Author Topic: Beggining of a fantasy epic reworked -896 words  (Read 437 times)

Offline Gabriel Lopes

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Beggining of a fantasy epic reworked -896 words
« on: January 01, 2018, 02:58:47 PM »
Hey Guys, I wrote the opening scene again! I am really sorry about the silence of three parts thing, I should have researched more into what was or wasn't plagiarism. But now it's completely original :)

I am just afraid some parts might come out as confusing or lackluster. If you guys could give me some feedback on as well grammar I'd be really thankful!

Thank you in advance for your time, and hope you enjoy ;D



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Chapter 1
Where Shadows laugh and heroes fall



   The Gates of Iron were before him on that dark and empty night. This is it, he thought to himself. This is the end.

Five years had passed since his journey began. At first there were others who rode besides him, knights, bandits, conjurers, friends... But fate was not kind. Some were betrayed, some were bested in battle, and some had given in to the shadows. In the end all others fell, and he was left alone.

   All that remained with him was his sword, and his determination to end what they had started. He would end it for all the stars that had been taken from the sky, for all the kingdoms that were consumed by the shadows, and for all empires that still stood.

   The Gates of Iron opened themselves before him, revealing a single iron road shrouded in shadows. This was the path to the Abyss.

   His feet moved firmly as he made it past The Gates of Iron. No amount of darkness and shadows could scare him now, not anymore.

   Time seemed to bend as he walked down that iron road. He felt his feet grow small, and his hairs fall from his head. His breathing grew shorter and harder, and then it didn’t. For a moment there was nothing. He did not breath, did not see, did not feel. Then he was back, holding his torch in one hand, and his sword on the other.

   But then he looked beneath him, and realized the road was gone. Instead he stood on what seemed to be stone covered in a light liquid.

   “So you did come after all…” That wretched voice called to him from the shadows.
   
   “I did, and now I will take your life and end this madness!”

   The demon walked out of the shadows and into the dim light of his torch. It was just as he remembered, a featureless, elongated, figure completely covered by a thick mass of darkness. As the monster moved closer, its limbs almost fell to the ground, and the dark mass that made it dripped down to the stone like ink. Then it grew on the twisted monster’s face, that elongated smile made of shining white teeth.

   The man stood his ground, and raised his sword with both hands, letting his torch fall to the ground. But the torch did not dwindle, it was made of blue flame and it would burn until eternity itself came to an end.

   “Oh, so it was with this blade you murdered Ilnus” The monster said as its smile spread unnaturally across its face. “ I wonder what my brother’s dying face was like.”

   The blade grew cold on his hands and the world slowed. The man covered the few feet that stood between him and the monster in a matter of seconds. Before the monster had time to move, he sliced through the air and beheaded the demon.

   Its face and body fell to the stone and turned into dust. Then he heard that sickening laugh echoe within the Abyss.
   
   “My child, why the violence? You already doomed all of creation, what is left to fight for?”

   He readied his sword again, and waited. That monster could talk, but he would not listen.

   He heard movement behind his back, and turned, with his sword ready to strike. There was another monster rising from the stone, and behind him another, and another. Four, five, six, one hundred. There were countless monsters rising around him from the shadows, all laughing that twisted laugh.

   “Can’t we all just be friends?”

   But the man did not  flinch. He split the second one in half, and beheaded the third in a matter of seconds. The monsters tried tearing at his flesh with their claw like hands, but he was faster. He dodged their strikes time after time. And unlike them, his strikes were lethal.

   With every strike another monster dispersed into dust. It did not matter how many there were, he would kill them all.
They came at him five, eight, even ten at a time, but he was faster them all of them. So he tore to shreds the ten that came at him. Then the twenty, then he stopped counting.

   “No, I guess we can’t just be friends. After all, because of you, all of this will play out again. Once we die, we will wake anew in a different time, in a different land, but we will still be cursed to the same fate. You will lose everything again and again, for all eternity. And I will be there to watch. Is there anything more beautiful?”

   The monsters did not stop coming, and he did not stop executing them. But he grew tired and they didn’t.

   No, it couldn’t end like this. He looked around and saw only the monsters coming at him from the endless sea of darkness. There had to be another way...then he looked down and saw the cold stone standing beneath him. And he remembered the monsters name.

   He raised his sword again, but now he aimed it to the stone. With a single strike he pierced the cold rock, and the Abyss itself began to die before his eyes. And as the monsters began dissolve into nothingness, they laughed, and laughed, and laughed.

   Until only echoes remained.

Offline c.e.abrams

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Re: Beggining of a fantasy epic reworked -896 words
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2018, 12:06:26 PM »
Quote
The Gates of Iron opened themselves before him, revealing a single iron road shrouded in shadows. This was the path to the Abyss.
Everything before this line can easily be deleted.

Quote
No amount of darkness and shadows could scare him now, not anymore.
The main character overcoming a fear of darkness would be better conveyed through action and dialogue rather than saying basically "he's not scare anymore". What you could do is show him being reluctant, but ultimately standing his ground and going through the Gates of Iron (although it would be less awkward to read if you simply called it iron gates).


Quote
He felt his feet grow small, and his hairs fall from his head. His breathing grew shorter and harder, and then it didn’t. For a moment there was nothing. He did not breath, did not see, did not feel.
This is all 'telling' as well. You're using words like "feel" and "see" instead of just showing the reader. Here's an alternative:

His feet grew smaller. His hair fell from his head. He took a gasped, but his lungs rejected the thinning air.

Quote
Then he was back, holding his torch in one hand, and his sword on the other.
Did the torch and sword just show up out of no where or did he come in with them? If he came in with them, you should mention that he's holding them as soon as he's introduced. Otherwise it feels like they just materialized in his hands.

Quote
But then he looked beneath him, and realized the road was gone. Instead he stood on what seemed to be stone covered in a light liquid.
This again would be better if you would show rather than tell. It might do you some good to study the craft a little more and learn about "filter words". Here's an alternative to this line:

He looked down. The road was gone! He picked his foot up to reveal stone, but a strange liquid flowed over his footprint, covering the road again.

Also the way you describe the demon a little later is interesting, but awkward and could use a lot more work. You have something there for sure, though. But it does feel more disappointing when you immediately have the main character behead the demon. It makes it feel like the main character isn't actually in a difficult situation.

Quote
He heard movement behind his back, and turned, with his sword ready to strike. There was another monster rising from the stone, and behind him another, and another. Four, five, six, one hundred. There were countless monsters rising around him from the shadows, all laughing that twisted laugh.
This is interesting. I like it.

Quote
“Can’t we all just be friends?”
Who said this?

Quote
And unlike them, his strikes were lethal.
Again you've immediately cut any tension and made the character too strong to have an interesting conflict.

Quote
“No, I guess we can’t just be friends. After all, because of you, all of this will play out again. Once we die, we will wake anew in a different time, in a different land, but we will still be cursed to the same fate. You will lose everything again and again, for all eternity. And I will be there to watch. Is there anything more beautiful?”
Who said this?

Quote
With a single strike he pierced the cold rock, and the Abyss itself began to die before his eyes. And as the monsters began dissolve into nothingness, they laughed, and laughed, and laughed.

Until only echoes remained.
Show us what the Abyss looks like as it's dying. Does the darkness fade to light and reveal a cave of treasure? Is the whole place collapsing? What's happening around the characters?

This feels more like a writing exercise than a beginning to an epic fantasy novel. I'd suggest learning as much as you can about storytelling and then go back and try again. Or maybe it would help you to write the entire manuscript first and then come back and rewrite the beginning.

Offline Kit

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Re: Beggining of a fantasy epic reworked -896 words
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2018, 12:41:14 PM »
Hi Gabriel,

I really enjoy the creepiness in your story.

I’d like to offer a few comments.  In the first 10 paragraphs or so, it caught my eye that the words “iron” and “shadow” were repeated a lot.  It might be interesting to find other words to convey the same ideas.

I think the tension building gets cut too short when the MC defeats the monster too soon.  I’d like to see more fight, showing that the MC really has a strong foe to work against.

“Can’t we all just be friends?” is too similar to the Rodney King quote, “Can we all just get along?”  and therefore pulled me right out of the story.

I like the tension you build up at the end, with the monsters coming at him…until he remembers the stone.

I hope my comments were helpful.  Good luck with your continued writing.

Kit

Offline AssetMB

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Re: Beggining of a fantasy epic reworked -896 words
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2018, 04:22:23 PM »
Hello! I'll add in my two cents.

-----

   The Gates of Iron were before him on that dark and empty night. I believe this is an example of a passive voice, which is something you want to avoid. This is it, he thought to himself. This is the end. Does one think to anyone else? Even in fantasy worlds with telepathy, you don't usually think to someone else.

Five years had passed since his journey began. At first there were others who rode besides him, knights, bandits, conjurers, friends... But fate was not kind. Some were betrayed, some were bested in battle, and some had given in to the shadows. In the end all others fell, and he was left alone. I feel like you are trying to inspire sympathy in me, but this feels like a paragraph I've read a hundred times before. I also, personally, never care much for the whole 'fate is/isn't kind' cliche.

   All that remained with him was his sword, and his determination to end what they had started. He would end it for all the stars that had been taken from the sky, for all the kingdoms that were consumed by the shadows, and for all empires that still stood. Your story has begun with a short backstory and an explanation of his motives, neither of which I would care about yet. He stands on the precipice of something evil; I find that far more interesting than his tragic backstory or his shining morality.

   The Gates of Iron opened themselves before him, revealing a single iron road shrouded in shadows. This was the path to the Abyss. I like the shortness here. It packs more of a punch after your beginning. Also, something's happening. This might be a better place to start.

   His feet moved firmly as he made it past The Gates of Iron. A little wordy. Why not just 'he strode through The Gates of Iron'? Shorter words that mean the same thing give stronger visuals - 'strode' instead of 'feet moved firmly'.No amount of darkness and shadows could scare him now, not anymore.

   Time seemed to bend as he walked down that iron road. He felt his feet grow small, and his hairs fall from his head. His breathing grew shorter and harder, and then it didn’t. For a moment there was nothing. He did not breath, did not see, did not feel. Then he was back, holding his torch in one hand, and his sword on the other. I think you are going for something more whimsical, but when I try to imagine what this looks like, I become confused. It seems like you have a clearer idea in your head that what I get from these words.

   But then he looked beneath him, and realized the road was gone. Instead he stood on what seemed to be stone covered in a light liquid. 'light liquid'? ....Like water? I imagine water.

   “So you did come after all…” That wretched voice called to him from the shadows.
   
   “I did, and now I will take your life and end this madness!”

   The demon walked out of the shadows and into the dim light of his torch. It was just as he remembered; a featureless, elongated, figure completely covered by a thick mass of darkness. As the monster moved closer, its limbs almost fell to the groundMm. Are they falling to the ground? I'm not sure of usage correctness here, but it sounds a little odd to me., and the dark mass that made it I thought it was covered? Is it covered or made of darkness? dripped down to the stone like ink. Then it grew on the twisted monster’s face, that elongated smile made of shining white teeth. Weird sentence. Doesn't flow.

   The man stood his ground, and raised his sword with both hands, letting his torch fall to the ground. Check paragraphs (or even pages) for duplicated words. 'Ground' being used so close together multiple times is a little jarring. But the torch did not dwindle. It was made of blue flame and it would burn until eternity itself came to an end.

   “Oh, so it was with this blade you murdered Ilnus,the monster said as its smile spread unnaturally across its face. “I wonder what my brother’s dying face was like.” I'm nitpicking, but I can't help wonder how he knew it was that sword just by looking at it. I guess heroes never upgrade.

   The blade grew cold in his hands and the world slowed. You've used several references to time and the manipulation of it, which grows repetitive and lessens the effect.The man covered the few feet that stood between him and the monster in a matter of seconds. Before the monster had time to move, he sliced through the air and beheaded the demon. Considering using shorter, sharper sentences here. Something quick and exciting happened! But it reads as slow as his walk down that path.

   Its face and body fell to the stone and turned into dust. Then he heard that sickening laugh echo within the Abyss.
   
   “My child, why the violence? You already doomed all of creation, what is left to fight for?” Oooh. What'd the hero do?

   He readied his sword again, and waited. That monster could talk, but he would not listen.

   He heard movement behind his back, and turnedspun?, with his sword ready to strike. There was another monster rising from the stone, and behind him another, and another. Four, five, six, one hundred. There were countless monsters rising around him from the shadows, all laughing that twisted laugh.Repetative word: There

   “Can’t we all just be friends?” For a second I thought the hero said that and I was actually amused, but then I realized it was the monster.

   But the man did not flinch. He split the second one in half, and beheaded the third in a matter of seconds. The monsters tried tearing at his flesh with their claw like hands, but he was faster. He dodged their strikes time after time. And unlike them, his strikes were lethal.

   With every strike another monster dispersed into dust. It did not matter how many there were, he would kill them all.
They came at him five, eight, even ten at a time, but he was faster them all of them. So he tore to shreds the ten that came at him. Then the twenty, then he stopped counting.

   “No, I guess we can’t just be friends. After all, because of you, all of this will play out again. Once we die, we will wake anew in a different time, in a different land, but we will still be cursed to the same fate. You will lose everything again and again, for all eternity. And I will be there to watch. Is there anything more beautiful?”

   The monsters did not stop coming, and he did not stop executing them. But he grew tired and they didn’t.

   No, it couldn’t end like this. He looked around and saw only the monsters coming at him from the endless sea of darkness.I read this very monotone. I'm not exactly feeling his terror or desperation here. There had to be another way...then he looked down and saw the cold stone standing beneath him. And he remembered the monsters name. I detest it when the MC does not remember something vital until the very last moment. If the name was important, he should have gone into battle with it on his lips.

   He raised his sword again, but now he aimed it to the stone. With a single strike he pierced the cold rock, and the Abyss itself began to die before his eyes. And as the monsters began dissolve into nothingness, they laughed, and laughed, and laughed.

   Until only echoes remained.

--------

I find it hard to emphasize or bond with characters that don't have names. You get impressions from people the moment you learn it. These characters were faceless to me.

It was not necessarily badly written, but if someone were to ask me for an example of cliche, I'd want to show them this. Nameless hero, nameless villain, a battle of good versus evil in an endless cycle... Shining morality, a monster made of darkness that can replicate. Even the Gate of Iron is named very generically.

I would say the thing I liked the least was your descriptions failed to ignite my imagination. I read this very blandly because even the language of the fighting is not very powerful.
What I liked the best was the tone. It was constant, and I think it fit well. Some parts could really be very interesting if it were given some polish, like the Gate of Iron and the path he walked.

Anyway, I'm a bit of a nitpicker. These are all my opinions. Hope they help in some way!