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12+ Violence

New Prologue to my book

by LittleLee


So, read the title. I need reviews to see how good or bad this is. If anyone seems interested, I'll start posting the chapter drafts next.

Prologue

The stench coming off the corpses was worse than anything that had been scented in the forest before. It hung over them all like a heavy cloud, causing a few of the company to retch quietly into the sides of the clearing. Blood had pooled around then dried, caking the grass and the bodies with brown smears. Glassy eyes stared unseeingly at the cheerfully blue sky.

A man squatted beside the dead, his dark blue-flecked green eyes flashing dangerously as he studied them. Muscles shifted beneath his leather armour. His beard was black, although the shaggy hair on his head was streaked with grey, and he had a scarred face with a crooked nose. He was a light brown, not just with tan, but by race as well.

All was silent, with only the song of flies in the still air.

The man rose with a sigh, callused hands rubbing his strong jaw beneath the beard. Another, clearly his brother with the same eyes, face and countenance, but younger and with browner hair, raised an eyebrow.

“Well?”

The first, older man nodded to a couple of others in the clearing. “They were right. Bodies have been here for three, four days at least.”

The people who stood in the clearing numbered eleven; an assortment of men and women, all dressed in dappled leather armour and armed with bows, hunting knives, axes, and swords. Three of them were clearly younger than all the others; two boys, and a beautiful girl, all looking to be around seventeen or eighteen. The others were full-grown men and women. The same number of horses stood by their masters patiently.

The second man shifted uneasily as the smell wafted in his direction. “Their killers?”

“I can’t be sure, Endion,” his brother said, “but I don’t think this is the work of ordinary bandits. These shepherds wore the black and green of Eruza; any outlaw of these parts knows not to take our village lightly.” He turned to the youngsters of the group. “Temu, Titon, Lozan. Head back and tell Luna we won’t be back for a few days, and tell her to warn our folk against heading out in small numbers. We’re going after the killers.”

The girl, Temu, scowled. “Why are we being sent back? You know Lozan’s one of the best archers we have, Titon’s a brilliant Healer, and I can carve up any bandit with my knives. Or is it because-”

“Don’t question his authority, Temu. He may be your and Lozan’s father, but now he is our Lord Daemon.” Endion said reproachfully.

She cast her eyes down, abashed, while Endion’s own son, Titon, looked grim, and Lozan carefully blank. All three of them looked like Endion and Daemon, with green eyes, light brown skin, and black hair. Temu was beautiful and lithe, with lustrous, straight long hair pinned back by a simple yet elegant wooden brooch. Lozan was her mirror image, albeit with shorter, shaggier hair and better build. Titon looked like the cousin he was, broadest of the three and with a large satchel slung over his shoulder.

Daemon pulled Endion aside and spoke softly to him for a moment, then turned back to the main group and gave the signal to mount and leave. The riders melted away into the rusty dusk, leaving Lozan, Temu and Titon alone.

Lozan moved first.

“Idiot. You know how he gets at moments like this.”

Temu snorted. “Don’t be a sissy, baby brother. Didn’t you want to go on the hunt, too?”

“Yes, but I don’t argue with father when he’s already made up his mind. And I’m not your baby brother.”

“You were born after me.”

“By a few minutes! And-”

Titon knelt by a corpse. “Stop it, both of you. This isn’t the place or time to banter.”

The siblings fell silent, reminded of the three bodies and the people they had belonged too.

They all shivered then, not from the gathering cold, but the thought of how all three bore the unmistakable marks of torture.


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Tue Jun 16, 2020 9:32 pm
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LadyBug wrote a review...



HI, Lee! I’m here to start reviewing the work I’ve been hearing so much about! Yes, I do all my things that should be quotes in bold. Why? Because it’s easy now, sit down because this will be long! I may be a bit harsh but I promise I’m not trying to deter you or make you feel bad.

So, read the title. I need reviews to see how good or bad this is. If anyone seems interested, I'll start posting the chapter drafts next.

You may want to bold this or put it in italics, just so we can differentiate between the story and this. This may be more of an aesthetically pleasing suggestion, but it will add some level of professionalism.

The stench coming off the corpses was worse than anything that had been scented in the forest before. It hung over them all like a heavy cloud, causing a few of the company to retch quietly into the sides of the clearing. Blood had pooled around then dried, caking the grass and the bodies with brown smears. Glassy eyes stared unseeingly at the cheerfully blue sky.

Well, this is an interesting start. Very creative! I have a few tips, though. One, this does not flow super well, very halting and while it is descriptive, it’s not in a good way. A few of the company? Be more specific, company members? What company. I get trying to keep an air of mystery for the very beginning, but this feels rather rushed in a sense, it’s okay to go into detail for important things. My other critique is that the very first sentence just feels off. Scented is not a word, smelled, ro detected, maybe?

Instead of coming, radiating, emitting, or discharged may help the flow, as you’re so descriptive otherwise but this feels weak. Okay, moving on! I’m sorry, I am VERY nit picky but that’s just my style.

A man squatted beside the dead, his dark blue-flecked green eyes flashing dangerously as he studied them. Muscles shifted beneath his leather armour. His beard was black, although the shaggy hair on his head was streaked with grey, and he had a scarred face with a crooked nose. He was a light brown, not just with tan, but by race as well.

Alright, no. The eyes, not the eyes, you don’t do them justice. Please, give us some hint to this man’s personality.
His hollow eyes surveyed. His tired eyes, his wide eyes. Give us some hint to how he’s feeling, his physical description can come later, even right after. Make sure there is a good reason for this description, it feels random. There is the dangerous element, but it gives no hint as to who he is, or how to imagine him as a being.

Same with the hair, maybe he ran his hands through his graying hair, or, again, something like that. It is your story, but it could be reasonably descriptive. Overall, this is super early. You can’t spend a whole paragraph describing someone! Maybe stagger it throughout, giving us detail as to who he is, his habits. Maybe he tugs on his beard, maybe he mentions his nose, incorporate his race in somehow, just don’t slam this on so suddenly. We don’t even know his name.

The man rose with a sigh, callused hands rubbing his strong jaw beneath the beard. Another, clearly his brother with the same eyes, face and countenance, but younger and with browner hair, raised an eyebrow.

Okay, please let me take the liberty of rewriting this in what I feel is a more flowy but less wordy way.

Rising with a sigh, the man rubbed his callused hands to his strong jaw that was beneath his black beard. Another man, with younger yet similar features, raised an eyebrow to his brother.

See, I think that’s better, more variation, though it IS your book and I won’t write it for you, that’s rude.

The first, older man nodded to a couple of others in the clearing. “They were right. Bodies have been here for three, four days at least.”

Hmm, okay. An interesting way to catch our attention, but it feels forced. I’m sorry, again, if I’m coming off as nit picky or too much, this is just my style, but I feel that maybe this is a bit weird.

“They were right. This one has been here at least three days.”

Gives an air of mystery without directly explaining things to the reader. Please don't ever underestimate their ability to keep up, I used to do that! Make them think things out, my dude.

The people who stood in the clearing numbered eleven; an assortment of men and women, all dressed in dappled leather armour and armed with bows, hunting knives, axes, and swords. Three of them were clearly younger than all the others; two boys, and a beautiful girl, all looking to be around seventeen or eighteen. The others were full-grown men and women. The same number of horses stood by their masters patiently.

Okay, I will admit that this is descriptive, it may be too much. GIve your readers some wiggle room to imagine things themselves, you can always stagger descriptions. Some of this feels unneeded currently, and cutting down on excess wording for the first draft may help your readers establish a view of everyone.
The girl, Temu, scowled. “Why are we being sent back? You know Lozan’s one of the best archers we have, Titon’s a brilliant Healer, and I can carve up any bandit with my knives. Or is it because-”

Hmm, so the block of text feels very hard to read and it’s not really how people converse, formal or not. A whiny or angry “why?” would be a sufficient first sentence on it’s own, since we’ve already established the being sent back. The “you know” feels rather off compared to the rest, and I recommend leaving it out. And the last sentence feels kind of wordy for an in real life conversation. Maybe something along the lines of “Is this over/because” or “Are you” seems more fitting, even for someone who is wordy or has a large vocabulary. Seeing as it’s her brother, something less formal may be more appropriate.

She cast her eyes down, abashed, while Endion’s own son, Titon, looked grim, and Lozan carefully blank. All three of them looked like Endion and Daemon, with green eyes, light brown skin, and black hair. Temu was beautiful and lithe, with lustrous, straight long hair pinned back by a simple yet elegant wooden brooch. Lozan was her mirror image, albeit with shorter, shaggier hair and better build. Titon looked like the cousin he was, broadest of the three and with a large satchel slung over his shoulder.

Lee, while I don’t have a problem with your description, I actually find it rather enticing for the most part, I feel that this is too long and yet again needlessly wordy. I can tell it is your style but one can still be descriptive without half the book being describing instead of action. Sometimes more dialogue or some action can tell us more than a block of text.

“Idiot. You know how he gets at moments like this.”

Okay, I love this, to be frank. But maybe it could be “you idiot” or idiot with an exclamation point, for just idiot alone sounds wooden.

“You were born after me.”Ooh! Spill that tea XD


The siblings fell silent, reminded of the three bodies and the people they had belonged too.
To* not too.


OVERALL:

I have logged in all my concerns, but I think the promise is very promising and I cannot wait to see the next chapter. I hope I wasn’t too nitpicky and was of some use, and I’ll see you soon, Lee!




LittleLee says...


Thank you so much for the review! It was really helpful, don't worry about the criticism. I need it all.



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Sun Jun 14, 2020 6:09 pm
KateHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night (whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Okay this is the latest novel I've decided to tackle. Only six or so chapters so I'm hoping to smash through this very quickly.

First Impression: Really powerful prologue though it does seem to have an awful lot of character introductions. Love the description.

Anyway getting on with it,

Blood had pooled around then dried, caking the grass and the bodies with brown smears. Glassy eyes stared unseeingly at the cheerfully blue sky.


Love that description especially. Powerful piece of imagery that is also accurate with that little detail about blood(don't ask me how I know) which makes it a really nice opening paragraph.

Another, clearly his brother with the same eyes, face and countenance, but younger and with browner hair, raised an eyebrow.


Now this sentence is not grammatically wrong but it just comes off a bit chunky to read. Maybe split up the information between two sentences.

The first, older man nodded to a couple of others in the clearing.


I feel like that is unnecessary to include there. Saying "the older man" would get the point across just fine.

Three of them were clearly younger than all the others; two boys, and a beautiful girl, all looking to be around seventeen or eighteen.


It sounds a bit awkward there. Maybe remove that one.

The second man shifted uneasily as the smell wafted in his direction.


Nitpick: I though the smell was already over them anyway.

The girl, Temu, scowled. “Why are we being sent back? You know Lozan’s one of the best archers we have, Titon’s a brilliant Healer, and I can carve up any bandit with my knives. Or is it because-”


That doesn't seem like something somebody would just rattle off especially to someone that should already know this quite well.

“Don’t question his authority, Temu. He may be your and Lozan’s father, but now he is our Lord Daemon.”


This seems a bit like exposition for the reader and less like something someone would say. I'd expect this man to simply say "your father".

Lozan moved first.

“Idiot. You know how he gets at moments like this.”

Temu snorted. “Don’t be a sissy, baby brother. Didn’t you want to go on the hunt, too?”

“Yes, but I don’t argue with father when he’s already made up his mind. And I’m not your baby brother.”

“You were born after me.”

“By a few minutes! And-”

Titon knelt by a corpse. “Stop it, both of you. This isn’t the place or time to banter.”


That's some good banter right there. Pretty realistic.

They all shivered then, not from the gathering cold, but the thought of how all three bore the unmistakable marks of torture.


That's a pretty good line for an ending. Love that. Definitely makes the reader want to read more.

And that's it,

So, overall this is really well written. It definitely works as a prologue. Would love to read more of this. And I'm going to do so as soon as I can.

Anyway I hope I wasn't being too harsh or nitpicky. Take what you think will help and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry




LittleLee says...


Thanks, Harry!
You weren't too critical, don't worry. I actually appreciate everything you said, and I'll edit my novel accordingly. I'm glad you liked reading it!



KateHardy says...


Your Welcome! I'm going to try to go through all the other chapters before the day is out.



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felistia wrote a review...



Hi, Felistia here with a review for you on this wonderful day.

I was instantly drawn into this chapter when I clicked on it. You have a great beginning hook to this story which is great since it got me to stick around and read the whole thing.

So far I'm not sure of what's going on that much since it is the first chapter I'm reading. It's got just the right amount of suspense to keep me interested (I'm going to read the next chapter now) and not to much to leave me with just questions.

You're description was great, something I don't see a lot of in the chapters I read. You instantly gave my a mental image of what was going on and how the characters looked. Thank you for that.

I don't have any issues with the chapter from what I can see, so I'm off the read the next one.

See you there and never stop writing.

Best regards
Felistia.




LittleLee says...


Thanks for the positive review!



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Mon Apr 20, 2020 7:38 am
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LewisPencastle2 says...



This is good, a pretty solid beginning for a story. I know you say it's a prologue, but it seems more like a first chapter. Prologue is usually something separate from the story that establishes setting and world, but this definitely seems to be part of the story. Also in one sentence, it's mentioned one of the characters is a "healer" which I just took a guess that was a reference to magic healing instead of regular healing? I haven't read through the other chapter so this might be completely irrelevant, but if you have a magic system that plays a crucial role in the story, you might want to lay down more hints about it in the beginning if its important, just my personal opinion. It was pretty enjoyable to read overall, good luck writing the rest of it.




LittleLee says...


Thanks for the review!



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Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:47 pm
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Haven wrote a review...



Hey, hello, hello, hello!! Okay straight to it. So I think it's really good and you should start doing chapters for your novel. From reading your Prologue I think it would make a great read. It gives not too little but not too much info on what's going on with the story while also introducing some characters and again not giving too little or too much info. I find that when a story gives way to many descriptions, whether it's on characters or settings, it just seems like an overload and suddenly becomes boring. This isn't easy to do sometimes when you're trying to create a picture for the readers to keep them coming back, while you as a writer to keep writing. But personally, I think you hit the nail right on the head so please keep up the good work and good luck!!




LittleLee says...


Thank you for the review! I'll be putting up the next chapter shortly. :D



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Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:46 am
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Nikhat Jonak says...



Hello, Nikhat here. It's so good. Keep it up. Hope to see the whole book soon. I am also working on my novel. I want to ask you something. What to do when you don't have any ideas for your novel?




LittleLee says...


Hey there, Nikhat. Thanks for the review! In answer to your question, I suggest you don't stress out too much. Inspiration will strike from the most random of things. And keep writing SOMETHING; it may be really bad, but you'll get good stuff that way.
You can also try deriving ideas from myths or legends. Just the idea; turn it into a story by your own.
Or, you could make a Role-Play Game in this site' RP club, and with your fellow players' permission, get inspiration.
Sometimes some people here may not even be able to write their story. They may be looking for people to take up their story. You could do that too.
I hope this helped!



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ColdOne wrote a review...



Now I'm anticipating this. You better release some chapters on this. This, overall, is probably some of the best writing I've read. I really like your idea, as well as the setting. To me it kind of feels like it's set in medieval times, but then agian who would know better then the author. Please keep writing and inspiring the world with your words.




LittleLee says...


Thanks for the review!
I'll put up the chapters as soon as I can. :D



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Fri Oct 25, 2019 12:04 am
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Lib wrote a review...



Hey Lee!

Hope you're doing well today or tonight, depending on what side of the world you're on, obviously. I'm here to give you a review like I promised. Sorry for the delay. Like I told you, I'm not in the reviewing moods lately, but this story has definitely changed my mind! ;)

I love the little description you scatter here and there. It all flowed smoothly, and nothing seemed dumped. You did a great job with it, and I'm very excited to see where this'll be heading! :D

Alright, let's get on with the critiquing.

First off, like I said before, you did great at describing. Describing what? The people. The tension. But one thing you didn't describe much was the surroundings. Yes, you said they were in a forest, but where in a forest? In a clearing? In a dense place? How did the trees look like? I hope you know what I'm trying to say. :)

Glassy eyes stared unseeingly at the cheerfully blue sky.


Maybe, instead of "cheerfully", "cheerful" would work a tad better.

Alright, that's it for my review! I hope this helped in some way or the other. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me whenever. Again, so sorry for the late review!! <3

And as always...

Keep on writing!

~Liberty




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Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:20 pm
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EverLight wrote a review...



LOL. Someone just like me-I do the exact same thing-I always ask if some work I posted was good. It's nice to see I'm not alone in that. (:
To answer that question-yes this was excellent, I'll be looking foreword to more. But to proceed, I have a review to do.
Description, and Dialogue
First of all, as AndName pointed out, I did have a problem working out who was who, and who was related to who, so that could be fixed. But another thing-I didn't get a clear sense of where I was. You described your characters, but I didn't get a sense of place. Where are they? When are they? When did they discover the body? And maybe cut down some, on the description of the characters. Just a few words about their hair, eyes, and dress...no much else. Another thing-you seem to tell rather then show. Take this scene for example

The people who stood in the clearing numbered eleven; an assortment of men and women, all dressed in dappled leather Armour and armed with bows, hunting knives, axes, and swords. Three of them were clearly younger than all the others; two boys, and a beautiful girl, all looking to be around seventeen or eighteen. The others were full-grown men and women. The same number of horses stood by their masters patiently.

Maybe try writing the first part of the sentence this way-
People stood in the clearing, in the elevens...

Remember when you are telling you usually use was, when, and where, when you show, you use adjectives, and action verbs.
Also there wasn't much emotion in this chapter-what did the people feel as they looked at the bodies? Shock? Terror? Grief? How did they react? Did they cry? Scream? Or did their faces turn white with shock. Try considering that. Oh, and whose perspective is this story told from? Temu's? Titon's? Figure out that and then have then show the characters thoughts. Other then that good job.
Bye the way if you need advice about writing, don't hesitate to PM me.
Ever your friend
Katnes




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Wed Oct 23, 2019 4:53 am
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AndName wrote a review...



Hiii!


To answer the question at the top, yes. This is quite good. It read very smoothly, though I did notice a few spots, mostly with descriptions but nothing too bad. Great job!

The first thing I noticed was when you described Endion (great name) It ran a bit long and I had too read it twice since it seemed out of place. Maybe you should just mention his eyes which I thought painted a clear picture, then when his brother comes into the picture compare and contrast how they look. That way you knock both their descriptions out in one go and it links the brothers look wise. The three cousins were described pretty well and I like how you put that one of them looked like a cousin. It makes it easy to see him despite the lack of detail with calling someone a cousin looking person.

Another thing I noticed is when the two brothers are speaking of the bodies and Endion's brother (I just reread and I don't think you put his name) says all these things about the probable reason they're there and who he thinks killed them. I got the impression Endion was the older brother so I'm not entirely sure why he was telling him all the stuff it seems like he should already know. I get that's a way to give info to the reader, but it's sort of confusing.
Along the same lines is when Temu says, “Why are we being sent back? You know Lozan’s one of the best archers we have, Titon’s a brilliant Healer, and I can carve up any bandit with my knives. Or is it because-” I get that's a way of telling what the cousins are good at and how good they are at it, but Endion and co. would already know it being their dads. (Where are the moms?)

Oh, and you don't really say where they are, though I'm getting the feeling that they're in a forest of some sort. But with me, people are always in forests cuz forests are magical.

Okay! That's about all I have to say and it's mostly just technical stuff (Not grammar. I don't care about grammar) (Your grammars great by the way.) And please correct me if any of it's my bad, especially the Endion's brothers name. I feel bad if I just missed it. Twice.

Overall great prologue and I want to see more!

AndName




LittleLee says...


@AndName thanks for the review! I'll be sure to try and tweak what you said could be changed.
The elder brother's name is Daemon. And you see the moms in chapter one!
Thanks again! Tell me if you're interested in the next parts!



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LittleLee says...



@Liberty @Emilee.Brightman





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