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Need Help, Is this too scary for kids?

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Old 07-01-2010, 04:59 PM
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Default Need Help, Is this too scary for kids?


This is the sixth chapter of the first novel in The Lorefloris Chronicles: A Budding Leaf. Dilemma? I'm trying to decide if this chapter is too scary for kids. Target age-range is 8-18. Maybe I should tone it down? I honestly hated writing this chapter and know it is flawed. Horror is not my thing- I'm too sensitive (I didn't want to spend any more time on it than I had to).This is supposed to be targeting a wide-range audience with main focus on young adults. Your input would be appreciated. If you would like to read the chapters leading up to this they are posted in my public Blog; the link is in my profile. Thanks! Around 1100 words.



CHAPTER SIX
The Dancers of Death





Sevis scooped up the last of the entrails with his pale spider-like hands, and lovingly spread them out on the floor of the cave in front of him. His acolytes watched in fervent and fearful fascination as their master worked the complicated spell. He could feel their deadened eyes drawn to the raw line down his face; the source of countless stories whispered in awe.
“He was once a First, Chosen for humanity! …they say he created Murandis… …carved out his heart in Pact while holding the Seraph’s hand!”

Fools, he thought. The new acolytes were useless! They actually looked afraid.
It didn’t hurt for them to hold him in awe, nor to remember it was he who created the indestructible body for their Dark Master. But upon one occasion, when he’d been working a spell involving the removal of one of their young girl’s still-beating hearts, he had even seen one turn away of all things! Did they not understand that death was the only way to everlasting life?

Of course, in the case of the captured children, their souls were untouchable. But their undead bodies would remain under Sykus control until the Nisa priest who’d removed their hearts was destroyed.

He remembered back to his pre-death naive arrogance when he was still an acolyte learning from his master; it’d been gory beyond imagination… but he’d handled it well.

He’d been an elven man once. Yes… a First. Until his foolish brother—
No. He reminded himself that without his brother’s meddling actions, he never would’ve had the opportunity to create Murandis. The Nameless One had shown him great favor, allowing him to retain his heart for one glorious ritual, before…

Sevis growled angrily to himself at the memory, making several of his pathetic acolytes look at him curiously. The ritual had gained him many dark powers; but at a price. In the end he’d had to carve out his own still-beating heart as all the Sykus do.
It meant never touching pure Manna again.

His Sykus master had taught him much that was difficult; but he’d understood that not only was death necessary for a life to be renewed, but through their victims’ terror and pain great powers of darkness were gained. Such were the ways of the Sykus, and so it would always be. Sevis’ Sykus master had been one of his most cherished victims in the end...

Now Sevis was the master, the Chief Priest of the Nisas, the Enders. He had gone far beyond the distant limits of his own masters, discovering awesome and terrible planes of magick that none had before dared to tread, and succeeded! He had died several kinds of death to attain the dark mantle of power he now bore upon his crooked shoulders. He’d tortured himself and others in unspeakable ways… all for the glorious power.
One day he would rule them all, even those members of the Sykus that made up their other half; the Mactas, the Slayers. Noktis was their leader… for now. Sevis seethed just thinking about the Death Warrior, his greatest rival. One day Sevis would have Noktis as the main guest in one of these rituals. One day, all the Sykus would recognize Sevis’ far superior powers and crown him their first king. He was sure the Dark Master wouldn’t mind.
“Yesss…. One day.” Sevis licked his rotten lips in anticipation. His split visage flickered grotesquely in the torchlight; half elven, half human, undead.

Finishing his gruesome work, he rose from his crouch into his usual half-bent posture. His acolytes took the signal and began their part. They crouched low, striking the ground with the palm of first their right hand once, and then their left, twice. Repeating this slow chilling rhythm they began to step to the left in their crouch. Left once, right twice. For each step forward, there are always two taken back. Such was the thread and snag of their existence.

Taking a moment to carefully observe the dying dragon before him, he took immense pleasure in its pain. He heard at least one of the acolytes gasp at this show of strength. If Sevis’ eyes met the eyes of any creature with an Unbroken spirit for even a moment, he would be instantly destroyed. Every soul he’d captured for his own would be lost; returned to Orethyn’s waiting arms. Such was the only way to destroy a Sykus. Sevis had had centuries of practice avoiding that. He would know the precise moment when his victim’s spirit was completely broken. Then… then he would look into their eyes- capturing their souls and taking command of their power as they died.

At this point, the fight was all gone from the wretched beast. Oh how it had been tortured! Its young had been taken first, to ensure its cooperation; for all knew that a dragon’s weakest point was its young. Then, after the beast had been thoroughly chained and weighted down; they had torn out the vulnerable membranes of its wings- one of the most excruciating pains for a dragon.

This, of course, rendered it unconscious and weak for some time, and forever flightless. Its spirit had begun to break. But only one thing could break a so-called noble spirit completely… the murder of its offspring.

He and his acolytes had waited until the she-beast had regained consciousness before bringing out its hatchlings, one at a time. She had been desperate then, fighting with every last scrap of strength she could muster to break her bonds and reach her offspring, to save them. Ha! As if she could ever have succeeded! One by one they had slaughtered its young in a long, drawn out pain-filled death. Sevis had just finished gutting the last one.

Savoring the moment, Sevis shifted his uneven gaze and began staring into the dragon’s mad-eyes. For she was quite mad now, all lucidity gone; her spirit was completely broken beyond repair. The moment of her fast-approaching death would see the spell’s finish. Her eyes had to be looking into his when she died, so that her power and madness would be passed to him. The closest thing Sevis could ever feel to joy came in moments like these; the gaining of such dark power while creating loyal, deathless creatures to do his bidding. Were-dragons! No finer beast could be found amongst the undead.

Whether the mad beast wanted it or not, Sevis’ frightening eyes would be the last thing she would ever see on this side of life. And then her soul would be his. He began to dance.

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[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]THINK POSITIVE: If you think you are beaten- you are. If you think you dare not- you don't. Success begins with your own will, it's all in your state of mind. Life's battles are not always won by those who are stronger or faster, sooner or later the person who wins is the person who thinks he can.

Last edited by Diana Dai; 07-04-2010 at 11:17 AM.. Reason: Missing Info
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Old 07-01-2010, 05:20 PM
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No 'scarier' than like harry potter.
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Old 07-01-2010, 06:58 PM
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Thanks Dea, I hope you're right.
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[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]THINK POSITIVE: If you think you are beaten- you are. If you think you dare not- you don't. Success begins with your own will, it's all in your state of mind. Life's battles are not always won by those who are stronger or faster, sooner or later the person who wins is the person who thinks he can.
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Old 07-01-2010, 07:11 PM
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Do you remember Goose Bumps" , now that was scary for kids and my kids loved it... Or even modern video games...
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Old 07-01-2010, 07:38 PM
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That's true Aric... maybe i'm being too paranoid.
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[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]THINK POSITIVE: If you think you are beaten- you are. If you think you dare not- you don't. Success begins with your own will, it's all in your state of mind. Life's battles are not always won by those who are stronger or faster, sooner or later the person who wins is the person who thinks he can.
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Old 07-02-2010, 02:45 PM
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Shouldn't be too scary, in fact, probably just enough edge to give them a nice thrill. I can remember being young reading an RL Stine book and being scared out of my mind but I couldn't stop reading. A little fear is good.
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Old 07-03-2010, 06:45 AM
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I'm fifteen and wasn't scared. :P
But seriously, I think it should be fine as long as your audience is like... upper elementary to middle school, which judging by the word choice, it is.
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Old 07-03-2010, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by think41second View Post
Shouldn't be too scary, in fact, probably just enough edge to give them a nice thrill. I can remember being young reading an RL Stine book and being scared out of my mind but I couldn't stop reading. A little fear is good.
I'm so glad to hear this. I still feel like I didn't polish it enough cos I don't enjoy putting myself into evil-minded mode. Any suggestions for that? I worry its too much monologing.
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[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]THINK POSITIVE: If you think you are beaten- you are. If you think you dare not- you don't. Success begins with your own will, it's all in your state of mind. Life's battles are not always won by those who are stronger or faster, sooner or later the person who wins is the person who thinks he can.
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Old 07-03-2010, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by etreauxanges View Post
I'm fifteen and wasn't scared. :P
But seriously, I think it should be fine as long as your audience is like... upper elementary to middle school, which judging by the word choice, it is.
You really are within target age-range so it is so helpful to hear this! That being said, did you find it interesting or kind of boring to read? (too much monologuing??) Thanks for your feedback ^-0
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[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]THINK POSITIVE: If you think you are beaten- you are. If you think you dare not- you don't. Success begins with your own will, it's all in your state of mind. Life's battles are not always won by those who are stronger or faster, sooner or later the person who wins is the person who thinks he can.
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Old 07-03-2010, 11:02 AM
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When you said "kids" I didn't realize you meant teenagers.

NOTHING is too scary or creepy for teenagers.
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Old 07-03-2010, 08:03 PM
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I didn't realize that I was the target age range either; although I enjoyed reading it and didn't find it too juvenile or anything.

I don't think it's too much monologuing because it's exposition; you kinda have to monologue (unless you can fit things seamlessly into dialog) to do that. Your style is easy to read because it's pretty fluent and engaging, most of the time. The only suggestion I would really have is that I get this sort of put-on, almost epic hero archetype (like Odysseus or Gilgamesh) vibe from your main character that's been done a lot, so maybe make some changes to that and inject some more like... 'human' into him.
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Old 07-04-2010, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Lin View Post
When you said "kids" I didn't realize you meant teenagers.

NOTHING is too scary or creepy for teenagers.
Too right! Though the range is most likely 8-18. I've been trying to decide if my eight year old daughter could handle it alright. She has read Harry Potter, so it's probably okay.
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[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]THINK POSITIVE: If you think you are beaten- you are. If you think you dare not- you don't. Success begins with your own will, it's all in your state of mind. Life's battles are not always won by those who are stronger or faster, sooner or later the person who wins is the person who thinks he can.
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Old 07-04-2010, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by etreauxanges View Post
I didn't realize that I was the target age range either; although I enjoyed reading it and didn't find it too juvenile or anything.

I don't think it's too much monologuing because it's exposition; you kinda have to monologue (unless you can fit things seamlessly into dialog) to do that. Your style is easy to read because it's pretty fluent and engaging, most of the time. The only suggestion I would really have is that I get this sort of put-on, almost epic hero archetype (like Odysseus or Gilgamesh) vibe from your main character that's been done a lot, so maybe make some changes to that and inject some more like... 'human' into him.
Yay! Good solid feedback- thank you!! While I appreciate all comments this is what I was hoping for. Okay, good point about the totally evil thing, wasn't even thinking about that because of what I know of this Sykus I invented. I knew I was probably missing something because I hate writing evil, but the best archtypes really do have some interesting story as to why they're so evil, which means there had to have been at least some good in him at one point.... okay. I'm going to make some adjustments. Thanks again!!!
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[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]THINK POSITIVE: If you think you are beaten- you are. If you think you dare not- you don't. Success begins with your own will, it's all in your state of mind. Life's battles are not always won by those who are stronger or faster, sooner or later the person who wins is the person who thinks he can.
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