Author Topic: YA Fantasy Concept: prologue and intro to first chapter. TW: adult themes  (Read 97 times)

Offline saaedwrites

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Prologue

   He knew he shouldn’t have been there, but he needed this. Needed the waves that crashed onto the shore and through him. Needed these moments of fullness just before the tide called its vehicle back through his eyes, washing him clean and leaving behind only the familiar sting of brine on his cheeks. This ocean was the only thing that got it to slow down. The incessant thoughts—the radio. The voice in his head that never seemed to shut up. It told him things he didn’t want to hear, things that he didn’t want to accept. And when it became unbearable, he came here.

   His father would be angry, but he waded in anyway. The events of the day had worn him down, driven his resolve into the ground. His mother’s funeral, his father’s mask. He couldn’t bring himself to be home without her just yet. It still didn’t feel real, but the lack of life, the emptiness in her eyes… Death was distinct, the Reaper’s work always unmistakable. He understood that even magic could not undo this. And it certainly wouldn’t undo the things that had happened between he and his father since. The damage had been done.

   He came to a point where he could no longer feel the bottom of the ocean, but it didn’t worry him. He knew that with a simple snap of his finger, he could be back on shore, dry and safe. Flipping onto his back, he let his eyes drift closed. He felt weightless, no magic necessary. That was what had always drawn him to this place. It was the only thing that felt real to him right now. There was no force driving this, just the ocean doing what it did. No spells. No enchantments. Pure elemental power. No tricks here.

   It wasn’t until he’d opened his eyes several moments later that he noticed the moon. It shone an unusual color in the night sky, casting an eery red glow onto the surface of the water. He had seen a blood moon before, but never alone. Nights like tonight were rumored to be extremely dangerous, but he couldn’t bring himself to be scared. Instead, he felt exhilarated. The moon called to the blood running in his veins, and for one strange moment, he felt like he was teetering on the edge of something terrible, something great. Instinct was telling him it was time to stitch back to shore, but he relished the feeling for one last moment.

   Seconds before he cast his spell, something gripped his calf, shredding his flesh like it was cloth. Terror surged through him like cold poison, and before he could complete the stitch, he was pulled under. He could taste his own blood in the water, could feel its warmth spreading around him. Another claw tore through his back, and the pain broke through his panic. He fought to cast another spell, anything to get him away from his attacker, but now his magic felt heavy, as if there were chains weighing it down. He was being ensorcelled.

   The glowing eyes, the glint of sharp teeth, they confirmed his fate. Hair brushed his cheek. A siren. There was no point in struggling. He knew he was going to die. And with that realization, something incredible happened.

   The radio stopped.

_

Chapter One

   The smell of testosterone, pivo, and sex assaults my senses the moment I push through the front doors. Rokoko, one of Prague’s most infamous meat markets, is bursting at the seams. Throbbing, bass-heavy Eurohouse pounds through the beautiful, hazy room like the building itself has a pulse. Bodies writhe wildly, prisoners to their trance and to the dance floor before me. It’s so hot, even on the second floor where I stand, that you could fry an egg. Or a brain, I think, if the drugs and alcohol don’t do it first.

   I take a deep breath and descend onto the first floor and into the heart of the beast. I approach the dance floor apprehensively and within seconds, an errant, sweaty forearm swipes my cheek. Its owner doesn’t even realize he’s touched me, and before I can react, he sways back into the very heart of it. For a second, I’m stunned by it. All these people, here to forget, while I would do anything to remember. Anger is bitter in my mouth at this thought, but I swallow it whole.

   Prague is, on the surface, an enchanting preservation of Czech history, culture, and most notably, architecture. Tourists from all over the world flock the city in the summer months to behold its antiquated beauty. Living here, however, you quickly learn that things are different underneath the surface. A bump on the shoulder in the street seems innocent enough. That is, until a few moments later, you realize your wallet is nowhere to be found. Like any other city, Prague is filled with con-artists and thieves. I would know, I am the best of them.

   The City of One hundred Spires is also filled with prostitutes. Rokoko is well-known for them. The women who make work here—the meat—linger on the edges of the crowd, at the bars, and in the VIP sections like beautiful street cats. They are the most like me out of all the people in this city, but despite this mutual respect we share, I avoid them tonight. I’d only received two words of instruction from Tomas—be discreet. For what, I don’t know, but if anyone were to notice my presence here, it would be one of them.



*A/N* My main concern, aside from overall feedback, is the agonizing decision to include the prologue or leave it out. In the prologue, this character's death takes place in the past, and their death sets some very important plot lines into motion. Its meaning wouldn't come into play until the last fourth of the story, giving me plenty of time to incorporate the information into the story itself, but I kind of wanted this to be an easter egg connection that the reader makes (and that the narrator hasn't) that would serve as a cliffhanger for the next book in the series if that makes sense? Anyway, feedback would be awesome and so very much appreciated! Thanks everyone!

Offline PIJ1951

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Re: YA Fantasy Concept: prologue and intro to first chapter. TW: adult themes
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2019, 05:25:03 PM »
Here's my own feedback, for what it's worth. It's harsh, but I'm guessing this is what you need.

You're a capable enough writer. But in my opinion, your prologue doesn't achieve anything positive. That goes for most prologues, by the way. But this one certainly wouldn't make me want to continue reading, mainly because it's rather vague. The hero is wading into the ocean and is attacked. But the narrative style is rambling and repetitive. All I see here is a writer trying to appear literate - maybe enigmatic even. But the first page of any novel is not the place to indulge an author's artistic impulses. The first page has to grab the reader's attention, make them ready to engage with the main character and desperate to learn what's going to happen next.

Chapter 1 starts off on a much better note. I'm intrigued. I immediately trust the author because their writing displays confidence and a talent for working with words. I'm excited to continue the experience and discover where the story is heading next. There are better ways to incorporate the elements you are trying to dump on the opening page. I'm sure you will realise you don't need the prologue once you near the completion of your project.

Good luck and thanks for sharing.

Offline saaedwrites

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Re: YA Fantasy Concept: prologue and intro to first chapter. TW: adult themes
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2019, 06:50:21 PM »
Hey, thanks for taking the time to check it out!

I agree with you on the prologue. Something didn't seem right about it and I'm glad I sought other opinions. I'll have to find some way to incorporate the information elsewhere and in a different way.

As for the bit about the beginning of the first chapter, thank you! I felt really good about it and hopefully can carry that forward into the rest of the story. I really appreciate the feedback and well wishes!

Offline Bajan_Maxrevus

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Re: YA Fantasy Concept: prologue and intro to first chapter. TW: adult themes
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2019, 06:40:58 PM »
I'll give the feedback you wanted first: I'd leave out the prologue. Though the information might be necessary...it's a really cold way to start the story especially since the only person we have an interaction with dies ( or is assumed to be dead.)

The beginning of chapter one is promising. I'd like to read a full excerpt from there.

Offline Kit

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Re: YA Fantasy Concept: prologue and intro to first chapter. TW: adult themes
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2019, 10:50:43 AM »
Hi saaedwrites,

The prologue adds something that your first chapter does not (yet) - it informs the reader right away that this is a story about magic.

Happy writing.

Best,

Kit