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(untitled) - Prologue

by AyumiGosu17


***I've written three chapters so far, but I still cannot think of a title. Suggestions, anybody? And do forgive me if there are any errors; I've been writing this story between 11pm and 2am, well past my usual bedtime. :lol: ***

Prologue

“Milady Meave!” Sera cried, urgently rapping at the closed, mahogany door. “Milady, please! Awaken! Awaken!"

The girl started at the sound of her maid, utterly distressed and sounding as if to panic at any given moment. Meave sat up, looking about her in the darkness. Smoke filled the room, and screams and the sounds of intense battle echoed from the floors and courtyards below.

“Sera? What is the meaning of this?” Meave demanded, but not unkindly. She had never been the type to yell, regardless of the circumstances.

The door opened, and Sera bustled in, closing it behind her with shaking hands. She rushed to Meave’s side, shushing her all the while. “Milady, do not speak! They will hear you!” Sera turned to the armoire, opening it and removing a small leather satchel. She hastily began to take the girl’s clothes – primarily the informal ones she wore despite her parents‘ wishes – and stuffed them into the bag. Meave watched, dismayed at the little servant’s behavior.

“Sera, whatever is the matter?” Meave whispered, heeding Sera’s warning. “Please, do tell me.”

Sera tucked dried fruit, nuts, and smoked fish, all wrapped in cloths, into the satchel and tied it closed. She held a set of clothes, a pair of breeches with a simple tunic, and riding boots to Meave. “Put these on; you must flee at once.”

“Sera! Explain yourself!”

Take them!” Sera insisted, tears filling her eyes. “You must survive! You must live on, to carry on your family name!”

Shouting and screams echoed from the end of the hall; the fighting had reached the top floor of the palace. Meave saw the terror in the little servant’s eyes, the feeling of absolute dread and shame. She, at last, noticed even the blood on Sera’s hem, the paleness of her face.

“Dear Sera, what has happened? Please, tell me,” Meave begged, cupping the little woman’s cheek with a soft hand.

“The rebels… Those scoundrels! They have come. They are here, milady, in the palace! Your…” Sera sobbed softly, reaching out and stroking Meave’s cheek, as well. “Your family… Oh, my dear, you are the last of your bloodline now!”

Meave felt the blood drain from her face. So, this was it. The rebels had decided to attack, at last. Sadness pulled at her from every direction; she wanted to give up and die as well, just to escape the pain of the truth.

The truth that she was alone. Forever.

“Please, my child…run. Save yourself while you can.”

Meave looked into Sera’s crystal-blue eyes, saw the tears, saw the innocent young face reflected in them. Her own face. She knew what she had to do.

“I will see you again, dear Sera…”

“Aye, once peace has returned, I will find you.”

Meave nodded, trying not to cry. Sera did not give the girl the chance to, either; she pushed the princess toward the back corner of the room. Sera kicked a rug aside, revealing a hidden trap door. She opened it, revealing what lay beneath their feet. It opened into a tiny, dark passage that spiraled down through the tower, perhaps to the ground level. Where it went, Meave knew not, but it was her only hope, her only escape.

She knelt, the bundle of clothes and boots still in hand, satchel hung over her shoulder; she dropped to the little landing below, trying to see into the darkness, to find the winding stairs that she had seen there. The tunnel was black as a moonless, stormy midnight. She looked up one more time, at Sera.

“Go, dear child,” she whispered, moving to cover the entrance as soon as Meave disappeared. “Se va con díos.

Meave nodded, and disappeared as the passage was sealed. Above her, the door exploded open and Sera screamed. Men shouted, and Meave could hear their weapons tearing through flesh. The young woman waited in the passage, not daring to move in case her attackers were to hear; after several long moments, the footsteps retreated and the sounds above grew dimmer. Blood, still hot, began to trickle down into the passage, between the boards of the trap door.


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Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:25 pm
MeadowLark wrote a review...



Heya there! Let’s jump to that review, shall we?

“Milady Meave!” Sera cried, urgently rapping at the closed, mahogany door. “Milady, please! Awaken! Awaken!"


I don’t understand. If it was all so important, why didn’t she just barge right in there and shake awake Milady Meave? The situation, by your character’s urgent cries, sounds dire. So why wait around, banging on the door?

The girl started at the sound of her maid, utterly distressed and sounding as if to panic at any given moment.


I assumed the maid was already panicked.

Meave sat up, looking about her in the darkness. Smoke filled the room, and screams and the sounds of intense battle echoed from the floors and courtyards below.


So, I am assuming the shades are drawn over the windows, making it dark in the room. Describe the haziness and the smell of the thick cloud in the room. It makes your scene more dire and your reader along with your character figure out that the haziness is actually smoke. Don’t forget about the emotion, and the feel of your scenes. You want your reader to feel the panic.

“Sera? What is the meaning of this?” Meave demanded, but not unkindly.


This seems like a rather…unnecessary question. There are screams everywhere and her room is filled with smoke. She should be panicking and not asking such silly questions like that. How about, “Sera? What is happening?” Also, I would nix the "but not unkindly" part. It doesn't seem to go with the direness of the whole scene. You could however, say something like "her usual kind voice was laced with the sharpness of rising panic." If that makes sense :?

The door opened, and Sera bustled in, closing it behind her with shaking hands.


Why didn’t she open it in the first place?

“Milady, do not speak! They will hear you!”


After the racket the maid made attacking the door and screaming for the girl to awake?

Meave watched, dismayed at the little servant’s behavior.


I wouldn’t describe the maid as little. Try, the petite woman or something. It adds a bit more feel :D

Sera tucked dried fruit, nuts, and smoked fish, all wrapped in cloths, into the satchel and tied it closed.


Where did she get the food from? Thin air? If she managed to bring them from the kitchen or something, describe the maid pulling the food from a pocket or something.

“Dear Sera, what has happened? Please, tell me,” Meave begged, cupping the little woman’s cheek with a soft hand.


Sera came across more so as a timid young girl, like fourteen or fifteen. She didn’t feel to me as a woman. Just afterwards, when she’s calling Meave dear and such does she feel more like a woman.

The truth that she was alone. Forever.


This is a rather silly statement. She wouldn’t be truly alone, just without family. She still has Sera as a friend. And maids are with their…not sure if this is the right word. Charges most of the time so I would partially assume (since you said Meave had a rather nice personality) that the servants would be friends and whatnot. Even if you lose your blood family, you can still have family. In the form of very trustworthy and close friends :P


“I will see you again, dear Sera…”
“Aye, once peace has returned, I will find you.”


Why didn’t Sera escape with Meave? It really makes no sense. But then again, if she was covering the escape back up I suppose…

Where it went, Meave knew not, but it was her only hope, her only escape.


Sera knew of this escape route but the princess did not? Seems a little funny.

“Se va con díos.”


What language is this?

Men shouted, and Meave could hear their weapons tearing through flesh.


I really don’t understand why the men would kill Sera. It makes no sense really. She was just a maid. Wouldn’t they interrogate her to know the whereabouts of the princess or anything? Or even take her as prisoner? Seems kind of cruel and unnecessary.

Blood, still hot, began to trickle down into the passage, between the boards of the trap door.


I, however, like this sentence and the description in it.

~~~~~

Very hooking prologue and it was interesting. It describes briefly what the story is going to be about. Like a good prologue should :D

However, I do think you could have spiced some of it up with some description and or descriptive words. Description makes your world come to life and the scenes. Your characters and imagination does the rest ^_^

You should try and explain some things thoroughly and don’t skim over little facts that may just help your story along.

Any questions, feel free to PM me!

Meadow




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Thu Dec 31, 2009 7:41 pm
AyumiGosu17 says...



Wow, so many replies so soon! Thanks a lot, guys!

Aussie, I understand what you mean. Rereading, I guess I should put more detail into the surroundings and the culture. As I said in the prior note, I've been writing this between 11pm and 2am, a time when I should really be asleep. I'll see what I can do to fix this up a bit. Thanks!

Forgotten, thank you so much! As for cultures, I'm using a blend of cultures. The names "Meave" and "Sera" are of Irish origin, and the foreign language Sera uses is Spanish; it means, literally, "you go with God". Later on in the story, you'll see me integrate German, French, Italian, and maybe a few native dialects and cultures, all for different groups of people. Of course, I'm still trying to come up with one of my own, for a certain group...but you'll have to read to find out! :wink:

Griffin, I get your point. And I thank you for the advice. I'll see what I can do to make more sense of the situation. :oops: Guess I've been staying up too late to write... :oops:

Thanks a bunch!




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Wed Dec 30, 2009 8:37 pm
Griffinkeeper wrote a review...



There were a couple of things that didn't make sense to me, you might want to address them.

1. Rapping on the door. The scene opens with the maidservant knocking on the door. But such knocking isn't necessary, since she would have a key. She would need one to perform her duties as a servant. It makes sense: if she is trusted enough to know the secret passages, she should also be trusted enough to keep a key. You might want to start the story with her shaking her awake.

2. "Do not speak, they will hear you." This didn't make much sense either... the servant had spent all this time yelling outside the door, then she tells her not to speak? Starting the story with her being shaken awake will negate that hypocrisy.

3. Maidservant's death. I think that the soldiers would be looking for the princess and that if they didn't find her, they would interrogate the servant. The whole idea of the maidservant staying behind doesn't make much sense either. Why doesn't she escape with the Princess? She would be more useful to the Princess as a servant than as a corpse.

I don't know. I think that either the maidservant's death shouldn't happen, (at this point) or that her death should be given more coverage.




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Wed Dec 30, 2009 8:17 pm
forgottenfallen wrote a review...



Meave and Sera....what interesting and beautiful names for your characters! It really enhances the way you think about their personality if they aren't just called 'John and Jane' Some really good things to point out:

“Se va con díos.”

I am really interested in what that means! Can you tell me what language so I can find out, or is that later revealed in the story?

You use a lot of varied and skillful style (metaphor, simile e.g) and you use a range of words to describe your scenery. E.g:
The tunnel was black as a moonless, stormy midnight.


My only criticism would be that you say a lot about your characters personality but not a lot about their appearance. Is that because its secret, or is important to a later part of the story? If so, I will read on to the other parts!

I get the drift that Meave is your main character. If that is correct, why not simply just name your story 'Meave'? Hope all this helps you on your first chapter, and even the ones that follow that.

Forgotten xxx




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Wed Dec 30, 2009 8:06 pm
carelessaussie13 wrote a review...



Hi there,

So basically, I liked this. I'm not really a fantasy type of girl, but this wasn't bad. A couple of things, though:

I want to know who Meave is. I know she's young, she's noble, but that's it. It's good that I want to know, because it means I care, but it's bad because you're not giving me anything to work with. The same goes for Sera.

Also, the first paragraph is told from Sera's perspective as she knocks at the door, and then switches to Meave's perspective for the rest of the piece.

The reader needs to know more about the surroundings to feel more comfortable in them. Starting a sci-fi or fantasy book is like going to a foreign country; you don't know what the rules of the place are, you don't know the customs... all you have is what you're told. Elaborate.

Good luck!
-Aussie





You wake up in the morning and it feels impossible? Good. You do it anyway.
— Martin Scorcese