Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Out With The Old
So I mentioned the other day that two of Weesa's topic suggestions linked heavily with my first attempt at an original novel. Today's topic - imagination - is Weesa's final suggestion, and I am going to post what was intended as a prologue for my long-neglected work (not) in progress. In the prologue for 'Soul Identity', I wanted to somehow get the reader to really visualise the set up, and also to set the tone for the entire novel. It was never meant to be longer than a single page - in fact, it was more of a forward than a prologue now that I think about it.
I had mixed feedback from my friends, both Burrowing and non- Burrowing, and I could never quite decide myself whether I liked it or not. This incarnation is pretty much what I originally wrote way back when, and although I had intended to keep it, I think I may scrap it (along with the few chapters already written) and start all over. Nevertheless, I intend to keep pieces of this and incorporate them into the story at a later point because I still like the imagery.
But what does this have to do with imagination? Well, apart from the obvious - that writing a story requires imagination somewhere along the line - the entire point of my prologue was to get readers to imagine the scene themselves. In fact, the very first word is 'imagine' - fancy that!
So here comes the soon-to-be scrapped prologue of 'Soul Identity'. I figured it deserved another airing before I laid it to rest and began working on the book from scratch again during this year's NaNoWriMo.
Soul Identity - Prologue
Imagine a soul floating on the breeze. It shivers as if it is deathly cold, fluttering wildly. It moves along the air currents, passing through clouds unnoticed; the birds that fly by on their daily journeys do not sense it. Indeed, the soul itself does not register the presence of the winged creatures. The soul continues to float through the sky seemingly aimlessly. It does not know where it will end up; it does not understand why it is traveling. It is, after all, only a soul. It has no conscious thought, it does not think for itself. The soul simply is.
Imagine a child who is hidden from the world. The Child sits in a stark, cold room and waits for her life to start. The daily existence that she lives through is nothing more than a parody of life. The Child is fed at first light and at dusk. The child knows not how the nourishment arrives at her feet, just as she knows not how the books came to be in her possession. She does not understand why she is in this place, nor does she question it.
The Child may be alone, but the Child is not ignorant. She is well-read and fluent in several languages. Indeed, the Child can speak quite proficiently, though her voice is rarely heard. The Child prefers the silence because Silence is her friend.
Silence comforts her when she is uneasy. Silence does not mock her when she is troubled; Silence wraps its arms around her and soothes away her distress. Silence warns the child when there is danger at hand, for when Silence is disturbed, the Child invariably is disturbed soon after. The Child knows this, therefore the Child respects this. Silence is her friend.
And so the Child sits in her stark, cold room and waits. She waits for Silence to abandon her, as she knows will happen soon enough. She waits for life. She waits to breathe.
Picture a village on the outskirts of a forest. Small rickety homes litter the rural landscape; broken, rundown homes screaming their poverty for all to hear. Picture the inhabitants of this village. Quiet, goodly folk who farm their land and dream of nothing more than a good meal and a safe family to return home to at the end of the day. They are a peaceful folk; there are no wars to be fought, no crimes to punish. They set their lives to the rise and fall of the Sun. When dawn breaks they set about their work without complaint, eager to toil on the land that they love. The arrival of dusk brings contentment; satisfaction that they have worked to the best of their ability. They return home to their loved ones and retire after a simple meal, intent on being well-rested for the coming day.
A simple life; but a good one.
But Darkness creeps through this quaint part of the world, hidden from sight, invisible to the innocent. It seeps into their hearts without their knowledge; once it has a grip it is hard to be free of it. Darkness seeks those who are least able to understand. It strikes into the hearts of the pure, a sharp spear of confusion. Only the strongest souls have the strength to repel its deadly tip. But even the heartiest soul has its limits.
Picture a tall and muscular man with dark hair cropped close to his skull. His piercing blue eyes are sometimes flecked with green, hinting at a cold nature. His nose is large and pocked from many beatings. He is a hard man, but a pious one. He holds his faith up like a shield, proud of his heritage. Arin is a basically decent man; he's a husband, a farmer and a friend. First and foremost he is a Guardian of the Faith. The Faith holds priority over everything, even his kin. This is typical of the time; a mans faith is a mans life. Arin is no exception.
But Arin was about to be made an exception. Darkness had found a new target, a perfect one. Arin has all the right credentials. He is devoted to his faith; he is past the innocence of youth; he is strong and courageous, prepared to fight for what he believes in. And Arin is married. Arin is wed to a beautiful young woman named Maya, and Maya is the key to it all.
Maya is with child.