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Favorite excerpts from your novels.

Many of the castle walls weren't visible, as they were covered in vines.
And the vines were so thick in places, they grew spanning the gap between the castle walls where many birds fluttered and made their nests.
 
This is an excerpt from book two of my series. Just prior to this Normenthwaite (Norm to friends) and his friend Snake killed the current high mage, Cordolas, so Norm could assume that role, an audacious move given their young age....


The guard squadron passed through the hallways of the palace unquestioned. Norm wondered if it was just the uniform, or did everyone actually recognise the faces beneath the helmets. Regardless, no more than twenty minutes after Cordolas' death Norm found himself standing before the Emperor, alone once the emperor gestured for his escort to withdraw. The throne room was separated from the larger Hall of Audience by a series of elaborately decorated screens designed to make the space intimate for private meetings with the emperor, yet able to accommodate the hundreds who came to the public petitions.


"Normenthwaite. Do I see the staff of the high mage in your hands. Am I to assume you claim that title having arranged the death of Cordolas?" asked the emperor.


"If Cordolas hadn't forewarned me, I'd be impressed by that," thought Norm, maintaining a neutral expression. Aloud he replied,


"Yes your majesty. You are correct on all three counts." No point in denying it since he knows it already. If the emperor was expecting a denial he made no sign of it.


"Why should I recognise you, given that you betrayed the trust of your last mentor?" The emperor raised an eyebrow as he spoke, but otherwise remained motionless on his ivory throne.


"Firstly, as a mage you know well the tradition that a mage who kills the high mage replaces them. I see no reason why you would risk the unrest among the mages of the tower denying that tradition would entail. Particularly since you are wanting to send them to war embedded in your legions." Norm watched to see if his hunch about the emperor being a mage was correct.


"Agreed, I assume from your statement that you will support the war. Your second point?"


"If your seers are correct, then what better way to keep me around than by making me high mage."


"The exact point I made to your friend Snake. He was certain you would refuse the chance to seize the staff for yourself."


Norm froze inside. Snake and the emperor had planned the assassination. I guess that's what assassins do. And I let Snake down, or rather failed to live up to his expectations.


"He would say that, he doesn't want to lose our bet."


"What bet is that?"


"A wager of who would top their profession first."


For the first time in their conversation there was just a slight sign that the emperor had not anticipated the possibility of this response.


"I see congratulations are in order then. What was the stake?"


"The only one that matters, honour."


The emperor threw back his head and laughed, "oh to be young again."
 

Cool-Beans

Scribe
"My name is Yon Yonson, I live in Wisconsin, I work in a lumbermill there"
Slaughter house five, haven't even finished the book but that little snippit stood out to me more than most of what i've read
 
On winter and darkness;

The spring air moved down from the great cascading mountains that harboured a great glacier that had crept closer and closer since the beginning of winter.

A castle could fortify, but could not keep the cold out, and not even a raging hearth, rich with wood from the great forests could keep them warm, and everyone suffered throughout the winter months.

Darkness is what he had been craving. Ever since the silver clouds moved beyond the spectral skies.
 
On winter and darkness;

The spring air moved down from the great cascading mountains that harboured a great glacier that had crept closer and closer since the beginning of winter.

A castle could fortify, but could not keep the cold out, and not even a raging hearth, rich with wood from the great forests could keep them warm, and everyone suffered throughout the winter months.

Darkness is what he had been craving. Ever since the silver clouds moved beyond the spectral skies.
Very nice.
 

A. E. Lowan

Forum Mom
Leadership
It's been a few months and not enough pages since last I shared a bit... so I'ma gonna do it again! This is the current opening to our fourth book, All the Devils. We hope you like it. <3

...

He refused to die here.

Joachim knelt in between two towering rows of crates, legs shaking, heaving breath muffled behind his denim jacket cuff, scruffy and crusted from wear. The warehouse was dark and dusty, closed for the night with no one around. He’d been hoping to find a security guard or something to help him, but there was no one in here but him and the two psychos chasing him.

Joachim had been on the streets long enough that this wasn’t the first time someone had found a need to hurt him, but these two were different. The others had also been homeless. These two were clean and well-dressed, even more so than the social workers and lawyers who’d put him into foster care. More so than the lady who’d made him call her “Mommy.”

More so than the guy who’d been the reason Joachim had run away.

No, these two were fine in a way that Joachim couldn’t even piece together from his imagination and years of reality TV. She sparkled when she moved like she wore body glitter, and her heels were way too pointy and tall for reality. The guy dressed like he was late to a fancy restaurant and someone else was getting the bill. They even squabbled like the rich people he’d seen on TV. What did they want with him?

Joachim saw movement out of the corner of his eye and flinched away, just as the crate he’d been kneeling next to exploded. Shards of wood and smoking debris drew lines of pain across what skin was exposed and caught burning in his limp hair. Panic made his heart thrash against the confines of his thin chest, and he was running again.

“You stupid bitch, you’re going to bring the whole place down on our heads!” The distain in the man’s voice echoed through the warehouse and Joachim ran faster. Rapid footsteps chased him down the row, her heels clicking on the concrete in a racing staccato. Another blast of what he could only call magic blew past him. How could they do that? Where did they learn it? They could do magic.

He’d thought he was the only one.
 

A. E. Lowan

Forum Mom
Leadership
Okay, this is just me being silly. I still don't know where it's going to go, but it makes me smile. Also, this is what our outlines look like.

Etienne is looking out the kitchen sliding glass door into the gardens, drinking his coffee. Alerich joins him with his tea. "Anything interesting?"
Etienne: "Just saw some idiot bird fly into the garden wall. Probably a male. Don't see females dumb enough to stun themselves looking at shit."
Alerich: quirks a brow and looks more closely at the garden wall "Makes you wonder what he was looking at." sips his tea
Etienne: "Probably a titmouse or something."
Etienne: *grins behind his coffee mug while Alerich chokes on his hot tea*
 

pmmg

Myth Weaver
Well...not from a novel, but from a story I wrote for a Halloween contest many years ago. Happened to be looking at it, so...since its the month of...I like language of it.


This was the opening to my ghost story, the Death of Annabelle Wrigley.

Bob Claggett knew the way. It was not something he wished to know, the twists and turns of that dark place, but in the wickedness of his deed, he could never forget its paths. It was not supposed to go as it did. The child should not have died. And though that was troubling, it was not nearly the worst of it, Bob became cursed on that night.

Plunging hooves thundered on the dry ground, taking a lone rider swiftly into flight. Snapping the reins and spurring his beast ever faster, Bob Claggett--Bob the Baby Butcher--rode in fear. Not six miles back he left them. Men as brave and young and foolish as he had once been, and now all of them dead...or at least he thought.

The death of little Annabelle Wrigley, would that he never took that girl. It followed him after that day, followed him as he tried to hide, to escape--to forget.
 
On winter and darkness;

The spring air moved down from the great cascading mountains that harboured a great glacier that had crept closer and closer since the beginning of winter.

A castle could fortify, but could not keep the cold out, and not even a raging hearth, rich with wood from the great forests could keep them warm, and everyone suffered throughout the winter months.

Darkness is what he had been craving. Ever since the silver clouds moved beyond the spectral skies.
Nicely ambient but too many "greats" knocks me out of the moment.
 

A. E. Lowan

Forum Mom
Leadership
Haha! I resisted the temptation.
I didn't, but then I rarely do. ;)

"They may have made it great. Indeed, even greater than it had been. The greatest of the great, and all looked upon it and despaired."
Thanks for the observation, the doubling up on the words ‘great’ and ‘closer’ were intentional, but that is something to think about.
I get what you were shooting for, and I feel that in terms of rhythm and flow you've just about got it. You use "great" twice, which ordinarily would really drive me nuts. I'm autistic and I pick up patterns very quickly, and then it's all I can see for a while. But in your case, I actually think what you need is another "great." The third, and final and strongest, reinforcement of the adjective is a very old narrative technique that is supposed to highlight the imagery and metaphors that the author wants to convey, and it's been pretty commonly used since the Middle Ages, at least in Europe.

So, I'd try it a couple of different ways and see what suits you and the tone of your story. You do you.
 
But in your case, I actually think what you need is another "great." The third, and final and strongest, reinforcement of the adjective is a very old narrative technique that is supposed to highlight the imagery and metaphors that the author wants to convey, and it's been pretty commonly used since the Middle Ages, at least in Europe.
I didn’t know that so thanks for that tidbit. It would go with my world setting with it being inspired by that time period. I think repetition does sometimes work but perhaps it’s more common in poetry? I like that rhythmic and lyrical writing style in general and that seems to be what I lean towards, but you know, when two people have already commented saying it’s jarring in this case then I’m inclined to listen.

My favourite poem ‘The night is darkening round me’ by Emily Brontë contains some lovely repetition, but again, just because it works there that doesn’t mean it’ll work in other applications.
 

Azul-din

Troubadour
From a yet to be published (whom am I kidding?)novel about two young werewolves, brother and sister, here meeting the spirit of the forest.

She was as tall as a tree and suddenly we didn’t feel like masters of the forest, but like little cubs and we both went down on our bellies while Dad just stood there off to one side. The look in his eyes was, I don’t know, sort of sad and proud all at the same time.

She had wide spreading horns and her eyes were deep green and set on the side of her head like a deer’s. Just as in the vision there were these little lights dancing around in and around her antlers and all the rest was shadow. I could feel her studying us, looking from one to the other, turning her head to see us with both eyes. It was scary in a way and yet I didn’t feel afraid. I felt that everything we had ever done, my brother and me, was being looked at and judged, and I don’t know how but I knew that there were parts that she liked and parts she didn’t, and some that made her sad and even some that amused her.

Then she stopped and stepped back a little and with something like a hand but not a human type of hand she made a sign that we could pass through.

Stef and I leaped to our feet and started to charge forward because suddenly all we wanted in the world was to know what was on the other side of that gateway.

 

A. E. Lowan

Forum Mom
Leadership
I didn’t know that so thanks for that tidbit. It would go with my world setting with it being inspired by that time period. I think repetition does sometimes work but perhaps it’s more common in poetry? I like that rhythmic and lyrical writing style in general and that seems to be what I lean towards, but you know, when two people have already commented saying it’s jarring in this case then I’m inclined to listen.

My favourite poem ‘The night is darkening round me’ by Emily Brontë contains some lovely repetition, but again, just because it works there that doesn’t mean it’ll work in other applications.
I do it all the time, but I'm also a trained poet, which I hated at the time but now I use those lessons every day. I also use lyrical language, but I do it in Urban Fantasy at a thriller pace, so it's weird but it works and when people talk about our comparables we're usually considered to be as if Jim Butcher and GRRM had an unholy Urban Fantasy baby. :D We'll grab you and drag you along with the action, but we'll be pretty doing it.

One of my very favorite authors is Pamela Dean. She doesn't have many books out, but her Tam Lin is brilliant. Also Urban Fantasy - one of the earliest mainstream fairytale retellings - she uses language you just want to roll around in. Ignore the cover. It was much better in the 90's.

Amazon.com: Tam Lin eBook : Dean, Pamela, Terri, Windling: Kindle Store
 
I do it all the time, but I'm also a trained poet, which I hated at the time but now I use those lessons every day. I also use lyrical language, but I do it in Urban Fantasy at a thriller pace, so it's weird but it works and when people talk about our comparables we're usually considered to be as if Jim Butcher and GRRM had an unholy Urban Fantasy baby. :D We'll grab you and drag you along with the action, but we'll be pretty doing it.

One of my very favorite authors is Pamela Dean. She doesn't have many books out, but her Tam Lin is brilliant. Also Urban Fantasy - one of the earliest mainstream fairytale retellings - she uses language you just want to roll around in. Ignore the cover. It was much better in the 90's.

Amazon.com: Tam Lin eBook : Dean, Pamela, Terri, Windling: Kindle Store
A trained poet, a medieval historian and a fantasy fiction writer - basically a bard!

Yes I’ve heard of Tam Lin, but actually only through reading A Court of Thorns and Roses, where we have the character Tamlin. I believe Maas was heavily inspired by that book.
 

A. E. Lowan

Forum Mom
Leadership
A trained poet, a medieval historian and a fantasy fiction writer - basically a bard!

Yes I’ve heard of Tam Lin, but actually only through reading A Court of Thorns and Roses, where we have the character Tamlin. I believe Maas was heavily inspired by that book.
<3

I think Dean inspired an entire generation of writers, not to mention that with Terri Windling, Rosemary Edgehill, PN Elrod, Laurell K Hamilton, and Gael Baudino, she founded a whole genre. She doesn't know the impact she's had on all of us, but Team Lowan at least hopes to someday show her that.
 

A. E. Lowan

Forum Mom
Leadership
Well...not from a novel, but from a story I wrote for a Halloween contest many years ago. Happened to be looking at it, so...since its the month of...I like language of it.


This was the opening to my ghost story, the Death of Annabelle Wrigley.

Bob Claggett knew the way. It was not something he wished to know, the twists and turns of that dark place, but in the wickedness of his deed, he could never forget its paths. It was not supposed to go as it did. The child should not have died. And though that was troubling, it was not nearly the worst of it, Bob became cursed on that night.

Plunging hooves thundered on the dry ground, taking a lone rider swiftly into flight. Snapping the reins and spurring his beast ever faster, Bob Claggett--Bob the Baby Butcher--rode in fear. Not six miles back he left them. Men as brave and young and foolish as he had once been, and now all of them dead...or at least he thought.

The death of little Annabelle Wrigley, would that he never took that girl. It followed him after that day, followed him as he tried to hide, to escape--to forget.
I just realized I forgot to comment on this. Very creepy. Nicely done.
 
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