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Posts: 6
Registered: ‎01-10-2009
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A Prologue!! Honest Criticism Appreciated!!


I am a man who has made anthropology his life work.  I've studied with the best, learned with the best.  I've been all over the world, in attempts at finding objects unknown:  things which we, as a society of people, have lost or forgotten throughout the ages.  I call myself an anthropologist for lack of better term.  I am more of a collector of books; books of forgotten stories and lore.  Many have called me an eccentric, maddening old man who gyrates over nonsense, and for that, I have become a recluse of sorts.  But it matters not; so long as those peasants don't interfere.

            I have recently acquired a journal that I believe of some merit; boughten from a sailor who had returned from a voyage from the seas surrounding the Kingdom of Norway.  He tells of a small snekkja that was seen emerging from the mist during a mild storm, apparently unmanned.  After having watched it for some time, he decided to board; once boarded, he and several other men searched the place, finding only a very old, time-worn journal hidden in a compartment at the stern.  He noted how everything (the ship itself) was waterlogged; damp, not in the least frozen.  He took the small journal and returned to his ship and continued on his journey.  After reading some pages of the journal, he thought he might be able to sell it, for the contents held a fantastic story.

Upon reaching the city and docking, he asked several shopkeepers, all of them turning him down; one of them, however, suggested me, citing my asinine inclinations.  I received him reluctantly; there are many who think they can make a joke of me.  After reading the first four pages, I became curious:  asking him where he obtained the journal.  He told me his story and I henceforth bought it.  I ushered him from my manor and immediately strode up to my study, sitting in my usual chair and began reading quite ardently.  I read it over a number of times over the ensuing days, the ensuing weeks.

The journal provides an account of the Norse mythology of some deities, especially the sea gods and creatures; also some pieces of the writer's and his men's past lives.  It took my curiosity, for the date is presumably four years prior to the writing and categorizing of the major Norse myths.

The story begins some 300 years ago in the very waters from which it was rescued.  There were a total of nine men aboard a small one-masted snekkja, headed towards a port in northern Scotland.  A couple days voyage is all it should have been; the ship and its crew, however, never made it to port.  The journal chronicles entries made from their departure to their disappearance:  a period of nine days.

I have translated the text myself.  I have tried to be accurate and also to make it more readable (not easily done).

This is their story.

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Posts: 31
Registered: ‎02-05-2009
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Re: A Prologue!! Honest Criticism Appreciated!!


The story idea seems intriguing, but the copy is a bit lifeless.  It's like reading a newspaper's report on what happened, rather than putting you a little bit more in the action.  The voice of the anthropologist seems to be a bit pompous, and as a reader I find him boring and want to tune out his bragging immediately.  When the story is set in first person, I had better like the character if I'm going on a journey with him. You might consider using this as more of an outline for yourself, setting the story in the third person, adding more emotion and sensory feel to it. 


If I had your idea of this story, this is what I'd want to do with it.