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  1. #1
    B. B Wright

    Looking for Constructive Critisim (shortened)

    This is the first few pages of my 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). Be as honest as you want...


    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.

  2. #2
    Rogue Mutt

    Re: Looking for Constructive Critisim (shortened)

    Let me guess, the kid grows up to be the Chosen One and destroy the bad guys.

  3. #3
    B. B Wright

    Re: Looking for Constructive Critisim (shortened)


  4. #4
    B. B Wright

    Re: Looking for Constructive Critisim (shortened)

    The rest of the book has actually very little to do with Nicholas. If you read the longer version of this you would understand that has nothing to do with destroying "the bad guys"

  5. #5
    Rogue Mutt

    Re: Looking for Constructive Critisim (shortened)

    Then why is there a prologue about him if the rest of the book has little to do with him? Get to your story straight away.

  6. #6
    Gopher Gold

    Re: Looking for Constructive Critisim (shortened)

    As I was reading the first paragraph I kept thinking something was going to happen, but it didn't until some time after the baby was born. I understand you want to build a vision of the woman's contented life, but introductions need some immediate tension that hooks the reader.
    I liked your very first sentence. "Pale" and "Amazingly beautiful" mix both positive and negative. But you lose my interest after that until the baby is born. The whole labor incident is unneccessary because it's very ordinary. There has to be a conflict to carry the reader. I would suggest starting with the disappearance of the body and then subtly weaving in the backstory.

  7. #7
    Gopher Gold

    Re: Looking for Constructive Critisim (shortened)

    Excuse me, "disappearance of the boy" not body

  8. #8
    Cathy C

    Re: Looking for Constructive Critisim (shortened)

    A pale and amazingly beautiful woman walked through a hallway. Her waist length golden hair bounced slightly as she walked.

    I will tell you that third omniscient (which this passage says the book is) is a tough sell in fantasy--and it has to be fantasy because of the setting and the implied magic. While it seems like it would be easier to get inside the motivations of characters using omniscient, it's actually harder because you're looking at too many viewpoints all at once--with none of them giving the depth of emotion the reader craves. Just in this one bit, we have POVs from the wife, the husband, the nurse, servant #1, servant #2, Sigebert, and possibly a few I missed. This gives the overall piece a "synopsis" quality of read that you're probably not looking for. It reads much like one of the Lemony Snicket books. Yes, they're popular, but because they were such an oddity in the industry. It's not very common, whether in YA or adult novels.

    Of course, I might be presuming... IS this a YA or adult novel? Or is it meant as a Middle Grade book (for ages 8-11)? It might be okay for Middle Grade.

  9. #9
    Todd Ritter

    Re: Looking for Constructive Critisim (shortened)

    Here's some advice that has nothing to do with your writing: Do not set a goal to get published by a certain age. It will only lead to disappoinment. For example, getting published by age 18 is practically impossible. Instead, read as much as you can, learn as much as you can and experience as much as you can. Then write the best novel you can, without the pressure of an age-related deadline.

  10. #10
    Brandon Cleveland

    Re: Looking for Constructive Critisim (shortened)

    - you would benefit from understanding the use of semicolons
    - watch the adverbs
    - watch overuse of words ("she" comes to mind)
    - and by "finished" with it, i hope you mean the first draft

    if you don't mind me asking, how many words is your MS?

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