Starting in media res is a terrible idea for a fantasy book. My friend just self-published his fantasy book, Fractured Realm. His first scene is a battle scene. You don't care about any of the characters so the battle is superfluous. I don't care about your elf, for all I know she's a spy and a traitor who deserves to be killed. Am I supposed to be on her side because she's a female elf? That's fucking sexist and racist to boot.
>>7590137 Sorry, she isn't an elf, she's a scout. Who fucking cares. Tell me in the first 2 paragraphs why this generic world with generic magicky things going on is worth caring about in comparison to this real world with lots of things at stake.
Ie. (I'm too fucking tired to write your prose for you):
>The scout had been running for 3 days desperate to deliver her message of peace to the High King. The elves on her tail would kill her if they had the chance. They didn't want that message to arrive because that would mean an end to the empire-building of the greedy King Elf Jim
>>7590150 I'm not curious at all. Everyone is in a predicament some time or another. Loads of people die. What's one more? Unless ...that is a special person whom the whole plot revolves around! Tell me why she's important!
The rule of literature going back to Aristotle is that we must first pity the main character if we are then to plunge them into danger or peril. Pity is evoked through unfairness. Your militaristic prose, and the fact that your scout can handle herself against these elves (I like to call this OverPowered protagonist syndrome) means I am literally just hoping you get to the point soon. I am waiting for the scene to end like in the Attack of the Clones when Anakin is fighting Count Dooku I have no interest in the outcome
>>7590158 Well you do make some good points, though the first three paragraphs still seems a little rushed to me. I'll keep this in mind as I continue to write. It is the first chapter after all, I can squeeze in a few more plot points.
Also, the scout isn't really the protag, I just felt like this scene was a good starting point.
Everything else like the magic failing I want to keep hidden until a later chapter. Thanks for the advice, honestly everyone else I've shown this too has just said it was "pretty good" it's nice to hear critisim for once.
>>7590184 Look, you have a good attitude and you want to succeed, so please listen to what I'm saying.
The scene isn't a good place to start at all. The only way a scene like this is a good place to start is if you invoke great pity in a way that the reader immediately knows who they support. And people don't generally sympathise much with super soldiers in combat - their emotion is at best, interest.
Here's a good way to start. The elves come into a village looking for the scout. The village people are poor but one of them is sheltering the scout in their hut. The elf commander orders them to burn the village to the ground. Some women cry and beg for mercy. An old woman is struck down by the elf commander and the soldiers fan out to lay waste to the village. The village can't be saved but X, the scout's friend, runs to warn her to get out. She takes his horse and bolts out across the valley desperate to get to Y to accomplish her mission. The elves leave the village and give chase to her.
What you're doing is making it clear who is evil through their actions, making us like the protagonist because the odds are against them and they are on the side of the 'little guy', then throwing us into a chase where we have an idea why the protagonist needs to succeed and desperately want her to do so.
>>7590216 Watch the beginning of A New Hope. A big Imperial ship is chasing the little rebel ship. Masked authoritarian figures board the ship and fight off the very human rebels. The evil commander comes on board and chokes somebody who looks defenseless. He barks some orders about wanting the plans and wanting to take prisoners. You immediately sympathise with Leia over Darth Vader. In books you don't have the visual cues of who's good and bad to rely upon so much. Frodo vs the Nazgul is another good one. You already know Frodo is a good person and the Nazgul are dark evil trained killers working for the Dark Lord. So the chase to Rivendell has you on the edge of your seat hoping he makes it and the Ring doesn't fall into evil hands.
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