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  1. #1
    B. B Wright
    Guest

    Looking for Constructive Critisim

    This is the Prologue to my first book called The New Clause. I'm just about finished with it. I'm 15 and my goal is to be published before I'm 18. It took a lot for me to post this because I'm really paranoid about somebody stealing my ideas (not trying to be vain just paranoid about things like that)

    Prologue

    A pale and amazingly beautiful woman walked through a hallway. Her waist length golden hair bounced slightly as she walked. Her life was as she had dreamed, now married into one of the richest families, servants attending to her every whim. She lounged lazily about the house as her husband worked along side the king. She felt a nudge and her hand fell absent-mindedly to her stomach, which was now protruding from her. Any day now, she thought cheerfully.

    She could not possibly be any happier as she walked into the newly formed nursery. She looked about the room her eyes falling on a pile of blankets resting in the center of the room with blocks of wood surrounding them, a traditional makeshift crib. She rubbed her eyes as she left the room.

    The hallway outside the nursery was dim; she didn’t hesitate to beckon for a servant. When the servant came closer, she began to speak to him in an ancient tongue long forgotten by modern-day humans. Obeying the lady’s wishes, the servant walked slowly towards the window and opened a few drapes. Light poured into the hallway. The lady seemed annoyed that, the young servant did not move at a quicker pace. After glancing at the lady, the servant bowed and scurried out of the room.

    She smiled as she felt the warmth of the sun upon her skin. She felt her stomach growl; her appetite at times had become ravenous in these past few months. She made her way to the dining hall, and began walking down a flight of stairs (which was odd seeing as she would usually claim that her feet could not support the weight of both her and the baby). After reaching the end of the stairs, she opened the door to the dining hall. Her legs suddenly felt a little strange, and she looked down to see what was happening.
    Her legs were wet, a clear odorless liquid flowing over them. She shrieked in excitement and the servants immediately came to her aid.

    She was lifted (to the servants dismay because the bedroom was quite far from the dining hall) to her bedroom. Upon entering the room she was laid upon a bed covered with the finest of furs and the best quality of linens, a gift from the king of course.
    A short aged woman with her hair tied in a large gray bun rushed to her bedside. She began to whisper in the lady’s ear.
    “Do not worry mistress, Sigebert is not far from you. You have known me a very long time. I am here, scream as loud as you wish and grip me hand when you are in pain, that I might feel it as well.”
    “I am not sure if I am strong enough to birth a child,” said the lady.
    “The gods will give you the strength to birth this child, I promise you.”
    The lady nodded, still very unsure of her self. A few minutes later a man burst into the room. He was tall, with a strong look upon his face, his eyes wide in a constant look of shock, and his black hair slicked back. He wore the customary robes of a diplomat. Sweat poured down his face as he attempted to wipe the sweat of his wife’s.

    She screamed as though she had never felt pain. She tried with all her might to take her mind off the pain. As hours passed she felt she could no longer bear the pain, yet she continued to push knowing that she would be rewarded with the greatest gift the gods could bestow upon her. The labor lasted only fourteen hours, which she would later complain about; saying they seemed like eternities.

    It was early morning and the pain had subsided. A few coughs came from the child. Her husband picked up the child and covered it in blankets.
    “Tis’ a boy”, he said in a booming voice, chuckling to himself.

    A few servants joined in the laughter attempting to please him. The boy was to be named in fourteen days during a traditional ceremony signifying the number of hours his wife was in labor. She extended her arms and kissed her son. The new parents were overwhelmed with pride. The servant woman smiled happily, bowed, and then left the room wanting to give them a moment alone.
    “I’m so tired.”
    Her husband leaned over the bed and kissed her forehead.
    “As we all are darling. Rest I shall take the child.”
    She smiled and nodded as excitement spread across her husband’s face.
    “Thank you,” A tear rolled down her cheek, and she closed her eyes, almost immediately falling into a deep sleep.

    The last few days before the ceremony were hard on the servants. Each had to scurry about, while looking presentable as the king occasionally wandered the halls, seeing as he was the guest of honor. Each day was spent preparing the manor for the arrival of the guests who would be attending the ceremony (and some of which would be spending a few nights).

    The lady walked into the dining hall for the first time in thirteen days. She looked about amazed and for once at a loss of words. This moment lasted only a few seconds before she found a few early guests to gossip with. She spoke with a woman with a face that greatly resembled a raccoon, one of her best friends.
    “I know nobody is supposed to know, but his name shall be Nicholas.”
    “Nicholas! A handsome name for a handsome little boy,” she smiled dully.

    The lady turned to see that the aged servant woman was lighting the candles of a nearby table, possibly listening to every word of their conversation. The lady shot her a foul look. The servant finished lighting the candles and slowly walked away, unafraid of the lady’s threat.

    The lady continued her conversation with the raccoon faced woman until a tall man came before her with his nose lifted into the air and a snob as were most of the organizers.
    “The child shall be placed within the cradle at the front of the dining hall. Drapes will surround the crib and the king’s table will be the closest to the walkway the rest of the guests shall sit at the tables on both sides of the walkway.”

    The man went out of his way to fully pronounce each word. She nodded, once more annoyed and barely awake from the boring conversation.
    The baby boy was gently placed inside the luxurious cradle. The lady was now elegantly dressed and was seated next to the concealed boy. The many guests began to file in silently. They raised their glasses as the child’s father began to walk into the hall. The man was bearing a pillow and upon the pillow rested a golden chain with a crest upon it. The crest was of the sun with a barely visible sword within the center. It was given to him by an unknown merchant; normally a large amount of money would be spent on the gift but the man thought that the crest would suffice.

    Sigebert had a triumphant look upon his face. He finally reached the cradle, he then took one hand, leaned in and opened the drapes. There was no crying, no sound at all, the child had simply vanished.
    Shock covered the faces of the guests; a few women were already gossiping while the other guests watched intently to see what would happen next. The lady fell from the chair and began to sob uncontrollably. One of the guests scoffed muttering stupidly, how they could simply have another child.
    A few women rushed to the lady, equipped with fans.
    “Where is my son?!,”
    He stormed about in an uncontrollable rage, pushing aside anyone who dared stray in his path. He stopped moving; his eyes began scanning over the guests and stopped at the organizer. The organizer blinked stupidly, and slowly began to rise from his seat.

    His attempt to escape was in vain, the beastly man was already upon him.
    The organizer whose nose was normally pointed upwards was then facing the opposite direction due to a downward punch delivered by the large man.
    Many of the guests did not even attempt to remedy the situation. They watched in horror as the organizer was mercilessly attacked. Realizing the gravity of the situation, a few men got up and suddenly rushed to try and stop the attack. Sigebert was pulled away, the bloody organizer collapsed to the floor, moaning in pain.

    “Find my son NOW!”
    His friends subdued him. The man began to think of his child, of his wife, and of the fact that he had failed to protect his first child. “Search every house”, the king said while nodding to the captain of his guard.

    ‘Nicholas’ would not be found in Europe and of course the planner was hung. The man would never realize that the chain had seemingly vanished into thin air.
    The child was thousands of miles away surrounded by snow and ice. He lay upon a small bed within an astonishingly, marvelous castle, which made his former home seem like a peasant’s hut.

    An old servant woman stood over him, a smile creeping upon her face as the boy’s eyes slowly opened.
    The woman looked down upon him. She then pulled the string that kept her hair in its previously sloppy bun. Her age melted away before the child’s very eyes and her skin regained color. Her wrinkled face changed revealing a beautiful young cinnamon haired woman with wide eyes and slightly pointed ears. She reached down and picked up a pair of ear muffs and put them on.

    A man slowly began to speak to the child in a happy yet confused tone.
    “Hello little… boy you are now in region of the world known as The Artic but this kingdom is called North. The users of magic roam these lands, we call ourselves the elves. You are the human with the ability to disperse our magic throughout the world, you are the miracle bringer, the Santa Clause,…um you’re the knife that will spread the..”
    “You’re scaring him, with all this foolish talk. He is merely a baby, he shall grow as one of us. Later is when it shall become imperative that he knows these things until then sh’at up,” the words raced from her mouth as she picked up the boy.

    The old man smiled revealing he had no teeth and rather dirty gums.
    “Huh, oh, well yes. What is his name then?”
    “Well the birth mother named him Nicholas, but I’ve been thinking of naming him Gunnar.”
    “Nicholas, what a strange name. We shouldn’t change it. We owe it to the birth mother.”
    “I know… They think that it’s cute, such horrible people, at their beck and call for fifteen years,” she sighed sadly and Nicholas began to cry.
    “The boy must be hungry; I will see you soon Fearghas.”
    “Aoife, yes”, the old man said as he began rubbing the bed the child had rested upon.

    She gave him a strange look as she walked out the door. No, Aoife did not feel remorseful: she has had to do much worse in her time and she felt that he would be better off far away from that pampered lifestyle. Her mind never wandered to the tears that the ‘birth mother’ shed. This abduction was for the good of her kind. She walked through hallways and down a few flights of stairs before opening a large door.

    A woman skipped and danced about the dining hall, the news had spread quickly throughout the castle. The woman’s hair was cherry red and very unkempt. She realized that Aoife was staring at her with the child in her hand. She ran over to them excitedly.
    “Aww he is so precious Aoife,” she said as tears began rolling down her pale cheeks, “You did an amazing job. I’ll make him a chubby little boy.”
    “Melia please give him the milk,” Aoife said tiredly.

    Melia stuck out her tongue playfully, revealing that it was a rainbow of changing colors. Aoife gingerly handed the Nicholas over to the wild chef. Melia made a few hand gestures and a bottle appeared in her hands. The milk within the bottle sparkled and shimmered. Melia shook the bottle and watched as the milk changed colors violently. This sight seemed to scare the child and he began to cry.

    He of course, could not comprehend what had just taken place but what he what he did understand was that it wasn’t the sweet goat’s milk he was fed earlier. She smiled and then rather eagerly shoved the bottle into the boy’s mouth. Aoife’s mouth dropped. Nicholas enjoyed the milk his cheeks glowed and the rest of his skin dimly twinkling.

    Melia made sure that every drop of precious liquid was consumed.
    “The poor mother will never get to see him grow up. How sad,” Melia said sadly.
    “Don’t feel sorry. The life of our entire race rests upon this child’s shoulders. A child of his age won’t remember such things.”

    Melia nodded, deeply thinking of what Aoife has just said.
    “You think he’ll fit in?” Melia asked Aoife as she handed back the child.
    “Of course, in fact I was on my way to the nursery”, Aoife she said a smile spreading across her face.
    “I’m glad the past fifteen years hasn’t changed you Aoife,” Melia said as Aoife began to exit the kitchen.
    “Goodbye little Santa Clause,” the cook said as a tear rolled down her face.

    She skipped about the kitchen merrily. She suddenly remembered the task she had been given. She made a few hand gestures and the hall was filled with fireflies, rare in their part of the world. She made a couple more hand gestures and the hall was enshrouded in darkness. The table began to glow vibrantly. It was just the affect she desired. A little blood ran down her nose, which she wiped absently upon her sleeve.

    Aoife walked down a hallway and up a flight of stairs, muttering to herself loudly. When she reached the top of the stairs she proceeded to walk through another hallway. A door covered in different colors of bright paint stood at the far end of the hallway. She opened the door revealing a large room filled with children. Snow fell into the room even though there were no holes in the ceiling.

    “Nero! Stop pulling on Urd’s hair this instant! I’ve told you time and time again to stop harassing her.” These words came from a young woman with a long black braided ponytail.
    The young woman made a few hand gestures and the boy’s hand shot into his mouth.
    “Close enough,” she said in a dismissive tone. The boy began to show his hand to his friends. Aoife put Nicholas on the floor. “They need me to help with the feast”, Aoife said hurrying out of the room the room and dodging a few snowballs on the way.

    "Now what to do with you”, the lady said smiling happily at him.
    “So help me if you don’t get OFF that boy’s back”, she yelled. A group of children ran from the scene as a little boy lay on the floor whimpering and crying.
    Her look of anger dissipated as she turned to Nicholas.

    She poked his stomach, “Hmmm,” she said to herself. She put the child down with a group of infants. She stood there in thought for a moment then she smiled and nodded.
    “Perfect, Nicholas meet little Aeron,” she put the small baby next to Nicholas giggled and walked away reprimanding another group of children.
    A little girl walked up to Nicholas while she picked her nose.

    “Whatcha’ name?” she asked the child loudly.
    Nicholas stared blankly at her; she smiled and began to play with his toes. She quickly lost interest and joined a group of girls who were playing with a small artic fox.
    Aeron burped and sparkles sprayed from his mouth, the boys began to laugh together.
    A few minutes had passed and Aoife entered the room calmly.
    “It is ready. Bring the children you will be seated at the twenty third table.”

    She suddenly seemed to be in a rush.
    The woman nodded. “I need a few people to help with the infants.”
    Aoife was already out the door, nodding and muttering things under her breath.
    “I swear that woman works too much and too hard,” the lady said loudly. She turned and gave the children a fake smile.

    “Okay, everyone line up!”
    “Why are we lining up?” asked a small girl wearing spectacles.
    “It is time for the feast of the Santa Clause.”
    “What’s that”, the same girl asked quickly. The lady gave the girl an annoyed look. A small torn sheet of paper appeared in her hand. She began to read names off of the torn sheet. There seemed to be more names than the paper could allow.

    A few minutes passed with no sign of the help Aoife had promised. The woman could no longer wait: the children were getting restless and they were already hard to deal with. She raised both hands level to her face, she then began to mutter things under her breath.

    A bright cloud surrounded the infants, most giggled. The lady coughed raggedly, a small amount of blood trickling from her mouth. The cloud lifted and the babies had appeared atop a table in between platters filled with food.
    Aoife turned and quickly began scooping the babies up and putting them in awkwardly shaped chairs.
    “I can not believe such a thing slipped my mind,” she said to herself.

    She picked up wooden bowls and put one in front of each child. She filled up each bowl with a blue gelatinous substance. Nicholas stared at the bowl. It seemed to be pudding, which he was served yesterday. He raised his hand ready to play in the bowl but a soft voice interrupted him.

    “Open wide sweet lump. Here comes the kettle.” Steam emitted from the handle of the spoon. It began to slowly circle around Nicholas’s head; the child could feel the warmth of the steam upon his face. He giggled and the spoon entered his mouth.

    It had a strange taste. The spoon began to speak again, “Not what you’re used to is it, sweet lump?” Nicholas did not understand what the spoon was saying. He simply continued to eat the food.
    More elves began to file into the hall and with them came an annoyed lady with a long black braided ponytail and a line of children. Aoife ran to her, apologizing profusely. The lady smiled, expressing that all was forgiven.

    Nicholas seemed amazed by the extraordinary images that passed before him. A large door opened allowing more creatures to enter, including large beasts with antlers growing from their head. The creatures spoke loudly as they spread throughout the hall.

    The elves began to eat merrily. They spoke of their hopes for the future. They ate their fill. At the end of the feast a beautiful lady approached the platform that stood in the middle of the hall. She stood atop the platform, seen by all the creatures that inhabited the hall. She began to sing in a booming and clear voice.

    “In years of darkness long ago an elvin girl did cry
    I can’t believe that long ago that elvin girl was I
    I cry no more ‘cause among us a little boy does rest
    He’ll spread our magic far and wide just using Clause’s crest
    A story told me from birth and now I tell to all
    I really pray you listen well
    I pray you hear my call

    We believe in a world filled with magic
    This boy can make it true
    Would it not be quite tragic
    If it ends with me and you?
    So come and help me raise this child
    Give this life a fighting chance
    Our magic will spread far and wide
    Our lives he will enhance
    Our lives he will enhance!”

    The creatures began to dance about the hall. The elderly remained seated already discussing clean up. The door opened and the children swarmed out rolling about in the snow while still chewing food. Cheerful music began to play. Aoife approached one of the antlered creatures. Four children rested upon its back.

    “Lady Aoife your daughter has an amazing voce,” the large creature said loudly.
    “Thank you Cuthbert.”
    “No thanks are necessary,” he said happily. A normal person would have thought the creature was yelling at her.
    “What would you like me to do with the children,” Aoife asked hesitantly

    “Just leave them with me I shall watch them carefully,” Cuthbert said slowly. Aoife wrapped her arms around the creature’s thick neck. He kneeled before her almost dropping the four children. She quickly shook her head to signal there was no need to kneel. She knew how short tempered the creatures were. They both walked outside and joined in the merriment.
    The fireflies continued to float about the room restlessly. Melia looked up smiling.
    “You guys did a stunning job tonight.” She made a few hand gestures and the ceiling disappeared. The fireflies then dispersed into the darkening sky. The cook smiled and walked outside to join her friends and family.
    Aoife sat down and began to sing softly to a group of gathering children.

    “Sleep today
    Sleep tomorrow
    Sleep, Sleep
    Wash away the sorrow.”

    Nicholas stared into her eyes. The woman who gave birth to him had already left his mind. As sleep gripped his physical and mental being, he closed his eyes and he slept.



  2. #2
    Frank Baron
    Guest

    Re: Looking for Constructive Critisim

    I only read the first 20 percent or so, but I enjoyed it. Very funny.

  3. #3
    Holly Invisible
    Guest

    Re: Looking for Constructive Critisim

    I would keep going with this, the plot is very interesting. The only thing that I would recommend is reading some of your dialogue out loud, you are missing some puntuation so it sounds a bit run on. Other than that, I loved it, good luck!

  4. #4
    Sam Fletcher
    Guest

    Re: Looking for Constructive Critisim

    Hi, B. B.

    Good luck on getting published, but you to need to grow a little bit in your craft before you're ready. This is pretty well written for 15 but you're going to be competing against other writers who are much older and much more practiced in writing.

    First, I didn't read the entire thing. There isn't any point in posting thousands of words when the writers here are only going to comment on the first 1,000 anyway.

    The only problem I'm going to address now is that the story takes a long time to begin. One of the most important parts of a book is the opening sentence. If the first sentence doesn't grip the reader then they may not even bother reading the next sentence. As a writer you have exactly one sentence to convince them they should bother reading on.

    You use the first four paragraphs to set the scene. There's a beautiful woman and she's thinking about a crib and she knows some sort of language that is no longer used by modern humans. (Oh, hummmm.....) Sorry about the yawn, but all of this is a lot of words that don't go anywhere. Instead, jump right into the action with the birth itself. I would do something like this. I'm not sure that you gave the lady a name so I'm going to name her.

    "Not yet! Not yet!" Alexandra moaned. The baby was coming too soon. She lurched to the right, bruising her shoulder against the wall. "Monette, I need you." The words came out as only a whisper. She tried again, louder, "Monette. Monette. The baby is coming now."

    There will be time to establish who this is and why there's baby later on. Jump into the action first, grab the readers attention and then set the stage several paragraphs later.

  5. #5
    rock doctor
    Guest

    Re: Looking for Constructive Critisim

    Hi B.B.!

    First off, way to stick your neck out and look for advice and/or criticism. I honestly read only a portion of what you posted, however, one word stuck out. You use "she" at the beginning of many a sentence. One paragraph, I believe, composed of 4-5 sentences each began with 'she'. Vary your sentence structure a bit, while adhering to rules of grammar such as verb agreement and what not. The more you re-write and play with your sentences, the more active your voice will become in your writing. At least that has been my experience.

    cheers~ RD

  6. #6
    Battle Angel
    Guest

    Re: Looking for Constructive Critisim

    I actually read the whole thing. You need some work on your sentence structure but overall, I like the story. Try not to repeat words so close together.

    ex: She screamed as though she had never felt PAIN. She tried with all her might to take her mind off the PAIN. As hours passed she felt she could no longer bear the PAIN,

    And I'm hoping only the prologue is in this point of view.

    Good luck.

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