Friday, November 28, 2014

(10) Supernatural Fantasy: THE MORNING STAR

TITLE: The Morning Star
GENRE: Supernatural Fantasy

Unable to control Lucifer’s perceived slide into madness, Michael needs to reaffirm his faith by defending God’s kingdom as war in Heaven leads to horror and destruction. Yet with God strangely unreachable, rumors contend that He not only condones the conflict, but secretly ordered it Himself - but why would the Creator invent evil?

Azazel walked a cautionary stride, side by side with Lucifer in the Garden of Eden. His great claymore sword hung deep from his belt, leaving a slight imprint as it caressed the glistening greenish-blue blades of grass. With a tight grip on its handle, he pondered his next few words with careful attention.

“I realize professing my thoughts may bring discomfort,” Azazel admitted. “But what the Lord has declared is pure cruelty. Why does He take away our authority and give it to petulant, unclean organisms? Why remove your rank and award it to a being not yet created? It was you who protected His Throne Room while He plotted with his precious Seraphim. You administered the second Heaven. And what was your reward? Giving the honor of witnessing the third Heaven’s creation to meager Archangels?”

Lucifer marched with his hands locked behind his back as an inspecting general. His earlier anger-filled outbursts had subsided. Aside from a fervent scowl, his body was rigid and unpredictable.

“I have not forgotten your punishment in the Seven Mountains of Magnificent Stone,” Azazel continued. “Although I fear your wrath, my mind must be known to you. God’s commands are detrimental to our existence. He relegates us to slavery or banishment into the perpetual darkness of Hell.”

The lack of Lucifer’s expected backlash emboldened Azazel. He clutched the breastplate of his red steel armor as he searched for greater strength. The angels continued a brisk pace north as Lucifer began to fidget.


  1. You have tackled quite a subject! You've done a good job of giving us background to the brewing conflict within Azazel's dialogue, and walking through the Garden gives the scene some subtle action. Nicely done.

    Given the logline, I assume you'll be addressing the Problem of Evil. It is an intriguing idea to explore this within a fictional setting. It appears this story could start some really interesting conversations.

    Good luck!

  2. I agree, compelling subject matter. Just the idea that the story begins with these two in the Garden is a compelling hook.

    And yet, after that opening, it just didn't engage me that much. It comes across as an info dump from Azazel. Lucifer is obviously pissed, or, at least we assume so from how Azazel is on eggshells around him. I think it would hook me more if we saw lucifer reacting to something, doing something, in a visceral way. The circumstances leading to that, as alluded to by Azazel, could come later in the chapter. In fact, if you have instead Lucifer acting/reacting to some stimulus, you could convey the relationship between these two by how Azazel reacts to Lucifer to perhaps talk him down or keep him from doing something
    rash(depending on what is in keeping with their personalities.)

    In any case, I still want to read more, just to get to that first scene of action

    Good luck!

  3. I agree this is a great subject and I like your log line. My only comment is similar to the one above: I found a bit too much backstory laid right at the beginning. Since I'm not really familiar with the seven heavens and the various references, it almost made me wonder if I'd need to know a little more than I do. I think if you save a bit of this for later, it's no problem. Stick with the good stuff like the great "petulant organisms" line. I also agree that if there was some more back and forth between the two angels, that could improve the action of the first scene. Though I also kind of like the mystery of the devil's non-expression.

    Tackling the question of evil is always interesting to me! Good luck.

  4. What an ambitious story concept. I'm intrigued. :) I think a reader would have to be fairly versed in biblical mythology to understand Azazel's speech. Therefore, I'm not sure this starts in the right place. However, if you're targeting a religious market, like inspirational horror, it could be just right.

    Any time this much information is delivered on a first page, and in dialogue, I raise an eyebrow. It's like walking into the middle of conversation already underway and that can be confusing.

    I do like the setting in the Garden of Eden, and Lucifer's pensive silence. An I like Azazel's obvious passion.

    Good luck!

  5. This looks like a true page turner. I am already hooked and I can't wait to read the book. The author paints quite the picture. Azazel's carefully chosen words met with Lucifer's silence leaves me on the edge of my seat. Good luck!

  6. You know, I've always been interested in the war in heaven and am surprised at how few stories about it are published. Aside from "Paradise Lost" and a few random books on Amazon, there aren't as many as I would have thought. The Bible only has sparse mentions here and there. There is a lot that can be left to interpretation. I hope to see more stories like this published.

    I like what you've written thus far. I love the dialogue, very well done. Reading it leaves me with a lot of questions. What are the Seven Mountains of Magnificent Stone? Who is Azazel exactly? Very intrigued to see what happens next. Great job!

  7. Very interesting concept. I'm having trouble with this opening, though--it feels like I'm starting partway through the story, what with the reference to Lucifer's "earlier outburst" and the general sense that I should already know these characters and this story.

    I suppose it might be an artistic choice to write this for readers who already know the mythology, but I'd be much more interested if I were entering this the way I might enter other fantasy fiction--with more of an introduction to the world and characters before we launch into heavy dialogue.

    The dialogue is also a little bit dense--long paragraphs that I would suggest breaking up with pauses or description if I were you.

    The writing is strong, and I like your pacing overall. Good luck!