Thursday, August 13, 2009

And Now For Something Serious

Hello Everybody!

Since I last posted something humorous in terms of my writing, I thought I'd post something more serious. I'm posting the prologue to a manuscript of mine that's currently "on hold" to get a feel for what everyone thinks about this style of writing (first person present tense). Don't hold back. Be brutually honest. Maybe some of the comments will spark inspiration and I'll be able to go back to it (I've edited it a little bit to make it better than what I originally had). In any case, premiering for the first time...

by Bethany E.
copyrights 2009 ("poor man's" copyrights).
Prologue: Bear
"Arrgg!" I growl. "Stupid claws. Stupid, stupid claws!" No way to read that book now. Even after all this time I still can't manipulate the claws to carefully turn a page. And I had gone to some much trouble to get this book int he first place! Not that I condone stealing. I don't. It's just that when all you have to do is hunt, sleep and hang out in a cave you get bored. At least, if you're actually a human. The other bears don't seem to mind. But they're real bears. I'm just masquerading as one until the damn curse is lifted.
I sigh. Really, how is that going to happen? It's not like I'm back home anymore where magic is commonplace. Oh, no. Unmeercifully the darned magician couldn't have even granted me that much. No. Not only am I not at home, I am living in humans' reality. Not only that, I'm in the United States of America to boot! But I'm not even in Salem where there's the stories of the witch trails, but up in the mountains! I'm not sure how I ended up here. Probably the magician's curse caused it. In any case, I've been here so long I'm beginning to forget how I would get home once the curse is broken. As if there's even a prayer of that happening. As if American women believe in magic. Ha! I'm fooling myself!
"Damn magician, damn bear form." I grumble to myself. I let a string of curses fly from my mouth without even trying to check myself. It's not as if anyone can hear me. It's rare a human comes this way. The other animals can sense that I'm not really one of them and give me a wide berth. This makes hunting even harder.
I sit back on my haunches considering the curse for over the millionth time. The magician hated my parents. He hated them because they were innately good. I mean, really good. Almost perfect. Unfortunately, they made one mistake. They imprionsed the magician for his crimes. Not that there weren't valid reasons for this, just that magicians--even the so-called good ones--hate being caged, jailed or inhibited in anyway. In that way they're like anybody else. But from where I come from they are the most powerful beings. Which, unfortunately, I can't remember where that is, it's been so long. I do remember what the magician told my parents, because they told me after the change--before I was sent here. In repayment for jailing the magician their first and only son would be cursed to live like an animal until some woman fell in love with him, and declared that love. For some reason, love seems to be the only thing that can ever break any curses. Magicians aren't even more powerful than love. And that magician was forced to admit to my parents that was the antidote to his curse. Of course, he was able to name when I was going to be changed and there was no way of breaking the curse before then. The day after my twenty-eighth birthday I would change into a bear. A huge black bear. The thing he didn't tell my parents was that he was sending me far away from them. So they couldn't help me. Nobody could, except for the woman I would fall in love with, who would love me in return.
It might strike people as odd that the magician chose twenty-eight. Most magicians choose sixteen or twenty-one. Unfortunately, that's something else I've forgotten.
And of course he'd send me to the least likely place that I'd find that love. The human world! He couldn't let me stay in a world that was used to magic. That would make it all too easy. I sigh again. So, because I get bored, I'm forced to steal from poor, unsuspecting humans. Not that I do that very often. I only have five books, and a few magazines. Magazines are even harder to manipulate. At least with hardback books I can get them open. Magazines are something I still haven't figured out.
I toss aside the torn book. Staring down the mountain I can make out a tiny figure. Squinting, I move down a bit to take a closer look. My heart begins ramming in my chest. The figure is female. She looks young. I give a silent sardonic thank you to whomever made the rule that beings that are enchanted cease aging until they are broken free from the enchantment. My own, twenty-eight year old heart continues to gain momentum. I watch the feminine figure getting closer and closer. It's too good to be true. How is that possible? Did some good fairy hear my prayer? Or perhaps the Creator Himself? Either way, I'll take it if it means I can regain my male human type form and not be lonely, bored or frustrated anymore.
"Please," I pray silently, "Let this be the one!"
I move even further down the mountain. I'm close enough to join her in just a couple of bounds. My heart jumps into my throat as her bike is about to hit a rock.
"Watch out!" I roar.
Glancing up she gives me a frightened look.
"No!" I shout, "Don't look at me! You're--"
Before I can even get the words out her bike encounters the rock and she goes flying through the air. I rush to her. With a sigh of relief I catch her in my arms.
She gazes up at me in shock.
"Are you okay?" I ask.
Her eyes roll back in her head and she faints.
Okay, that's the end of the Prologue. The beginning isn't where I encountered most of my problems, but if you all think it could be better, maybe it'll help with the middle!
Thanks and have a great day!


bethanyintexas said...

Sorry about the lack of spaces in between. I kept trying to put them in, but every time I'd put them in and then publish the edits it would go back to the single spacing!

Newbee said...

Okay, here goes... I'm confused about the tone. We have a bear who's unhappy and speaks in a "slang fashion" and then a sentence or two goes by and the wording is very classical. It was hard for me to take the piece seriously when it started out the way it did. Maybe you should rethink the begining?

bethanyintexas said...


This isn't a fully edited version (which, I should've mentioned from the get-go, I apologize for that). Part of the reason I posted it not completely edited was because I was "testing the waters" to see what kind of feed back I'd get.

The way I figure it is that he's had a lot of time to observe humans, but he also pulls back to his more formal upbringing. I was hoping that point would come across with what he said: He's been curst, he's stolen some books (despite his morality) and I figured that in order to do that he'd have had to have some interaction with modern humans. I was trying to pull the two sides together: his more elegant type background with his observation (in order to steal the books he'd have to have observed the humas and he'd more than likely hear conversations). I suppose I didn't get that part across.

I appreciate your honesty. Thanks.

bethanyintexas said...

I should also mention that when I do send in any manuscripts they will be seriously edited, fixed up as best as I can make them. I realize I could've done better on this prologue and probably the story in general.

Pink Bug said...

I think you write very well...beautifully really. I, as a reader had a hard time at the begining understanding the tone.

Pink Bug said...

I changed my name by the way...(to the same as my blog) to make things easier.

Regina Milton said...

Bethany- I liked it and I definitely like where the story is going. What type of book will it be exactly? I will say that I thought the first paragraph or so was a little over-explained but all the rest was a fun read. I know it seems like there is a lot to cover, but sometimes the reader likes to figure things out instead of being told. If we read long enough, we figure out that the guy is a human, not a bear, so it doesn't necessarily need to be stated. Do you know what I mean? I think you are incredibly creative. This is just my opinion, certainly not the most important in the world! Thank you for having the boldness to share this with us for critique. You have inspired me to be a bit more bold soon...

bethanyintexas said...


Wow. Thanks. I never thought I'd inspire anyone. That's a huge compliment and honor.

I agree with you. It's probably too wordy. I think I was trying too hard when I wrote it. And you don't have to apologize. I understand.

It's supposed to be, as pretty much all my stories are, fantasy romance. The romance comes later.

I think I was more optimistic than realistic when I posted it for critique. But, I can't regret it. Everybody is right and it'll help me.

So thank you.

bethanyintexas said...

Oh my gosh, I'm dense! I just realized that Newbee and Pink Bug are one in the same. Talk about slow! I apologize!

Pink Bug said...

LOL... Bethany it's just fine.I hoped I explained that... I think you're very creative. I love that the reader can feel sympathetic to his plight. That's a real gift.

bethanyintexas said...

Pink Bug,

Now you're gonna have me blushing. Color me pink. LOL I need to read your Fairy Tale...from what I saw it looked like a very interesting twist on the usual. I tip my hat off to you for doing something different!