Thursday, April 28, 2011


So just a little bit of background on where this intro came from. I originally wrote the framework for this intro during my Sophomore year in high school. I wrote it as a standalone piece and hadn't originally planned on working it through to a full book idea, but I just got taken with the idea of it and decided to flesh it out and see where it went.
I wrote this as a way to piss my teacher off because she told us we would immediately fail the paper if we didn't give the character a name. I figured I should see what would happen, and I got an A.
What I'm posting here is drastically different from what I turned in those years ago, but the idea is the same.

This intro is meant to be a little shady and mysterious. This particular vision will keep coming up throughout the story with more and more detail being thrown into focus as the story progresses.
I admit this is a pretty weak version and I plan on making significant improvements to the wording and flow, But I wanted to get this to you guys and see what you think of it. What does it need? Where do you see it going? Does it hold your attention?

As always, Thanks for the inputs and please enjoy my first draft of my intro.

The sound of his own breath shuddering through his parted lips was the only thing he could hear as he ran. Suddenly through the absolute silence emanated yells of excitement and the baying of hunting dogs. Looking back, he could see them, horrible four legged beasts with wide drooling mouths encasing rows of massive serrated teeth. Teeth made to leave a nasty wound rather than a clean bite mark; teeth made to kill even from the smallest of bites.
Terror like nothing he had ever felt raced through him, spurring him to run faster and faster. Weaving through the trees like a wisp of smoke, he glanced around him. The moonlight shone through the trees casing shadows everywhere around him, making it seem as if the shadows themselves were running alongside him. The full moon peaked through the branches as he risked a glance backwards to see his pursuers. All he saw following him was a multitude of torches spread out to ensure he couldn’t get away to either side. Never before had darkness seemed so safe to him.
As he turned his attention back to his makeshift path, he stumbled and began to fall over a protruding root. Cursing his bad luck, he tucked himself into a ball hoping to avoid too much injury. The shadows converged on his location, and he seemed to be lifted bodily to his feet. Choosing not to question his luck, and fueled by adrenaline and fear, he continued his frantic escape.
Checking his surroundings again, he spotted a clearing a little off to the right of the direction he was going. He instinctively turned towards the opening in the trees without any particular plan as to what to do next. His faceless pursuers quickened their pace behind him and began shouting even more aggressively, though what they were saying was lost on their prey. Noticing their increased fanaticism, he dug deep and forced himself to go even faster.
Bursting into the clearing, he noticed several things very quickly. The sound of rushing water off to his left signaling the waterfall he already knew was there. The sight of torches ahead of him indicating that his pursuers had somehow already surrounded him. The shadows that he had attributed to the trees rushing by remained with him even with nothing to cast them. The great rent in the ground ahead of him showing that this was no clearing.
Without a second thought, he hurled himself from the top of the cliff into the immense nothingness below. The shadows that had kept pace with him all this way became swallowed up in the dark canyon walls. The fall was further than he had expected, but the fear that had gripped him since his flight from the hunters began simply melted away. As the ground rushed up to greet him, he relaxed and let the inevitable happen. The impact was almost pleasant, and after running a self-check, found that he was relatively unharmed.
Knowing better than to move right away, he rested for a short while in the depression that belied his impact while the hunting party approached the cliff, found it impassable, and seemed to lose interest in the supposed dead body lying alongside the rushing river. After a decent stretch of silence, something indicated that he needed to get up. As he lifted himself out of an oddly deep crater, he saw the familiar shadows that seemed to be a mainstay of the landscape surrounding him move as if to greet him. After seeming to have convinced themselves he was okay, the shadows moved off down the canyon and, without a moment of hesitation, he followed at a brisk trot.
As he followed the shadows down the canyon, he began noticing vaguely human shapes in the shadows shifting in and out among the amorphous forms they showed. He looked ahead and saw what looked to be the end of the canyon.
Without any notice, he suddenly felt himself pulled towards the canyon wall; not by a physical force, but rather by an intense feeling that this was the true path. He picked up speed and barely slipped through a tiny crack in the canyon wall and continued through at breakneck speed heading for what he was sure was the goal; the point; the reason for his being there. As he moved forward a blinding light surrounded him and he felt himself bodily lifted and thrown, but instead of hitting rock, he seemed to go through it without so much as an impact. He picked up speed until he felt himself stretching into nothingness.
As soon as it had begun, it was over. He stood a bit shakily on familiar grass kissed by moonlight. He closed his eyes and felt the sweet spring winds blow by him, smelling the freshness of a bright spring shower. A shadow loomed across his face and he opened his eyes to ascertain the origin. Eyes. Pale yellow eyes glittering with malice glared at him from a head and a half above his own. As he stepped back, he felt the monster’s oppressive presence expand to fill his entire field of vision. He turned to run but, unable to catch himself, stumbled and fell.

Mairtin hit the ground hard. He lay there in the blazing sun catching his breath as he tried to reconcile his dreams with his reality.


  1. So, I copy and pasted your intro into Word and threw in some comments/edit suggestions. If you're interested, or if you think it'll help, email me and I'll shoot it your way. If not, don't worry about it! I had fun reading regardless. :)

    jenn_rush [at] yahoo [dot] com

  2. Thanks so much for the amazing advice. All of the criticism was so true and I look forward to revising it and watching it flow into place.

  3. You might have to redo this opening.

    I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, Carter, but exactly what agents and editors fear about dream scenes is what took place here.

    I was lost in it - absorbed in this heart pounding scene you concocted so brilliantly. And then, when I expected a resolution (BAM!) it was a dream. :(

    I felt cheated, deceived. Oh why, oh why would you lie to me Carter?

    It hurts me to say this, but a scene like this is an automatic rejection. :(

    You tricked your reader into believing that what they were reading was happening now, only to realize that it was a fallacy. Your reader will immediately lose faith in your ability and question every scene thereafter. That should not happen.

    I loved the intensity of the scene and it shows your ability quite well. I recommend you make that an actuality instead of a dream. It's strong, so you have nothing to fear. :D

    P.S. You mentioned you're revising? I'll check back when you do. :D

  4. Well it's never great to hear that you have to redo an opening or really any piece of work, but when it's necessary, it's necessary. That being said, I am not fully rewriting the intro. The revisions advised to me by jenn rush will put into effect along with a retooling of how the intro fits with the rest of the story.
    It may take a while since I am out of town for a wedding this weekend, but I'm very optimistic about where this is going!

  5. Everyone has their own style and this may resonate with some agent out there. I have no idea. I wanted to approach this from my point of view and I agree with Frost that it is exciting.

    I think that your writing could use some reduction. You write, "As he turned his attention back to his makeshift path, he stumbled and began to fall over a protruding root."

    I think that this would sound better this way: "As he turned his attention onto the makeshift path, he stumbled over a protruding root."

    I believe that 'stumble' and 'began to fall' are essentially repeating each other and you have a lot of repetitive words in this.