Some of my friends who read The Ultimate Evil in its entirety have wondered what I am doing to this poor story that I have been working on for so long. Well, here is an example. Below is the original opening paragraph for The Ultimate Evil.
A good king had ruled Validor not that long ago. He had lost his wife to disease shortly after his daughter’s birth, but did not let his grieving affect his ability to rule the country with compassion and grace. He was a kind man who had been very skilled with the sword, and though ruling Validor had demanded most of his time, he always found enough hours in the day to spend time with his only daughter and heir, Aduan. She was a very beautiful and skilled girl, one of the few women who could expertly wield a sword.
It's good, decent even, but this is not great. I have expanded upon this paragraph and turned it into the opening chapter called, "The Princess and the King". This is that chapter:
Taon stood on one of the many balconies in Validor’s castle, overlooking the lush green grounds, a soft wind pulling gently at his shoulder length hair. The vizier’s ever-watchful eye lay on his close friend, King Dorvon and his only daughter, Princess Aduan, as their swords clashed. Sword fighting was a pastime both father and daughter had enjoyed for many years now.
She truly has grown even more beautiful than her mother was, Taon reflected as he watched the seventeen year old. The Queen’s life had been lost to disease shortly after Aduan’s birth and the girl had grown up, never knowing her mother. The King had taken his wife’s death hard, but had not let his grieving mar his ability to rule his land with compassion and grace.
Taon became aware that someone had stepped up beside him and saw that it was Yeugh, a skilled knight and captain of Validor’s army. The soldier gazed at the Royal Family below and nodded his head. “Aduan’s skill is improving.”
“Quite,” he agreed, “but she had the best instructor. His Majesty is the most skilled swordsman in our land.”
“With that I must agree.”
The two men fell silent as they watched the battle commence. For years the fights had not been evenly matched, but now it seemed that this one was. Aduan was just as quick as her father, just as wary and watchful. Then, to Taon’s great surprise, Aduan succeeded in forcing her father’s sword from his hand. Her sword pointed at his throat, she removed her helmet, revealing her sweat drenched bronze hair.
“Do you yield?” she asked.
Dorvon’s kind face crinkled up in a smile and he laughed. “Well done, Aduan. Well done!” He looked up at Taon. “Wasn’t that something, my friend?”
“Indeed, my lord,” Taon called back, knowing full well the king had not allowed his daughter to win. She had rightfully earned it. “Neither Yeugh or myself has managed to best you.”
Dorvon grinned at his daughter and wrapped her in a hug. “Not only do I have the prettiest daughter in the land,” Taon heard him say, “but the best swordswoman as well.”
“I never expected that of Aduan,” Yeugh said. “She has always cared more of her appearance than anything else. Why would she strive so hard to beat her father?”
“Because she wishes to please him,” the vizier answered. “He is the only person she truly cares about.”
Yeugh sighed and shook his head as he watched the Royals depart the grounds and walk into the castle. “She still has much to learn before she can assume the throne.”
“There is still time, Sir Yeugh,” he assured him. “Time for Aduan to learn all she needs. Besides, she will not undertake the throne until the King deems her ready. That is the law of our land.”
“Aduan is spoiled.” Yeugh always spoke bluntly. “Everyone in Validor knows it. Everyone, that is, except for her father.”
Taon looked away to gaze once again at the lush green land before him. Yeugh was right. Dorvon did not see the coldness in Aduan’s heart because it was never displayed before him.
“I’m only thinking of the good of our country,” Yeugh continued. “Things do happen and we do have enemies out there.”
At his words, Taon found himself involuntary gazing into the West. Yes, enemies did lay in wait and one in particular had for centuries with the promise that one day he would return.
How much longer would he continue to only linger?
“Taon, don’t pay any attention to me,” Yeugh said, leaning up against the stone railing. “Right now we really do not have anything to worry about. Everything is going well for Validor, wouldn’t you agree?”
He nodded, turning back to him, carefully banishing any concern and fear that may have been present on his features. “Yes, I do agree.”
They did not know that the words were a bad omen.
I think it's much better. Of course, this is only the first draft. Once the revamp is done, I'm going to read it through once more to clean it up a little bit, then I'm going to be done because then it will be the epic I always saw it as....which makes me one happy camper! :D
Oh, feel free to crit and comment on this. If you do decide to crit, please note that I love honest opinions, so you can tell me anything you want. All help is always appreciated! :)