shine for his sake.

           Her light was feeble for she did not shine out of joy, she only did so out of a old promise she had once made to this man. And even if he had broken his vow, even if he had betrayed the stars she held so dear, even if he had once claimed to love her, she would still shine for her word was absolute. But in the end this meant that she only illuminated the night for herself, to maintain her ego and pride, and not for the man who so desperately needed the light.

           That is what she would say of course, and that is also what the man would claim, but if you listened carefully in that empty night you might just hear the sound of crystal tears falling from the sky. But the man did not listen to the cries of his beloved moon, no, for he was taken by the silence, and it was a silence of three parts.

           The first silence was that of things that were missing. It laid in the snow, and in the emptiness of the vast plains he walked. There was not a single owl or crow to liven the cloud white sky, not a single rat or rabbit to distract the man from his fate. Once, his friends might have walked besides him to this bitter end, but they were long gone. The first silence was like an old scar. It was old and obvious and even if the man had tried to convince himself that it had healed, others could see that it would never leave his side. And so, the first silence remained.

           The second silence was harder to notice. It hid in the man's sharp brown hair, on the weight of his stride, and on the edges of his eyes. It was made of the things that should have been, and of the things that had been taken away. The second silence was bitter, for the man had those things taken from him. It sought vengeance, it sought redemption, and it sought an end.

           This led to the third silence, for this was the silence of things that are to end. It was the hardest of the three to notice, but it held all others within its grasp. It was present on the horizon, on the empty night sky, and on the man's very soul. It was the silence of what once had been the high king's most loyal knight, professor Lasí favorite student, and the renowned godslayer. But the man was no longer these things and thus the third silence ate away at his soul.

           In the end, the man looked at where it would all end, he looked at the gates of iron. Snow continued to fall like tears from the sky as the man felt the weight of his silence rest on his shoulders. And in the end, the man himself was almost able to hear it, for it was the simple, cut-flower sound of a man who is ready to die.

Offline bailish

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Re: Beggining of a fantasy epic -553 words
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2017, 04:10:52 PM »
Just a couple of observations. Hope this helps!

The overall tone draws me in, and I want to read more.

Quote
Snow fell gently from the sky, like leaves on Autumn's eve as a man made his way through the darkness. Only the moon hung over the sky to keep him company, but even then, he knew that she did not shine for his sake.

'Leaves on autumn's eve' I don't associate this with gentle. I usually think of a windy day, more violent.

a man -- perhaps something more descriptive would be helpful here

Quote
           Her light was feeble for she did not shine out of joy, she only did so out of a old promise she had once made to this man. And even if he had broken his vow, even if he had betrayed the stars she held so dear, even if he had once claimed to love her, she would still shine for her word was absolute. But in the end this meant that she only illuminated the night for herself, to maintain her ego and pride, and not for the man who so desperately needed the light.

she did not shine for his sake.
she only did so out of a old promise she had once made to this man

Sounds contradictory.


Offline hillwalker3000

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Re: Beggining of a fantasy epic -553 words
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2017, 07:25:21 AM »
Quote
This first scene is supposed to be the hook and all that, but I am afraid it might come out as confusing and badly written.

A hook is intended to make the reader desperate to continue reading - to intrigue them enough to wonder what happens next. It usually opens with some kind of conflict and a character we are invited to engage with.

Your opening paragraphs consist of a weather update and a great deal of vague reflection about the moonlight - so I'm not especially intrigued so far. In the first paragraph you tell us the moon did not shine 'for his sake. . .' What's that supposed to mean? Ultimately, the statement makes no sense.

You're obsessed with mundane details like the weather and the moonlight and have written at great length about them. But it's done in such an over-sentimental way that I'd be more tempted to close the book than continue reading. What's your main character doing? Does he have a name? And when will the story begin?

Then we have three silences. It sounds as if they might be important to the plot, because you spend quite a bit of time describing each one. But beneath the surface it's all smoke and mirrors. They add nothing to the actual story, and I don't have the patience to stick around to wonder whether or not anything is going to happen next because it seems nothing ever will happen anytime soon.

The main problem here is that it looks like you're trying to appear 'writerly' rather than writing your story. It's fine to embellish the narrative here and there with metaphors and other literary devices, but on this evidence your writing is all style and no substance. I'm no wiser about where the plot is heading.

You presumably enjoy this lyrical style. But it comes across as far too precious. There's not enough happening in this scene to hook the average reader's attention, I'm afraid.

H3K

Mr. Barry

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Re: Beggining of a fantasy epic -553 words
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2017, 02:43:46 AM »
This intrigues me enough that I would probably read on just to find out what is going on.

To make it even more effective as a hook, I think leaving a few clues might be a good idea. 

I am thinking about the man and wondering why I should be so concerned about his moon and emptiness.   

I see that he was once a loyal knight, favorite student and renowned godslayer.  OK, cool.  So what happened?  Maybe a hint or a clue to his downfall, which was a mighty one.  "Oh but for a single lie, told in the darkness..."   That kind of makes me feel for the guy, and most readers would be apt to do so as well; most of us mere mortals have been betrayed at some time in our meager lives.   

He seems to be young.  You mention his sharp brown hair.  If he has no grey at all, he is probably in his late 20's or early 30's to have attained his high place of respect.  Young men have an attitude of everlasting strength and virility.  What could have happened to this man to make him walk with such loneliness, and such a sense of doom over him? 

Is he walking to perform a final task?  Fulfill a final promise?  To do the right thing, even though he knows he will not survive?  Or is this a walk of shame?  Was he a betrayer, or a perpetrator of horrendous crime, laden with guilt?  Or could it be that he blames himself for a tragedy that he did not actually carry fault for?

Do you kind of see where I am going here?  You can lay down some breadcrumbs in your story, things that make me empathize with the plight of this man, and then expand and explain these clues as the story fleshes itself out.   

Offline Shortcross

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Re: Beggining of a fantasy epic -553 words
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2017, 03:37:21 AM »
I have to agree with Hilly (not that I try not to agree!) - the moon is your opening character and gets all the attention - and who cares about the moon?

Also - the three kinds of silence thing. It's not so much influenced by, as almost a direct copy of Rothfuss's opener. Any reader or publisher worth their salt would close your book at that point. Changing a few words doesnt mean it's 'influenced by'. It's like beginning your story with 'It was a bright, cold day in April and the clocks were striking fourteen', then saying you were 'influenced by' Orwell.

Personally, I didn't like Rothfuss's three types of silence thing when he wrote it. Bit contrived, like Terry Pratchett always going on about darkness being different to the absense of light.

And it's over-written.

Other than that, it's not a bad start.

This first scene is supposed to be the hook and all that, but I am afraid it might come out as confusing and badly written.

Also, this scene was heavily influenced by Patrick Rothfuss The Kingkiller Chronicle, so similarities are a given (hope this is the correct expression). Thank you all, and hope you enjoy  ;D




Snow fell gently from the sky, like leaves on Autumn's eve as a man made his way through the darkness. Only the moon hung over the sky to keep him company, but even then, he knew that she did not shine for his sake.

           Her light was feeble for she did not shine out of joy, she only did so out of a old promise she had once made to this man. And even if he had broken his vow, even if he had betrayed the stars she held so dear, even if he had once claimed to love her, she would still shine for her word was absolute. But in the end this meant that she only illuminated the night for herself, to maintain her ego and pride, and not for the man who so desperately needed the light.

           That is what she would say of course, and that is also what the man would claim, but if you listened carefully in that empty night you might just hear the sound of crystal tears falling from the sky. But the man did not listen to the cries of his beloved moon, no, for he was taken by the silence, and it was a silence of three parts.

           The first silence was that of things that were missing. It laid in the snow, and in the emptiness of the vast plains he walked. There was not a single owl or crow to liven the cloud white sky, not a single rat or rabbit to distract the man from his fate. Once, his friends might have walked besides him to this bitter end, but they were long gone. The first silence was like an old scar. It was old and obvious and even if the man had tried to convince himself that it had healed, others could see that it would never leave his side. And so, the first silence remained.

           The second silence was harder to notice. It hid in the man's sharp brown hair, on the weight of his stride, and on the edges of his eyes. It was made of the things that should have been, and of the things that had been taken away. The second silence was bitter, for the man had those things taken from him. It sought vengeance, it sought redemption, and it sought an end.

           This led to the third silence, for this was the silence of things that are to end. It was the hardest of the three to notice, but it held all others within its grasp. It was present on the horizon, on the empty night sky, and on the man's very soul. It was the silence of what once had been the high king's most loyal knight, professor Lasí favorite student, and the renowned godslayer. But the man was no longer these things and thus the third silence ate away at his soul.

           In the end, the man looked at where it would all end, he looked at the gates of iron. Snow continued to fall like tears from the sky as the man felt the weight of his silence rest on his shoulders. And in the end, the man himself was almost able to hear it, for it was the simple, cut-flower sound of a man who is ready to die.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2017, 03:39:37 AM by Shortcross »

Offline Gabriel Lopes

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Re: Beggining of a fantasy epic -553 words
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2018, 08:23:13 AM »
Hey Shortcross, thank you for warning me about the plagiarism thing. I thought that if I changed enough I could still use the three silences thing, but it seems I was gravely mistaken. I've already scrapped this opening from the novel as a result. I'll post the new opening sometime later this week.