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Rem of Macia/Chapter 1

Rem of Macia/Chapter 1

Part of a series of novels based in the land of Macia about a bounty hunter favored by the Goddess.

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Fantasy / Sci-fi


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Bobby W Lee (United States)


Rem of Macia


Chapter: 1
The tops of the leaves and branches silvered with the morning's sunlight. They shook and shimmered in the gentle caress of Sister Wind's soft breath. Birds cried out their love songs to the Goddess' presence, thankful for the warmth provided by the Sun God.

Beauty abounded in this forest. Deep hues with strokes of shadow, dazzling splashes of soul-pleasing colors, gave evidence that this was no human's artistry but the living canvas of the divine. Even the dead and dying things lent splendor to the sight with paler shades of Death's design.

In the midst of this glorious wood seldom seen by mortal eyes a man lay sleeping, curled comfortably in the sheltering roots of an enormous oak. His obsidian sword lay within arm's reach, glinting flashes of the growing sun across his rugged tanned face and crow black hair. Rem opened his steel grey eyes to the world and whispered a thankful prayer to his Goddess for another day.

With Death always just at his elbow, Rem was thankful for every day his eyes opened. Death was his business and his closest companion, but Rem knew that Death could snatch him away just as easily as any man Rem called Death upon. Life was a gift not to be ignored.

Bounty Hunters in the King's employ usually didn't live long lives and tended to enjoy the 'grasshopper' lifestyle. Rem had outlived most of his brethren in arms and he had a different outlook. He hid and saved his earnings for the day he could buy the land where his people had toiled and died for the King's benefit. He planned to become a lord someday and quit this wandering.

His plan was to provide the people he'd grown up with to a better life than scrabbling in the dirt to make the wealthy wealthier. He couldn't save the world, but with planning and luck...he might could make a part of it something better. He ran a finger down the thin scar that stood out pale against the hickory nut hue of his face.

Time for musing would come later, he thought as he scrambled up and slid 'Adder' into the worn leather sheath on his muscled back. The man he was tracking was only a day ahead of him and Rem planned to make up the difference by riding hard.

Rem knew the man, and liked him, but money had changed hands and a name was given. No man was exempt from the King's justice. No one stole from the King of Macia and lived to boast of it, that would be bad for business. This was where Rem came in, to deliver that grim message.

He pulled a piece of deer jerky from his pouch. Nourishment for the new day, as he saddled the young paint and climbed into the saddle that had become his primary home. The air was sweet with honeysuckle and warm horseflesh as he nudged the paint into a trot. He followed the river, just as his prey had done before him.


Competition: The Pen Factor 2016, Round 1

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Read Reviews

Review 1:


Compelling hook?

Fresh?

Strong characters?

Entertaining?

Attention to mechanics
  • You demonstrate a professional quality of writing throughout the story.
Narration and dialogue: Balance
  • Your story struck a good balance between narration and authentic dialogue.
Characterization
  • Make sure your characters are multidimensional. Do they have strengths and weaknesses? Mere mortals make the most interesting stories because they are like you and me and we are able to empathize with their journey. That’s how the connection with a character is formed.
Main character
  • Connect us to your main protagonist with a deeper characterization. Could your protagonist have a few more distinguishing character traits?
Character conflict
  • Your characters drew me into their world from the very beginning. Their goals and conflicts were clearly conveyed.
Plot and pace
  • Maintaining the right pace and sustaining the reader’s interest is a challenging balancing act. The story had a clear and coherent progression with a structured plot.
Technique and tight writing
  • The writing was tight and economical and each word had purpose. This enabled the plot to unravel clearly. Your writing exhibits technical proficiency.
Point of view
  • Point of view helps the reader identify whose perspective we are engaging with, i.e. who is narrating the story. It can sometimes be helpful to double check that the point of view in the story is successfully handled. Ensure you consistently use the same point of view and tense throughout.
Style and originality
  • I loved your fresh approach. Creating a unique writing style while maintaining quality of prose requires both skill and practice.
Atmosphere and description
  • A writer’s ability to create mood and atmosphere through evocative description is vital to the reader’s experience. It’s a real skill to craft out how the characters react to the setting and atmosphere and perhaps your story could go further in its description. The reader wants to experience the same sensory and poignant journey as the characters.
Authentic and vivid setting
  • The scene needs to be vivid and realistic in order to hold the reader’s attention. Being concise and plausible at the same time is tricky. Giving this further attention could perhaps be worthwhile.
Opening line, paragraph and hook
  • Your strong opening was a promise of wonderful things to come!
General comments from your fellow writer 1:
I was absolutely ecstatic to see that you plan on developing an original religion within this story and had automatically been captivated by your work! Grammar and spelling did not at all seem to be a problem and I applaud you for that, however, I am seeing a disappointing lack in topography explanation and setting detail other than the fact that day time frames are satisfyingly relevant. I wish you the best of luck on your writing journey and I urge you to keep up the good work! I do hope that this feedback was on any use to you and if somehow you may be able to utilize it.

Review 2:


Compelling hook?

Fresh?

Strong characters?

Entertaining?

Attention to mechanics
  • The grammar, typography, sentence structure and punctuation would benefit from a further round of editing to avoid distracting from the quality of the story.
Narration and dialogue: Balance
  • There needs to be more balance between narration and dialogue. Avoid overdoing the narrative and remember that dialogue can diffuse long claustrophobic text.
Narration and dialogue: Authentic voice
  • Your characters’ voices were convincing and authentic.
Characterization
  • Make sure your characters are multidimensional. Do they have strengths and weaknesses? Mere mortals make the most interesting stories because they are like you and me and we are able to empathize with their journey. That’s how the connection with a character is formed.
Main character
  • Your protagonist exhibited a unique voice and had original characteristics. Their actions and dialogue were convincing.
Character conflict
  • The reader’s experience of the story is heightened when the characters’ goals, conflicts and purpose are clear. Perhaps giving this aspect of the story further attention could be worthwhile.
Plot and pace
  • Maintaining the right pace and sustaining the reader’s interest is a difficult balancing act. Are you sure all the material is relevant to the plot, setting and atmosphere? Make sure each sentence makes sense to the reader, and each paragraph moves their experience forward.
Technique and tight writing
  • When writing is tight, economical and each word has purpose, it enables the plot to unravel clearly. Try and make each individual word count.
Point of view
  • The story successfully solicited the reader’s empathy through the clever use of the narrator's point of view. You show great deftness in handling point of view.
Style and originality
  • Creating a unique writing style while maintaining quality of prose is tricky. As writers, we face the daunting task of making sure we are not being predictable. Can you find a way to give the content and characters more of a unique edge? Perhaps say something boldly, something fresh or show an unorthodox approach to a topic?
Atmosphere and description
  • Your story was a feast for the senses. The atmosphere wrapped itself around me and transported me onto the page alongside your characters.
Authentic and vivid setting
  • The scene needs to be vivid and realistic in order to hold the reader’s attention. Being concise and plausible at the same time is tricky. Giving this further attention could perhaps be worthwhile.
Opening line, paragraph and hook
  • Great stories, nowadays, start with a powerful opening line and compelling hook in order to keep the reader engaged. Have you baited the reader enough?
General comments from your fellow writer 2:
I felt as though the story was lacking diction. While most of the story was a narrative and little dialogue added. The issue I feel you faced with this story was lack of other characters, this limited a lot of what you could do for your character compared to if he had companions traveling with him. I love Fantasy style writing and I could feel the direction in which you wanted to take me. If you would add more, characters and show more then tell I feel this could become a rather great piece. Remember writing is about making me care about your characters and their actions.

Review 3:


Compelling hook?

Fresh?

Strong characters?

Entertaining?

Attention to mechanics
  • You demonstrate a professional quality of writing throughout the story.
Narration and dialogue: Balance
  • Your story struck a good balance between narration and authentic dialogue.
Narration and dialogue: Authentic voice
  • Your characters’ voices were convincing and authentic.
Characterization
  • Your characters were multidimensional. I found them believable and engaging and they genuinely responded to the events of the story.
Main character
  • Your protagonist exhibited a unique voice and had original characteristics. Their actions and dialogue were convincing.
Character conflict
  • Your characters drew me into their world from the very beginning. Their goals and conflicts were clearly conveyed.
Plot and pace
  • Maintaining the right pace and sustaining the reader’s interest is a challenging balancing act. The story had a clear and coherent progression with a structured plot.
Suspense and conflict
  • The joy of reading often lies in the element of suspense prompted by internal or external conflicts. The build-up was intriguing and I felt the tension mounting with each word.
Technique and tight writing
  • The writing was tight and economical and each word had purpose. This enabled the plot to unravel clearly. Your writing exhibits technical proficiency.
Point of view
  • The story successfully solicited the reader’s empathy through the clever use of the narrator's point of view. You show great deftness in handling point of view.
Style and originality
  • I loved your fresh approach. Creating a unique writing style while maintaining quality of prose requires both skill and practice.
Atmosphere and description
  • Your story was a feast for the senses. The atmosphere wrapped itself around me and transported me onto the page alongside your characters.
Authentic and vivid setting
  • The setting was realistic and vivid. The characters’ mood and emotions were conveyed successfully through the believable setting.
Opening line, paragraph and hook
  • Great stories, nowadays, start with a powerful opening line and compelling hook in order to keep the reader engaged. Have you baited the reader enough?
General comments from your fellow writer 3:
Thank you for writing the story