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 The Trumpets: The Prince of Lies

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SomeInfamousGuy


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PostSubject: The Trumpets: The Prince of Lies   August 3rd 2012, 8:54 am

I'm currently writing a book in a similar style to Tolkien's "The Lord of The Rings". (Not saying I'm as good as him whistle )
Any and all feedback appreciated!

Prologue:

I gaze out across the lifeless city, my face shrouded in the welcoming darkness of the deep night. Few souls stirred now, the streets were empty of any life save my own. The city is grim and dark, seeming to perfectly reflect my currently mood. I had not known or heard of this city until I came here, until I decided to stop running. I knew I wouldn’t be able to rest long. The people are quiet and lead private lives, much to my fortune. It meant I had more time to stay here, but I know I would have to leave eventually.

As the dark corners of my mind begin to creep into my conscious, I hear a small rustle in a bush beside me, bringing my focus back into the real world. I do not jump, but only stare intently as a rat scrambles from the bush to the other side of the road. It does not see me as I blend into the surrounding night.

I had known it was there before it revealed itself, just as I knew where every pathetic man and woman in this city was. They are much like this vermin, so ignorant, and so very fragile. I reach out with my mind; seeing and feeling the rat for what it was. I grasp onto it, pulling it apart and twisting it. I could change it, twist its being impossibly and change it with no restraints. I could end its life with ease. Cut it off and drain its soul as easily as I could draw a breath.

As far back as I can remember, I could see what men and women were truly like. No masks could hide their true faces; no lies could deceive me as to their true motives. For years I wondered why. Why could I see and feel them like no others; change them like no others could. I know now, but I do not accept. I don’t believe I ever shall.

The rat screeches in agony, flailing wildly. I realise that I’m slowly draining the life from it, but I only avert my gaze and continue to let my mind wonder.

You’re letting this happen?

I question myself, but I am already lost in the dark recesses of my thoughts. I know I had made a mistake allowing my focus to slip, but a part of me wanted to remember; remember all I had done. The gates holding back my life’s misery burst open, and the worst moments of my past came flooding back to haunt me. In my mind, the rat’s screeching becomes the screams and weeping of all the innocent lives I had taken. I flung a first into the wall behind me as the great flood of my past overwhelms me.
My consciousness is taken over by my memories of the distant past and I cannot help but surrender my mind to these overwhelming thoughts. I clearly remember my time as a child, growing up in the orphanage; living there with my best friend. I don’t remember my life before then.

Did I even have a life before then?

I pause, the reality of truth suddenly dawning in my mind. I gather myself, focusing my attention on life at the orphanage once again.

The darkest memories of my time there flash through my mind and I almost collapse from the depression that wracks my soul. There is one thing that keeps me standing, one thing that keeps me going even if all hope seems lost: my friend. My best friend; She was the one small light in the great overwhelming darkness of my life. She was the most understanding girl I had ever met, a true angel amongst the demons of my past. I had told her all I knew about what I did, what I was. I trusted her, and she had trusted me. She had listened to everything I told her. She did not panic or fear me, but she listened. Listened and understood. She cared about me, and I cared about her.

“But you didn’t care did you? You killed her.” The sound of my own thoughts echoes in my mind, tormenting me.
I scream. I do not scream with terror nor do I speak a word. I simply howl with the rage that resides at my core. I feel something change around me, but I do not care. I continue, my throat turning raw from the prolonged sound.

I didn’t know.

The thought sounds weak and forced in my mind. I stop after what felt like full, torturous hours. I breathe deeply, until I feel calm enough to think, and I freeze. I do not hear a single sound, not one soul had been stirred by my outburst. The city was lifeless. I realise then, what I had done as my gaze passes over the dead rat before me.

“She was your best friend and more.” The voice in my head sounds again. “Everything you did, every time you spoke it was with her. She cared for you Roland, but you let her down.”

No.

I try to deny my own dark thoughts, but I knew they were true.

“You found her out in the cold of winter Roland, when she was as pale as a long dead corpse. You took her off the streets in your mad fashion, telling her she would get a home.”

The voice in my head laughed, it sounded pathetic; forced.

“You saved her from certain death, just to kill her yourself.”

No.

The part of me in denial spoke more strongly now, but my resistance faded quickly.

“You ended her life just like you did with all the men and woman in this city now.”

It was true, in my howl of rage I had taken the lives of all in the city without realising what I was doing; just as easily as I had killed the rat.

My own power frightens me.

Now all of my willpower had faded.

“And indeed it should. She was a child just as you were, but she was living on the streets. She had to steal to eat, and she never slept in a safe place. You took her back, back to cheap meals and the lumpy beds of the orphanage, but it kept her alive. You kept her happy.”

Enough.I was almost yelling the thought.

No more.

“You ended it all, Roland; you snuffed out the one small light in the great overwhelming darkness of your life”

Yes.

I give in, seeing no reason to fight the truth.

“When the priests found her dead, they thought of you. Over time, they began to realise you’re to blame for her demise. You ran Roland, living like she did. Stealing to eat, sleeping in alleyways.”

“Yes.”

I murmur that aloud, already feeling that the worst of the truth is coming.

“You did not run from them, you ran from yourself. From the truth, you heard the legends; the stories older than the nations of men.”

“NO.”

I try to deny it, but the attempt is futile now.

“You know what you are Roland. You are the envoy of the true gods, an ancient prophecy come true; sent to wash clean the sins of the greatest tyrants in their own blood and shame.”

Roland’s thoughts silenced, his heart missing a beat. He howled once again into the night; this time, it truly was of terror. Terror for what he was.


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PostSubject: Reply   August 3rd 2012, 1:00 pm

Definitely different. It had a good consistent style. I wish that I read stuff this good on my official peer-review group.

I do NOT have complaints. Just some notes from my years of critiquing others --

1) This 'voice' is almost impossible to maintain. It is a nice perspective to have, and can work in short stories, but really gets old (to you as the writer and to the readers) after a time. I would thus suggest that find a different 'voice' for the character that will sustain a lengthy tale.

2) Overwhelming power requires overwhelming resistance. This means that the story gets comic-booky quick. I would suggest studying BOTH protagonists and antagonists and making sure that they are balanced. Note that both also need to connect to your readers so they will feel for their failures and triumphs.

Okay. Keep it up. Thanks for sharing.

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Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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PostSubject: Re: The Trumpets: The Prince of Lies   August 3rd 2012, 5:00 pm

I'm gonna start by saying thanks for the feedback! I've posted this on another site a while and it's only got 2 or 3 views with no feedback. I was also really expecting this site to be dead.

To answer 1): Don't worry, I'll almost definitely never portray Roland's inner monologue in this way again, and I if I do it will happen very rarely. The rest of the book will be in third person.

Just a question before I reply to your second note; did you assume Roland was the antagonist?
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PostSubject: Reply   August 3rd 2012, 6:23 pm

SomeInfamousGuy wrote:
Just a question before I reply to your second note; did you assume Roland was the antagonist?
Couldn't, as he was the only voice in the passage. He was thus the protagonist. He might not be in the novel, but I have no knowledge of that. I cannot say that I especially liked him, but I had to accept him as the lead voice.
SomeInfamousGuy wrote:
I'm gonna start by saying thanks for the feedback! I've posted this on another site a while and it's only got 2 or 3 views with no feedback. I was also really expecting this site to be dead.
No, this site is not dead. It is mostly me in this section and oskar in poetry, but we just have the devotion to keep at our work. Others come and go as they feel the drive. Writing is not an exciting art, and most advice will tell you to stay silent and NOT post -- so writing sites will actually be dead. We can discuss this in another thread, but let me say that I feel the reclusive tendency to the writing profession is not completely good. I know that my own writing has definitely improved over the years BECAUSE I kept myself more open. Thus, if someone has the audacity to buck the system and show their stuff, I will do my best to give an honest response.

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PostSubject: Re: The Trumpets: The Prince of Lies   August 10th 2012, 3:58 pm

Fair enough, chapter one coming soon.
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PostSubject: Re: The Trumpets: The Prince of Lies   August 11th 2012, 10:44 am

Here's part of chapter one, I'd love some more feedback.

Chapter One

A single man sat alone in the dark. He lifted his hand, but could barely see it. The room was devoid of light. Not a single window was anywhere in the room to allow light in for the man to see. His legs were crossed and his hands were resting on the cold stone of the floor. Through his hands, he felt the damp grime that had built up over countless years.

His name was Varigus Esarus Iladora; a name that few would not recognise.

He was used to the room’s hard edges, and the ceiling stood so tall that it was Varigus’s height twice over. The room was wide, about as much as it was tall. Inside, there was not a single furnishing. Not a bed, a chair, a table nor any other. He had no place to sleep or rest except for the grime he now sat on.

Varigus was young, very young. He looked to be barely out of the teens, but he held himself with confidence only a true man could have. He had golden blonde hair that hung low to his shoulders. It didn't seem to be well taken care of, but it wasn't curly or messy. It seemed to shine even with the lack of light in the room. He was tall. Although it was hard to tell with him sitting down, he seemed to be much taller than the average man.

A single iron door was directly on the opposite side of the room to him. In-between the iron bars were solid planks of wood, which were expertly fastened to the door in a way to make it look natural. No gap or opening was in the door, making it impossible to see past. The door seemed to blend into the wall through the darkness. Varigus saw it in perfect detail. Not through his eyes, but through his memory. Every day he sat and stared at the door. Doing little else but eat and sleep; both rarely. Today was different. The brazier hanging from the roof had not lit seemingly on its own as it usually did. No food or water had been released into the room from the open pipe in the walls. Varigus remembered his first few days of being here, and how he had to eat from the floor when the food came through. Before long, he learnt to put the bowl under the pipe. The bowl that had been here when he had first come was never washed or replaced for at least from the day he came here. Today, he left the bowl as usual under the pipe, but nothing had come. Not today.

They’ve left you.

Varigus’s eyes shot open.

They‘ve left you to rot in this cage, to slowly wither away.

He shifted where he sat.

You’re going to leave everything you loved behind.

Varigus shoved himself up, tears starting to well in his eyes. Even though the room was large and empty, it was obvious Varigus was tall now he had stood up. He rose just under 6’1, but he did not have a heavy build. It was athletic, yes, but the man was slim and gaunt faced. It seemed he had even been that way before he was put here.
Varigus ran at the door, the first tear rolling down his cheek. He crashed into it, ramming the door with his right shoulder. It did not move or rattle in place; it only shot a bolt of sharp pain along his body.

“Aghhh!”
V
arigus gasped in pain, the sound fading quickly into the surrounding emptiness. He reached out with both of his hands, feeling wildly. It caught a handle. Varigus twisted it with ferocity, but it only rattled in place.
All the faces of the people he cared about appeared suddenly in his mind, then they faded into the darkness just as quickly as they came.

I’ll never see them again.

Now the tears rolled down his face in a stream. He stepped backwards, falling onto the cold stone of the floor several paces from the door. He brought up his hand to wipe his face, but… he could see it. An ominous glow was seeping into the room through the tiny crack under the door.

Varigus froze, terror seizing control over his emotions; sending despair running. In his mind, torture and death were waiting beyond that door. Any hopes he had that he would die peacefully were scattered.
A crash was heard as the door cracked in the middle, bending it inwards. A second crash tore the door from its frame and sent splinters flying. Varigus closed shut his eyes once again, sheer terror freezing him in place. The sound of footsteps approached, quickly paced. They stopped abruptly, just short of walking into Varigus. Seconds passed, the stranger could be heard sighing before Varigus felt himself being lifted up roughly, forcing him to open his eyes.

“Get up, we’re leaving.”

The stranger sounded just as rough as he looked. His voice was incredibly deep, which was not surprising considering how huge he was. He towered over Varigus, taller than him by at least two inches. His hair was a deep black, much like his long unshaven beard. His face was rugged, but not ugly; and it looked as if he hadn’t smiled in so long he might have forgotten what it was.
The amber no illuminated the once dark room, Varigus had only just noticed.

“Follow us, do as we say.”

The rough looking man nodded with the look of purpose.

“Have you come to execute me?”

Varigus’s voice broke as he said it, but he still held a stern face.
The rough looking man stepped out of the cell into the dimly lit hall outside. From there, anyone could see the huge physique of the man. He was broad shouldered and the muscles in his arms looked like they were about to burst through his shirt.

“No. Didn’t you listen? We’re getting out of this place, all of us.”


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PostSubject: Reply   August 11th 2012, 11:00 am

There is really nothing wrong with what you have. It could definitely work. The ending however had me wonder why you did not speak from the viewpoint of the man. That would allow for a more opinionated description of the room, a richer sense of history, and possibly have the coming conversation (I assume some sort of conversation is next) be more entertaining. However, this brief little section does not provide enough substance. I thus must trust your greater knowledge of the story being told.

Keep at it.

[edit]Again, going well. Keep at it. It is your story. The next challenge is to have the conviction to finish what you started.

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Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.


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PostSubject: Re: The Trumpets: The Prince of Lies   August 11th 2012, 3:47 pm

Bump, updated my post with some more of the chapter.

Varigus didn't and is never gonna have a conversation with himself like in the prologue, so doing it in his viewpoint doesn't seem worth it.
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