Wednesday, May 15, 2013

May Secret Agent #34

TITLE: The Book of Fate
GENRE: High Fantasy

Sod this.

Yes, dear reader, I know that is not the introduction to this historical text that you were expecting. The truth is, I’m not happy about having to copy it out at all. In fact, I fully intend to illuminate a giant penis in the margin halfway through.

Like this text’s hero Zachary and his nemesis, I am of the race of Donwights. I too am the mortal descendant of fallen angels. I have the potential for greatness, like our renowned hero, or infinite darkness and corruption, like his insane foe. Yet all I do is copy out their stories and never leave these wretched walls. After this copy is finally done with, this scribe is finally going to get out of here and have some fun.


THIS is the beginning. 




Nicodemus, wake up! You are Chosen.

That’s better.

You passed out in the middle of the sentence you were writing, and I see you have trailed ink all over your page. You have also spelt ‘beginning’ incorrectly – I hope you will record this vision better than that.

Look down - do you see yourself? Your hand is writing of its own accord.

Yes, really. Your body is there recording everything you see and hear, while you - your soul, Nicodemus - is with Me, hovering above your desk, your gold leaf and coloured inks, the fluttering pages in unswept corners... my, it's a mess in here! And draughty. You really should fix that door.


  1. Hmmm. Interesting. Did a double-take there. You know where.
    I think many of us could relate to a lowly scribe's position, eh?
    Good luck!

  2. Thank you Jill! And thanks to the Authoress for adding the other half of my words... it didn't like me... and it didn't like the 'beginning' being spelt (deliberately) wrong or the trail of hyphens/underscores either.... *looks apologetic* my poor first-time entry! :(

  3. The unexpectedness of the beginning grabs the attention brilliantly. I love the conflict which has developed in just a few paragraphs.

  4. The first couple of paragraphs seem like a forward or prologue and I'm not sure that moves the story forward. Otherwise, interesting premise. I'd start it with Nicodemus.

  5. I may be a little biased, since I've journeyed with good ole Nic to far away places, and seen many incredible sights through his writings, (which I truly feel should be on the big screen, I enjoyed so much) but to try to get an idea of the tale in 2 or 3 paragraphs is like trying to become a nuclear physicist by studying Betty Crocker...Long Live Nicodemus!

  6. Thank you for the observation and suggestion Sherry!

    Thanks for commenting J Roberts, I'm so glad you've enjoyed being one of my "beta readers"!

  7. Yeah, I had to read this one a couple of times, and I'm not sure if I like it or hate it. It's definitely a different approach. I'm just not sure from this first 250 what's happening, and who is narrating.

  8. While this is interesting, it takes awhile to get into it. A reader picking this up in the bookstore might not be engaged to keep reading to find where it gets going.

  9. I agree with another poster about not knowing if I love it or hate it.

    Things I loved:

    - The voice you established in the italicized text
    - That you're not afraid to throw some spunk into your MC
    - That you've established the MC's place in the world that you're about to build (and the impression that it's a large one)

    Things I didn't like:

    - Moving from viewpoints
    - Telling the story in second person POV
    - Not knowing who the narrator of the second person part is
    - Confusion over the speaker first saying "You are Chosen" and then a berating from the speaker

    I get the feeling that you have a very strong grasp of what you want to accomplish here, which I admire. Good luck with it!

  10. Hmmm, I don't think this one worked for me on any level. The narrator came across to me as a whiny prick.

    Also, it's no secret that this starts entirely with exposition, which could work, but all it says is that you're about to tell me one of the most basic stories out there: really good guy vs. really bad guy in a paradigm (fallen angels) as old as dirt.

    It leaves me with the feeling that going any further is going to involve subjecting myself to a jerk of a narrator telling a story I already know.

    The actual story may be AWESOME and I may love the narrator in a different context--I'm a big fan of snark and sarcasm--but I think starting the story this way is very risky. You could be turning off people who would otherwise love it.

  11. I guffawed at your opening words. It made me want to read more. However, I enjoyed your mini-prologue more than the actual "beginning." It's unclear what's happening in those subsequent paragraphs, and the use of second person narration feels like we're in the middle of another introduction prior to the story, when really all I want to do is get into your story now that the narrator has had his testy say.

    I'd suggest some killing of your darlings here. Don't let playing with a fun narrative voice delay or disrupt your story! Balance here, especially at the beginning, is key.