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4our - WIP - Historical/Fantasy Fiction - Mature Readers Desired
Old 09-28-2015, 09:20 PM
Kalinder's Avatar
Resident Kitsune
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 81

Hey gaiz.

So I know I'm relatively new here, but writing is a massive part of my life. It's honestly about my only natural gift in life and I'd like to make a career of it someday. I currently am experienced in the field of ?classic? literature in the sense of novels and books (I?ve written 12 novels/novellas to date!), but I'm trying to get the tools and EXP needed to enter the more technical areas of writing such as would be used in movies or? videogames. ^ - ^

That being said, this is my most recent project that I?ve been working on for three years now on and off. It?s the most unique undertaking I?ve ever pursued because it combines fact and fiction in a way that I?ve personally not seen or read (or written!) very often if at all. It takes place here on Earth and includes scenes, people/heroes, and time-periods you?re all familiar with, E.g ? The assassination of Abraham Lincoln, the Crusades, Alexander the Great, the fall of the Dinosaurs, Nero burning Rome, WWII, etc., and combines them with the idea that there is a secret war going on that has played crucial roles across human history and is the cause behind some of our unexplained phenomena that we have so many conspiracy theories about. My cast boasts 50+ characters and is meant to contain a large element of mystery initially that keeps readers guessing about what Spirit matches what Person until further in the series. I have split the story into ?Arcs? (possibly because I would die the HAPPIEST person EVER if this was ever converted into an anime.) which each have chapters within them.

?Why should I care?? You?re asking.

Well. To be honest, because this means a lot to me. I want for this to be successful and if I ever become a successful writer whose name is somewhat known, I?d like to be known for listening to my readers and their thoughts and own dreams for what they like. The world has changed a lot and the media we consume is downright crazy compared to even 50 years ago.

So I?m asking for your help.

Please take a few minutes and read this. Tell me if you happened upon it in a library or book store or on your Nook or Kindle or online.. or whatever medium you happen to use? Tell me if you would keep reading.

And even tell me if you wouldn?t!

After three years of spinning incredible intricate plot details, there are times where I sit back and ask myself if this is one of those crazy things where really truly I?m the only one who is actually interested in it. Please help me see where I stand with the people!

I trust you all because you are hard-minded critiques even if you don?t realize it! Years of gaming, movies, anime, and books have made you all experts. What you say matters.
Thank you.

And even if this isn?t your cup of tea: thank you. You gave my dream a few minutes of your time and I will always appreciate that.


Added after 4 minutes:


[ 8th Century ]

The rain didn?t seem interested in taking a break from her drumming on the roof, so the little boy called Iao, bored of meditating, dashed from his room and into the stretching hallways of the monastery. His teacher was praying over a cup of rice when discovered by his young pupil. The boy bowed once before kneeling beside the elder,

?Yamo, the rain is long; I wish to hear a story.?

The monk blew a gentle breath over the bowl he had cupped in both hands. Despite their age, they did not shake as he lowered the bowl back to the table. Foggy eyes slowly turned to the boy,
?I told you a story yesterday.?

The child squirmed slightly, ?But Yamo, Chi interrupted us and I did not get to hear the ending.?

?The ending is for you to decide.? With slow but purposeful movement, Yamo rose to his feet. Several yards of fabric trailed behind him as he began to walk away,
?It is time that you learn of the Four.?

Immediately bounding after him with all the vigor of youth, Iao followed his teacher into the heart of the monastery where all the manuscripts were kept. Staircase after descending staircase brought the duo to a barred door bound with chains. Drawing back slightly, the child stuttered,
?Y-Yamo? We are told to never come here.?

Yamo stuck a silver key from around his neck in the master-lock and all the others on the door sprang free. Unraveling the chains, he began the tale,

?In the beginning, there was nothing. It was not until the One sang the first song that our world was weaved into existence. He sang of the five Orders; of water, earth, light, darkness, and ghosts. They came to be by power of his melody. Every being that has ever walked this earth at any point was there for it. He named each, for there was only one for every species, and they were called Spirits.?

The final chain being undone, the monk pulled the door open revealing yet another staircase. This one smelled of mildew and stale oxygen. As Iao stepped into the darkness, the door slammed behind him, opened, and slammed again. He jumped, shaking violently.
?It is only her, do not be afraid. She is bound.?
The air seemed to rattle as a banshee?s scream rose from the yawning shadows below.
Iao grabbed his teacher?s robes and clung to them as they began their descent.

?The One taught each Spirit the powers of their Orders. Those of the darkness were full of cunning, quick to trickery, and strengthened by the presence of the moon and the cycle of the night. Those of the water could breathe freely beneath it and had heightened senses when in direct contact with liquid, able to hear sounds miles away and smell the moisture in a bead of sweat on a foe?s brow. The Order of earth allowed its own unparalleled strength, durability, and foresight, many being able to see the future. Those of the light could hide in plain sight, all masters of disguise, hypnosis, and dreams. And the ghost Order allowed for immunity to all of these as well as mastery to a degree. In addition to the natural power of their Orders, the Spirits were covered in the magic of a new world and privileged with a special ability unique to themselves as individuals.?

They reached the bottom of the staircase and were faced with a hallway lined with intricately designed candlesticks covered in globs of dried wax. Water was tentatively dripping from cracks in the ceiling, and the ground underfoot changed from wood to stone. Yamo stopped to feel one of the candlesticks and finally lit the only candle he could find capable of maintaining a flame. It was a shy one, and its tiny body flickered wildly before dying. Lighting it again and shielding it with his free hand, the passage way was lit just enough to see the walls on either side of them. They were covered with deep carvings in the stone. Iao did not recognize their origin or meaning. As if to answer the boy?s silent question, the elder barely let his fingers scrape against one,
?Clawed by a dragon; one of the last.?

Iao?s eyes grew round with fear and disbelief, ?Dragons don?t exist.?

Yamo paused to scratch his beard, ?That?s what they wanted everyone to believe. Being of the Ghost order, when things turned to war and bloodshed as you will soon hear, they were hunted down mercilessly by the other Orders. The world was still in its infant stages when the last female was slaughtered upon this very mountainside. Now only the Spirit dragon remains. Imagine being the last of your kind. Even if he were to win true immortality, he would bring honor only to the graves of his descendants and spend eternity alone with the stars.?

?I do not understand.?

?In the beginning times, there was no strife. All Spirits were in communion with one another and shared a common link almost like a single heartbeat. They could feel one another even when they were not physically near. So when the day came that one Spirit killed another, the distress and response of the other Spirits was so immense that the One felt it and returned from the reaches of time and space to behold the reason for their cries. The One discovered the bloody body of the man Spirit next to the gorged body of the snake Spirit. The One angrily demanded why the snake Spirit had done this and the snake Spirit replied that it had sensed a power within the human Spirit and wished to devour it to slake a thirst it didn?t know it had. And as the One looked inside the snake Spirit, there was nestled not one soul, but two. Furthermore, as the other Spirits watched aghast, a single horn grew from the snake Spirit?s head. This was the first Token; a trophy of battle.

?However, being garnished with freewill does not mean action comes without repercussion, and so the One made a decree unto all of the Spirits. Because of the first death, they would each be called to sacrifice in order to reclaim the honor of the departed human Spirit and of their own kind. The One would mold man again and give it dominion over the world, even as the species had no leading Spirit. Each of the remaining Spirits was granted immortality unless killed at the hands of another Spirit or a human should it be caught by one. The One promised ultimate godhood for the final Four Spirits who had managed to slay all others. He said they would represent the Soul, Mind, Body, and Heart and would bring ultimate honor to their kind as well as repay the blood spilled by the snake Spirit. All others who failed in the attempt would be forgotten across the sands of time and never spoken of again. Upon saying this, the One re-forged the world into a new shape, splitting the continents and scattering the Spirits. The One gave them human bodies to hide within and specific markers to identify them as Spirits. Mankind was already duplicated and great in number, and so the One did again with each Spirit, giving them a race to fight for. These are the animals you see every day. They do not possess any of the qualities of the Spirits except similar bodies when the Spirits are in their true forms.?

The boy?s heart crumpled within him as they studied the claw marks a few moments longer.
?Such a fate, that they should all be punished so terribly??

Yamo nodded stiffly before continuing down the passage. The temperature dropped drastically until the chills that had swept Iao?s spine took permanent residence in the goose-bumps all over him. He no longer felt as if in a monastery, but had the very distinct feeling he was walking in a prison. As they reached the arch at the end of the passage, his thoughts were confirmed. A giant natural stone cavern gaped before them. Pillars of stone kept the roof from collapsing and massive stone steps lead down to a wooden circular platform suspended above a vast abyss. Should the chains break that wrapped the platform, nothing would keep it from plummeting to the oblivion below. Wooden carts were scattered on the upper level of the room covered with rusted tools too worn and aged for further use. Given their dulled teeth and cruel edges, it didn?t take much imagination to figure their original purpose.

?You?ll recall that this place was not always a monastery. For three hundred years before this, it was the palace of a stubborn cruel man and his inheriting sons who ruled the lands around with iron fists. Once the kingdom was overrun by troops from our good emperor, the monks were allowed to settle here. We discovered the manuscripts documenting their histories and found the Spirit contained herein had been prisoner for the extent of that dynasty. They believed it would bring them fame and good fortune. In harder times, the Spirit was tortured until odds swung in their favor. It?s been another hundred years since then and still it remains here for we fear if it should ever be released, it would seek every vendetta against mankind. Should we kill her, she will simply be reborn into a new body. Only another Spirit can truly end her plight.?

Iao?s hand abruptly released the hem of his teacher?s garments and he backed towards the passageway, ?I don?t want to see anymore.?

I wish to see.

The child tensed, freezing up. The whisper was in both his ears and his head. The monk put a hand on Iao?s shoulder, ?Is she speaking to you??
The boy looked up with terrified eyes before clutching his teacher?s robes once more. Yamo patted him firmly, ?Do not be afraid. She is the weakest she ever could be.?

Do not fear the darkness.

Iao stared down the stairs and his mind reeled with everything he had been told. A Spirit was down there; a being of immense power brought to its knees. He edged closer to the stairs. It took a few more moments of tense silence before he made the first step. Nothing happened and he stepped again. With each step he gained a grain of confidence. Still wary, he stepped onto the platform which creaked wearily. Yamo had remained at the top of the stairs.

His eyes slowly adjusted to the darkness and what he beheld made his heart skip a beat. He expected a cage with her inside strung up with dozens of chains and flaming red eyes. Instead, she was being held by a simple wooden stock, arms and legs shackled and attached to the ground. She was little more than a skeleton with skin stretched tightly over her bones which threatened to burst free at any moment. Long flaming red hair that hid her face and draped in piles over the ground was matted with blood long dried, dirt, sweat, and stench. He shuddered at her fingernails which had become freakishly overgrown and stretched out past the platform and fell into the darkness. But perhaps most amazing of all were the mangled bone extensions protruding from the small of her back. They looked as though they had been chopped up and the ends were splintered into a hundred needle sharp points. Tiny tufts of ragged orange fur were scattered over the platform. As his eyes traveled up her body he recognized the scarring on her back from where hot oil had been poured. Further up, barely sticking out from her hair were two ragged ears, one of which had been cleft horizontally at the center and was hanging free, connected only by a slender strand of dead tissue. She showed no signs of life. He couldn?t hear her breathe and her chest didn?t rise and fall. Hand trembling beyond his control, he extended a finger and barely touched her shoulder. She was as cold as the mountain?s stone in winter. He stepped back, horrified, and overcome with emotion,

?This can?t go on. This isn?t right! How is this any better than what the snake did to the first human? This is a fate worse than any dishonor! We condemn the barbarians for their heathen ways, and yet here we commit this crime in secret, an act just as heinous.?

His yells echoed wildly off the cavern walls. He failed to notice the Spirit?s right ear swivel ever so slightly in his direction. The candle which had struggled so valiantly to keep lit finally gave up the ghost and the room fell into darkness as deep as the silence. The boy found himself sobbing as forced himself to walk back up the stairs,
?It?s not fair, Yamo.?
?She is a danger to us all.? The old man murmured.

He guided the child gently out of the cavern, back through the hallway, and up the final staircase. As they neared the top, the wail came again, high, wavering, wobbling, broken. Then the sounds of thrashing, chains screeching as they were shook and rattled. Iao stared back down and tears streamed openly down his cheeks. Yamo also looked tense as he struggled to close the door to block out her whispers.

Don?t fear the darkness, don?t fear the darkness! FEAR ME!

The door slid shut and he hastened to bind it shut with the chains. The locks remained scattered on the ground. It had stopped raining outside. He passed a serious look to Iao, ?Go and finish your studies now.?

The boy spun on his heel and wordlessly departed. He stopped asking for stories after that, and for the next few days, attended his duties with commendable diligence.
The bright face of the moon was casting strange shadows in Iao?s room when the entire monastery shook. War trumpets sounded in the distance and he ran to the nearest window to peek out. A band of at least a hundred men faced him, backed by the glittering stars, and brandishing spears and the neighboring country?s standard. They loaded a single catapult full of stone and fired it. It crashed into the floor beneath Iao, utterly destroying it. He yelled and darted down the hallway towards the center of the monastery, as far away from the outer wall as he could get. Monks were running everywhere and his playfellows were being ushered every which way. He thought to find Yamo and suddenly amid the chaos realized there was nothing anyone could do. The monks would refuse to fight, and the soldiers would sweep in. All the manuscripts would burn and then? His mind trailed to the back staircase and into the darkness. No. No! He wouldn?t allow it.

An elder was calling his name and trying to grab his sleeve, but he jerked away. Another catapult blast sent shockwaves through every surface. He gathered his balance and sprinted for the back stairs. He fell down half of them as the tumultuous sound of armor clanking and sword brandishing reached his ears from far above. The soldiers had already breached the outer wall.

He reached the door and threw himself into the tangle of chains with gusto. Scraping madly, he rapidly gained an armful of splinters as he shrieked from the adrenaline pulsing through his small frame. Finally the door parted just enough for him to squeeze through. He flew down the next flight of stairs. Pounding through the hallway he cried,
?Spirit! Wake up! Wake up! It?s time, we have to go!?


He announced his battle cry with a hoarse voice as he raced down the final set of stairs and onto the platform, ?I don?t fear the darkness!?

He threw himself shoulder first into her stocks. The entire platform shook from the sudden movement. A chain snapped and the platform immediately tilted. The stocks, rotted through, broke on impact and slid into the pit, easily slipping free from her skeletal frame. He stomped on both sets of her fingernails, shattering both, and began to yank on the end of her restraints. They were rusty and loosely connected to the wall. Her body lay limp on the floor, but her voice resounded strongly in his head.

Why are you doing this?

He raced back up the stairs and grabbed a tool from one of the carts and began to thrash it against the metal binding on the wall. One restraint came loose; the other proved more stubborn.
?I won?t let them keep you for another hundred years. If we die, we die together.?

He gave one final thump before tossing the tool and jerking with all his might. It gave way, but so did his balance. As he toppled backwards, the entire platform moaned and another chain on the roof gave way. Swaying madly, it was clear the platform was done. It dropped a few feet and all the chains groaned as they prepared to snap. Iao gathered the Spirit desperately in his arms, found she weighed next to nothing, and heaped her yards of hair into her twig arms. He made an awkward dash for the stairs, stumbled, and threw her as hard as he could. Her body collided with the stone stairs, but didn?t roll back. The platform gave way in the same moment. He pushed off of it, but only managed to grab the lip of one of the stairs. Thick cobwebs stuck to his face as he hung off, and his fingers quickly began to slip.

?Go!? He screamed, ?Get out of here!?

To his surprise, a tiny hand gripped his wrist and her face appeared over the ledge. He marveled at her eyes. They burned with the light of the stars and something far greater.
?What are you ??
?If we die,? She growled in a hoarse voice that hadn?t been used for words in centuries, ?we die together.?

He stared at her and she began to heave, desperately pulling with a might that shouldn?t have existed. It was enough for him to get a new grip. He struggled to aid her. She grabbed him with both hands by the back of the collar and then ? he hooked a leg over the ledge, and was up.

Iao didn?t remember picking her up or running out of the darkness. He couldn?t recall barreling through the door at the top of the staircase and getting smacked in the face by the lower hanging chains. He only remembered the final ascent and the overwhelming fear that he was holding a dead Spirit in his arms. The manuscript room was full of chaos. Parchment was flying and blood splatter painted the walls and floor. He ran over the bodies of fallen monks, driven by the hoots and demonic chatter of the looting soldiers. It didn?t take long for someone to spot him. In the terrifying chase that followed, the Spirit opened her eyes again and looked towards the moon which shown brightly. She stared at it as if completely enamored and reached out as though to grab it. Iao pounded on, unable to think of a way of escape. They kept blocking off passages, and finally he was pushed to the top of the old battlements which the monks used for morning meditations. It was here that he was cornered.

Soldiers were approaching from both sides, and there was nothing but a frothing waterfall drop to swirling mists and nothingness behind him. The Spirit shifted in his arms.
?Together.? He told her.
He squeezed her tightly, looked up at the moon, turned, and jumped into the thundering waters.

Their bodies were never found.
~Listen well boy, there are two bells to ring. The parish above; the blightbog found deep below.

Last edited by Kalinder; 09-28-2015 at 09:20 PM.
Old 09-28-2015, 10:29 PM
Kinvara's Avatar
Aquatic Admin
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Inkopolis
Posts: 10,562

I thought that was a good start!

While there is a difference between writing for books vs for film/games, the basic principles of plot structure, character development, etc still apply so I think you should have no problem coming from a "traditional" writing background to something else.

I would say writing traditionally is much harder since you don't have any visual aids to inform the viewer about certain things. You have to consider how specific and detailed your descriptions are. Your reader might imagine a character or place completely different from the image you have in your own mind depending upon how you choose to write it.

Either way, you should keep writing!~

I can give you suggestions for your writing if you'd like me to. Just say the word.
Old 09-28-2015, 10:43 PM
Kalinder's Avatar
Resident Kitsune
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 81

Originally Posted by Kinvara View Post

I can give you suggestions for your writing if you'd like me to. Just say the word.

Thank you! As first poster, with your permission, I will include you (or at least your name) as a side character in my tale here. I'm completely serious. It means a lot that you'd take the time to respond.

And that's the hope. The fields definitely have some large differences in terms of employment. I've applied to several places already and have learned a lot from their feedback. There's definitely an "in" crowd and that's fascinating to me. But I digress!

This is the first thing I wrote so it's also the oldest. I'm sure in terms of technicality and structure it could be improved. If it's alright with you, what would help me the most is to let me into your brain for a bit.

Tell me what you enjoyed in this. Was the vocabulary understandable and flowing or did you find yourself having to re-read sentences in order to understand? Was the explanation/backstory melded into the active events or did you find one overbearing on the other?

What would you say was your least favorite part? Was there too much or too little description? Did the plot interest you or did you feel it was pretty run of the mill? Were you able to predict what was going to happen?

Anything along those lines is what I benefit from the most, though any feedback you submit is highly valued. ~ :3
~Listen well boy, there are two bells to ring. The parish above; the blightbog found deep below.