Wednesday, March 7, 2012

March Secret Agent #39

TITLE: Shadow of Light
GENRE: YA Fantasy

On a moonless mist-soaked night, deep in the heart of a forgotten forest, walked a crooked old man. He made his way through the maze of weeping trees, snorting through his crooked nose and grumbling to himself as the trees wailed and sobbed, pleading with him to listen to their tales of woe and despair. He became frustrated with the constant stream of sorrow from the enchanted trees. He wiped away their moon drop tears and swatted at the branches that sought nothing but comfort. He had no time to pity them; no time to lend an ear to their broken hearts of bark. On this night, the crooked old man had more important matters to attend to.

The crooked old man exhaled angrily, wishing that the boiling, black clouds did not hide the moon on this night. He continued on, stomping his twisted feet angrily on the forest floor, certain that he was lost. His tattered clothing hung loosely on his crooked limbs as he desperately searched for the path to the hut of the Witches Three. They were expecting him tonight, and tonight he had to find them, in order to fulfill his destiny.

Surrounded by utter darkness the old man was forced to strain his eyes just to see in front what lay before him. The old man failed to see the tree root that was crawling closer to him. The tree root snagged his foot and threw him to the forest floor.

8 comments:

David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DB Graves said...

I really love the visuals in the first para. Great Fantasy stuff for sure! "...as the trees wailed and sobbed, pleading with him..." Great stuff. The first sentence of the last para, "Surrounded by utter...his eyes just to see in from what lay before him." This is worded weird to me, like you had two thoughts come out at once or something. Other than that, I really like the start of this!

Happy Dolphin said...

You've used 'crooked' three times in the opening 250 - the first two I get but by the time the third one comes along it is once too many. The decription is beatiful and I lament the fact that our modern writing tastes demand that prose be stripped bare of adjectives. But, my personal preference aside, that is the reality so I think you will need to pare down the prose and the challenge will be to maintain the lyrical beauty you have achieved.

Andrea Wenger said...

The use of omniscient point of view to open the scene provides context and lovely visuals. The tradeoff is a loss of immediacy. I feel like I'm looking at the scene from the outside, rather than experiencing what the character experiences. The phrase "He became frustrated" tells rather than shows, and it further distances the reader from the character.

Anonymous said...

comment above sums this piece up for me "i feel like i'm looking at the scene from the outside."

A Little Push said...

I agree, you have some lovely visuals here, but the omniscient POV doesn't help us identify with the old man. Also, I wouldn't use "crooked old man" three times so close together. And watch your adverbs!

Good luck!

Lanette said...

Beautiful writing and great visuals! I suggest that you drop the last word of the first paragraph and that you start the penultimate sentence in the last paragraph with "He". Otherwise, it's brilliant.

Secret Agent said...

Form rejection. I wish I knew if this was a prologue or the opening of the book, because I feel like I can't make a fair comment without that information. If it is a prologue, is this action that can appear later (or does it need to appear at all)? If this is a YA novel, why does the YA character not appear on the first page?

Generally I prefer my fantasy more contemporary and urban, and this reads more high. The writing is in no way bad, but this wouldn't be for me.