Young Writers Society

Home » Literary works » Novel / Chapter » Fantasy

E - Everyone

Wool of the Prince-- Prologue and Chapter 1

by fortis


Prologue-- 1504 words

The crescent moon outlined a shabby tavern in silver. A warm glow from the fires within peeked under the doors, welcoming tired travelers to partake in its heat. The smell of strong drinks and rich potato-based dishes ignited the hunger inside all passers-by.The sound of hushed conversations and the crackling of the fire filled the air, and on a tattered blanket in the back room a lay an old man. At first glance, one might have believed him to be asleep, but his twitching features suggested otherwise. He was listening to the words being whispered in the front of the tavern.

“Did you hear about the Vonrut royals?” One deep voice had started, with a clink that sounded like a glass being set on a table.

“Yeah didn’t they all just vacate Castle Gozgarden?” another voice hissed.

“I heard they were expelled by a vengeful enchantress,” said the deep voice, “and they were all cursed.”

“Really?” The voice was incredulous.

“Well, we know is that the castle is empty and there have been no sightings of the family anywhere.”

“How peculiar. Do you think they just ran away?”

“I don’t know what happened. We’ll just have to keep watching.” For a while all was quiet but the occasional splash of a drink in a glass.

“What are they going to do for the government in Vonrut?” the second voice asked.

“It’s been a dead province for quite a while. I should think that nothing would really change. It’s hard to believe they even noticed. It’s not like the royals do anything but bicker over there anyway.” The man with the deep voice cleared his throat, and the scraping of a chair signaled he was leaving.

The man on the blanket heaved a sigh and rolled over to face the flickering fire on the other side of the room. The next morning the tavern-keep found footprints leading out the back door, and two gold nubbins lying side by side on the fireplace.

Chapter 1

One more run. That was the thought that was pounding through Jason’s head as he closed the gap to the finish line. A camera flashed. Mom.

Why did she always have to take a picture of him at every race he ran, and lost? Jason checked his coach’s standings sheet: thirty second out of forty racers. Jason felt bile creeping up his throat.

“This wasn’t your best effort, Jason,” his coach said.

Tell that to my legs! Jason wanted to scream, but didn’t. Instead he collapsed by a tree. Jason watched people pass by, going to the water station, or the bathrooms. Jason felt a jab in his shoulder, and he turned to face the smirking face of Jack Bolson.

“Nice time, champ. What, you only got an 6 minutes worse than everyone else this time? Heh. Loser.” Jack kicked him in the side and disappeared around the back of the tree, guffawing.

One more run.

Jason spotted his mother coming towards him. “Mom,” he yelled, “I’m gonna take the train home, kay? It’s a new team tradition!”

His mother nodded and turned back to the parking lot. As soon as he couldn't see her car, Jason sprinted towards the train station.

"You run fast now, why not in the race, idiot?" Jack called after him.

One more run. But this time I'm running away from this, not to it.

Jason flashed his train ticket to the conductor. His plan was to go as far as it would take him, and then wing it from there. Maybe he could get a job somewhere, and pay for an apartment with someone else down on their luck. Like anyone would take a homeless sixteen-year-old. Jason shut down that path of thinking before he did something stupid like throwing himself in front of the train at the next stop. He would just see what was going to happen at the last stop, wherever the heck that was. Jason sank into the train seats, soft from many travels with people wearing them down.He tried to take his mind off of these worries. Lulled by the gentle motion and the subtle blue reflection of the sky on the metal surfaces of the train, Jason fell asleep.

He awoke to the mustachioed conductor grabbing his shirt and dragging him out the nearest exit.

“Hey! What do you think you’re doing!” Jason shouted.

“End of the line kid! Get out!” the conductor roared.

“I’m going to report your train for this,” muttered Jason.

The conductor responded by tossing Jason out of the train into a frigid ocean. By the time Jason surfaced, floundering and spluttering, the train was already puffing back to stop number one. The strange thing was that the tracks appeared to be floating on the water, which extended as far as he could see in that direction. In the other direction, Jason could see a rocky beach with high bluffs. He hesitated a moment before setting out for the imposing cliffs. He was unwilling to go a direction that even resembled home.

It was a long, hard swim to the shore, despite it's short distance away. He was already tired out from the race. He arrived there only slightly cut up and only partially unclothed—he had left his shoes and shirt somewhere in the churning waves. He lied on the shore, panting and shivering. Jason was unsure as to how long he had been face-down in the sand before he heard the whistling coming from down the beach. He lifted his head, and the sand that had been clinging to his forehead trickled off. The man in the distance was just a hazy shadow to Jason’s eyes, blurry from the salt and sand. As he came closer, his whistling broke into singing.

“They call me Shaed, the man in the mist,

who has every soul written down on a list.

They call me Ka-Reb the man from the stars,

who sings oh so wide, and travel so far.

They call me The Ley, the man from the deep,

but I’m just a simple herder of sheep!”

The jolly melody came lilting over the shore. As the man came closer, Jason could make out the filthy woolen blankets and worn robe he wore. His long gray beard wobbled as he sang, and his hair was disheveled and unwashed. The man’s feet stopped right before Jason’s head. Jason squinted up against the blazing sun at the man who was peering down at him.

“You are no ewe,” the man chuckled, “if no ewe be you, who are you?”

“Huh?”

“Quite a little peep from one who’s not a sheep. Get up boy, and tell me your name.”

“I’m Jason,” he said, struggling to stand.

“Say! Say! His name is Jay!” The man tottered around, laughing.

“Jay... I like that... But who are you? And where am I? And how did I get here?”

The man chuckled, “Many questions he asks. Very well. I am who you make me, you are where you think you’re not, and as for the last, I’ve no idea.”

“You are what I make you?”

“Aye. I am but a shepherd. You may call me what you wish.”

“Kay then, Mr. Shepherd, I’ll call you Shep. But really, where am I? Last thing I know, some train conductor tossed me into the ocean. But there shouldn't have been railroad tracks out there.” Jay brushed some sand off of him.

“Well I think he just answered his own question, didn’t he?” Shep said to something behind him. “As for the middle question,” he turned back to Jay, who had been leaning, trying to see what was behind the shepherd, “We are in the grand land known only as Trevon. To be more specific, we are on a southern coastline of said land, in a province known as Troy.” The shepherd seemed to notice that Jay was shirtless, and turning a slight shade of blue. He pulled a woolen blanket off of the many that were around his shoulders and handed it to Jay who accepted it gratefully.

“I’ve never heard of… Trevon. Or Troy. Well, I think they mentioned a Troy in my history class or something…” Jay pulled the blanket tighter around him and was surprised how warm it was, and even more surprised at the fact that it wasn't filthy.

“And I have never heard of a road made of rails. Or a conductor of such a place. But come. I must make haste to the nearest town which is in…” he paused and looked around. He pointed the way he had been heading, “that direction. You may tag along if you wish, but try not to trip on my sheep.”

"Umm..." Jay peered at the sand surrounding Shep, seeing nothing, sheep-shaped or otherwise.

"So you cannot see them either." The shepherd seemed upset. "But it should not surprise me. So far, only I have been able to. Still, we have a room and dinner waiting for us!"


Note: You are not logged in, but you can still leave a comment or review. Before it shows up, a moderator will need to approve your comment (this is only a safeguard against spambots). Leave your email if you would like to be notified when your message is approved.







Is this a review?


  

Comments



User avatar
14 Reviews


Points: 398
Reviews: 14

Donate
Sun Jun 07, 2015 7:43 pm
raevynstar wrote a review...



I noticed a few grammatical errors ("it's", when possessive, should be "its", for one thing. And you either left out or added some words near the beginning . No offense). I'm intrigued by the story, even if I have a guess about where it might be heading. (I've been wrong about what I think will happen in a lot of novels, so maybe yours is no exception?)

Your writing style is so detailed; I almost put that with the negative things, but then I realized: It's my preference only, so why should I complain? A lot of people probably do love it.
Sorry to ramble so much. If this had a rating system, I'd give it 3 and a half stars, maybe even four stars, out of five.
I'm looking forward to reading the rest, that's for sure!




User avatar
91 Reviews


Points: 3238
Reviews: 91

Donate
Sun May 31, 2015 11:37 pm
FireBird99 wrote a review...



Hey! FireBird99 here for a review!

I saw your way later chapters in the green room and figured that instead of jumping in at the near end of the book I'd start from the beginning. I fear that I have a lot of catching up to do.

~What I liked-

So I'll start off by telling you that this was really interesting. I was enthralled to the very end and my mind didn't wander at all. In the prologue I was so happy to see that it was in the Medieval Ages because those are my favorite books. Considering your Chapter 1 jumped into the nowadays genre and then he was thrown into a different time (Or so I'm guessing) it makes me really interested in where you'll go with it.

The shepherd, I can already see him being my favorite character. Funny and a little bit on the crazy side. I better not speak too soon, he may after all have an entire army of sheep behind him. Who knows, right? That's the best thing about books. You can go anywhere with them.

I like how Jason already has a flaw in the first chapter. A lot of books make their characters too perfect. Its good to show weaknesses. *Thumbs up*

Your dialogue and description was fine and I have a feeling that all of the mistakes in this piece have already been said. You have a whole lot of reviewers and lots of good ones at that!

Alrighty, I think that is it.

Keep up the good writing!

~Fire




User avatar
15 Reviews


Points: 1450
Reviews: 15

Donate
Tue May 26, 2015 12:47 am
Guardian wrote a review...



Hey! Guardian here!

Sorry if I say anything incorrect, or somehow my reviewing skills are flawed... I'm really new to this.

I already read your prologue, and I absolutely loved it. Chapter One was even better, and I'm assuming it just gets even better from here...

So one thing that I noticed, was that one of the sentences in the start of the chapter didn't exactly make sense. Here it is:

" 'Well, we know is that the castle is empty and there have been no sightings of the family anywhere' ".

When I first read this sentence, it didn't exactly make any sense. I had to read it over and over again. At first, I thought that you may have accidentally scrambled the letters, but my guess was wrong. I figured out that you were actually missing a word. That word would be "all", and it should come right before "we know". That should fix this sentence.

Again, I am new to this, and please feel free to shout at me if I have erred. So, if this sentence was written exactly the way you wanted it to be written, then just let me know, and leave it be.

Anyways, I absolutely love the story so far. I thought the way you wrote the chapter one as a flashback that follows the prologue's current events was extremely clever. I'm serious! It's been a while since I've seen that. Great job!

Keep it up, and I hope to be reading more of your works soon...

-Guardian




Widdershins says...


What you already read was actually the epilogue XD
This here is both the prologue and chapter one, and the prologue isn't current events, it actually happens a few years before chapter one. Obviously the Epilogue happens later. :)



Guardian says...


Ah, that makes a lot more sense now!



User avatar
128 Reviews


Points: 1204
Reviews: 128

Donate
Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:16 pm
fantasydragon01 wrote a review...



It is not a bad beginning. It is very interesting. The prologue was mysterious, but I suppose that you have to read further to find out what it means. I do not know if the setting of chapter 1, which is about Jason running, takes place in our world or in some fictional place. This story would make a good fantasy suspense novel. I would recommend this to boys, especially. I think they would enjoy this.
I liked the poem that Shep recited. It was very cool. The only thing is that "stars" and "far" do not really rhyme. Other than that, it is all good.
I am serious. If only the world saw these talented people and accepted them. *sigh*. These stories and treasures, instead of the garbage we have in bookstores. Writing is awesome. Writing is the king!!!!!!! :D I love writing to the very depths of my soul!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Good luck and keep writing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Never give up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Very truly yours,
fantasydragon01




User avatar
21 Reviews


Points: 2954
Reviews: 21

Donate
Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:51 pm
View Likes
Clickduncake wrote a review...



Hello Widdershins! Clickdun here :3 Let's talk about your story...

Okay, this is a bit of a bumpy beginning. The first review I did for Wool of the Prince was on the forty-fourth chapter and it seemed a lot more, grounded. I do get the sheep thing now, so that's something to look forward to. We'll get why this is a bumpy beginning out of the way later, but let's start with nitpicks.

What, you only got an 6 minutes worse
An is us incorrectly here dearie. Try just a plain old A on for size.

-by.The
There's a space between the period and the, well, the there hon. It's a tiny problem but it itches like the chicken-pox. That was a baaaaaddd metaphor.

down.He
Another mistake in the same vein as the previous one. Period, space, word. Never deviate from that aforementioned simplistic little rule.

What do you think you’re doing!
This is going to end with a question mark lass. Not an exclamation point. If you wish you can try the good old fashioned ?! there as well.

Okay, that's enough of the nitpicks. Let's talk about the story.
As I said it's sloppily put together. It looks like a little kid tried to write a book but forgot all of the essential parts to a good narrative, which I know you haven't as I read 44! That was an excellent chapter! One problem lies in the fact that the prologue seems forced. It doesn't have any character, and feels like the 1960-80's fantasy prologues.
"Hey, reader this is my world and how it works. This is probably the most boring thing you'll read through, but that's okay. In a time before elves there was war and the war was really bad and it shaped the world of T'tash'kar into what it is now and blah blah blah." Fantasy as a genre has notably moved a lot since then, the prologues give us a good idea of what the story feels like, not necessarily directly intertwining with the story.
The prologue of Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson gives us a piece of who Kelsier is as a character.
The prologue of Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss shows us the style of the prose and the tone of the book.
We get none of that in your prologue, all we get is the weakly put together infodump on the world or plot. Whatever it is.
That brings up another point, which is the fact that I don't care what is happening to the characters in the prologue.
Another rule of the matter is that no character in any story should go without sufficient buildup. Try to give the blanket-guy a conflict, a point of being there. Is he spying on them because Bad-Guy McEvildude is holding his kids hostage? That would give you a good setup.

And that brings us to chapter one. Yay.
Chapter one has the same problems as the last, and it just adds on to it. You see, I don't care about Jason. He reacts so melodramatically to losing a race that it's almost tear inducing.
"But Clickdun!" You say, "That's not the reason, he is the chosen one of T'tash'kar and is having dreams that say so!"
Well, you should say that next time.

Overall, I didn't really like this bit, but I will carry on because chapter forty-four was awesome I love that chapter so much.

Hopefully this helped!
Write on!
~ Lord Clickdun ~




Widdershins says...


Thanks for your review! I really should edit my first chapter-- even though I was going to hold off most editing till the end-- just so I can start off well when people start to review.
To be honest, I had no idea what I was doing when I started writing this novel, so get ready to endure chapters comparable in quality to this one for a while (if you intend to continue, of course). I will definitely think about build-up when I edit this chapter, because you're right.

Although, Jay is not "the chosen one" (I hate that trope), I still need him to be interesting.

Thanks again for your review ^-^
(I love TNotW!)



User avatar
396 Reviews


Points: 27
Reviews: 396

Donate
Sat Dec 20, 2014 9:52 pm
View Likes
Pompadour wrote a review...



Hola, Fort! I saw chapter 38 of your novel skulking around the Green Room and thought I'd stop by to review it as promised. But being the amazingly nice person I am, I decided to start at the beginning. Also because I owe you oh-so-many reviews in return for the ones you leave for me. [I've skimmed through previous reviews but haven't read them thoroughly, so apologies if I reiterate what previous reviewers have already said.]

Prologue

Right-o, so I have a couple of nitpicks for you. First, though, I'd like to talk generally about the prologue. I usually play the I-am-Switzerland card when it comes to prologues; I neither like nor dislike them, and if they're good then I do enjoy them. For me, prologues act as a hook when the first chapter is devoid of any hook-like, pincer characteristics; take Rothfuss' Name of the Wind as an example. ;) One thing that kind of slowed me down while reading the prologue was the fact that it was all very passive and didn't seem to know where it belonged. The sentence length didn't vary much, which caused the opening to be ever-so-slightly monotonous. I love the fact that you started out with setting, I really do, and I really adore some of the descriptions you've pinned down for us to admire. The real problem, I guess, is that although the scene is lovely and vivid, we have nothing to connect ourselves to. I can't feel the scene. Reading is as much feeling as it is inhaling words--which means it's pretty important.

Lemme break this up a little to let you know what I, as a reader, want. (Take my ramblings with a huge grain of salt, okay?)

1] You've given us the details. It's nighttime. There is a tavern. There are people. There is a man; we can assume he is important because you zoom in and out on him as you take us through the dialogue. But I don't feel anything towards the man at all. I don't know what he thinks about the conversation the two men are having. Also, I don't know whether to categorize the prologue into third person limited or third person omniscient perspective. It's kind of caught in between and that confuses me. My mind also sought a pattern in your prologue-ing, and I noticed that you shifted from narrative to scene to dialogue to narrative all in order. The dialogue was info-heavy and I didn't take much of it in, to be honest. XD

So mix it up. Fuse dialogue with narrative. Give us something to attach ourselves to. You already have the instrument for this: the man. I want to see his reaction to the mention of the Vonrut Royals--what does he think of them? Instead of spewing all the information out via the two conversation-holders, give us an insight into the man's mind. Like, when the conversation started, I felt like the man might be twisting around slightly in his rag-bed, or shifting so he could eavesdrop better, y'know? Another thing: while you were pretty clear on who was speaking when, I think the reader could get a clearer image if you mentioned slight raisings and droppings of the voice/the speaker's voice trembling/other details that the eavesdropper would pay close attention to. Not that I have any experience when it comes to eavesdropping, but uhm....

2) That beginning. It iz pretty ... but it still needs work. Like I said before, there's not much variation in the clauses. The article repetition isn't bad, but the sentences sound sluggish because the subjects and the predicates are placed in almost the same places.

So far, the ailment. Here's the cure: Switch up the descriptions. I'd suggest keeping the first sentence as it is, but switching the second and third sentences with one another. Also, in the third sentence:

The smell of strong drinks and rich potato-based dishes ignited the hunger inside all passers-by.


Make the passersby the subject of this sentence. It renders the passiveness less passive, I think? But more than that, it gives us something to cling to. It's a ... a LIFE FORCE. XD You could talk about how passersby inhaled the smells of strong drinks/potato-based dishes as they walked by, or how they could feel the hunger curling in their stomachs? I dunno. Completely depends on how you want to take this, but somehow I think that people are more likely to attach themselves to people than potatoes.

~ Right, so if I'm honest here, I do think the prologue was a tad unnecessary. It's okay; everybody does it, but if you're going to keep this scene (which you totally should and reinsert this somewhere in the novel when you edit or whatevs), I would suggest focussing more on the characters then merely handing out information to the reader. Build it up; take it slowly. I'm writing this review after reading through the chapter once ... and I have a feeling that the eavesdropper and Shep are one and the same. amirightamiright?

Also, I like the word 'nubbins.' It sounds lovely.

Chapter 1

Ooh, so this is going to be a mesh-up of modern-day fantasy/urban fantasy and kind of sort of high fantasy, isn't it? I approve of this greatly. I'm going to reiterate what I said for the prologue: You really need to build this up a little slower. I'm not saying slow is good, but you've got to give the reader time to find their feet. I'd really like some more character development, too, but that might be because I'm a sucker for character dev. (Once again, take with a pinch of salt and pepper.) I also felt like the scene was kind of floating in mid-air because it wasn't that well-grounded; that's also okay, but I'd like to build some more connections with the scene/Jay's physical condition/thoughts/emotions, and so on and so forth. The first chapter of a novel is, in essence, to me a finding of these connections. The rest of the novel weaves these connections together to form a story.

One more run. That was the thought that was pounding through Jason’s head as he closed the gap to the finish line.


That second sentence is a no-can-do. Actually, it's not a no-can-do in its entirety, but the way it begins gives me bad memories. It reads a bit awkwardly, too, so I'd suggest you tweak it slightly to read like this: 'One more run. The thought pounded through Jason's head as he closed the gap to the finish line.' This totes depends on you, o' course.

Jason checked his coach’s standings sheet: thirty second out of forty racers. Jason felt bile creeping up his throat.


~ Suggestion: Replace the second 'Jason' with 'he.'

~ I'd like a little bit more scene here. I want to be a part of this. I've seen your poetry; it's amazing, and while prose is very different from poetry in the fact that it does not allow nearly as much freedom, you can play with imagery pretty much ehvurrywhere. So. I want to hear Jason panting, I want to feel the ground beneath his feet as he runs, see him interact with his surroundings in those little ways.

Jason sank into the train seats, soft from many travels with people wearing them down.He tried to take his mind off of these worries.


I got two nitpicks here:

1] In the first sentence, we observe the not-so-blatant but threatening dangling modifier. Is Jason soft from many travels with people wearing him down? I zink not.

2] There should be a space between 'down.' and 'He.' You know thisss. XD

“Hey! What do you think you’re doing!” Jason shouted.

“End of the line kid! Get out!” the conductor roared.

“I’m going to report your train for this,” muttered Jason.


~ One thing to remember: 'said' is your best fwiend. The dialogue tags here look a bit rigid, thus rendering the interaction a bit artificial--which it is not. I'd suggest getting rid of the first dialogue tag, i.e.: 'Jason shouted' and keeping the 'muttered' and 'roared.' Also (and this is just me but), I'd suggest you switch over the last dialogue tag to read as: 'Jason muttered.' I dunno why, it just ticks me off for some reason. Bear with me? <3

~ Ooh, so is the train magical? I'm kind of worried that Jason is still sleepy, though, because while we were told that he was thrown into cold water and the train seemed to be floating on the surface of the sea/ocean/thingy ... I dunno, I wondered why he didn't gape at it longer. I also thought being tossed into the wild, 'ere your clothes shall be soake'd sea would elicit more of a reaction from Jacob.

Besides that, mrm, if Jacob can swim, I want to feel what he feels, too. I am no Freud, but I am reader and I want to know if he is shivering while he swims, if his arms ache (combined with his aching legs from the race), if his throat is dry, his senses muddled.... Also, the accumulation of lactic acid is not nice and it is your duty, I say, as the author, to inform us of this reality or be banished to the kingdom of the lost! Actually just kidding, readers don't have that much power.

He lied on the shore, panting and shivering.


~ 'Lied' should be 'lay', seeing as lay is the past tense of 'lied'. Take a look-see at this.

I love Shep, just so you know. He's so very likeable. I feel like the interaction was fast, but it wasn't as fast as the rest of the chapter. Pace is something that you can settle down into as you write, though, so don't fret. I've grown attached to Shep in this first chapter, so don't you have any ideas about hurting him neither. Jay could use some development, which I hope to see in future chapters!

You have a nice writing style; it's inviting and not scary. Like a friendly ... sheep. Yes, I'm running out of things to allude to. It's three in the morning, my eyes are watering, and I think I should go sleep. But I liked what I've read so far, and I'll get to the second chapter soon! ^^

I hope this helped~ :D Pester me if you need anything/have any questions.

~Pomp




fortis says...


Whoo, man, the further I get away from Prologue and Chapter 1, the worse they look :P
Thank you sooo much for this review! It was very helpful. ^-^

(it gets better, I promise D:)



User avatar
129 Reviews


Points: 222
Reviews: 129

Donate
Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:32 am
Monsters wrote a review...



hello fortis, I was going to start on chapter 34 but that would have been a disastrous review. Another thing, I don't usually review short stories or novels because I can't write them well nor have I tried that many. I'll just do my best and give you my honest impression as a reader (yes I use to read alot).

The prologue is ugly. All it contains is drawn out background information that seemed to have little point to it. I kinda think that the meaning of the prologue back in the day was to get our attention before the first painful chapters of background information. Instead it was more painful for a plethora of reasons. To list a few of them; the characters where nobody's, the scene was completely unemotional, the words did not ring, and the dang thing was just drawn out to the point where you could have said the same thing in two sentences. Usually, this is okay to make something longer but only when the scene is real, fun or interesting and this scene is not any of that criteria.

In the chapter you gave us the bare-bones of the story-line. You neglected the main characters personality, the scenery of the train (and everything really), the fear or excitement of the character as he is forced into a different almost world-like atmosphere ect. and for these reasons it is not real or interesting to me. It's just rushed. I don't know where you are trying to get at in such a hurry but I think you should slow down. Let us come to know what it is your talking about before you move on.

This is written well, usually I tell people to start over but in this case I would recommend that you add to it, edit it heavily ect. Do what you think is best.

Thanks,
sorry if this review is written badly, it's late.




User avatar
559 Reviews


Points: 29332
Reviews: 559

Donate
Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:29 am
View Likes
Tenyo wrote a review...



Hey Fort! Happy review day! I'm going to pretend I don't already know what's going to happen next ;]

Prologue

You fell for it, didn't you. You did the prologue dump. It's okay, everybody does it.

There is that endless argument of whether or not prologues should be included; if it's not important to the novel then why put it in there; but if it is important then it should be included in the first chapter.

I think the trap you've fallen into is to use it as a bit of an info dump. Stuff has happened and you've brought two people into a bar so that we can watch them talking about the stuff that has happened. It's a good piece! But doesn't seem to serve much purpose at this point in the novel.

Chapter One

Personally, I love train journeys as a plot device. They symbolise change- leaving one thing behind and stepping into another. They're great for introspection too.

Things happen quite fast here. When your reader isn't expecting something to happen then sometimes you need more of a build up to it. Waking up to be tossed out of a train and into an ocean made me have to step back and re-read just in case I had missed something. A build up can give a better effect to the shock as well.

Other than that this is a great start, just buff it out a bit more. I can't wait to find out more about Jay and Shep and see how their relationship evolves.




User avatar
1007 Reviews


Points: 13831
Reviews: 1007

Donate
Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:57 pm
View Likes
TimmyJake wrote a review...



So yeah, I am here. <.<

I was going to review your other chapters, the ones that I saw recently posted, but I didn't want to be flying blind through your book, and hey!. I have already adopted BlueAfrica's novel, so why not one more?

I hearby place the Timmy stamp on this, and claim it as my territory. Whosoever touches my review spot will burnnnn. xD

Well, now that its over with, I may begin!

This was a very good prologue, and an amazing first chapter, which I think set a very nice beginning piece for your book. It didn't start off slowly, like a train picking up speed, but more like a car. There wasn't much time for a character introduction, but rather we must learn your character as we journey through the book with him. I like that much more better. It keeps your story exciting, and my eyes riveted to the page. And it gives me a reason to continue on, because I am excited and curious as to what happens next, instead of just thinking, Oh, just more planning. So I love your pacing in this book. So far, it is just too perfect. <3

Your prologue seems to clash with your first chapter somewhat, but I think it will learn the reason why in the future chapters. I mean, everything will make sense as I continue on in the book, but right now I am very curious as to what is going to happen, and why this past-scene in a tavern would be relevant to the story of a teenager.


and the crackling of the fire filled the air, and on a tattered blanket in the back room a lay an old man


Okay, this sentence seemed scatter-brained because you are describing two things that are very different. I think you should end your sentence after "air" and begin a new paragraph for the old man and his thinking. That way, everything flows smoothly through.

tavern-keep found footprints leading


"tavern keep" or "tavern keeper"? Not sure if that was a typo or intended.

That was the thought that was pounding through Jason’s head


Two nitpicks in this sentence. First: you have two "that" close together, and that installs redundancy. I would suggest removing one of them. Second: "was pounding" is the passive voice. "pounded" is the active voice, and works better.

Okay, so my last nitpick isn't really a nitpick, but more like a stylistic preference. When he jumped on the train, deciding to head away from town, there wasn't really an internal struggle. Not at all. It was just a narrative of him jumping onto a train, and heading out... But no internal though, no struggle between him leaving and him staying, and we didn't actually know the reason why. At least, I didn't. I think if you added a few paragraphs beforehand, where he considers his reasoning, it would help the plot a lot.

That is all I have for this piece, Fortis! I loved the pacing, style, and the descriptions... They were just so perfect. I could see everything so well while I read. So far that seems to be your strongest point, although dialogue is awesome too... And so is characterization and internal thought.

I will keep going.
~Darth Timmyjake




User avatar
331 Reviews


Points: 10565
Reviews: 331

Donate
Mon Jul 14, 2014 2:26 am
View Likes
Blackwood wrote a review...



If I'm going to read this I might as well review, even thought its so old. I'm always happy to get reviews no matter how old my things are, so hopefully you will feel the same.
I'll begin by pointing out things as I go, so I don't forget them later, then do an overview of the chapter at the end.
Starting with this, I found rather funny (In a bad way)

rich potato-based dishes

That is a really strange way to put it, and it naturally interrupted my reading by saying "based dishes" You can literally have the exact same effect by simply naming a dish such as "Rich potato stew" or potato bread or something, just saying 'based dishes' is very jarring to me.

The sound of hushed conversations and the crackling of the fire filled the air, and on a tattered blanket in the back room a lay an old man.
The only issue I had with this sentence is that it's two halves are completely unrelated and there is no word to join them (Such as 'meanwhile' or something. Reading the sentence, you expect the blanket to have something to do with sounds but it doesn't. This could simply be fixed by doing this.
While the sound of hushed conversations and the crackling of the fire filled the air, and on a tattered blanket in the back room a lay an old man.


After that I surprisingly didn't come up with any irregularities that threw me off course. It was tight.

I do have a few comments on the thing overall . Firstly, prologues should normally be avoided unless completely necessary, and I felt that you could have easily avoided your prologue here. Readers usually despise getting into a rhythm and tone of things to suddenly be thrown out in chapter one, and I think in your case it is pretty easy to solve. Everything that happened in your prologue as such, including all your descriptions (If you are proud of them) could happen right after chapter one with Jason narrating them. I know that this old man and stuff may have had significance, but to be honest, I can't see how it could really be much of an impact upon not talking about a shivering old man and instead having Jason overhear about the royals but dismiss it or something. I think that sacrificing this would be a step forward on the whole, as it would get rid of a pesky prologue, which more often than you may think, readers skip anyway, especially the younger lot.

Another thing I noticed in chapter one was Jason in a race and then suddenly 'I'm going to run away from home' wow that escalated quickly. Infact, it escalated too quickly. It was just really sudden and random. Firstly, we don't know why Jason is racing at all. Also a normal mother wouldn't just nod off that without at least saying something to convince him. No kid would suddenly decide to run away just because of some dude teasing him. You don't need to explicitly say why he wanted to run away if you are going to bring it up later, but I feel like we need to be introduced with the intent that he wanted to run away just from the start, and then extend the actual act of doing it so its not so sudden.
You sort of do something like this with 'one more run' but I feel even that is too vague. The is the beginning so its not really a time to be cryptic. Maybe be more explicit. One more run and then he would run away forever. Sort of thing. I just feel its all happening too fast before the character is actually established.

I got a surprise when he was thrown into the ocean, and I love the Sheppard's rhyming. I have nothing bad to say on that and my final critique would be the final line of the chapter:
Still, we have a room and dinner waiting for us!"

It's so anti-climatic. So unconvincing. As a reader I would be much more inclined to read something that set off on something more vague. I would be much more inclined to continue if I didn't know where Jason was going, only that he was now about to go with this sheep guy. Saying a room and dinner waiting for us is not only
1. creepy. That guy is acting far too familiar.
2. Anticlimactic. "Hey guess what readers. Next chapter is an inn scene"
3. An inn scene. They are normally boring! I moan at inn scenes. By all means have one, but don't tell your readers your going to have one and give them a chance to escape.
4. It doesn't push the reader to read more. It acts as a mini conclusion. That's not how you get them rushing onto chapter 2.

Anyway, that's me done for the review. Good job overall. Sounds very interesting.




User avatar
129 Reviews


Points: 1820
Reviews: 129

Donate
Sun Apr 27, 2014 7:41 am
Wriskypump wrote a review...



Hi Fortis!

“Well, we know is that the castle..." - should be all we know is...

Woah. Crisp writing. haha moms. - "Why did she always have to take a picture of him at every race he ran, and lost? Jason checked his coach’s standings sheet: thirty second out of forty racers. Jason felt bile creeping up his throat."

"It’s a new team tradition!" - Where do you think of these lines! These are excellent!

Oh. One more run. xD well disguised! - "One more run. But this time I'm running away from this, not to it."

"mustachioed conductor" - xD is mustachioed a word. It's awesome description though. :D I don't see how you won't hit the big time soon, with writing like this.

"If no ewe be you..." - FANtastic.

I know where you live. Witsville, that's where. Invite me over some time? :D This is spectacular, now I can't wait for chapter 6, so I can read in a straight line - Like a noob. :D Take care, hurry up with the next chapters, if you would please. :) I'll be waiting...

I know, this probably isn't helpful, but there is nothing to be fixed that I can see. I love the characters. In the future, I will try to point out things you have missed, so I can actually make it a little better, but as it stands, it would be difficult to make it better.




User avatar
429 Reviews


Points: 5009
Reviews: 429

Donate
Sun Apr 20, 2014 2:14 am
Wolfical wrote a review...



Hey! Great job on this chapter!!!! I really enjoyed meeting Jason and Shep. And great poem about the Shepard! I don't really understand it, but I'm sure you'll get to it in time. This story was splendidly written and I'm sure the mistakes have already been listed below. I'll have fun reading the next chapters!




User avatar
1417 Reviews


Points: 3733
Reviews: 1417

Donate
Sun Mar 30, 2014 12:00 am
View Likes
Noelle wrote a review...



Hi there! Noelle here for a Review Day review!

First off, I have to say that this is a great opening chapter. You have definitely grabbed my attention. As you know, first impressions are very important in life. Well, in writing, the first chapter is the first impression. If you make a good first impression, readers will read on. If you make a bad first impression, readers will hesitate to continue or just put the book down and move on. You've made a great first impression here.

If there is something I could point out that wasn't so great about this chapter though is that it's a bit too fast for my liking. Maybe it's just my preference, but I would've liked to learn more about Jason and his family. I would've liked to know more about his home life and what prompted him to run away in the first place. There's nothing in this chapter that makes me think that Jason is an unhappy kid. Except for his struggles in running track, which can't be that devastating really, Jason seems to have a good life. His mom is so into what he does that she comes to watch and take pictures. And if he was at risk to run away, I feel like his mom would hesitate before letting him take the train home alone.

You definitely have an interesting scene you've created here. There's this island that Jason has to swim to. It almost seems like this island isn't even in the same year that Jason lives in. Because this shepherd he meets doesn't know about trains. Or maybe this man has just been on the island for so long and forgets everything about the outside world. And I feel like this man might be a little messed up in the head. After all, he sees these sheep that aren't actually there.

“You are no ewe,” the man chuckled, “if no ewe be you, who are you?”

This is my favorite line. I don't know why, but it really made me laugh. I think it's just so perfect for the shepherd. It totally fits with his personality to say something like this.

I just noticed I didn't mention anything about the prologue! :o Let me get right on that!

There's not much I can say about the prologue, really. It's a good prologue. It sets the scene for the rest of the novel and really gives the reader something to think about. There are some things that the men are talking about that I don't understand, but I know that it'll come up later on in the novel. I'll understand eventually!

Keep writing!
**Noelle**




User avatar
121 Reviews


Points: 1832
Reviews: 121

Donate
Sat Mar 29, 2014 1:01 am
View Likes
WritingWolf wrote a review...



Hello Fortis! Here for a review as expected.

Okay, so the prologue.
Personally I really like the feel that you give in the beginning. You don't have a very good hook sentence, most of the time I would really fuss at a writer for that but I think because of the excellent feel you have not having a hook sentence is okay.

You have to be careful with wording right now. It's still the very beginning and the reader hasn't even met the main character yet. So at this point all they can go off of is how you sound.
"The smell of strong drinks and rich potato-based dishes ignited the hunger inside all passers-by."
In this particular sentence I found that the words "potato-base" "ignited" and "passers-by" sounded out of place. Usually I would let something like this slide, I mean it's just three words. But due to how close to the beginning it is and that all three are in the same sentence I think this could do with some editing.
I think what makes "potato-based" seem weird is the hyphen, and the fact that you had to specify that the dishes where potato based. It automatically made me think "Why are they all potato based? Do potatoes hold some sort of significance to this place?" which was distracting me from your writing.
I think what made "ignited" seem out of place is the fact that it doesn't really go with the feel you've set up. I kinda sticks out. And I see later on in the piece you have a few other words like this, where they just don't seem to fit with the diction used in the rest of this piece. Most of the others I won't bother mention because no one will notice those unless they are keeping an eye out for such things. But because of where and how this one appeared it will probably catch the attention of most readers. And while having it there isn't a terrible thing, it kind of disrupts the feel you've created.
Now "passers-by" sounds weird because it's a term that you don't usually hear in plural form, so readers aren't expecting it. It just goes against what you would usually hear in everyday life. Maybe you'd hear someone talk about a passer by. But the only time I can think of when I've heard it used in plural form is in commercials and advertisements.

Vonrut and Gozgarden? What kind of places are you describing? And why is it that I have a feeling that they are nothing like the impression that these names give me?
Vonrut is a fine name. I'm not going to say that you should change it. I just want to say it in two parts, von and rut. So it comes out as Von Rut. I guess my point being that it doesn't flow quite as well as most names do.
Gozgarden on the other hand just sounds really weird to me. This could be something specific to me. But I don't think the name of a place should remind me of both gauze and gardens. The two just don't really go together. If you are trying to create a sort of contradicting feel to this place, then good job. But if you aren't you will probably want to change their names.

I really like how you did the prologue. With the main focus of it being on the conversation between the two unknown people in the tavern.

I really loved the feel you created here. It makes me think medieval fantasy.


Now for chapter one!

Again, you have a very nice tone which creates a wonderful feel. But the feel is different from the prologue. Very different. They're both really good, but the difference is a little startling at first. The prologue sounds like medieval fantasy, and then the chapter sounds like modern fantasy. I don't know how much you've read of the two types of fantasy, but I find that they tend to turn out with very different stories. So having the prologue look like one and the first chapter look like the other kinda throws me off about what kind of story this will be. Readers like being able to guess the general feel for a story when they start it. I mean, would you like it if you started a story that looked like it was going to be a mystery with a little romance and then it turns out t be a romance with a little mystery? That's a bit disappointing to someone hoping for a mystery.

So you know how I mentioned those three words in the prologue? Well, as I said then, most of the time the words that stick out don't stick out very much so I won't mention them. There is only one in the first chapter that sticks out enough for me to mention. Guffawing. It just sounds so different from the rest of your vocabulary that no matter how many times I read that section every time I see guffawing I wonder why you used that word in particular? It just doesn't seem like something you would say. (at least not in comparison to everything else you've said in this piece)

I like how you showed Jason's self doubt. It made this seem a lot more realistic than most stories of people running away.
Although you did leave the reader wondering why he's running away? Abusive parents? Seeking adventure? Something else? You don't have to give us details, I mean this is only the first chapter. We just need a general idea. This one decision can really change the character and basic story-line, so it's important to let the reader know.

I have to admit that I was a little confused when the conductor threw Jason into the ocean. I dunno about you, but I've never seen a railway end in the middle of the ocean. It startled me and I didn't know what to think at first. Is this common in the place where this story happens? Or is it just as weird to Jason as it is to me? Later on you explain that it is strange. So this isn't really a big concern, but providing a little more immediate hint at the strangeness of it would be quite nice.

I love this line...
“You are no ewe,” the man chuckled, “if no ewe be you, who are you?”
It's just wonderful. I love it so much!

I like the lyrical way that Shep talks. How sometimes it rhymes but not always. Quite nice, it adds a lot of character.

I understand why Jason would like the nickname Jay. But he shouldn't adopt it immediately. When reading the rest of the chapter I had to keep reminding myself that Jay was Jason. And who will start calling themself by a nickname so quickly? A nickname is something that you grow into. I think you should have Shep call him Jay quite a few more times before he starts calling himself Jay. And you might do yourself good to wait until the second chapter to start calling him Jay.

The only other thing I really have to say is that I am kind of wondering about your characters. Who are they? You gave me a good first impression, but I still don't know much. Particularly about Jason. He seems to be pretty easy going. With the way he was so quick to come up with a name for Shep, and then how he is so willing to go with Shep, a man he just met. Is he really that easy going?

Overall, I found that this was an excellent piece. It was enjoyable and it never lost my attention. I can't wait to see the next chapter. :)
~WW




fortis says...


Thanks for your fantastic review, oh wise sage. When I get back home, I'll get to editing this for what you said. Thanks for pointing out things I didn't even see. The second chapter is going to house most of the explaining of these weird things. I just hate it when novels stick all the explaining in the first chapter. Thanks again! c:



User avatar
161 Reviews


Points: 3068
Reviews: 161

Donate
Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:41 am
View Likes
kayfortnight wrote a review...



Hey, it's Kayfortnight here to review your chapter:)

Absolutely stunning imagery. I can perfectly picture much of what's happening. Keep it up.

I already like Shep-I have a feeling he's much more than he appears to be-not that an eccentric old man can't be just an old man. Just don't only use his kookiness when convenient for the plot, and you have an interesting character here.

I don't much like Jason, but he is fairly realistic. Most teens our age do push away their mothers and don't pay attention in school, and though I am more fond of the exception, he's a good character. I do have one complaint: why do fictional teens always deal with their problems by running away from them? Just remember you've set this as a foundation of his character now, and you should keep consistent with this aspect of his personality through the novel-or put him through some major character development. In this new land, if he gets fed up with something, unless something has happened to change him in the meantime, he should run away.

Something that broke my immersion: I can see how he lost his shoes while swimming, but how was he wearing a shirt so big that it simply came off while he was swimming. At least remember that if it's sunny out, he's going to be dealing with some killer sunburn.

Your prologue was wonderful. Intriguing and short, like all prologues should be:)

If this review seems a little harsh, it's because I tend to not say much about what you do well and instead focus on what struck me as odd, so take that into consideration when reading this:)




fortis says...


This is a great review, what're you talking about. XD
I was actually thinking as I was trying to develop the character of Jay that his main thing (and the stupid "theme" of the book) would be to face your problems rather than run from them XD
I feel like I'm going to have a hard time keeping Shep's personality throughout the book, so if you have any tips or ideas, feel free to tell me! Thanks again!



User avatar
117 Reviews


Points: 4007
Reviews: 117

Donate
Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:51 pm
ChildOfNowhere says...



Bleh, it won't let me post in reply to your comment.
Anyway..

I like it better now, especially the voices in the prologue and Jason's backstory bit :3 I also like the name Shep, I think it's quite believable as something a guy in Jay's situation would come up with on the spot.
About the change of his name in narration, though, I'm not sure if I like that... perhaps "Jay" could've been his nickname since forever? Then you could use Jay in narration all the time, and have him just introduce himself as Jason when he doesn't know people *shrug* I prefer Jason personally, but it's not like it's really my choice to make xP

OH so the sheep are invisible! It was not obvious enough before, but now it's kind of too obvious xD Maybe you don't need that much dialogue to cover the fact Jason can't see them. Maybe you could keep it at that same sentence as before (where Shep tells him to watch his steps) and then be like "Jason glanced at where Shep pointed, frowning slightly at nothing but sand around them, but as he looked back at the man, ready to wonder about that, he found Shep already a couple of feet away, his boots leaving deep prints in the sand." or something..? Then later J can wonder about what's up with those sheep and Shep can reply in the same way :3

Now I wonder if the sheep are real. And what the Prince from the title has to do with them.. is it bad that it took me till about now to be like "Wool? Oh hey a shepherd, sheep, WOOL. I get it.." >.>




fortis says...


Ooh those sound like great ideas. One thing though, if his nickname was always Jay and he introduces himself as Jason, how would Shep know his nickname... or maybe he could say "I'm Jason-- Jay." or something?



AriaAdams says...


How does he know now, or before? He introduced himself and Jason, and Shep called him Jay anyway.. maybe it's just his thing, it came as a nickname (and rhymed) so he went with it, regardless if he knew of it being Jason's nick or not? Or yes, he can be like "I'm Jason.. Jay, to most peoole." or something along the lines ^^



AriaAdams says...


How does he know now, or before? He introduced himself and Jason, and Shep called him Jay anyway.. maybe it's just his thing, it came as a nickname (and rhymed) so he went with it, regardless if he knew of it being Jason's nick or not? Or yes, he can be like "I'm Jason.. Jay, to most peoole." or something along the lines ^^



User avatar
117 Reviews


Points: 4007
Reviews: 117

Donate
Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:59 pm
View Likes
ChildOfNowhere wrote a review...



Heyo, apprentice* :3
Now that I'm done with this review, I realise I must inform you it's really quite long and somewhat ramble-y and I might or might not have a bit of a fever right now, heh. So shall we xD

The prologue was quite interesting, and made us all intrigued and curious and willing to read on. Very nice hook, with the talk about curses and royals, and a mysterious man who seems to be more than any old shepherd in a tavern.
However, it could be a little improved, mostly when it comes to descriptions. Descriptions of him, of the place and of the people he's listening to. If he seems asleep, I take it his eyes are closed, so he couldn't see the people talking, but he could still hear everything. By that I mean, he wouldn't just hear the words and voices - he'd hear steps and movements, grunting in (dis)agreement, pauses between two people speaking (which can be mentioned if they're long and/or significant) and what happens around them during those pauses (horses, other people, some bard trying to sing and earn his food, a storm approaching, a child crying - or nothing but silence, which is creepy enough in itself). All of this helps set the atmosphere, and it describes the tavern itself, even without the visual description. He could be bothered by some smell or the way that blanket feels, as well.
That's, of course, if you were aiming at writing this prologue from a limited third person (the man's POV). If you were aiming for this prologue to be 3rd person omniscient, then there's nothing stopping you from adding in some physical description as well (of the interior at least, like mostly empty tables or a worn tapestry with the coat of arms of the latest oppressor or something) :3

Setting the atmosphere is one of the most important things in novels in general, especially when it comes to hooking the readers in. We can imagine what this tavern is like, its sights and smells and whatnot, but sadly, not everyone is graced with imagination, and not everyone knows what those taverns might be like even if they can imagine other things. And of course, none of us has the slightest clue where you're heading with this novel, nor what kind of world it's even set in, and imagination alone won't get us very far - we need descriptions and atmosphere ;)

Now that was longer than it seemed in my head.

As for the first chapter, more or less same applies, though it didn't bother me as much here. What my issue here was, however, was that it seems you were in quite a rush with it. Maybe it was about the word limit (I'm struggling with getting this king of mine to die already as to keep under 2000 words, and the guy just keeps on talking instead-- I'm digressing, but the point is that I get it if that was the case xD). Maybe it was less about that, though, and more about getting Jason to this other realm(?) without much fuss. I take it that the story will progress with Jason wandering around that other realm, and his life before isn't really relevant plot-wise, but really it's his life before that built him as a character, even if it was boring - which it evidently wasn't, if he needed to run away like that and all.

I'd have preferred to see him getting on that train, looking around him and thinking a bit more; in short, if you gave us a bit more of an insight on who he is now, and what were the events that lead him here. Perhaps writing a scene in which he's running (I mean literally) from point A to point B (maybe in a training or in class?), and thinking of how he'll have to leave the place he's at, or perhaps how he's looking at a photograph or some belongings and choosing to leave it all behind (since he didn't have a bag of any sort on him, did he?), or something of the sort.
Don't worry if it'd make the chapter too long - especially since you have that prologue, which is clearly set in a place that isn't in our world/time, it's not even necessary to get Jason to that other realm in the first chapter already. Sure, he needs to get there, it'll kick off the story and all, but there's no need to rush it too much.
It especially applies to the part with him swimming. The way it is now, it seems somewhat skimmed over, while in reality it would take a long time (objects appear closer than they are across the water, so he'd have probably hours to swim to get to something he kind of sees now). It would also leave him with quite sore muscles, unless if he's a professional athlete (which he might be, seeing as you mentioned running and finish line and all that), I kind of hope to see him complaining about that later xP

Now I'm over with that, let me tell you I absolutely adored the poetic touch, and I'll probably adore Shep in general. That might be because I like your poetry as well, and I was always kind of jealous of people able to incorporate poetry of any sort in a novel, that's just awesome xD Also, this whole song thingy and train thingy and mysterious man thingy and shadowy land thingy has a sort of Studio Ghibli feeling, which is also lovely ^^

The dialogue is good, but, just as the one in the prologue, lacks a bit of description/action, something that says what happens between the words themselves being spoken. I don't mean thoughts, but rather, movements (he could stretch or brush some wet hair off his face or sand from his arm/chest/pants/anything, or idk) and info on the voices, tones etc. Perhaps the way the sand feels under his toes.

Because of the whole rush thing - especially the fact he didn't once check his pockets to see if he may have lost that money he thinks of before while swimming, as well as that the conductor was acting way strange and Jason didn't seem to care about any luggage (or he didn't have any to begin with) - and also because of the mentioning of Troy in a somewhat random setting, and the whole character of Shep, I kind of had a feeling Jason would end up waking up in that train as the novel ends, and realising he must return home because his dream (or whatever it was) showed him he could fix his life / there were way worse things out there. I might be wrong, of course, but it has that "It's a dream." feeling for now, to me.

And for last, a couple of nitpicks. I didn't really spot any grammar issues (honesly, I was pretty hooked and interested, and I didn't even care to try to spot them as I read through :3), but three little things seemed a bit off.

Jason shut down that path of thinking before he decided to throw himself in front of the train at the next exit.


While there's nothing wrong with it, this sentence left me kind of confused for a moment. This, however, might be due to the way I usually use "before" - He locked the door, before turning to finally face his guests. - and the way your sentence seems like when I automatically read it that way.. it's probably more of a my problem than yours xD

“I’m going to report your train for this!” muttered Jason.


Again it might be just me, but an exclamation mark just doesn't quite fit with muttering. Does it? Muttering by definition is a muffled, quiet way of talking, no? I'd suggest going with a simple comma instead of that ! in there ^

Well, I think they mentioned a Troy in my history class or something…


This one has nothing wrong to do with your writing, but if he's 16, he'd have probably heard quite a lot about Troy in school by now, especially in history classes (at least here, they kept drilling with Troy and co. into our heads year after year). If you're portraying him as a student who doesn't care for school and doesn't pay attention to lessons, then it's great, rather subtly done and providing a nice way for you to later (maybe) explain all the normally well-known stuff about actual Troy or anything else we learn about in schools, saying that Jason didn't pay enough attention to know them. If that, however, wasn't your intention, you might wish to consider rewording.

Now I think I've definitely rambled enough. To sum up, I was hooked and will keep terrorising you with reviews on later chapters xD I loved the atmosphere and the feeling this story gave me on the points where those were present, and I'd like to see more of that in the next chapters. The characters seem nice as well, I have no objections on the characterisation so far, and the combination of what seems like mythology bits, fantasy, real world and all the other lovely little things looks like a very promising start to a great story.

See you next week ;)


*for the record and any misguided reader, this does not refer to writing. Gods, I wish I was good enough to have the right to have apprentices in that field :mrgreen:




fortis says...


When I went to sleep last night, I replayed this story through my head and realized it was seriously lacking in substance. I'm gonna edit it thoroughly now. Stay tuned. ^_^



fortis says...


And Thanks for your wonderful review! I'm probably going to change the name Troy (yes I was implying that he doesn't pay attention much in school), but I didn't even think that I could use some of its mythology in this story... hmm possibilities possibilities.



fortis says...


Also... did not know there was a word limit. xD



AriaAdams says...


Haha, yup, there is, it's 2000 words.. The only reason why my 159-word too long chpter isn't posted yet <_<
I'm staying tuned and, seriously? Troy and Jason kind of screamed "mythology" to me, but it might be just me xD If he ever gets to travel around with some group, though, can he refer to them as the Argonauts in his thoughts? :mrgreen:



fortis says...


lol
I guess I had mythology on the brain. I seriously never even noticed that. I edited the prologue a bit, now I'm starting the first chapter whoohooo



fortis says...


Okay. I think I'm done editing the first chapter. I'm a lot more satisfied with the beginning now. But I feel like I ended weaker. I really wanted to get in the fact that his sheep are invisible. And I changed his name to Jay after shep (I need a better name for him too) suggests it. Is it weird for the narration to change his name?



User avatar
6 Reviews


Points: 343
Reviews: 6

Donate
Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:10 am
View Likes
Lithor wrote a review...



Nice job, fortis! I can tell, this is a story I'm going to be coming back to for a while. The prologue was my favorite part, by far. The mystery and forewarnings of collapse really bring out the suspense right away, which is great for pulling your readers in. Right now, I'm thinking the shepherd in the back of the tavern could be Shep, but it also could not. Very well written to keep me clueless like that, but not in a bad way, in a clever way. I really liked Shep in general, also. His proverb way of speaking really brought me into the fantasy element you were trying to bring out. However, I felt like he kind of strayed from that toward the end when talking about Trevon and Troy.
I've always been into maps and medieval cities and stuff, so I'm glad you could include those in the first chapter.
Jason's backstory is pretty vague right now, so I hope you can include it in later chapters. I was a little confused with the analogy "Instead of running to the finish line, he was running from it." I couldn't really understand how a finish line was like a metaphor for his home. Was it because his future in education and stuff was at home? Was that the finish line? I couldn't really tell.
Other than that, the story was wonderfully woven. Great characters are developing, along with hints of action in the future. I wish you good luck! Great job!
~Lithor




fortis says...


Thanks for your review! I edited it a bit, especially Jay's backstory.



User avatar
458 Reviews


Points: 15855
Reviews: 458

Donate
Tue Mar 25, 2014 4:42 am
View Likes
Ventomology wrote a review...



Hey Fort! It's me!
Anywho, here goes the review.
First off, no obvious grammatical errors. I think some of the dialogue where you interrupt speaking with action could be rephrased. It looks a little weird to just keep adding commas and quotation marks.
And for technique... You did a great job describing the people, but what about the setting? You don't have to even describe it in detail (may not be your style) but try to think how it effects the characters. If there's heavy fog over the land, describe how it affects Jason. Tell us how comfortable the cushions on the train seats are, and what they are made of.
Another thing is that we see very little into Jason's mind. There is a spurt of backstory at the beginning of Jason's part, but nothing afterward. It would be nice to know what Jason thinks of Shep. Or if you don't want to tell us what's in Jason's head, try to slip in words with connotations that make Shep seem silly or mysterious or whatever you want us to feel.
Third... Overall I feel like the dialogue-to-action/detail ratio is off. So many lines start with quotation marks that it gets hard to follow.
For development and plot, I can't say much yet. Shep seems like he'll be one of those really lovable characters, but I haven't got much of a reading on Jason. He's just troubled at this point. Your prologue was good though. It already has me trying to predict who Shep and the shepherd in the tavern are! (I'm trying to figure out if they're the same person or different. They seem like different people in terms of personality.)
And just as a random compliment, you have a great vocabulary here. There is very little repetition, and the verbs are all super strong!
Keep it up!




fortis says...


Thanks for your review! I edited it a bit, if you want to look at it again. ^_^



Ventomology says...


Ooh yay! I really like how you did the beginning of Jason's part. So so so awesome.




pain is that feeling when you are feeling hurt, but it never goes away leaving me hurt. oh it hurts.
— Dragonthorn