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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Edits for the First Novel

I am in the midst of editing Swords of the Six. The prelude needs honing and it has taken me a couple weeks to write something I feel satisfied with. There is still a lot of work to do on it but I thought I'd post an excerpt from what I have so far:
His black scales shimmering with the blood of a thousand warriors, the dragon Valorian spread his wings and drew back his long neck. Smoke rose from his nostrils, veiling the glint of sunlight in his dark eyes, and a swath of flames issued from his maw. Mauled men lay wounded and dying all around him.

Line upon line of grim-faced men knelt behind their shields, facing the creature, whispering silent prayers as the dragon's attack melted the shields of those closest to him and roasted them inside of their armor. The screams of the dying birthed anger in those closest to the victims. With fierce determination the lines of men rose with cries of revenge and charged the dragon.
But he looked upon them with disdain and stabbed his serpentine head into the ground, burrowing into the soil. Within moments his sleek body and ashen tail followed his head, disappearing into the inordinately small hole.

The warriors froze in their tracks. Beyond their ranks they heard the march of thousands more of their allies. They heard shouts of victory and could only hope it did not originate with the enemy.

The ground collapsed under a dozen of the warriors. Valorian rose through the soil, his mighty claws raked the warriors near at hand, spilling their blood into the pools forming around their companions. The warriors raised their swords and some sought to impale the monster on spikes, but Valorian growled with delight and burrowed into the ground.

The warriors fell back, fearful of his next assault. But they did not retreat far enough. The black dragon burst into their midst and slew a hundred more by the might of his claws.

Stumbling over one another, the warriors sought to escape. Valorian burrowed into the ground yet again and a rout ensued. Men panicked, dropped their weapons and fled.

"Weak and futile!" The dragon growled as a small line of braver souls formed in his path. "Are all of Albino's warriors as children in comparison to me? Are they mere fodder?" He swung around and the scales along his tail rose like barbs. "Treat me not as any other foe," the dragon uttered darkly. His tail whipped into the warriors' midst and the scales along it cut through their armor, snagging like hooks in their flesh.

Valorian drew out his tail, half-a-dozen warriors impaled upon it. He smashed their bodies against the ground . . ..


Kelley said...

As you know, I love what you're doing with the prelude. I think you're doing a really good job writing it. You just keep getting better, don't you? :)
~Your Fair Maiden~

Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

I'm impressed, Scott. That's powerful writing.


Scott Appleton said...

Thanks Becky, I'll take that as high praise and encouragment! Interestingly enough, this writing is a lot closer to the very first manuscript I wrote (it became the Sword of the Dragon series). So I will have to see if I can meld the best of both my original style, and that which I've learned over the past five years.... Let's see if I can make the rest of the novel equally impressive! (-:

Robert Treskillard said...

Scott, great writing!

I think it is interesting that you are going back to your very first writing here, as I ended up doing the same thing for my prologue. I was critiqued by Jeff Gerke at the ACFW conference, and he told me I had too much telling at the beginning. So when I cut out all the jibber-jabber, I ended up with ... close to what I'd written when I didn't know much.

Strange how our first instincts can sometimes be close to correct.

Hey, one minor, minor, minor, minor point ... as I was reading, it felt like it was ZIPPING along because it was so exciting (GOOD!), and then I hit "inordinately", which has 5 syllables, and it lost a bit of that "zip".

I don't know if there is a synonym with less syllables that would convey the same thing? Hmmm...

Keep up the great writing!


"Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones." -Proverbs 16:24

In a world where morality is forsaken and Christ neglected, wholesome books are uncommon. The themes of my writing are love, self-sacrifice, and honor.

I see my generation turning from God to the gods of this world. I see homes torn apart in the pursuit of pleasure and self-gratification. Children are murdered by the millions every year . . . without ever seeing the world outside their mothers' wombs. Through fiction I strive to encourage those who are willing, to stand against these things and be heroes and heroines; chivalrous, gentle, full of righteous indignation, and the fear and love of their Creator.