I have been working furiously on a poetry project and my novel, and I have neglected my blog a bit. But alas, ’twas a fruitful distraction!
I follow a blogger named Dragonplume, who writes Writers Block. They wrote a blog post that really got me thinking. The post is titled Ch 1 Blunders:Generic settings. Upon reading this article (if you write I strongly recommend you read it as well), I pondered my own novel, and came to the conclusion that I have made the blunder of introducing my genre too late. But how to fix it? It is important to my story that my main character not have any idea magic exists before it explodes into his life. So what do I do about the ch 3 entrance of magic in my story? This introduces my genre to my reader entirely too late, however I don’t want to lose the element of shock to the character I already have.
So I came up with a prologue to my story, which until now it did not have. It sort of explains a bit about magic without introducing it to my leading man too soon. It was well received by my writers group, with several comments of, “this helps me understand the story better”. My one concern is that it throws you too much into a world you don’t understand before there is any character building, or any emotional investment. I am not the best judge, since I know a lot more than I have told the reader even in the later chapters, and I am extremely invested in all of the characters. My writers group is a big help, but they have read the rest of the story so I’m still not sure if this is too confusing of an introduction. I haven’t fully explored how it will weave its way into the rest of my tale, but here it is: The beginning of my novel. Feel free to comment, I would love the feedback.
“It doesn’t have any spark. It looks like a sack of meat.” The imp poked the sleeping human child with her pudgy finger.
Her sister rolled her eyes, shoving the baby into a spider silk sack. “Course it don’t spark, it’s human aint it?” When the baby started to fuss, she blew sleepy sand into the bag to knock the baby out. Crying would wake the parents, and that was more aggravation that the scrawny imp felt like dealing with.
“Our babies got life in ’em.” The fat imp patted the bottom of the peacefully sleeping Fay child in her arms. Indeed the baby’s Fay light, the heart of natural magic, glowed faintly.
“Well that’s cuz they Fay babies. Fay babies are better than human ones. That’s how come we got to switch ’em out ‘fore we gives ’em to them trolls. Can’t very well feed our own babies to the trolls now can we?” The skinny imp busied herself with tying a string around the sack.
The fat imp looked around the generic nursery. Its walls were a flat pastel pink. The bassinet where the human baby usually slept was covered in frilly white and pink lace. Other than the glistening portal they opened inside the antique mirror in the corner, everything about the room looked exactly like every other human nursery. She didn’t want to put the Fay child in the ugly bassinet. The lack of plants or animals around to tend to the baby disturbed her. “Why do we leave our babies with the humans to raise all boring like? Don’t make much sense to me.”
“Nobody asked you. And, anyway, rules is rules. It’s just how it’s done is all.” The skinny imp yanked the Fay baby from the fat imp, and lay her in the human’s place. The child’s Fay light dimmed slowly until it was almost gone, but the child had the same magnetic beauty as before.
“Just look at her. She’s beautiful as the day is long. What is she?”
The fat fairy barked out a laugh. “Ha! And ha ha! Poor stupid sods. Nobody will ever tell this Fayling no.” She leaned into the cradle, “Will they little lovely? My pretty enchantress, you’ll have everything you want from life. Aint so bad at all, leaving you with the humans then. They got no choice but to love you.”
The skinny imp huffed, shoving her sister out of the way.
“What’s her name? We got’s to tell her her name so she takes the place all propper like. It’s the rules.”
“You and your bloody rules can hang. And anyway it’s on the wall there behind you. Amy, it says.”
“Amy is your name now, little changeling,” the skinny imp said, her face hovering over the baby’s face. “You be a good little human, and break lots of hearts.”
The skinny imp threw the spider silk sack over her shoulder, and unfurled her thin membrane wings. The fat imp looked back at the lovely enchantress-to-be, feeling a pang of guilt at leaving a Fay to grow up in a family empty of magic. The poor little one would go through life being adored, but would have no idea how to wield the power she had over humans. She gave not one thought for the baby in the sack, who’s parent would never even know they had lost a child. The fat imp had only been doing this job for one day, and already she was questioning the order of things. She also questioned her sisters sanity, having done this job for over a century. She wondered if the Queen knew they were using her kinfolk as changelings.
“Oh, stop thinkin’ on it,” The skinny imp nudged her sister with her elbow. “It’s easier if you don’t think on it. Just follow the rules, and have a nip of Poitin to steady your nerves when you get back to Sidhe.”
The fat imp glanced back one more time, then the pair of them went back through the gate as silently as they came out, sealing it shut behind them.