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 Sagas of Aether

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Shadow Dragon


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PostSubject: Sagas of Aether   September 24th 2008, 7:01 pm

Here is the opening of my first novel. Please let me know what you think. Warning: some mature content

Sagas of Aether
The Ares Saga
Book I: Revolution


The normally dark night is lit up by the fire, as it consumes everything it touches. Building after building, collapses into a pit of flame. He walks among the ashes, staring straight ahead of him with a sadistic grin. A pair crimson eyes seem to glow from behind the long strands of black hair that hang over his face. The slit, cat like pupils scan back and forth, in search for more prey. With black leather armor and black bladed swords, he seems to blend into the night. He is the one that the people don’t speak of, though fear can be heard in their silence. The Bandit Lord. The Knight of Chaos. Lonan Pyrrhus.

A town guard in poorly made armor comes before him and pulls out his sword. “S…s…stop there.” His voice cracks several times, revealing the fear in the man. The only response he gets from Lonan is a sadistic grin. The guard rushes toward Lonan and swings his sword from the left. With no change in expression his left blade blocks. The right blade comes down, removing the man’s arm, and then with inhuman speed comes back, cutting off the man’s head. Lonan pulls his right blade up to his mouth and drags his tongue across the blade. Enjoying the taste of his latest victim.

The sounds of clapping echo from behind him. Lonan turns his head to see his raven haired concubine standing there. Her pail blue eyes shining in the light of nearby fires. A long black dress clings tightly to her shapely body.

The buildings are nothing more than pits of fire by now. As the man and his concubine turn the corner, a woman runs into him. Falling to the ground, she looks up at him. Eyes, wide with fear. Her lips quivers and tears stream down her face. “P…pl…please don’t kill me.” cries out the woman.

The concubine lets out a sadistic laugh. “So Lord Lonan. What should be do with her?”

Lonan smiles at all of the possibilities. “We could simply watch her burn.” The woman’s body begins to shake in fear. Lonan sheaths his swords on both sides of his hips and kneels down. The woman stares into his wicked, crimson eyes. “Or, I could always use a harem girl incase you get pregnant again.”

Without warning, a small black throwing knife flies in front of Lonan and stabs into the woman’s neck. Out of the shadows, steps a young woman, no older than seventeen. Her dark blue eyes shine as she stares at the Bandit lord.. “You shouldn’t play with your victims. Just kill them and move on.” says the young woman as her blond hair dances in the gentle wind.

“Who the hell do you think you are, you little brat? You should know better than to interrupt Lord Lonan’s fun.” says Lonan’s concubine as she takes a step towards the young girl. Her body stops in its tracks, when Lonan grabs her hair.

Pulling her back towards himself, Lonan gives her a kiss. “Go tell the others to grab whatever they can and return to the forest.”

“Of course milord.” The concubine runs off.

“So, what did you find out about the kingdom of Convallis?” asks Lonan as he turns his gaze onto the mysteries young girl.

“Their army is small and weak. You could easily overrun them with your followers. As you know their territory is completely enclosed by mountains. There is only one road in or out, and it goes through Fort Parma. Though they haven’t had to really defend it in over a century. The only problem could be the mercenaries that they have hired to protect it. Apparently they could tell what direction your army is headed by the wake of destruction you leave. Most of them are simple berserkers that don’t even know the meaning of strategy. There is only one that you need to be worried about. Celerus. He’s a mountain of a man, that stands at seven feet tall. His strength is inhuman and his lance is said to have been blessed by the god of war, Taris. He has never lost a battle, and it seems he’s been looking forward to a chance to challenge you.”

Looking up into the night sky, Lonan can see the blue light of one of Aether‘s moons filtering through the clouds.. He lets out a loud maniacal laugh. “Has this world finally produced a worthwhile challenge for me? This should be very interesting indeed.” He throws the girl a pouch of golden coins in payment of her services. She nods and walks away.

Putting two fingers up to his lips, he gives a whistle that echoes in the wind. A large black horse comes running up to him. The pair take off towards vast forest to the east.. Turning his head back, taking a final look at the destruction, he thinks to himself, “This is the tenth Adonian village that I’ve destroyed this year, and yet I’ve barely had any resistance. I guess their rulers don’t really care what happens to villages on the edge of their territory.”

Lonan and his horse enter Bandit Forest, and travel along one of the few trails that winds its way through the maze of trees. The rider and horse move as one, as they weave their way through the trees until they finally arrive at their destination. In front of him stands an ancient castle. Vines are sneaking their way up its walls, and all of the buildings that used to surround it have long since collapsed. Whoever once lived in this forgotten kingdom left centuries ago. However, to Lonan, this is the capital of his empire. An empire of bandit clans held together by one simple rule. Follow the strongest.

In front of the ancient castle, there is a large bonfire. Men and women from all parts of Bandit Forest surround it, celebrating their latest raid into Adonian territory. Lonan gets off the horse to the sound of his followers cheering for their lord and asks one of them “Where is Lovinia.”

The concubine from earlier taps the back of his shoulder and says “Guess who.”

Lonan turns with a smile and says “Good we are all here. Everyone listen up.” The place goes silent, as they eagerly wait for what their lord has to say. “Its time we move up from destroying simple villages. In one weeks time, we attack Convallis. So get ready for war. Though tonight, is a time to be merry. Drink to your hearts content.”
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PostSubject: Re: Sagas of Aether   September 24th 2008, 7:21 pm

Try keeping track of how often you use the same word. For example, the word 'sadistic' came up once or twice too often at the start of this piece as did the phrase 'concubine'. It makes the whole thing feel very redundant.

I'd also suggest, and this is just personal opinion, that you consider changing your display picture to something that doesn't have movement. I found it quite distracting trying to read your opening paragraph with it off to the side jumping and twitching.
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PostSubject: Response   September 24th 2008, 8:23 pm

First, PAST TENSE - PLEASE!!!

Also, some simple editing would be nice. It is PALE blue eyes. You have MANY non-sentences and poorly placed commas.

Now, work on description and emotion. You have what, a 1,000 words (yes, I checked)? In that you have introduction of some main characters, a town destroyed, a lady killed, clues given, and a major celebration. Slow the thing down. Give your readers some reason to care about your main character, care that the town is being destroyed, care about the concubine, and generally care about whether there is more.

I thought the lady coming out and pleading not to be killed deserved to be killed just for being so stupid. She should have run. Why didn't she?

Learning that Lonan had an army, I got the impression that he was a johnny-come-lately who showed up at the end simply to show off. It was the army that did all the real work. Am I right or wrong?

There is a reason for his attacks? Right? Is he expanding his territory?

If he has a concubine, and it seems that they spend time together, how about children?

You left a lot of questions. Get to work explaining them.

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PostSubject: Re: Sagas of Aether   September 24th 2008, 9:19 pm

There was a review here... but somehow I messed it up.

Another one is coming. Honest.
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PostSubject: Re: Sagas of Aether   September 25th 2008, 9:22 am

Ok here is the basic feeling.

Your story is solid on the idea level. It is easy to tell what is going on and what is happening. I am not bumbling around wondering who/what/where as I tread this.

It is very clear to follow.

But it is not alive either.

Now here is the hard part for me. See this work is not bad at all, it possess no stale parts, the writing is sound (for the most part, minor grammar needs to be fixed, but that is minor stuff and does not destroy the overall read)

It is like this is not Good, but it is not Bad either. It is right at the threshold of being a good story if you can just add some pull along with it.

Consider dynamic of motion in your work, and names. Names need to be put in to help with the flow of reusing words like "concubine".

I hope some of this helps you out.
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PostSubject: Re: Sagas of Aether   September 25th 2008, 9:28 am

Shadow Dragon wrote:
Here is the opening of my first novel. Please let me know what you think. Warning: some mature content

Sagas of Aether
The Ares Saga
Book I: Revolution


The normally dark night is lit up by the fire, as it consumes everything it touches. Building after building, collapses into a pit of flame. He walks among the ashes, staring straight ahead of him with a sadistic grin. A pair crimson eyes seem to glow from behind the long strands of black hair that hang over his face. The slit, cat like pupils scan back and forth, in search for more prey. With black leather armor and black bladed swords, he seems to blend into the night. He is the one that the people don’t speak of, though fear can be heard in their silence. The Bandit Lord. The Knight of Chaos. Lonan Pyrrhus.

A town guard in poorly made armor comes before him and pulls out his sword. “S…s…stop there.” His voice cracks several times, revealing the fear in the man. The only response he gets from Lonan is a sadistic grin. The guard rushes toward Lonan and swings his sword from the left. With no change in expression his left blade blocks. The right blade comes down, removing the man’s arm, and then with inhuman speed comes back, cutting off the man’s head. Lonan pulls his right blade up to his mouth and drags his tongue across the blade. Enjoying the taste of his latest victim.

The fear in the guard seems out of place. Why would someone who is scared of you attack you? Perhaos present a level of duity or something from the guards perspective to add to a motive as to why he would just attack like that if he was so scared to start with. Why not run when no one was looking for him?

Quote :
The sounds of clapping echo from behind him. Lonan turns his head to see his raven haired concubine standing there. Her pail blue eyes shining in the light of nearby fires. A long black dress clings tightly to her shapely body.

Good intro, but putting a name here would solve all your word repition problems later on.

Quote :
The buildings are nothing more than pits of fire by now. As the man and his concubine turn the corner, a woman runs into him. Falling to the ground, she looks up at him. Eyes, wide with fear. Her lips quivers and tears stream down her face. “P…pl…please don’t kill me.” cries out the woman.

The concubine lets out a sadistic laugh. “So Lord Lonan. What should be do with her?”

Lonan smiles at all of the possibilities. “We could simply watch her burn.” The woman’s body begins to shake in fear. Lonan sheaths his swords on both sides of his hips and kneels down. The woman stares into his wicked, crimson eyes. “Or, I could always use a harem girl incase you get pregnant again.”

Without warning, a small black throwing knife flies in front of Lonan and stabs into the woman’s neck. Out of the shadows, steps a young woman, no older than seventeen. Her dark blue eyes shine as she stares at the Bandit lord.. “You shouldn’t play with your victims. Just kill them and move on.” says the young woman as her blond hair dances in the gentle wind.

“Who the hell do you think you are, you little brat? You should know better than to interrupt Lord Lonan’s fun.” says Lonan’s concubine as she takes a step towards the young girl. Her body stops in its tracks, when Lonan grabs her hair.

Pulling her back towards himself, Lonan gives her a kiss. “Go tell the others to grab whatever they can and return to the forest.”

“Of course milord.” The concubine runs off.

“So, what did you find out about the kingdom of Convallis?” asks Lonan as he turns his gaze onto the mysteries young girl.

“Their army is small and weak. You could easily overrun them with your followers. As you know their territory is completely enclosed by mountains. There is only one road in or out, and it goes through Fort Parma. Though they haven’t had to really defend it in over a century. The only problem could be the mercenaries that they have hired to protect it. Apparently they could tell what direction your army is headed by the wake of destruction you leave. Most of them are simple berserkers that don’t even know the meaning of strategy. There is only one that you need to be worried about. Celerus. He’s a mountain of a man, that stands at seven feet tall. His strength is inhuman and his lance is said to have been blessed by the god of war, Taris. He has never lost a battle, and it seems he’s been looking forward to a chance to challenge you.”

Looking up into the night sky, Lonan can see the blue light of one of Aether‘s moons filtering through the clouds.. He lets out a loud maniacal laugh. “Has this world finally produced a worthwhile challenge for me? This should be very interesting indeed.” He throws the girl a pouch of golden coins in payment of her services. She nods and walks away.

Putting two fingers up to his lips, he gives a whistle that echoes in the wind. A large black horse comes running up to him. The pair take off towards vast forest to the east.. Turning his head back, taking a final look at the destruction, he thinks to himself, “This is the tenth Adonian village that I’ve destroyed this year, and yet I’ve barely had any resistance. I guess their rulers don’t really care what happens to villages on the edge of their territory.”

Lonan and his horse enter Bandit Forest, and travel along one of the few trails that winds its way through the maze of trees. The rider and horse move as one, as they weave their way through the trees until they finally arrive at their destination. In front of him stands an ancient castle. Vines are sneaking their way up its walls, and all of the buildings that used to surround it have long since collapsed. Whoever once lived in this forgotten kingdom left centuries ago. However, to Lonan, this is the capital of his empire. An empire of bandit clans held together by one simple rule. Follow the strongest.

In front of the ancient castle, there is a large bonfire. Men and women from all parts of Bandit Forest surround it, celebrating their latest raid into Adonian territory. Lonan gets off the horse to the sound of his followers cheering for their lord and asks one of them “Where is Lovinia.”

The concubine from earlier taps the back of his shoulder and says “Guess who.”

Lonan turns with a smile and says “Good we are all here. Everyone listen up.” The place goes silent, as they eagerly wait for what their lord has to say. “Its time we move up from destroying simple villages. In one weeks time, we attack Convallis. So get ready for war. Though tonight, is a time to be merry. Drink to your hearts content.”
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