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Thread: Original Writing and Critique
August 10th, 2007, 04:22 PM #16
Actually, James, I feel the same, especially about my first novel. I went over the whole thing at least eight times on my own, and I also had four other people read the manuscript and give commentary--yet there are still typos and the like that slipped past us all.
I just received your novel in the mail, and I just found Wayne's first two books at a local Christian bookstore. I'll get to them as soon as I can.
September 4th, 2007, 04:12 PM #17
- Join Date
- Jun 2007
Here's my opener to my in-progress novel The World of Rigel Chase: Legend of the Shaper. Sorry the formating is messed up, but I can't get it to work on this board for some reason. *Sigh* Anyway, I've been trying to perfect my opener, so just tell me what you think.
“You’re going to love this!” The young, tan haired lad tugged at the giant sheet of paper, waving his arms about. “Now I’m finally going to show you it all. I drew the whole planet Fardarean right here, with all the places I told you about! See? Here’s the Whimshade Forest, a big place home to millions of animals and humans. This is the Aquicious Ocean. And this big mountain here is actually Catamountain, the oldest creature in all Fardarean. He’s watched over the forest since the very beginning.
The Norifolk protect this planet. They’re an army of warriors with neat weapons and super powers. Here’s the ones I drew. Ari, Bo, Arrow, Axe, Pin, Rio, Rip, Antler, and Tom. They’re led by Chief Master Firemountain. And over here in the desert, that’s Nori Castle. That’s the ultimate power in Fardarean. Whoever controls this castle controls the planet!”
Rigel wouldn’t stop. “The bad guys are the Tree People. They live deep in the forest where nobody can find them. They lie and cheat and steal and kill people!” Rigel’s voice turned dark. “And we also got the monsters. Lots of monsters and creatures. But Ari and the others can fight them. That’s what they’re there for.”
He cupped his hands as if he was holding a sword hilt, and jumped and spun around, letting go of his map in the process. Rigel got so caught up that he tripped and fell on the floor.
“Ow!” Rigel looked up at his audience. “So…what do you think?”
The crowd of kids murmured and chatted among themselves. A boy raised his hand. “So where’d all this come from?”
“Me!” Rigel said with pride, “I made it all up myself.”
Rigel sat up. Thankfully, the soft carpet of the library children’s room broke his fall. His audience of twenty-four sat behind him in their small chairs. He really wanted to go for broke, to make a big impression on them with his made-up world and its strange creatures. They seemed okay with it, so far.
He hurried back to his side of the map and held it up. He then peered at the person holding up the opposite half of the map. “I really…I really want to thank my best friend Madeline. She got me the paper and crayons to draw all this.”
The not-quite teenage girl standing there looked on with a pleasant smile. Her auburn hair was cut fairly short past her ears. She wore a yellow shirt with black on the shoulders, and a red pleated skirt over her black spandex shorts.
“Hey!” shouted a boy, probably a new one, “Is she your girlfriend?”
Several of the kids laughed, while Rigel blushed and slouched behind his map. Madeline just looked away and tried not to laugh.
“Oh no, you silly. Rigel’s too young for that. The children’s librarian, Mrs. LeBlanc, laughed.
“And how old are you, Rigel?” a girl asked.
“Um, nine or ten or eleven or twelve,” he replied.
“You can’t be all those ages!” another boy shouted, “How come you don’t know?”
“I just…I really don’t know.”
“C’mon! Let’s ask Rigel about something else in his map,” Madeline cut in.
Rigel fielded more questions before Mrs. LeBlanc called time. Rigel and Madeline placed the map against the wall and took their seats.
The kids then took a vote of all the contest entries. Rigel’s drawing was the winner.
“Here’s your prize,” Mrs. LeBlanc said, handing Rigel an object bigger than his open palm.
Its gold was the shiniest, purest gold one could ever hope to lay eyes on. On the top half of the medallion was a golden bird, with its wings forming the frame around the circle of the medallion. A smooth black circle, perhaps made from another gem or stone, rested inside the wings. The head of the bird had three small jewels on it. Each was a different color, red, green and blue.
Madeline picked it up and fingered the chain that ran through the top of the medallion. “Oooh, that is pretty. It almost looks like real gold!”
Mrs. LeBlanc laughed. “Oh, it is real.” Her tone was playful.
Rigel’s eyes widened. “Really?”
Madeline chuckled. “Yeah, sure.” She handed him his medallion.
September 6th, 2007, 08:04 PM #18
- Join Date
- Sep 2007
- southwestern Ohio
The Last Prince
My opener to my YA fantasy "The Last Prince"....
A scavenger glided through the cloudless sky. It was as if it anticipated the carnage about to be unleashed below it. As if it knew there would be plenty to flesh upon which to feed.
Forming up on the lush, green plain below were bands of Malendar warriors, attired in padded leather shirts, a smattering of kilts or leggings, and the occasional helmet or shield. Their faces painted for war, they raised their swords and pikes in defiance of the army above them. They chanted and shouted, banged their shields, and adjusted their positions in response to their warlords.
On a hill overlooking the sweeping and lush plain stood four horsemen. Resplendent atop their black stallions and in their silver armor and crimson capes, they surveyed what was to be a bloody battlefield.
Behind them stood a line of at least a thousand infantry and another three hundred archers. Unlike the men on the plain, these men were in crisp uniforms and precise formations. Red Eagle banners flew proudly above the soldiers of Magnar. These were soldiers in the world’s greatest empire.
“Numbers?” asked one of the horsemen.
“Our scouts count nearly 2000 rebels, your highness,” replied the cavalry commander, General Lochlan.
His highness, the crown prince of Magnar, turned to the horsemen closest to him, “Brother, you will command the archers.”
Nathan, Magnar’s lowest-ranking prince, nodded. He had been thrilled at the prospect of accompanying his brother in battle. His nod was tight, betraying his nervousness.
“Easy, my brother,” Philip said, placing his arm on his younger brother’s shoulder. “Glory and honor.”
Nathan unsheathed his sword, bringing it up in front of his face, saluting his brother.
Philip grinned. Nathan’s horse was not cooperating. It jolted around, causing him to almost drop the sword. Nathan cursed under his breath.
Philip chuckled lightly. “It’s okay, brother. We’re all full of energy today.”
Nathan looked on in glowing admiration as his brother cantered forward, whipping his sword from its scabbard in one graceful sweep. He then spun his horse around, bringing it up on its hind legs to face his army.
“Brothers in arms!” bellowed the crown prince. “Today, we restore justice in this province and bring honor to our Empire!”
Cheers echoed from the ranks. Nathan’s heart swelled.
“Places!” shouted Philip. Officers spread out to their respective positions. The army began to ripple with activity, making its pre-battle adjustments.
Nathan rode to the line of archers behind the infantry. Bringing his horse to a halt before the archer’s senior captain, he thanked the Creator silently that the animal actually stopped.
“Orders, sire?” asked the captain.
“Prepare to fire.”
The captain nodded, turned to his men. “Archers! Prepare to fire!”
In what was almost a unison movement, the archers all reached into their back satchels, removing two arrows, and notching them into their bows. This was to be a barrage, so they would begin with two arrow volley shots.
Philip and Lochlan led formed the cavalry up in front of the army. Nathan wondered why Philip didn’t bring the cavalry in from the side to flank the rebels while the infantry engaged them to the front. But he was a low-ranking prince. The lowest, in fact. What did he know?
With the wave of his sword, Philip and the cavalry began their descent down the hill and into the fertile plain. Trotting their horses at first, they would still be within the rebels’ line of fire in moments.
Matthew could barely contain his enthusiasm. It was a moment he had dreamed about forever. His first battlefield command. He wanted to make sure he was loud enough to be heard, but not too loud as to shout and break protocol. It was, after all, the archer captain that would relay the order to the men. Nathan would direct his orders to the captain. So caught up in the thought, he almost forgot to the give the command.
“Fire!” he blurted out.
Knowing the prince had been a little late, the captain relayed the order instantaneously, finishing the word almost before the prince did.
Hundreds of arrows flooded the sky, streaking across the field toward the enemy ranks. Most of the rebels crouched down. Some took cover behind their shields. Others just stared defiantly forward, knowing they can do nothing to stop the hellish avalanche.
And then, the avalanche hit. Dozens of rebels fell, some with multiple arrows skewering their bodies. The rebels remaining screamed their defiance.
“Again,” ordered Nathan.
The arrows flooded the sky again, showering death and despair on the rebels in the field below.
Nathan saw Philip waving his sword and the cavalry charge picked up its pace. The infantry then moved out, advancing in perfect dual lines across the open field.
Philip’s strategy was simple. The cavalry, led by himself and Lochlan, would hit the front ranks of the rebels, hoping to confuse and frighten them. Then, they would break off, circle around, and hit again. After the second hit, they would break free, and wait for the infantry to close for the death blow.
Nathan realized that the strategy would not work against a more battle-tested army. Too much risk for the cavalry. But he also knew that, given the disposition of the rebels, it was possible they would lose their courage and flee the field before the infantry even struck.
The cavalry were too close for a third volley, so Nathan signaled the captain to stand his men down and await further instructions.
Nathan could see in the distance that Philip’s cavalry was now tangling with the rebel lines. He saw a few of the Magnarian horsemen fall, but far more rebel warriors were dropping. Nathan watched in awe as his brother rode into the middle of a large pack of rebel warriors, slashing and striking his way through them.
Then, the cavalry withdrew. The rebels, disoriented and bloodied, tried to regroup. Only to be hit again by the cavalry. A large section of the rebel line broke, and what appeared to be several hundred warriors began fleeing from the field. More Magnarian cavalry went down, but again their casualties were minor compared to what was being inflicted on the enemy.
Nathan was so caught up in the action in the distance that he barely noticed the flicker of movement to his right.
“Sire!” The captain shouted a warning, just as a spear pierced his upper chest.
Nathan spun to see a few dozen cavalry burst from the forest, waving swords and hurling spears at his archers. And at him.
“Horsemen!” screamed one of the archers.
The horsemen were on them before they could react. The archers closest to the woods were quickly slaughtered. The rest frantically tried to notch arrows as they withdrew, trying to get some distance between them and the rebel cavalry. That, however, was a hopeless fantasy.
Nathan raised his sword to block a spear thrust toward his face. The spear glanced off the sword, and slammed across his breastplate. Nathan tried to grab his shield, but it was too late.
A blow to the back of his helmet sent him reeling forward. Nathan hugged his horse’s neck, kicked its sides, trying to gallop away from the chaos. Nathan succeeded only in riding toward a new danger.
Two spears thudded into his horse’s side. His horse shrieked in pain, and fell to its right, taking Nathan to the ground. Nathan smashed into the ground. The air shot out of his lungs. He couldn’t breathe or speak, but felt nothing but terror as he realized his right leg was trapped under his horse’s now lifeless body.
His shield had already been lost. His sword was several feet away from him. He could do nothing to defend himself.
Three barrel-chested, face-painted rebels approached, ready to impale the prince to the ground with their spears. Nathan closed his eyes, felt tears. Then, he heard the whooshing sound of arrows. He opened his eyes to see his three attackers spin lifeless to the ground.
Five Magnarian archers rushed toward him. “My prince,” once said. Four of them lifted the horse just enough for Nathan to escape.
He started to thank them, as more rebel horsemen swarmed in, decapitating one archer and disemboweling another.
Nathan and the remaining archers who saved him ran for their lives. Nathan gave no thought to picking up his sword. If he could, he would have shed his armor. He felt nothing but sheer horror.
The running archer closest to him was cut down by a horseman, who then came toward Nathan. Nathan anticipated the swing. He ducked just in time, tripped, and rolled on the ground. The horseman cursed as he swept past him.
Nathan started to rise. Looked around frantically. He saw about a hundred of his archers gathered in a circular formation firing non-stop into the horsemen that circled them. Nathan guessed that over half the archers had been massacred, but now they were putting up a rather spirited fight. There weren’t many horsemen left.
“Brother! Look out!”
Nathan fell to the ground at the familiar voice. Just in time too, as one of the last rebel horsemen almost severed the young prince’s head.
Any hope the rebels had of turning the tide was now gone, for Philip had arrived. Nathan watched as the dozen or so remaining rebel cavalry galloped back into the woods, away from Philip’s cavalry and the archers.
Philip gestured to the woods with this sword, shouting to Lochlan, “Finish them off, commander!”
Lochlan didn’t bother to salute or reply. He just galloped into the woods, his loyal cavalry following.
Nathan rose to his feet, eyed his brother. Philip’s armor was stained with dirt and blood. His sword was drenched in red ooze – a mixture of blood and guts. His shield was gone. His horse was winded and bleeding. And, yet, across Philip’s face was a broad smile. “We did it, brother. The rebels are finished.”
Nathan surveyed the scene around him. Many of his archers littered the field. Most on the ground were dead. Many would be very soon.
Nathan knew he should’ve felt joy at the victory, but he felt nothing. Well, that wasn’t true. He felt lucky to be alive. And…..he felt ashamed.
September 6th, 2007, 09:26 PM #19
I'm currently about halfway through the revision of COS: Heir to the King and I've done lots and lots of corrections and fine tuning to the novel so far. Phrases that seem better said another way, lots of grammatical stuff and so on. I really don't think I'm being too critical here...It amazes me that it got the great reviews which it has received. I've been laboring to bring it up to the level that I'm writing at now and there have been lots of things to fine tune in order to get it there. Even if a larger publisher doesn't pick up "Heir to the King" I may see about having Breakneck Books re-release the revised version. It would put my mind at ease anyway.
I hope you'll be able to enjoy the story, Shane. There are actually a few plot points I changed to bring in the main villian, Lucin, at the very beginning of the story, instead of late in it as you'll find it in the in-print version.
I've recently plotted out books 3 & 4 of COS just in case Rise of Lucin gets the chance with a publisher to debut in the market as a First book. Rise of Lucin is technically book 2, but since Heir to the King was already under contract with small independent Breakneck Books, my agent decided to go to these larger publishers with Rise of Lucin as Book 1 of the series...so if I can get a contract for a trilogy I would need those other two books (3&4)...praise the Lord, He gave me the outlines...I wasn't sure how I was going to bring out two more novels from it.
Don't forget to review Heir to the King on Amazon if you enjoy the story, Shane...every little bit helps.
If any of you guys get the chance then go over and review my short story version of my latest novel, A WORLD WITHIN. This one is being released in short story form in an upcoming anthology, "Legends & Fables" from Gallery Seven Books in a month or two. The novel version will hopefully get a chance with a large publisher at some point.http://www.sffworld.com/community/story/2564p0.html
this is the basic version for the anthology...everything is expanded in the novel. I was sort of under a word count with the short story in order to submit it.
September 6th, 2007, 09:38 PM #20
A well done battle scene: I especially like the fact that you take the reader into the battle rather than a passing view. You get the reader down deep into the particular movements of the battle and those involving the protag are focused so close one might bob or weave to duck the spear coming at you.
That's the way I personally like to read action: move for move--the nitty gritty of it.
Did you know, you can load up your short stories on this board? I loaded up A WORLD WITHIN already. Check it out if you get the chance and review it.
September 6th, 2007, 09:54 PM #21
The Silent Cry & The Meeting
Here are two other short stories I've uploaded.
The Silent Cry and The Meeting.
These are sort of in the Horror genre--at least suspenseful anyway, not gorey.
I hope you guys will pop over and review them? BTW uploading your stories on the board like this gives a spot for reviews and comments and allows other members of this forum to find them as well. A WORLD WITHIN already has had 162 views!
September 7th, 2007, 06:14 PM #22
- Join Date
- Sep 2007
- southwestern Ohio