Author Notes: I keep changing the prologue. I think I like this version best. I've always liked the idea of starting stories in bookstores. Dragonblade is the first part of the Chronicles, and there are three parts to Dragonblade: "The Seeker" being the first part. Making an outline as well as rough sketches of plot lines certainly helps with organization and with knowing what I need to write next, though I never follow my outlines exactly and sometimes have to change them when I make a discovery - seeing as I'm a discovery writer and things just sort of happen as I write. One thing about this world I've made: there are way too many view point characters (about 15, each with their own themes and sub plots). I try not to rush through them too fast. If at any point, you feel like the characters themselves are too difficult to keep up with, let me know, please. Characters, to me, are the most important items of a story. I love my characters. I want to do them justice. Evil, good,or neutral I want them to feel real.
So anyway, as I was saying:
THE CHRONICLES OF AVAIREAN
"Life is the greatest gift. What you do with it, is the greatest choice."
It all begins here, in a bookstore. Don't judge a book by the cover, they say. But we do. The cover and the title, they are our first impressions into the worlds, into the minds, of the authors. First impressions leave a lasting mark, as much as we try not to let them.
I love to sit here in my favorite section—fantasy—and browse the titles without ever picking them up and reading. Vampires, dragons, mages, political schemes, wars, quests, heroes, villains…sometimes the titles tell the book's story; other times, I can find it in the cover itself. Though I do have to admit, some covers lately are so abstract I can't even begin to guess what the real story is about.
If I had the time, I would read it all. If I didn't have responsibilities, I would curl up in this isle and read each book, listening to calming classical music overhead, immersing myself in worlds that never could exist. Fantasy is so much more fun than reality. If only I could live in one of those worlds...
"Are you going to pick anything up or just look at it all day?"
This isn't the first time I've heard the question, so I don't even bother to look up to see who asks. Staring at the carpet on the floor, kicking my legs out and leaning back against the shelf behind me, I shrug before responding. "I was just thinking. Day-dreaming."
Unlike the normal people who typically mumble something and walk away, this boy sits down beside me. "That's kind of boring, though. I mean, I can't read or anything, but just sitting here doing nothing is a bit of a waste, isn't it?"
"If you can't read, then why are you in a bookstore?" I ask the question, glancing over just to forget everything I had been thinking.
The boy has dog ears and a cat tail. Dog ears…and a cat tail… Never mind the century-old outfit or the use of sunglasses indoors… He has dog ears, and a cat tail. I must be going crazy.
"Veedran! What are you doing? You're supposed to stay hidden, not go jumping around scaring innocent people."
From the end of the isle comes the boy's companion: a man with white spikes of hair who seems to be in his early twenties. At least he doesn't look too strange, though the black and white clothes remind me of some uniforms from some kind of assassin video game. Not that I can tell what video game, just that it looks like he popped right out of the visual gaming screen.
The cat-dog-thing crosses his arms and acts like he's about to throw a temper tantrum. "I'm bored. Why can't I do anything useful?"
Kelch stands in front of the both of us and instead of responding to Veedran, meets my eyes. I take a breath and when I let it out, Kelch turns away, seeming satisfied with something. Before I know it, he's sitting down on the other side of me.
"Is there any chance that you like to write fantasy?"
Veedran laughs before I can answer. "Yeah right. She wasn't even reading; why would she like to write?"
"Typically, Veedran, those who like to write can spend hours just thinking of stories – or of what makes stories interesting or why people buy and read what they do."
"Yeah, I like to write, but I haven't exactly published anything yet." I manage to interrupt Kelch before the two friends can continue to have a conversation over my head. I really hate it when situations like that happen. "Why?"
Kelch turns to me and I see white hair poking into blue eyes but no hint of a smile. "We have a story; we need an author. Would you care to hear it?"
A million thoughts pile into my mind at the same time, so fast and so suddenly that I can't begin to sort them into words; I can barely give them real form in my head. Possibilities. A new story. A chance to be published. I wonder what it's about. Whether I can write what they want or not, at the very least I could hear a new story.
I look from Kelch who seems patient enough and then turn to the cat-dog-thing. My mind accepted him way too easily to be sane. He's pounced up to his knees and is leaning forward – a little too close for comfort – as he waits for my answer. The tail flicks around in the air behind him.
"Is that a real cat tail?"
Veedran looks behind him. Kelch laughs. "I'll take that as a 'yes,' I assume."
"Sure, but let's go to my apartment. It's bad enough I've gone even more insane than usual; I'd rather not showcase it to the world, if you know what I mean."
Instead of a laugh or an agreement, Kelch tilts his head to the side as if confused. "But don't authors already do that?"
Now that I'm back in the comforts of my own space, away from the curiosity and stares of the common folk, I can feel the anxiety leaving my tense shoulders. I feel even better when I'm finally sitting behind my desk again, stacking papers to the sides, pulling out a pencil, getting ready to write.
Even though the computer technology has gone through the roof, I still to this day prefer the pencil-and-paper method of writing…at least the first drafts. It's why this room is cluttered with binders and notebooks and loose papers ruffling from the breezes of the air conditioner.
"Kelch, do you think this will work?"
Looking up from my brainstorming notes, I stare at the two individuals before me. One of them looks perfectly normal, a little on the youthful rebellious side because of his spiked dyed-white hair, but otherwise normal. The other one, however…
Tall, gangly, blond hair, blue eyes—with black instead of white—but that's where the "normal" descriptions stop. He's the reason I even halfway believe their story. Big black dog ears poke up from his bushy hair. And a thin, bright red tail twitches behind him. He's a cat-dog-thing. Definitely a creation from a fantasy world.
"I hope it will, Vee. That's all I can do now. Hope."
Vee sighs, his strange dog ears wilting as he looks to me. I promptly shrug and start waving the pencil around as if it were a baton and I were conducting some sort of symphony.
"Immortals can't die. It just defeats the purpose of living forever, of being an immortal." Before they can interrupt, I hold my pencil up and continue on my train of thought. "However, according to you at least, they can 'disappear' by being forgotten. So, if enough people remember—"
"—it's only logical for them to reappear," Kelch finishes. "And since mankind will believe in the characters of a story—instead of trying to believe in the actual existence of such beings—"
"—You need a writer to get the message out there, to make it believable, but still just a story." Kelch nods. "And that's where I come in."
Vee is nodding too, his tail bouncing happily. "Yeah, yeah! You can help us bring back all my friends!"
Kelch smiles sadly at the boy and then looks back at me without a word.
I sigh. "And as for me…I just want something published. The story material is there; I just have to make it interesting." I glare down at my blank pages and groan. "Easier said than done."
With a sigh, I grab a pencil, and begin to write the first things that come to mind.
Dragonblade: The Seeker
—from The Chronicles of Avairean—
Almighty Avairean, plan in mind
Forged a world of his own design.
He placed seven races across this land,
And gave them leaders, a Guardian hand.
Though only five, the Guardians ruled well;
Peace, prosperity, and good deeds to tell.
Then resentment came, and with it hate.
The guardians trembled at the world's fate.
For one of their own, god of magic and war,
Grew jealous, corrupted, and killed wide and far
The plains erupted in fire and ash;
Two dragons collided, one calm, one rash.
Avairean cried, "The world is doomed!"
And with it fell a fiery plume.
What happened next, I slowly say,
For the spirit of our god did disobey.
But with his sin, light and hope came.
The world was saved thanks to Traidel Rurain.
A sword he made, and a gauntlet too,
Prisons for both, his brethren knew.
The Dragons fell out of the sky.
The world moved on, not willing to die.
A child was born, who should not be.
And he was taken, maimed, unable to see
Another child, born from secrets and lies
Was gifted with memory and the strangest eyes
Legends formed, a plan was made
The Goddess gave birth and all know his name
A wolfman, violence in his blood
Rejected by his own, their savior in all but word
As the world grew, the memories changed
All have forgotten that chaotic day
Deep in darkness, a mage recreates
A Dragon lives, trapped, serving in thanks
The prisons stay locked far far away,
But the Goddess predicts death on the way.
"How come Baxorth gets four lines and I only get two?" Vee comments after I've read my poem.
Kelch laughs, a hand over his eyes. His bangs, white spikes against his forehead, bounce as he shakes his head. But he says nothing.
I shrug in answer to Veedran's question. "Because that's how it came out? You have to understand, I was just going by information you gave me and condensing it the best way I knew how."
"But you make it sound like he does more than me," Vee pouts, his arms crossed, his tail twitching.
Kelch laughs again, this time reaching out to put a hand on the cat-dog's arm. "Don't take it that way, Vee. To be honest, you don't do that much at the beginning, anyway."
"Neither does Baxorth!"
At this, Kelch raises an eyebrow. "He did more than you. Let's not forget, a lot of my problems are his fault.
"Enough!" I shout. "Do you want me to write this or not?" Both of them stare at me, mouths shut. Vee lowers his head and glares at the floor. Kelch shrugs. "Now, where should I start this?"
The white haired youth, who says he is actually older than he looks, spreads his arms out, hands open. "You're the author."
I grumble and glare at my brainstorming notes. A name catches my eye, seeming to stand out amid the black and white: Traidel Rurain. Then the idea hits. "Oh I know!" Without looking up to see their faces, I grab my pencil and begin scribbling away.
A/N: Yeah, my characters tell me their story. I think this is the perfect way to illustrate how my ideas happen, and hopefully it comes across as a unique and interesting way to start a book. Please let me know what you think. I've been re-creating the beginning because it needs to be good enough to grab attention and interest from the get-go. Does it do this? Or is it missing something? And if so, what? Thanks for reading!