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The start of something new... feedback appreciated!

This starts many years ago, when I created a new mythological creature - a family of them in fact. This was for an art project, not a writing project, and it never occurred to me to combine the two, until I was talking to a fantasy writer who asked who our favorite MC's were... I sent her a pic of my creatures, and she was quite taken with them - which got me thinking about a story / book... basically an opening scene I'm not sure what I'll do with yet - though I'm leaning towards a story where their habitat is destroyed and they have to search for a new home...

I've attached the opening I came up with, and would like to know what you think, both of the writing and of the Seanicorns (pronounced sea-ni-corns)...

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Replies (8)
    • OMG, since I submitted it, I've replaced the docx about 6 times as I keep seeing edits... I'm not looking any more - see what you can find now!  😁

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      • This really isn't my genre at all, but I think you are off to a promising start. My advice would be to sketch out a complete story, from beginning to end, and then flesh it out over several drafts. The writing is vivid, though of course will need editing down the road, after you have worked out the big picture. One thing you might want to keep in mind is the play of light and darkness. The "shafts of light stabbing from the surface," a nice description, helped me paint a mental picture, but thereafter it became a bit "murky" (pun intended). I suppose it depends on depth, which might be crucial to the scenes. 

        A premise of a destroyed habitat could possibly tap into concerns about environmental degradation and sounds promising. See if you can flesh that idea out. In general, though, keep going! 

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        • i like the idea of playing with light and dark... I already see a child kidnapping mid-journey to their new home ... and though it wasn't in this excerpt, they are calling day "the bright" and night "the darkness", so that blends in as well...

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        • Hi Jo. You've definitely got the start of something good here and definitely worth trying to expand on it.  I like Alex's idea about finding the correlation or making comparisons between the habitation being destroyed and the environmental concerns in the real world (Might help raise interest in the future if you look for an agent/trad.publisher for the completed work). 

          What age range are you thinking of aiming at? I wonder because, according to Starlet, Cay seems quite a 'hottie' in a seanicorn sort of way 😀  But seriously, I liked your sensuous descriptions and language in this piece. 

          Are they supposed to be empathic or telepathic? Or is that just body-language, instinct, or something else?

          Of course, just write it first and get more of it down before you start to bother with these considerations. 

          I, for one, would love to know what happens to the Seanicorns. 

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          • I read this post and my initial thought was - What? Seanicorns!! Having read your opening piece I am intrigued. I think it has great commercial potential. After all, a film about a clownfish became pretty popular. I think it would appeal to a lot of young people. I like the way you describe their senses and how they interact. More of the view of the world from the Seanicorn perspective would be good. The question is, what is the story beyond this opening? Are they invaded by the Crablike armoured Seapiderlobs (forgive me making up stuff) - and have to make a perilous journey to new grounds. Perhaps they find out why the Seapiderlobs are invading and it's an even bigger threat, so they form an uneasy alliance to solve the problem, rather than face war. Seanicorns with shining armoured shells and urchin spears against the tank like Seapiderlobs across the sea floor. I think the possibilities are endless. Keep going. Plot out your story and see where it takes you. Perhaps they use the large Sealephants (sea slugs), to transport their homes across the treacherous plains. I am waffling now, but there you have it Good luck to you - I hope to see it on a book shelf at some point. 

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            • You've created a vivid world and your seanicorns are original and lovable. Thanks for sharing. Keep at it!

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              • Wow, that's the best encouragement I've received on this board so far... maybe I'm finally learning some techniques to improve my writing - I've certainly been doing a LOT of learning lately! Blogs and seminars and master classes... my writing has REALLY tightened up, though I know there's still lots of room for improvement!

                OK, I don't have the entire plot line laid out so far, but here's what I have done - the italic section at the end is a bit of the story that occurred to me while I was thinking about his reaction to his child being stolen, so I wrote it down before I forgot it 😄 


                Reef / home is destroyed – shrimp fishers? **I've been researching what / who destroys coral reefs, and that was one of the things I found - needs more specific research to make this believable...

                Cay gathers his remaining clan and finds an abandoned cave for them to hide in, while they seek a new home.

                Sending warriors out in pairs (one may perish and one return) in all directions, with instructions to return within two darkness’. (darkness = night)

                Some return – some hurt, only one of another pair, one pair’s thoughts are lost (great deep-ward) and both are assumed dead. Another returns a day late, but with word of a beautiful reef – larger than the one that was destroyed, but it is very far – 3 darkness’ going quickly, and with young and elderly they cannot move that quickly – 5 darkness’ at least.

                Warriors again sent ahead in pairs, first pair to find a safe sleeping spot – one to stay there, one to return and bring clan forward. Next pair to go on and find the next night’s spot – teams leapfrog over each other, with one returning to fetch the clan.

                Dangerous and difficult journey – and the second night out, someone kidnaps Whip.

                Cay sends Starlet (about ready to give birth) ahead with the clan, while he searches for their missing fry.

                His equine features showed little emotion, but those who knew him well could read the anger in his clenched jaw and narrowed eyes; and those mind-linked with him quailed before the fury of his thoughts.


                So now I have to give some plot-thought to how he traces his son, does he trace them by seeking glimpses of them in the sea creatures he encounters? Does that wily barracuda find the female who has Whip, and can Cay rescue them both? Hmmm, I like that idea...

                And what happens to those he leaves to complete the journey on their own ... perhaps an octopus starts stalking them... octopi can reach into crevices where they are safe from larger fish... 

                Someone mentioned joining forces to fight off an invader... what about joining with a colony of their "smaller, hornless cousins", (who really are venomous - though they only bite humans if provoked - and it's actually illegal to handle or hurt seahorses, as they are a protected species!).

                Oh, I like talking to you guys, I had no idea where I was going to go after the kidnapping, and now I'm seeing good plot ideas as I write to you!

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                • Hi Jo,

                  I was intrigued by the Seanicorns and I think you have done a great job of characterising them. I liked that they seldom reproduced, lived long lives and that there was a shared communication channel-the mind linking. The idea that the seanicorns lived collaboratively is fertile ground for an internal traitor. 

                  I wondered if your barracuda would be better named something else (with barracuda like features only scarier). The seanicorns would have names for everyone and everything. I like the idea that the world is described through their POV.   

                  Good luck with your plotting

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