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Burden of Prophecy – Opening

July 9, 2010

Hello! Many of you remember me as a guest blogger a few times under my alter-ego’s name, Harley D. Palmer. I am very honored to be a permanent part of the Wicked Writer team! Thank you for CJ for inviting me!

Now, this week everyone has been blogging about their favorite author blogs or current WIPs. So, here is the opening to my current Novel Burden of Prophecy, book one of The Faery’s Tale Saga.

I have rewritten this beginning at least ten times from three different POVs. I think I have finally found the right one with this scene here. It does a much better job at introducing the world I have set up. It still needs a bit of work, I’m sure, but I am pretty happy with the result here.

Chapter One: The Cursed One (Excerpt)

Rosyani Celter stormed from her mother’s study. Heavy footfalls echoed behind her and she sped toward the stairs. She stopped short of the carpeted steps then hopped over the railing. Her wings slowed her decent and she landed gracefully on the marble floor below.

“Don’t you dare run away from me!”

Rosyani glanced up to see her mother descending the curved staircase. Her dress flowed around her, accenting the rage evident on her face. Her gray hair, unusual for a faery, twisted tight into a bun. Rosyani often wondered if that was why her mother was always so cranky.

“You are going to see the Healers whether you want to or not!”

“No, I am not, Mother! Do you care how painful those tests are for me?” She rushed for the door before her mother reached the bottom of the steps.

“I’m trying to do what’s best for you.”

Rosyani’s hand stilled on the circular handle. Her shoulders twitched with the effort to not hit her mother. She slowly turned to face her.

“You are not!” She snorted. “You are doing what is best for you and your image as Queen! I would never force my daughter to be poked and prodded like a piece of meat. I would care how she felt!” Angry tears rolled down her cheeks.

Her mother put her hands on her hips. “Well, when you have your own faes, you can do what you wish as a mother. You’re my daughter and as along as you live in this castle you’ll do as I say!”

That was an easy fix. The corner of Rosyani’s mouth quirked into a smile. She spun on her heel and pulled the tall door open.

“Rosyani Nidea Celter, if you leave, I’ll send the Guard after you!”

“No, you will not. Alerting the Guard would let everyone know that you cannot control your own daughter. Good-bye, Mother.”

Rosyani pulled the door closed behind her. She snatched the metal lantern pole and slid it through the looped handles. It would not hold her mother – or anyone else – but it seemed the right action to take.

She rested her head on the door and sighed. “You can live in your prison, Mother. I refuse to any longer,” she whispered.

She stepped backward to gaze at the Celter family crest engraved on the door. Her fingertips traced the vine branches as her father’s voice echoed in her head.

“The vines symbolize growth. You must always keep learning and growing, my little Rosa.”
 

Her palm ran over the griffin in the center. Reared on its hind legs, claws in the air, the creature scared her as a young fae. Her nightmares had the creature coming to life and attacking her. She smirked at the naïve memory.

“Don’t be frightened of it. It means strength and consistency – loyalty. You are strong too. Just like the Griffin.”
 

A banner snaked across the bottom with the family’s motto written in the ancient faery script. Her father made sure she could read the old text but even if she could not, she knew the motto by heart.

“Power grows from purity and strength. Stay true to yourself, Rosa, and you’ll never fail.”
 

If only he were still alive…

Rosyani inhaled a shuddering breath to calm herself. One last glance at the crest and she turned away from her home.

As expected, the Guard was no where in sight. Rosyani traveled down the stone steps to the courtyard with no one disturbing her. Her steps slowed as she crossed the cobbled court-yard. She cast a single reminiscent glance over her shoulder. The flags atop the towers flapped in the breeze. The morning sun shone down between the clouds to highlight the emblem of the country. Most saw them as symbols of pride for Achatar, the strength of the Kingdom. To Rosyani, they meant pain, heart ache, and death.

At one time she gazed on them with awe and fascination. She would beg her Father to tell her more about the Kingdom and her ancestors. Endless patience, he would always take the time to answer her questions or tell her a story about their family. As she grew older, her Father made a quiz game, asking her questions at random points of the day about their history. He gave her a kiss, even when she answered incorrectly.

She climbed the narrow stone steps along the wall to the top. The patrol, used to seeing her up there, merely bowed as they passed her. The wall stood almost twenty feet tall and gave a panoramic view of the countryside around the castle. Rosyani sucked in a deep breath and stepped up to the ledge. She smirked as she remembered the first time she did this. The patrol nearly fainted and rushed to rescue her. Now they merely smiled, knowing what will happen next.

The princess spread her arms wide and looked up at the sky. Her body leaned forward and she fell over the side of the wall. The wind whipped her hair and dress around her and a smile crossed her face. She opened her wings and curved her back at the last-minute, missing the ground by mere inches. She soared into the sky with a laugh and waved to the patrol before flying away.

Let me know what you think! I look forward to getting to know everyone in the following weeks. Next week, I’ll introduce myself a little more to all of you, so tune in then to learn more about crazy ol’ me!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. July 9, 2010 3:34 pm

    I really enjoyed the excerpt! Builds nicely and ends at a very good spot. I know you weren’t thinking YA when you wrote it, but the market is super hot for YA right now, you may want to consider it.

    Welcome to the team and we’re happy to have you!

  2. July 9, 2010 5:43 pm

    I know this beginning gives the impression of YA but in the later chapters, I don’t think it would still fall into that category. But, we’ll see how it goes in the future. I don’t understand YA that much to know for certain whether this will qualify or not, but I think I have a little too much sex and violence in here to really qualify! *smile*

  3. July 9, 2010 7:01 pm

    I agree with C.J. – I was thinking YA all the way through. (It is good by the way!) If you are setting up for adult with sex and viloence, you perhaps should consider managing expectations – somthing in the first paragraphs to hint at its level – a fleeting thought, perhaps!

    I also thought the line “Power grows from purity and strength. Stay true to yourself, Rosa, and you’ll never fail.” a little off the mark. It reads as thought the whole line is the motto! I imagine you only meant for the “Power grows from purity and strength” to be so! But, really, that is the only criticism. I enjoyed reading it! Its good to have you aboard!

    🙂

  4. July 10, 2010 4:54 am

    Thanks for the thoughts David! I see your point to add something here at the beginning to hint at the adult level. Not sure exactly what at this point, but as I continue to edit this, I’m sure I’ll figure something out.

    I’m glad you liked it!

  5. July 10, 2010 11:43 pm

    A good beginning, though I must agree with C.J. (oh, the horror) that it does sound like YA (which I’m guessing means “Young Adult” and not “Yiddish American” or something).

    The teen angst between mother and daughter does set up some nice tension. Also, I have to agree with David (what a privilege) about that motto.

    I look forward to reading more.

    Welcome aboard, too.

    By the way, I can recommend a good writing academy if you need it.

  6. July 11, 2010 10:22 am

    Did you read Harry Potter? There can be some violence going on – and as far as the sex goes, it depends on if it’s off scene or on, you know? Hmm… I’ll have to read it to see! Could be interesting to think about manipulating two versions of the MS to see which one will sell.

    Straight Sci-fi/fantasy is still the hardest market to break into, but YA is selling like hot cakes!

  7. Robert C. Nelson permalink
    July 11, 2010 2:42 pm

    I love this story. It doesn’t matter to me if it’s YA or not. Go with your heart. If there’s sex and violence to come, so be it. Your characters are going to be screaming at you to do all sorts of things anyway. Who knows what will happen. As for worrying about doing any edits now on anything, I would say not to fret. Finish this masterpiece and then do your edits. You might be wasting your time on an edit for a particular page that doesn’t even exist by the end of your novel. That’s the glory of writing: the author becomes a reader, wrapped up in his own work, and not knowing herself how it will all end.

    Welcome to this most interesting blog.

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