A little beginng

Not sure if you're on the right track? Post anything from character descriptions, snippets of text, or even whole chapters to get some advice.

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HulloKitty202
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A little beginng

Post by HulloKitty202 »

Hey all, what follows is just a snippet from a too long book that I have been writing for far too long.

My main question is this: After the first section I drop "out" of character and into a distinct narration. How does that fill with the rest of the text?

Please comment on the rest of the work as well


It had become too much to stand. It hurt so much now. Every minute was agony, every hour torture, every day a private hell.

He had crept up from his hidden room; the call had become too strong. On top of the stairs, he could see his aunt and uncle, their voices joined in prayer.

Oh Heavenly Father, protect us from what we cannot see and guard us from what we can. Strike the immorality from us, Father, give us strength! Protect us from the Devil and his temptation, O Lord.

Both were hunched in front of the altar, both wrapped in their prayer cloaks. The fire was roaring behind them, popping and cackling as it devoured an old log. Taron could see where his aunt and uncle held hands, and he could almost see his uncle’s gray beard dripping with sweat, and his aunt’s beady eyes rolling.

Their prayers were sometimes whispered, and sometimes shouted, but the message was always the same. Protect us.

Taron hated them. His hate was like a fire, it simply consumed. His small hand tightened into fists and Taron longed to use them. An image floated in front of him, of his aunt and uncle dead. Burned. Whipped. Gone.

Taron fought down a sob. The visions of his aunt and uncle dead had grown more powerful, stronger by the day. It had risen with his hate. While he wanted it, like a man wants a woman, he was scared of it because he knew it was wrong to want something like that the way he did.

A pain lanced up his back, and, unconsciously, he traced the long scars that ran down his small back. Those marks came from God, he had been told, punishment for being a *beep*, punishment for being different, punishment for being him.

Taron crept closer. His aunt and uncle did not hear him, so absorbed they were with their God. A fire poker lay close, its blade beckoning to him.

The hate rose as it had never before, clawing at his heart like a hungry beast. He reached for the fire poker.

They heard. His aunt rose, stumbling over her prayer cloak, the thick black fabric obscuring her loathsome flabby, pimply, ugly, evil face. Her husband struggled to rise.

“Boy,” She said. “Go back to your room. You are not to disturb us during prayer!”

He moved closer, a whisper on the rushes that made the floor. The hate was a crescendo. “Boy!” She shouted, as her husband rose next to her. “Get back to your room! God will know of this! Be assured he will – “

Warm, sickly warm blood spattered Taron and his uncle. Taron’s tears ran with his aunt’s blood.

“Die!” He screamed at his uncle, who was trying to remove his prayer cloak. He swung at his uncle, swung hard. The fire poker did the rest.

He was eight years old.


Taron had been born far away from his aunt and uncle’s remote farm in the Stormed Mountains. He had been born in the cheerful southern cities, his mother a nurse in the castle, his father a soldier. His mother had died during childbirth, his father had gone soon after. The cheerful southern cities had no place for a poor orphan, and so he had been sent northwards to the grim Sisters of God. They had cared for him, fed him, and forgot him. Here his hate festered and grew, and here he turned four.

A year later the Sisters had found him a home, and they sent him further North to the people Taron had referred to his aunt and uncle. Yet unbeknownst to Taron, to the cheerful southern city, to the Sisters of God, his birth had long been predicted.

Twenty years before Taron’s birth, during the Empire’s windfall of economic prosperity, a group of farmers who had been exploring new farming methods had discovered an ancient tomb hidden in an even older swamp. The inside of the tomb was covered in writing. The farmers contacted the University.

The University sent their most renowned historian, the Professor Hunan Chu.

Chu became fascinated with the writing and eagerly tried to decipher it. The language was complex, much more so than any other writing from the same period. When he finally did discover it, it was a relative disappointment. Merely minor predictions. A war here, a flood there, and so on. It was only after he consulted the history books did Chu realize that the ancient writers had been absolutely correct. They had foreseen every Emperor’s death for a thousand years, every flood, every famine, every war.

And then Chu saw the end of the writings. They were far more elaborate. They even had a title, an expansive script nearly ten feet in length. It was simply entitled, The End. It told of the birth of a boy, the destruction of an empire, and then the world meeting the flames from which it had been born.

The date on which the writings said The End was coming was a forgotten boy’s twelfth birthday.
"The problem with the future is that it keeps turning into the present"
-Hobbes from "Calvin and Hobbes"

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Bmat
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Post by Bmat »

Although the story is intriguing, the narrative portion goes on too long and seems clinical. I don't know what to suggest to make it less cold, maybe intersperse it with action.

As far as the action part at the beginning. Very nice! The reason for the child's hatred gradually unfolds. The first sentence is the only thing I didn't like.

It had become too much to stand. "to endure" maybe or some other wording entirely. It had become unbearable.

HulloKitty202
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Post by HulloKitty202 »

As always, Bmat, impeccable advice! I too find the narration to be long and boring and cold...I'm just at a loss on how to present that information to the reader. Its valuable, borderline essential yet so hard to present. Mayhaps I will have to create a character just for this information...Thanks much, Bmat!
"The problem with the future is that it keeps turning into the present"
-Hobbes from "Calvin and Hobbes"

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clknaps
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Re: A little beginng

Post by clknaps »

My main question is this: After the first section I drop "out" of character and into a distinct narration. How does that fill with the rest of the text?


So this is just a suggestion, but what if you interspersed the narration at the end with the action in the beginning? Something like this, just a suggestion mind you, what does everyone else think?



It had become too much to stand. It hurt so much now. Every minute was agony, every hour torture, every day a private hell.

Taron had been born far away from his aunt and uncle’s remote farm in the Stormed Mountains. He had been born in the cheerful southern cities, his mother a nurse in the castle, his father a soldier. His mother had died during childbirth, his father had gone soon after. The cheerful southern cities had no place for a poor orphan, and so he had been sent northwards to the grim Sisters of God. They had cared for him, fed him, and forgot him. Here his hate festered and grew, and here he turned four.

He had crept up from his hidden room; the call had become too strong. On top of the stairs, he could see his aunt and uncle, their voices joined in prayer.

A year later the Sisters had found him a home, and they sent him further North to the people Taron had referred to his aunt and uncle. Yet unbeknownst to Taron, to the cheerful southern city, to the Sisters of God, his birth had long been predicted.

Oh Heavenly Father, protect us from what we cannot see and guard us from what we can. Strike the immorality from us, Father, give us strength! Protect us from the Devil and his temptation, O Lord.

Twenty years before Taron’s birth, during the Empire’s windfall of economic prosperity, a group of farmers who had been exploring new farming methods had discovered an ancient tomb hidden in an even older swamp. The inside of the tomb was covered in writing. The farmers contacted the University.

Both were hunched in front of the altar, both wrapped in their prayer cloaks. The fire was roaring behind them, popping and cackling as it devoured an old log. Taron could see where his aunt and uncle held hands, and he could almost see his uncle’s gray beard dripping with sweat, and his aunt’s beady eyes rolling.

Their prayers were sometimes whispered, and sometimes shouted, but the message was always the same. Protect us.

The University sent their most renowned historian, the Professor Hunan Chu.

Taron hated them. His hate was like a fire, it simply consumed. His small hand tightened into fists and Taron longed to use them. An image floated in front of him, of his aunt and uncle dead. Burned. Whipped. Gone.

Chu became fascinated with the writing and eagerly tried to decipher it. The language was complex, much more so than any other writing from the same period. When he finally did discover it, it was a relative disappointment. Merely minor predictions. A war here, a flood there, and so on. It was only after he consulted the history books did Chu realize that the ancient writers had been absolutely correct. They had foreseen every Emperor’s death for a thousand years, every flood, every famine, every war.

Taron fought down a sob. The visions of his aunt and uncle dead had grown more powerful, stronger by the day. It had risen with his hate. While he wanted it, like a man wants a woman, he was scared of it because he knew it was wrong to want something like that the way he did.

And then Chu saw the end of the writings. They were far more elaborate. They even had a title, an expansive script nearly ten feet in length. It was simply entitled, The End. It told of the birth of a boy, the destruction of an empire, and then the world meeting the flames from which it had been born.

A pain lanced up his back, and, unconsciously, he traced the long scars that ran down his small back. Those marks came from God, he had been told, punishment for being a *beep*, punishment for being different, punishment for being him.

Taron crept closer. His aunt and uncle did not hear him, so absorbed they were with their God. A fire poker lay close, its blade beckoning to him. (do fire pokers have a blade? I thought they had a point and a hook)


The hate rose as it had never before, clawing at his heart like a hungry beast. He reached for the fire poker.

They heard. His aunt rose, stumbling over her prayer cloak, the thick black fabric obscuring her loathsome flabby, pimply, ugly, evil face. Her husband struggled to rise.

“Boy,” She said. “Go back to your room. You are not to disturb us during prayer!”

He moved closer, a whisper on the rushes that made the floor. The hate was a crescendo. “Boy!” She shouted, as her husband rose next to her. “Get back to your room! God will know of this! Be assured he will – “

Warm, sickly warm blood spattered Taron and his uncle. Taron’s tears ran with his aunt’s blood.

“Die!” He screamed at his uncle, who was trying to remove his prayer cloak. He swung at his uncle, swung hard. The fire poker did the rest.

He was eight years old.

The date on which the writings said The End was coming was a forgotten boy’s twelfth birthday.[/quote]

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aldan
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Post by aldan »

It would probably require some rewriting to make it work properly that way, and there's not enough clarity for me in how to pick out the bounces, if you know what I mean.

I, personally, feel that it would be better to have the information in that second chapter come later in the story. You could have the child hiding or running from someone (or he could just be running from what he'd done, from guilt) and he'd have 'memories' or flashbacks to those things that happened in his life that he remembered, and perhaps could find out the info that he couldn't remember (I know that memories from when I was 2 years old just don't exist for me) as the story progresses.
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and to appear stupid than
to open it and remove all doubt."
---Mark Twain

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