Since 1997, you’ve been coming to BarnesandNoble.com to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, BN.com is growing and changing. We've said goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

Reply
New User
LiquidShadow
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎03-07-2007
0 Kudos

LiquidShadow What is SF(more fantasy)-writing excerise

The girl stared in disbelief at the burning wagon. Could it be? No, not possible, that wasn’t her wagon was it? The red paint that had covered the whole thing was beginning to melt under the intense heat. Men crowded around the wagon, knives, and pitchforks in their hands. “Good riddance!” one of them shouted throwing his weapon onto the ground. Suddenly he turned and spotted the girl; still as a statue, eyes wide, clinging to her worn, faded doll. “What do we do about her?” he glared at her eyes filled with hate but also with a hint of fear and uncertainty.
“We can’t just kill her. She is such a small thing; she can’t be dangerous.” Another man spoke up he had nothing in his hands glanced around nervously as if he wished he were somewhere else.
“But she is one of them. For all we know she could put a curse on us right now!” A man raised his arm as if to shield himself.
The other hesitated glancing first at the fire, then at the girl then at the other man. “We-we can’t kill her it’s not right… my wife and I- we’ll take her.”
A third man spoke up gazing in disbelive at his comrade, “You can’t be serious Reyes? She’s got witches blood, you could be endangering yourself and your wife! Think of Grace she’s pregnant!”
Reyes didn’t reply but slowly walked over to the young child. Stopping he crouched down so that he was at her eye level. “Don’t be afraid, I won’t let anyone hurt you. You going to come home with me and stay with my wife Grace and I.”
The girl just stared, her brown eyes as wide as coins. Yes, they looked like copper coins dancing in the flames, he told himself. Holding out his hand he waited. She wouldn’t look at him but kept her gaze fixed on the burning wagon. Slowly he edged his hand under hers and slowly stood and led her away from the wagon, and away from the only life she had ever know.

Ok well I have never really written SF before or actuality read it but I have read Fantasy so that is what this is. Not saying that I am opposed to learning how to write SF but I have already written this prologue so I decided to keep it. This story is about a gypsy girl who grows up believing she is "normal" when she figures out that she is a gypsy she leaves her home to travel with her people and learn more about them on the way she meets a young man who believes that the gypsies should over through the king. Syeira (the girl) doesn't believe this but must convince the gypsies not to go to war. A hard task for only a seventeen year old girl.
Please tell me what you think of the prologue
If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it. ~Toni Morrison
Frequent Contributor
WriterJim
Posts: 75
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
0 Kudos

Re: LiquidShadow What is SF(more fantasy)-writing excerise

LiquidShadow:

Your prologue is a compelling scene, one that's well-written and vivid.

Your plot idea (let's call it the orphaned child with powers plot) is a familiar one to storytelling (think about Moses and the river basket), but that's okay--it's what you do with this story icon that will prove it to be a good tale or not.

I would question your child's reactions to the burning wagon. Is she unconcerned about her parents? She seems to be old enough to have an emotional response to the fire, and to the hatred of the farmers, which she can recognize. Does she know her parents are dead, or is she in a state of shock?

This opening scene might also be a place to give us a hint of her future potential. Since the orphaned child plot is so familiar, we need something unusual to pull us into story and make us want to continue to read. What if, for example, the little girl knows about vengeance, and makes an inner vow to exert her vengeance on those who burned her parents? We can see the germ of future action in those thoughts, and will want to know how she can make them happen.

In any case, your writing is good, so keep up the story, whether this is fantasy or sf.
Frequent Contributor
Muse_of_Ire
Posts: 49
Registered: ‎02-05-2007
0 Kudos

Re: LiquidShadow What is SF(more fantasy)-writing excerise

I'd also like to know more about why the townspeople burnt the wagon. Was there a specific incident that triggered their reaction, or were they just hostile to "that kind of people"? Did the parents really have powers or were they victims of paranoia?

And why precisely do you think of the girl as a gypsy? Do you intend to draw on actual gypsy lore, or is it just a kind of shorthand for someone with psychic powers?
Frequent Contributor
Josh_Crowe
Posts: 70
Registered: ‎01-29-2007
0 Kudos

Re: LiquidShadow What is SF(more fantasy)-writing excerise

Good point, if you want the girl to be a gypsy prepare to do lots of research. For a fantasy equivalent you may want to use a different name.

The Gyptyans of Pullman's Dark Materials or the Tinkers of Jordan's Wheel of Time are example of fantasy gypsies. Both are very different and benefit from being different from real gypsies.
New User
LiquidShadow
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎03-07-2007
0 Kudos

Re: LiquidShadow What is SF(more fantasy)-writing excerise

Thank you guys for commenting that helped so much. I don't have the whole story laid out yet it is still very much in the making but hopefully being part of this club will help. In the prologue the villagers didn't burn the wagon down they had decided to come and drive the gypsies out but when they got there they found the wagon in flames. Syeira doesn't really show any emotion because she is in shock, so much emotion shock that she losses her memory. So when she is taken in by Reyes and Grace she believes she is their daughter. Now about her being a gypsy she is as close to a real gypsy as she can be being in a fantasy story and I know I am going to do a lot of research on gypsies for this but since I like the subject already I think I can do it. The villagers have superstitions about the gypsies being able to do magic because the gypsies usually travel with a group of people who can do magic so the villagers assume that gypsies can do magic too. I wrote the prologue a while ago so I am planning on going through it and changing it a little especially to include more emotion from the young girls part.
If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it. ~Toni Morrison
Frequent Contributor
marta_randall
Posts: 166
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: LiquidShadow What is SF(more fantasy)-writing excerise

LiquidShadow, as Jim points out it's not a penny-bright story idea but as he also points out, what's important is how you handle this. I think you're headed in the right direction.

You raise a number of issues for the reader, about background and setting and characters: do these people really have magic? How dangerous is it for Reyes and Grace to take the girl in? Will she be persecuted as "the strange one" as she grows up?

I kind of hope not because these are really common story questions for these kinds of tales. How could you vary this? What basic element could you change that would change the story itself? Just as an example, what if the girl is an alien? What if she's a robot? What if she deliberately set fire to the wagon and killed her parents?

Vonda McIntyre's novel "Dreamsnake" takes a pretty standard premise and turns it on its head: A woman goes from village to village, doing "magic" with venomous snakes which she induces to bite her patients. Magic, right? The twist is that the snakes are genetically engineered to produce vaccines, etc., instead of venom, and the woman is a healer. It's a very good book (won a bunch of awards when it originally appeared) and I recommend it as a good example of how to turn ideas on their heads.
Frequent Contributor
book_worm
Posts: 133
Registered: ‎01-29-2007
0 Kudos

Re: LiquidShadow What is SF(more fantasy)-writing excerise

I really like your concept idea LiquidShadow. But I have always been interested in gypsies, ever since I read "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" by Victor Hugo. Poor gypsies always get a bad rap :smileysad:

I agree with some other posts here that I thought the girl was a little too unemotional. Does this take place in a mythical land? Or is it actually some point in time with a real King? You'll have to do research if it is a real King of the past about those times, if not thats fine I always enjoy books of different worlds :smileywink:

Keep at it! :smileyhappy:
Top Kudoed Authors
User Kudos Count
1
Users Online
Currently online: 34 members 277 guests
Please welcome our newest community members: