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furry arts discussion => furry storytelling => Topic started by: Tanu on January 30, 2016, 11:03:30 pm

Title: Feedback for a fantasy novel
Post by: Tanu on January 30, 2016, 11:03:30 pm
Hello, I'd like to know some of your opinions on a book I've been working on for a LONG while and I finally started to actually type it up. This is just the first few pages of the first chapter as I haven't progressed much in a long while. There will actually be anthropomorphic characters in it two of which I've used as a sona for a short while but ultimately I decided they were better book characters than sonas.

Anywho, here goes:

Nestled at the base of the (name of mountains) mountain range at the northern border of the Alom Kingdom, is the township of North-Gate. Often called the ‘Jewel’ of Alom’s trade districts, this village had acted as the gate between Alom and the northern provinces of Ghael since the Great Elven Collapse, six-hundred and fifty years ago. North-Gate had earned its title as “Jewel of Alom” by being the only town between the two regions, providing the kingdom most of its wealth. The people are a mix of Alom and Ghael cultures and it shows, with Alom architects having designed the tall adobe and stone buildings with the red shingled roofs typical of Alom design; Ghael artisans crafted the materials with the looping knots and runes that are customary to the northern people, etched into the wood and stone. Lastly, the Elven workers provided the forced labor, using building techniques typical of their culture, giving the city a unique, circular design.
The sun rose to a day of excitement and tradition, the town’s folk waking up early to set up stalls along the main roads. The smell of freshly baked breads, cakes, pies, and other aromatic treats filled the roads while other stalls offer the wines made from local and imported berries. Jewelers, blacksmiths, tailors, and other craftsmen also had their own set up. As the musicians and minstrels begin to sing, dance and play, the sounds of drums provided a kind of energy to the town. The people who do not have a stall, lend a hand by setting up decorations of large flowing banners with the kingdom’s emblem waving proudly above roaring braziers and Ribbons of green, white and yellow hung between buildings with glass crystals dangling to catch the sun’s light. The children weaved in and out of the crowds, some using sticks as swords as they ‘fought’ between stalls, meanwhile the older kids would gather and talk of the day’s upcoming event.
“When I get enrolled, I’m going to be the best cavalryman there is!” boasted an older, rather stocky child.
“Good luck!” laughed a taller, lanky boy with the faintest shadow of a mustache, “That’s one of the toughest classes they offer. As for me, I’m thinking archer!” He accented his statement by firing an invisible arrow.
An older man walking by overheard the conversation and chuckled, “I remember when my sister and I went. She was so sure she would be a scout! Next thing she knows, she’s captain of the watch in the port-town of Jon.”
The stocky boy looked to him, crossed his arms and tilted his head back, “What about you?” He asked. The man sighed heavily, “My first month in, I took a nasty hit to my leg, it broke the knee. I was discharged, useless for combat and so I took on the role of supply management.”
One of the Stall owners smiled, “Better that than what happens to the drop-outs, begging on the streets or serving some thief.” The man motioned to a nearby alleyway where at first glance, it looked to be a pile of rags huddled just at its entrance, his hooded head hung low with his legs pulled up to his chest. As a person passed by he held out an old mug, but was ignored.
The beggar watched as people walking by would pretend he didn’t exist. He pulled his mug to his chest and stood. As he patted himself down, he stumbled a little and bumped into someone who immediately pushed back. “Watch yourself filth!” he shouted.
“S-sorry sir,” he stammered “I didn’t mean no harm.”
The beggar held up his hands as he backed into the alley. Once out of sight, he pulled his hood back to reveal short, dark brown hair that connects to the stubble around his face. His grey eyes scanning the empty alley and took note of the lack of windows or doors. Smiling, he produced an ornate bag, opens it and began to count the coins within. He examined the gold base with its intricate designs surrounding a phoenix made from silver; on the other side held three silver lines that conjoin to a single stripe making the emblem of the kingdom. “Thank you for your patronage.” He muttered through his intelligent, sly smile.
He scanned his surroundings once more and noticed a cart propped up against a stack of crates and barrels. He looked up and saw that above the stack is a single support beam before the red shingled edge of the roof. ‘Alright Swipe, one high point and you’ll find that manor.’ he thought, and began the climb.
Testing the cart first, Swipe took notice of its rather low stability and decided it best to climb the crates instead. Once atop the pile, he glanced up and knew he would not reach the support. Smiling he produced a dagger out from his patchwork cloak, much like his own appearance, the dagger is simple and unimpressive with an oak handle and an iron blade. He then attempted his jump and dug his blade into the support, the force he used pushed him back and he fell, slamming his head to the stone below. The last thing Swipe saw before his consciousness faded was his blade, awkwardly sticking out from the beam.
Swipe awoke to the sounds of large, heavy sounding drums and a few horns blowing a long, deep howl. He sat up rubbing his head, “Damn that hurt…” Swipe looked over his shoulder into the road but did not see anyone, “Wait, the graduates, are they here?”
“No time, this just got a lot harder” With that, Swipe stood up, replaced the fallen barrels and attempted the jump once more. He leapt and tore the dagger from the support. He landed awkwardly on the edge of the barrel. Fighting for balance, Swipe looked around for some rope but could not find anything; even the crates and barrels were devoid of anything useful. Swipe sighed loudly and pulled off his patchwork cloak, his ragged appearance suddenly melted away as if through some kind of magic. His face no longer made of a mess of stubble, but well-trimmed with his short hair brushed back and his grey eyes no longer baggy but sharp as knives. He wore extravagant, dark leather armor adorned with black studs; the silk threaded seams, which bound the layers together, doubled as intricate embroidery. Each belt held a row of bags and pouches with polished silver, which bore engravings written in some kind of Elven, lining the openings.
Swipe, the beggar thief, rolled up his cloak and made on final attempt. He kicked off the stack and wrapped his rolled up cloak around the support and left his full weight on it. He heard several seams tear but it held strong. Swipe planted his feet against the wall and pulled himself up, wrapped his arms around the post and hoisted himself up. He now sat atop the troublesome beam and held his cloak in front of him, examining it for the tears, though he saw none.
Satisfied, Swipe stood and stepped onto the roof, walked up to the plateau and enjoyed the view. To the North and West, the great mountains with thin clouds brushing by making the northern border. To the East a second, less impressive range of mountain blocking the eastern ocean from sight. Finally to the South, the great plains and rolling hills of Alom’s vast kingdom. He clipped his cloak back over his shoulders and his tidy appearance was once again replaced with the shaggy face and ragged clothes of the unassuming beggar. Just at North-Gate’s southern entryway, Swipe saw them, the gleaming rows of silver and gold with blue banners of Alom’s graduates!

That is all I have for now. I am still very much active with working on it and I write down ideas that come to mind.
Anyways, as I said earlier, I'd like your opinions.
Title: Re: Feedback for a fantasy novel
Post by: Old Rabbit on February 03, 2016, 12:35:42 pm
I like the setting, it should make a nice story.  I noticed you haven't decided on a
name for the mountain range. Perhaps "Shadow" might work. It would add a bit of mystery to the area.

I usually find it best to work background/backstory, and discription into the story.
Too much discription early tends to slow the read. You don't want the reader to get bored reading alot of things they may or may not feel that important, Your doing
pretty well though.

You spent quite a bit of time getting the thief up to the roof, You may have been
wanting to give the reader some feel of what kind of person he is along the way.
But it did slow the read a bit. I was left with the feeling he is going to be one
of the main characters. Not enough to know which side he is on. Seems he might
be a Robin Hood type so far.

Hope that's helpful.
Keep up the good work. :orbunny:
Title: Re: Feedback for a fantasy novel
Post by: Tanu on February 04, 2016, 07:40:42 pm
Yes I have considered moving the back story of the town to the thief remembering what he knows of how it was built or simply commenting on how it truly is a gem of the kingdom. As for what you got from his possible personality, I couldn't be happier. I will not say that you hit it on the head just that I am glad to see what you got from it.
Again you have a point about how long that took and so I may break that up with another character that will be one of the main cast. Thank you for the feedback and I'm hoping to work more on it soon.

I will add more later for further opinions.
Title: Re: Feedback for a fantasy novel
Post by: Old Rabbit on February 15, 2016, 12:00:04 pm
When I write I try to draw the reader in, Keep them wondering what
might happen next. Kind of like a radio serial. If done well they may
read the whole book in one sitting. Then read it again. 

I saw some of that in your writing too. I think you will do well.

The last thing an author wants is for the reader to lay the book down
before they finish the first few pages. If they do one isn't likely to
sell many books.

Keep up the good work. :orbunny: