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SubZero61992
October 10th, 2004, 03:32 PM
Okay, here is chapter one, instead of the Prologue.
Is this good enough to print and continue, or is their some major thngs I need?

Chapter 1: The War


Genjo stood silent as his father tightend the laces of his robes.
The mirror he looked into was bordered with gold.
Genjo eyes darted every where in the room. His fathers caramel armor was hanging in a corner of the fire-heated room.
Behind him was the solid wooden door that remained closed when Genjo sat beside the fire to listen to his father's stories.
Below his feet was a carpet made of Kelocta fur, one of the most vicious monsters in the wild.
The walls around him was made of the same wood the door was made of. On the wall was a portrait of Genjo and his father. It was made three hours before now, and the paint was still drying.
His fathers wardrobe was opened beside his father. Most of the drawers was packed with Genjo's clothes, and rested on top of him, his father's journal.
His father had made him promise he wouldn't read it until he was dead.
Then Genjo looked at his father staring in the mirror.
Brown hair, dark scarred skin, and blizzard like eyes, much like Genjo.
His father was royal by blood.
King Molonabol was his cousin.
Monoabol was a kind and gentle king. He never had raised his voice at Genjo, even when he snuck into the chef's house and stole fresh bread.
" Hahahaha! You are just like your father and me when we stole cookies from the chef!" he would always laugh. But Genjo had not seen him laugh for almost a month now. Even though Genjo had stopped that habit when he turned thirteen a few months ago.
Without even thinking about what he was going to say, he blurted out, " Why do you have to go? Don't you love me more then anyone else? It won't affect the army losing just one warrior!" Genjo cried.
His Father stood frozen. He tied the last string on his robe and turned to Genjo.
Staring slightly down at Genjo, he said, " If I left, wouldn't you think it unfair for other fathers to have to fight? Why just me? Why not the other hundred fathers? You see Genjo, honor is the reason. The women and any other man would pity me if I didn't fight." his father finished his saying and stood waiting for Genjo to say something.
But he couldn't. He could only choke.
His father sensed this discomfort and he wrapped his arms around Genjo kissed his forhead.
" Now, why don't you help me with my armor?" his father said. Genjo nodded and walked to where the armor hung.
He lifted it all and then he lay it down on the wardrobe beside his father.
Sticking his arms straight out, Genjo's father awaited for him to place the torso armor over his head and on his shoulders.
Genjo did this without much effort.
He then tied on the arm and leg armor and placed the helmet on his father's head.
His father then got his word and tied it to his belt.
" Well father, I guess you're ready." said Genjo as his father twisted and turn to feel his armor aand make sure it was tightly tied.
" I suppose I am." his father said. He and Genjo walked into the stone halls of the castle.
Torches were still lit to light up the halls for people who were up this early.
The halls were empty, and Genjo enjoyed it. He could now talk freely to his father for once outside of his room.
He really didn't have nothing to say but questions.
When they reached the end of the hall, they had two options.
Genjo thought they were going down the stone spiral steps, but as he took a step down his father took one up.
" Father?" he said. His father turned to him.
" I must get something from Monoabol. You can wait here." his father said and he walked up the stairs. Genjo did as he was told.
He waited three minutes when his father and Monoabol came clattering down the stairs.
King Monoabol looked fantastic in his gold armor compared to his father's caramel armor.
On his belt was the golden sword 'Glowing Fury'. Genjo had seen the sword in action once, and that was when a strange cloaked man presented the sword to Monoabol and he tested its power on melons.
Genjo didn't knew the man in the cloak. And he wasn't sure if he wanted to.
The face was hidden but glowing, deep blue eyes still stared out at him, and where the mouth supposively was, he breathed out cold, visible air that usually only happens when its cold outside.
" Hi there Genjo." said Monoabol as he walked passed Genjo and down the stairs.
" What is up with him? He hasn't said anything to me for a month." said Genjo. His father sighed.
" He'll want to speak with everyone before he goes to battle." said his father. Genjo didn't feel like asking anything else. Death was closer then he thought.
He and his father walked down the stairs and soon was in the main hall of the castle that had several halls and doors.
King Monoable opened every door, and stopped every passing by person and said hi, even to a little baby.
" Father, what did you talk about with King Monoable?" Genjo asked. His father always had told him not to snoop into others buisness, but he didn't think his father would care right now.
" Ha ha ha, I knew you couldn't hold the question. Look at this!" his father acted strangely but reached to his swords hilt and before Genjo was a brilliant, shining, golden sword.
" Father! How - who?" Genjo spluttered. His father nodded his head with a grin.
" The same poerson who made Monoabol's sword." his father said sheathing the sword. Genjo had to, he couldn't hold his tongue.
" Who is he?" he said. His father hung his head, smiled, then frowned again.
" We don't know. He always just comes, kneels before us and rested in his hand the sword lays. We have asked for his name, but he just turns and almost hovers away. I always get cold when he is around, very strange." Genjo couldn't beleive it. Not even Monoabol knew his name.
" You mean he is a-" Genjo was interupted by a loud horn, and Genjo knew it wasn't this kingdom's horn.
His father moved Genjo aside and darted after King Monoable who was shouting, " They're here! They're here!" and Genjo's heart started to pound, he could even see his chest beating to it.
As fast as he could, Genjo climbed the stairs to the top part of the castle, then he climbed a wooden ladder and stood on top of a turret.
He could see far over the endless plains ahead of him.
But then his heart took a deep hit and he vommited.
Covering atleast one thousand, seven hundred seventy two yards, was an army fully prepared to kill. The had spiked clubs, long swords and short, bows, pikes, and one of the quickest weapons in this world, daggers.
Their armor was the color of smoke and in front of them on a black unicorn was obviously their king, King Fangolar.
Genjo couldn't really see his face well being this far away, but he could see evil, black eyes staring out at him.
Genjo shuddered and lowered his head below the turret's edge.
The ground started to shake and Genjo raised his head to see King Monoabol's army marching into their battle position.
In perfect rows, they stood on the field, about fifty yards from King Fangolar.

SubZero61992
October 10th, 2004, 03:33 PM
After they had positioned themselves, Genjo saw his father and King Monabol ride two white horses into the front of the army.
" You dare go against me!?!" roared Fangolar. Genjo heard footsteps behind him and saw the archers of Monoabols army coming for the turrets. Genjo quickly climbed down and stood out of their way.
They kept steady aim and waited for Genjo's father to raise the red paddle that meant ' shoot '.
King Monoable definately had the upper fist on this one.
Suddenly their was a loud rumble and the ' twang ' of arrows sounded.
Genjo thought time had stopped for a few moments. His feet were glued to the gray bricks of the castle.
In the air was a black cloud of arrows. As if summoned, rain started to pound down. Lightning cracked every where and wind whipped Genjos hair across his forehead.
Few of Monoable's archers had fallen, and Genjo ran into one of their places to watch the war.
The thick rain made it difficult for him to see but every now and then he could see some glints of blades.
Soon the rain stopped.
Hundreds of warriors were now seperated and fighting one on one, one against two, one against several, and some fighting with groups.
Genjo looked at the ground. Even though a sligth flood was on the ground, it was still a pool of blood.
Everywhere lay bodies and limbs.
He looked for his father. He saw King Monoable and beside him his father, they were fighting King Fangolar, who now weilded two long swords.
With a quick slice, Monoable fell on the ground missing a leg. He roared with pain but still waved his sword at Fangolar.
Genjo's father still held his ground. Fangolar began to laugh. It echoed every where, as if spirits carried them across the world.
With another quick slice, Monoables head lay sliced open and lifeless on the ground, Genjo even saw some brain sticking out.
His eyes were now glued on his father.
The gold sword move spectacularly through the air and when it clashed with Fangolar's a huge blue spark shot out.
By now his father and the remaining army was out numbered.
Warriors began to close in on his father.
Quickly Genjo grabbed a dead archers bow and arrow and fired at them.
With a second shot, an arrow bounced off of Fangolar's sword.
With a heavy blow, he left his father gasping on the ground, his arm nearly hanging off.
Fangolar looked up at Genjo. Then with a wicked grin, he walked to the flinching body of Genjo's father.
He took the golden sword Genjo's father was using and waved it above his head.
Then he brought it down with a sickening sqaushing sound.
" No!!!!!" Genjo shouted. Fangolar and his remaining army laughed.
Then they turned and splashed across the dead bodies and to the gates of Monoable's kingdom.
There was nothing Genjo could do as the army slaughtered the kingdom.
Then, his nightmare came alone up the stairs.
In a wicked way, he walked around Genjo with an evil grin.
" I'll give you a fighting chance!" he said and he tossed Genjo his father's sword. Fangolar then held his own in front of him.
Genjo gripped the sword and with anger he charged at Fangolar.
He striked madly but Fangolar blocked every blow.
Then Fangolar took a turn at attacking and when Genjo defended himself Fangolar kicked him down the stairs.
After several painful falls, Genjo was at the bottom.
Fangolar slowly walked down after him.
Not wanting to be a coward, he stood and prepared for another attack.
" You are brave young one." said Fangolar as he walked towards Genjo. Genjo kept his eye focused on Fangolar's sword.
Then they started clashing again. They fought across the blood stained hall and onto the battle plain.
The rain began to fall again and with every clash of Genjo's sword lightning cracked and thunder boomed.
Then Genjo no longer felt himself moving the sword. He felt like he was possesed.
His sword swung with an unknown force and struck Fangolar's head. Blood squirted as the sword came back to Genjo's chest.
Fangolar stood in horror. He tripped over his own feet then he stood up and ran away, his army following.
Genjo breathed heavily and as if he had come back to his own body, he dropped to his knees.
With his remaining strength, he walked to his father's body. He cried for hours.
He then dragged his father's body into the castle.
He dragged the body to a small shed where Monoable's priest fixed bodies that were to be burned soon.
After taking his father's armor and robes off, Genjo did what he knew how to do with the tools around him.
After taking his father's insides out, he stiched the cuts back together. He took a rag and dunked it into a bucket of water can washed his father.
Then he walked to his father's room and took his finest robe out, which he put his father's body into.
Then he made a fire in the pit that was behind the castle.
In Genjo's religion, when you died you were to be burned so that the smoke could carry your soul to the Heavens, and that is what Genjo did with his father.
He prayed and did a sending dance until the fire stopped burning.
His muscles ached and he was ready to drop when he dreaded staying in the castle with so many bodies around.
He slowly put on his father's armor and somehow he knew, he was destined for it.
He walked to his father's room and took the journal, and took down the portrait that he folded and stuffed into the robes he now wore.
That was all. He left everything else as a memory and walked away from the castle grounds and rested before a forest he had never before seen or traveled.

SubZero61992
October 10th, 2004, 03:39 PM
I am so sorry about that word count!

I had no idea it had 2039 words!

Please excuse it!

Expendable
October 11th, 2004, 12:44 AM
It's a small improvement on your prologue. You're going to think I'm mean but it really needs a lot of work to pull this together right.

Let's look at the writing first.

solid wooden door What else would it be? An improvement to a curtain I'm sure. Is it a plain wooden door?

Below his feet was a carpet made of Kelocta fur Was this fur shaved from a kelocta, spun, dyed and woven into a rug or a Kelocta skin rug?

The walls around him was made of the same wood the door was made of. On the wall was a portrait of Genjo and his father. It was made three hours before now, and the paint was still drying. What wood is it? Just like colors from your prologue, you have to be specific. Have you seen inside a castle before? They usually have stone walls. So if there's wood on the walls, its got to be paneling. Oak would have been used for the floors but they might have used a different wood.

Think about the painting - what would a freshly painted picture smell like? How did Genjo feel about staying still for a long time while it was being painted? And later, Genjo folds a barely dry canvas? Have you really thought about this?

" Hahahaha! You are just like your father and me when we stole cookies from the chef!" he would always laugh. But Genjo had not seen him laugh for almost a month now. Even though Genjo had stopped that habit when he turned thirteen a few months ago Did Genjo stop laughing or stop stealing cookies? You're telling us stuff here and you could have had the king embarrass Genjo by asking about it when the three meet in the hallway. And is it just me or does nobody seem to know Genjo's father's name?


He really didn't have nothing to say but questions. And those questions are...? Be specific! Why is Genjo asking questions anyway? To hide his fear about his father going out to fight?

When they reached the end of the hall, they had two options.
Genjo thought they were going down the stone spiral steps, but as he took a step down his father took one up. Drop "they had two options" and replace "thought they were going" with "turned to go".

On his belt was the golden sword 'Glowing Fury'. Genjo had seen the sword in action once, and that was when a strange cloaked man presented the sword to Monoabol and he tested its power on melons. What was the king using before? What power does it posesses that affects melons? BE SPECIFIC! Remember this passage for later.

" Ha ha ha, I knew you couldn't hold the question. Look at this!" his father acted strangely but reached to his swords hilt and before Genjo was a brilliant, shining, golden sword. Another mysterious golden sword. Remember this for later.

They're here! They're here!" and Genjo's heart started to pound, Cut out the "and".

Covering atleast one thousand, seven hundred seventy two yards, was an army fully prepared to kill. TOO Specific. How does Genjo know that number? Was it all infantry or was there cavalry, siege engines, baggage trains, camp followers....? Can he see how many ranks of men there are? Are they one solid mass or are they separate units?

Their armor was the color of smoke Are they just wearing smoke-colored surcoats? Or is it just painted? Metal is precious so just what are they wearing for armor? There are so many kinds. Have you researched armor yet?

They kept steady aim and waited for Genjo's father to raise the red paddle that meant ' shoot '. A paddle? Who can see that? Flags ok, drums and bugles sure. But a paddle?

Genjo looked at the ground. Even though a sligth flood was on the ground, it was still a pool of blood. "slight". Rewrite this description.

Quickly Genjo grabbed a dead archers bow and arrow and fired at them.
With a second shot, an arrow bounced off of Fangolar's sword.
With a heavy blow, he left his father gasping on the ground, his arm nearly hanging off. did the archer leave the bow lying against the wall or did Genjo have to work to get the guy's arrows and bow off the body?
Who fired the heavy blow? Genjo? He took his own father's arm off with an arrow?

He took the golden sword Genjo's father was using and waved it above his head. Then he brought it down with a sickening sqaushing sound. Why his father's sword? Something wrong with his? You may want to describe what happened to his father in more detail - but gives Genjo an excellent reason for wanting revenge. Did Genjo's father ask for quarter?

" No!!!!!" Genjo shouted. Fangolar and his remaining army laughed. How does it make Genjo feel to see his father die? Emotion! Show us Genjo's emotions better! Why does Genjo wait until after his father gets killed to cry out?

Then they turned and splashed across the dead bodies and to the gates of Monoable's kingdom. The king left the gates open? The enemy didn't bring a single seige engine. And what are the other archers doing? Did he pull out all his defenders to fight this guy?

Expendable
October 11th, 2004, 01:04 AM
Now let's look at what's happening in your story.

An army marches up, defenders leave their perfectly good castle to fight them and despite outnumbering the attackers, lose badly. Boy sees his father dies, somehow the enemy king knows who Genjo is and makes sure the boy watches while he slays him. Then goes in to fight a battle with an untested boy weilding a magic sword which did nothing to help his father or the king, and manages to hurt the king. Then the king AND his entire army runs off from this lone boy instead of sending in the archers to turn the kid into a pin cushion.

Sorry, your prologue had a much better story despite the improvements you've made to your writing here.

You've got some good dialogues but you need to use them more effectively. You need to get more details in and be specific where it makes sense. Oak doors are ok but a front line 1,772 yards long is too specific unless you can give a reason for the kid to know that measurement on an otherwise featureless plain.

How did these guys eat? No farms? No cattle? No river for water, fishing? No village? Castles are seldom alone.

Think about starting chapter one a week before the enemy shows up, Genjo and his father (complete with a name and title) show up after being summoned by the king to face the army his scouts report coming this way. Have the mysterious benefactor arrive then to give the king and Genjo's father their mystic swords. Maybe even give us a hint who he is and why he's doing this. Then have them all prepare for battle. By taking the time to show us these details, you don't have to tell us everything.

What do you know about ancient warfare? Castles and villages? Its time to learn. Then you can explain why the king decided to go out and fight instead of defending his castle.

I'm going to say this again - your writing's improved from last time but you still have some bad habits to fix and major holes in your story.

Expendable
October 11th, 2004, 09:44 AM
Juzzza posted a thread about a way to get yourself organized here (http://www.sffworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8763), please go take a look. The author gives more details on the snowflake method (http://www.rsingermanson.com/html/the_snowflake.html) and I think it might help you.

Anyway, while we're waiting for everyone else's responses, (*MASSIVE HINT YOU GUYS*), you can go look at it and decide for yourself.

Richardb
October 11th, 2004, 10:08 AM
Giving feedback is a risky thing...
There is a fine balance between helping someone, and depressing someone.
Well, to answer your question outright: No, it is not good enough to print at this point. Choppy is a far better editor on a detail level, but I'll give a high level readout.
It reads like a recipe. A series of ingredients are in a certain place to do certain things. It needs to have texture, and life, and it falls flat. The details given are extraneous, but those needed are missing. One thing I recommend is to put it aside and then sit and read it yourself. Read the words only, try not to allow your imagination to fill it in. Compare it to the writings of other authors, and see how you feel about it.
You are a very young writer, so don't despair. Practice, though, and be realistic. You've got guts, and a desire to write. Take writing at school, and have your teachers work with you and read your writing and critique it. Work on mechanics first.
Then practice some more. When you have written a few million words (I kid you not) and had them all edited and evaluated, you will find that things have improved a lot. Keep going, you will get there.

TheEarCollector
October 11th, 2004, 12:32 PM
I am only going to say two things about the story, and both relate to the actual use of language.
Sentence structure and passive voice.
I am a little bit of a grammar nazi, but passive voice can get old fast, and in your story it just jumped out at me, "The mirror he looked into was bordered with gold." My suggestion would be to say, "He looked into a mirror bordered with gold," or something... but it's just an ugly sentence otherwise. You should probably invest in a program that will go through your work and find passive voice (it points it out and then you can decide if there is a better way to reword the sentence) for EVERYTHING you do. Also, you are describing, but you are doing it by telling. You tell me that the mirror is bordered by gold instead of saying that he looks into a mirror which just so happens to be bordered with gold... The latter is subtle and draws you in more. I know this focuses on one sentence but it's something that can be applied throughout the story.
My other qualm is the continuous use of simple sentences. Subject - Verb, Subject - Verb, Subject - Verb... trying compounding some of them, or starting with a verb. This sentence is a good example: Without even thinking about what he was going to say, he blurted out, " Why do you have to go? Don't you love me more then anyone else? It won't affect the army losing just one warrior" - BUT these are few and far between... and there are many many ways to form sentences.

Otherwise, my feelings are that your story is your story, and you will tell it the way you want to tell it. Readability is important, but content is judged by the individual. I think it needs work, but you are going somewhere with your story, so there is nothing that can't be touched up to perfection.

Expendable
October 11th, 2004, 04:16 PM
Subzero, I think some of the problem is that you have so many ideas that you're rushing to put them down on paper. You're rushing us and the reader headlong into battle before we know anything. I really think you need to stop, take a breath, and think about your characters.

What do we know about any of them, really? Why not take the time to better introduce them to us?

Who is Genjo?
Where does he live?
Does he have any friends? Who are they and why?
Does he have any enemies? Who are they and why?
How do other people feel about him?
How does he feel about himself?
What is the most important thing to Genjo?
What are his dreams?
What is his goal?
What is his strengths?
What is his weaknesses?

Who is Genjo's father?
Does he have any friends? Who are they and why?
Does he have any enemies? Who are they and why?
How do other people feel about him?
How does he feel about himself?
What is the most important thing to him?
What are his dreams?
What is his goal?
What is his strengths?
What is his weaknesses?

Who is Fangolar?
Where does he live?
Does he have any friends? Who are they and why?
Does he have any enemies? Who are they and why?
How do other people feel about him?
How does he feel about himself?
What is the most important thing to him?
What are his dreams?
What is his strengths?
What is his weaknesses?
What is his goal?

Who is Monabol?
Where does he live?
Does he have any friends? Who are they and why?
Does he have any enemies? Who are they and why?
How do other people feel about him?
How does he feel about himself?
What is the most important thing to him?
What are his dreams?
What is his goal?
What is his strengths?
What is his weaknesses?

Who is the mysterious deliverer of swords?
Where does he live?
Does he have any friends? Who are they and why?
Does he have any enemies? Who are they and why?
How do other people feel about him?
How does he feel about himself?
What is the most important thing to him?
What are his dreams?
What is his goal?
What is his strengths?
What is his weaknesses?

How can you show us these people better?
If this was mine, I'd have a couple of chapters before this battle took place. But that's just me.

TheEarCollector
October 11th, 2004, 08:23 PM
I don't think there is a problem with throwing the war at us on page 1, though in its essence the sample you have given us actually seems a bit rushed. I don't think you need to tell us about everyone and their life story before we throw them into this battle, there is time for that later.

A big problem with what you have given us is... you have a lot more in your head (or written and not shown here). We can't really judge it as a story because it's just PART of a story. Maybe all of Expendable's questions are answered in Chapter 2 and the battle is just used to draw the reader in... We don't know though.

I don't think starting with a battle is a problem, but you DO have to address his questions somewhere near the beginning or we will never develop reasons to like these characters.