The Chronicles of Dust E-BOOK

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Thread: The Chronicles of Dust E-BOOK

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    The Chronicles of Dust E-BOOK

    Hi everyone,

    I would like to let everyone know that i just finished my Fantasy e-book called The Chronicles of Dust, End Dreams and it can be found here. http://www.lulu.com/content/7158203

    PROLOGUE

    In the ancient godless world called Nacronum, men were divided by war, dominance and greed. With the rise and fall of new kings, warfare rotted the lands in a struggle for control. Humanity itself was disappearing like the dust it once came from. Into chaos, a being of great power come from the heavens. He was a magnificent creature with shiny white armour and a weapon of great deity. But not even his great power could tame the beasts that are mortals. So with him, he woke his Destiny, four sons and two daughters, Torikuma, Nactorian, Muna, Pachacuti, Shi’ai and Drac’gul’an, together they were known as The Seven Gods of Nacronum.

    For nearly seven hundred years they fought along side brave mortal men. For seven hundred years they endured the struggle for peace, but in the end amity came to the lands. Five hundred years which followed, peace and prosperity slowly came to the lands of Nacronum and civilizations finally flourished. A mighty tower was then erected several hundred feet tall, to signal a new age of prosperity. The tower was special in design which supported a massive disk like structure. The disk floated above its highest point, soaring high above the clouds. The tower was deemed Dustoria, the Tower of Peace. It stood as the capital of Nacronum. In all directions from the mighty tower, small villages erupted from the dust of war. Arkanius the mightiest of the all gave each of the other Gods their own land to rule as they wished. One rule did not change and that was, “Protect the mortals at all costs.” And so they did and to this day, under the constant watch of the Gods the mortals lived free.

    It is in the nature of men to covet power and greed. Far to the north, many weeks travel, barons entrusted with governance of the people set themselves up as kings within their own lands defying the rule of the Gods. Sometimes, even in the best of kingdoms cancers grow, disrupting the very essence of life. If not dealt with quickly it could spread bringing down the rest of the world. Evil crept into their hearts driving mortals to insanity. Infuriated by such acts of iniquity, Arkanius created the elite force called The Blackatom. They were the elite attack force enhanced by, relics of the Gods and trained by his eminence, Arkanius. The elite Blackatoms marched forth and dealt a sever blow to those who dare defy the rule of the Gods.

    Like mortals, Gods were susceptible to the same laws that governed life. Gods in general cannot present themselves in the living world in their current energy state. They must inhabit a mortal body, thus being susceptible to the same rule as mortals, death and rebirth. To combat this minor setback they would enter a place called The Slumber of the Gods. There they would spend one hundred years reflecting on their past life’s deeds. For every one hundred years in the Slumber of the Gods they could spend one hundred years on the living plains of Nacronum. This slumber as they called it also regenerated their physical bodies making them stronger.

    On the thirteenth hundred year of rule, it was Arkanius’s turn to slumber. His slumber was generally shorter then the rest due to his in-depth understanding of the engine that governed life. But this time he slumbered for exactly one hundred years and a day no more. His waking party grew nervous as he emerged from the slumber. But something was different about him. His mortal body was changed somehow, altered in some shape or form. His white skin was no more. His slim body was now heavier built. As he stepped out the rift he muttered he had a dream. This is strange because Gods cannot dream. No god in history had ever dreamed in the slumber. His Destiny asked him what the dream was about. He said that it was not a dream but a nightmare. He said he saw his future and everyone around him was dead or dying. He said he saw a monster, but he did not say which monster. So he planned for the inevitable future. He spent the better half of one hundred years pinpointing the exact events and the other half on getting his people ready for war. No God was ever allowed to go back into the slumber for fears that they would be changed as well. Many have questioned his methods. Who’s to say what would happen to a God if it could not be allowed to slumber. Many more, including his own children, have questioned his sanity but his Destiny was always by his side. He stretched his living body to more then five hundred years until one day it could go no further. There was no other choice. Arkanius was to enter The Slumber of the Gods yet again and wake in time to meet the inevitable event. He was to wake seventy seven years to the mark and a day no longer. Arkanius wore his black ceremonial armour inscribed with ancient golden words of magic hopping to protect him from the nightmare to come. Before entering the rift to the Slumber of the Gods he stopped, hesitated for a moment. He did not forget what happened last time he was in the void. A shiver of nervousness crawled up his spine as he looked onto the darkness of the rift. Thoughtless thoughts ran though his mind until a warm hand came to rest on his shoulder reassuring him his safety. And so he entered the rift and unveiled his End Dream.

    Let me know what you think.
    Thank you.

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    I guess I'm gonna be harsh.

    If this is a story, why does the prologue you posted read like an encyclopedia entry? Prologues tend to be told by a character in your setting, they pull you into your storyworld, and let you uncover the large global dramatic tensions that the story is going to deal with.

    All that I know now, is that there is stuff in your world with funny names, and something is happening. But I'm clueless about the theme of the conflict, and because of that I'm kinda not interested to buy and read your book. People read books for excitement and tension, if you want to win me over, you have to show that.

    Maybe post an excerpt from the actual story.

    edit: I read the preview on that site. I guess I'm gonna quote my sig "Master storytellers never explain. They do the hard, painfully creative thing-- they dramatize"

    Last edited by Duq; May 19th, 2009 at 03:52 PM.
    "Master storytellers never explain. They do the hard, painfully creative thing-- they dramatize"

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    Honestly?

    It was pretty bad. At best it read like a victorian era writer trying his hand at wikipedia. At worst, it sounded like a teenager rping as a victorian era writer trying his hand at wikipedia.

    You need a writers voice. You need to learn to say more with less. Right now you are that painter that puts super amounts of detail into everything while zoomed in at 1600%. Learn to write like an impressionist paints.

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    I see from the prologue you wanted to create some truly epic universe. However after few lines it quickly loses impact and becomes almost like text from historical book. It's hard for me to imagine it beacause it's mostly mere facts. Why not explain all nuances of the world in the story rather than reveal everything at the beginning?

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    I would recommend reading a lot of fiction in the genre in which you wish to write. Just as artists look at the work of other artists to find out "how they did it", so do authors. Don't strive to copy those authors, but examine very closely how they structure their sentences. Notice what they include and, more importantly, what they leave out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FourTonMantis View Post
    What they leave out.
    This.

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    But the book's cover is very pretty.

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    Well, congrats for finishing a novel. Very few people manage it and it's hard work, to put it mildly. So well done on that.

    I read a couple of pages and my advice is SHOW, DON'T TELL.

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    tg, if you want...

    I'm a writer, recently ex editor(just too much stuff going on), occasional copywriter, and nearly novelist that's just started a blog about the techniques of writing fiction.

    http://digitalisdreaming.blogspot.com/

    I'm also available as a book doctor, or just to critique a bit. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.

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    Too dense, needs proofreading and editing.

    Last edited by Flake; May 20th, 2009 at 08:06 AM.
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    Hi everyone,

    I would like to thank everyone for taking a look at my first novel and for the feedback. It is greatly appreciated but, I did not expect it to be so harsh and so much focus on negative aspects of the book. That just goes to show you that it is not for everyone. Like all of us artists out there we each have our own art style and so I have my own style of writing. I don't consider myself an expert writer but I can write and I write because I want to write not because i have to. I want to tell a story, my story, and so I did.

    I also thought I'd post it here since us artists have a better imagination then the rest of the people out there.

    -----------------------
    Torikuma had become, in essence, the beast of a forgotten time. A beast blessed, or cursed with, intelligence as the case may be. Even in his madness, he wished for his own imminent destruction. He knew what he had done was wrong, yet, he could not stop the hunger. He knew that his end was near, for eventually Arkanius would awaken and with him, a vengeance of a God imbued not only with the renewed strength of the God's slumber but with the cries of thousands of innocent souls. Torikuma also knew that he must fight to survive, like all things he would fight until the last breath. And so, he was prepared.
    ---------------

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    Quote Originally Posted by tgfx View Post
    Like all of us artists out there we each have our own art style and so I have my own style of writing.
    Just like we can generally spot bad art regardless of style, we can also spot bad writing regardless of style. There are terrible writers on the market who somehow have channeled really addictive stories; and there are brilliant writers whose lovely prose lacks any sort of soul or intrigue. Generally, I think people are forgiving of either of those groups of writers because they get the payoff either in plot or prose.

    For my part, I think your language base for the world is jumbled. I don't believe that the names are all from the same ethnic or cultural background, which makes it much harder for me to take the crucial step of buying into your created world to begin with. Good fantasy worlds need to be believeably unified; the really good ones compel fans to create dictionaries and encyclopedias for you.

    The following is my impression just from the first paragraphy; please note that I'm not a linguist nor am I a speaker of all these languages.

    Nacronum - Latin-based
    Torikuma - Japanese-based (or maybe Yoruba-based)
    Nactorian - English-based
    Muna - Spanish-based
    Pachacuti - Ancient Aztec-based
    Shi’ai - Arabic-based (or maybe Chinese-based)
    Drac’gul’an - e.e. cummings-based

    ..:|sketches|:..
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    Good meaty story but presented in a most boring and unentertaining way.

    You need as with art, to lead the eye.. Leave the experiencing and conclusion and figuring things out up to the reader. Just add context for it to happen in.

    Little secret from oll Carlos Castenada. You have to write using your "seeing".
    "Being in writing".

    The style of the prologue is more an idea layout for a story. Not something the reader should get from reading the prologue, the reader should discover that juiciness for him/herself.

    ----------------------------------
    Scetchbook: View the exhibitionist's stuff.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tgfx View Post
    That just goes to show you that it is not for everyone. Like all of us artists out there we each have our own art style and so I have my own style of writing.
    These, I'm afraid, are some of the most dangerous words any creative person can utter, especially if they believe it.

    Defending your work with "it's my style" or "it's not for everyone" are two of the biggest cop outs you hear from creative types that are starting out.

    There is a time and place for those kinds of arguments. If you take your grandmother to a bloody horror movie and she doesn't like it, then ok, "it's not for everyone." But if an art student shows you his lop sided drawing with weak anatomy, and then says "that's my style" it's not going to fly.

    Finishing a project like that is commendable. It's an important step in getting better, seeing a project through to the end. So is listening to criticism and working to improve.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tgfx View Post
    I also thought I'd post it here since us artists have a better imagination then the rest of the people out there.
    Careful with comments like this. Artists are able to visualise their imaginations. It does not mean those imaginations are better.

    One of the best things a writer can do is take criticism. You need a proof reader and an editor. Having a good idea for a tale does not a writer make. My wife is a professional writer and she has had to make many changes to her current book based on wise and intelligent observations from her literary agent. Having listened to those valid crits, the book is now with a publisher. In its first draft form it was well written but unpublishable.

    If you choose to present your book here, you will get crits. Some you may not want and will ignore and others which will make important observations about your writing style. One of the BEST things said here is 'show, don't tell'. A quick net search will reveal the wisdom of this phrase.

    Good luck.

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    Well yeah, if you think this feedback was harsh wait until you get comments from an agent or publisher. Now at the moment I'm afraid you wouldn't get that far. A personalised comment on unsolicited work is a rare and encouraging sign, no matter what it says. It shows that the agent or whoever has seen something that warrants more than a default rejection slip. However, I think you need to prepare yourself for crits much stronger than ours, and much less in-depth, and you'll need to take them on board and carry on pugging away if you're to get anywhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tgfx View Post
    I would like to thank everyone for taking a look at my first novel and for the feedback. It is greatly appreciated but, I did not expect it to be so harsh and so much focus on negative aspects
    -
    Welcome to CA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Coene View Post
    Welcome to CA.
    I know...what was i thinking posting it here...lol

    Anyway how about some positive feedback.

    Also:

    A Prologue is an introduction to a play or story and no, there is no written rule to define its voice. My prologue is based on the history of my world called Nacronum and the events leading to the very first paragraph on the book.

    A very good observation Candy Rain but wrong in some way. The Six Gods of Nacronum were all given their own lands and peoples to rule as they see fit. Each one of the Gods have their own cultures. For example Torikuma is based on Chinese culture, Pachacuti is based on Peruvian cultures and so on.

    You guy can't expect me to explain the whole book here....

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    Quote Originally Posted by tgfx View Post
    I know...what was i thinking posting it here...lol
    A Prologue is an introduction to a play or story and no, there is no written rule to define its voice. My prologue is based on the history of my world called Nacronum and the events leading to the very first paragraph on the book.
    And this is exactly where you went wrong. Its an introduction to a story, a chain of different dramatic events. You made an introduction to a setting, a place in space and time where dramatic events may take place.

    A very easy way for you to find out if there is enough drama to pull your audience in, is to just change everything you have in your story to ordinairy world things. A good story stays interesting, even if you change the setting. Sure you loose some nuances, but the general dramatic curve should survive.

    You guy can't expect me to explain the whole book here....
    No, but we can expect you to give us the premise of the story.

    edit: I think you did an awesome thing posting it here. Even though the feedback is negative. This site is home to some amazing storytellers, and there is tons to learn from them if you want to get better. Like drawing, writing isnt a hidden talent, it needs dedication, time and practice.

    Last edited by Duq; May 21st, 2009 at 10:09 AM.
    "Master storytellers never explain. They do the hard, painfully creative thing-- they dramatize"

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    I could have sworn this topic came up before...serious deja vu

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arshes Nei View Post
    I could have sworn this topic came up before...serious deja vu
    Yes.
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=112876
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=117113


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  26. #22
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    Not for everyone = for close friends and family only, I guess.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Poshspice View Post
    Artists are able to visualise their imaginations. It does not mean those imaginations are better.
    Thanks for this outstanding rendering!

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    This seems to be a classic new writer problem (I teach classes sometimes).

    New writer doesn't get feedback that they want to hear. "My family and friends say it's great!"

    Rather than studying the craft of writing, they post the same thing over and over (perhaps with a sentence or two changed) looking for a different response.

    It's not going to happen.

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    Pick up a used copy of Writing Fiction: A guide to narrative craft and a copy of On Writing by Stephen King.

    Teaching yourself to write well is even harder than teaching yourself to draw well. Get some books on the art form and learn to accept, value, enjoy and take to heart honest criticism.

    Just from the few things you've posted here, your story suffers from most of the sci-fi garbage you see in Hollywood...the setting as the story. No one cares about your world, they care about your people. The setting should be a vehicle for your story, not dominate it. And all of it should be revealed through the actions of your characters, not listed out like it's being taught during 3rd period history.

    "Every generation sees the past though the lens of its own time." - Thom Hartmann
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    A great prologue pulls me in like no tomorrow. Like said, "show, don't tell" is the essence of writing. I don't read novels that feel dry and I don't like laundry lists of so-and-so doing this at 5 PM while his wife is sleeping in the bed and the kids are roaming around, yadda yadda. Prologues are the beginning of world-building, of character introductions, of setting the time, place, atmosphere, and mood. If you can't nail those right in the beginning and entice readers to flip further, style or not, you're off the ball and that book's gonna gather dust on the shelves if they even make it that far.

    I also write when I'm not drawing. I know that by Chapter 1, I should snag my readers in, if not by the very first line and paragraph. I write character profiles and figure out the loose chain of events that happen. Then, I have to decide on the character voice and POV. This takes time. One story of mine has gone through five different drafts before I finally found the correct tone and point-of-view. Even now, it's in revision.

    If I were to write a strong prologue, this is how I would do it:

    My brother was ill. He was starved, with his eyes peering out from beneath his hair like bright will-o-wisps and his hands clinging onto mine, thin and frail like the reeds by the river. Long time ago, if I can even remember, he was not like this. But I wasn't the stronger twin either, with sword and armor like weights on my body, glancing down and wondering when did my elder twin become so weak.

    "Sorsen," I said, my voice still and soft and lost in the animal howl of the winds and snow, "you must leave here. Go south. There's a king there and a new court. It'll be better than here."

    His eyes widen and even though I brace myself for his reaction, his fingers closing hard over mine is like a blade to the heart. "They'll kill you for this, Serna." Gray-blue eyes, staring up at me like mirrors reflecting a weathered version of his beauty. A beauty that gave him grief. A beauty that I would no longer see because I wished him to go free.

    "They won't. They've spent too much money and time on me. You don't throw away a tool you've sharpened for war."

    "But..."

    "No," I stated, letting the velveted steel in my voice gird the gentleness there. "Don't. Let's go, Sorsen." The small boat I've hidden swathed in the reeds and underbrush, now dark within the damp night. My brother stepping down, one pale foot almost slipping and I wince as he stumbles in. My dagger is out before thought and words. A soft sliver of blue and the rope slithers free from the tree.

    Already the boat is moving, unmoored. My brother looks back and it's too dark to see if there are tears in his eyes. The oar is small in his hands - hands of a bard and a seer, not like mine. Hands of a warrior, callused and scarred and ready to kill. Even as I turn away, I feel the pricking behind my eyes and I stand there, waiting.

    When the tears fall, they turn to ice. Behind me lay my future and I was unsure, like Sorsen, as to where it would lead me. Perhaps he knew. Perhaps he didn't.

    It was a mercy I couldn't know.


    First, descriptions. Metaphors and similes that fit the context and tone. Second, established the setting and mood. Third, introduction of characters and the differences between them. Fourth, leaving a little "hook" at the end that lets you know more is afoot and will be happening. A prologue works in one package to get those points across. While the above was written on the fly, the point still remains.

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    Thanx for all the feedback. I'll rework some things and I'll be back.

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