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July 22nd, 2004, 11:04 PM
Here is the prelude to a Fantasy Novel im working on, please give it a read and tell me what you think


“Fall back to the bridge!” bellowed the Arami captain over the sounds of cold rain pounding against the mud. Scrambling to gather as many men that he could reach, the captain trudged knee deep through the foul pits of rain and mud created through weeks of hard rain and heavy storms. The soldiers who heard his orders quickly forced themselves up from the mud and charged westward, back towards the river.

Realizing that there was no way he could spread his order in time, the captain turned away from his retreating soldiers and charged back up the mudsoaked hill towards his front lines. As he reached the plateau, a quick strike of lightning illuminated the night’s sky and he could see the swarms of Shadowbain in the valley below. Twisted, dark creatures the Shadowbain were, somewhat resembling human form. They stood various heights ranging from that of small children to that of a full grown man. Twisted shadows echoed off the edges of their mangled forms, creating the illusion that their skin itself was peeling from their bodies. Many were dressed in mismatched, bloodstained armour and in place of a weapon, on their forearms protruded long razor-sharp blades, deadlier than any sword. Over the whistling of the torrent winds and pounding of the endless rains, the Shadowbain moans and growls could be heard from far down in the valley, but with every moment that passed, the echoes seemed to grow closer and closer to the Arami lines.

The captain closed his eyes and prayed to himself, trying to shut out the sounds of the oncoming army. Beside him, a young soldier, not much older than a mere child looked up towards him, rain and mud covering his terrified face, “Captain… do you think we can win?” he quivered.

Looking down, the Captain gathered his courage, “Lad, We will fight… and we will fight with honor, for the more of these… beasts… we kill tonight… the less that our fathers and brothers will have to kill tomorrow.”

Forcing a smile, the young soldier looked back towards the oncoming army, “Then I will fight with honor sir . . . and die with it.”

Silently, the captain turned back towards the valley whispering to himself, “May Elwé give me strength… may he give us all strength.” Reaching down to his side, he unsheathed his long blade and held it high in the air. “Tonight men, we fight and die with honor”, pausing for a second he added, “May Elwé be with us all!” With that the remaining Arami forces charged down the hillside towards the legions of Shadowbain.

July 22nd, 2004, 11:24 PM
You need much more description of these creatures to get me into exactly what this fearful threat is all about---when a prayerful man screams instead of prays, I know he is really scared. And, you use the word 'towards' no less than five times.

July 23rd, 2004, 06:42 PM
a quick strike of lightning illuminated the night’s sky and he could see the swarms of Shadowbain in the valley below.

I like what you have written and if you dont mind i have copyed a bit that i might be able to help sound more interesting.

My idea is that instead of the way that it is written at the moment that a few words be mixed around a wee bit.
This is what i think would help.

" a strike of lightning illunimated the rain soaked sky and the Shadowbain below"
I know that this is a shorter than what you have written but i think that it will help with what you are trying to get accross to other readers

I have a couple of other suggestions but I will wait untill i hear back from you first and see what you think of the one that i have here.
I hope that you dont take me the wrong way with what I have done

July 23rd, 2004, 08:35 PM
Personally I don't like the way this scene is written.

You've got men charging through knee-deep mud and giving up an excellent defensive position - a large plateau that overlooks a valley filled with the enemy. Assuming the same rain's been falling down on both sides of this hill, the enemy's got some climb to make just to reach you. Oh for a few ranks of bowmen or even some large rocks!

Let the shadowbain come to you! Even without bowmen, they've got the inferior position.

Explain to me how the blades on the arms of the Shadowbain are deadlier than any sword? Are they dripping with poisons now diluted in the rain? Do they stick out like spikes or run down the outer edge of the arms?

A sword is an extension of the arm, which allows the user to strike with greater force and greater reach. Concider that.

Rewrite this scene using clearer words and better descriptions. Don't go dictionary-crazy on us.