View Full Version : The Lost Oracle - A Novel

01-05-11, 19:30
Soo, I've been working on this for, well, forever it seems (since around '06 :eek), but only recently has the story been developing well. I intend to self-publish so it's safe for me to share. Please let me know what you think and don't be afraid to point out errors etc as this will all be helpful.

The Lost Oracle, Prologue (http://www.booksie.com/fantasy/novel/raijacqueline/the-lost-oracle/chapter/1)

Chapter 1, Mysterious Dwelling (http://www.booksie.com/fantasy/novel/raijacqueline/the-lost-oracle/chapter/2)

Chapter 2, A Strange Encounter (http://www.booksie.com/fantasy/novel/raijacqueline/the-lost-oracle/chapter/3)

Kalinda is a petite 18 year old with long black hair (as you can see ;)) with violet eyes. She lives with her father, her mother having left when she was a little girl. Kali's best friend is Jomei, but I haven't decided if I'm going to make him into the regular character. Other characters we'll meet are Maryn a tall girl with red spiky hair. Maryn and Kalinda become friends, but Maryn who is younger than her new friend is keeping a big secret; Laelia - Kalinda's mother lives in a mysterious house which Kalinda visits. Kalinda has 'sight', she can see images from the future and it is this that brings her to the mountain house. she is about to embark on a life changing journey. Want to know more? Then read the book, silly! :p

A picture of Kalinda by the wonderfully talented Hayley:

Thanks for reading :). *is really nervous* :o. If there is anything else you'd like to know, just yell :). If anyone wishes to do fan drawings, please do as I'd love to see them :).

01-05-11, 19:57
As I've already said I love this and you're such a talented writer ^_^ Now I can paint better I'll have to paint a new pic of Kalinda for you x

01-05-11, 20:20
very nice:)

why were those men harrasing that lady though...perhaps I've missed a few episodes:p

btw....I think it's spelled wander not wonder

good work...keep it up:tmb:

01-05-11, 20:48
Thank you hayley, and I'd be honoured if you could do another pic :hug:

Thanks CerebralAssassin. You haven't missed anything, but the scene does have some significance to the story that will become clear later on. And correction made. :) :hug:

02-05-11, 18:44
Sorry to double post, but I wanted to let peeps (both of them :p) know a new chapter is now available to read. Link in OP. :o :)

02-05-11, 20:26
hehe...you're quick:p

very nice...it's starting to get interesting now...I wonder what's up with that house:p actually...you know what?there's a house here too in the village I live in that's on the mountain and oversees the village....I wonder what's up with that one too:p

there's a typo in the last paragraph "Now a she looked on".sorry to be an ass about these little mistakes...but if you intend to publish this then it has to be polished:p I feel I can't give some real critique on the structure of the story yet until you get more into it.(not that I'm guaranteeing my critique would be spot on,mind you:p)

well anyway...enough with the jibber jabber for now:p looking forward to more stuff from you:tmb: oh and btw....is this horror fiction like Stephen King?:p

02-05-11, 20:33
^ I already had Chapter 1 ready ;). Thank you for the comments, I really do appreciate it :hug:. Also, yes, it is very important to get spelling/grammar correct, so thanks for pointing them out. This is why I need readers - others will see stuff I miss :p. No this is not horror, rather fantasy. Though I am hoping to convey a sense of eeriness later on. You'll (hopefully) see.

03-05-11, 16:01
D: That is really good. ;D

I'll be looking forward to future chapters. :p

03-05-11, 18:26
Thank you Flo. :D

You won't have long to wait as Chapter 2 is up :). I haven't gone through it properly, so expect mistakes :p.

03-05-11, 21:23
I want to read but sadly an error message shows up
"You don't have permission to access the-lost-oracle chapter 1 on this server."

03-05-11, 21:40
I want to read but sadly an error message shows up
"You don't have permission to access the-lost-oracle chapter 1 on this server."

Really? That is a shame. Try this link. http://www.booksie.com/fantasy/novel/raijacqueline/the-lost-oracle

If that doesn't work, pm me and perhaps I can send it to you some other way.

04-05-11, 00:01
I've just read the Prologue, and I really enjoyed it. :D
So first of all, great work! :tmb:

I have some points though that you could do something with, if you like:

In the first paragraph, you have used the words 'The girl' very often. I know why that is though, but maybe you could change it up a bit there. Use synonyms for example or simply 'she'.
'It started to rain then'. Trust me, I have no idea why, but for some reason I feel like it would be better to change this. Maybe you agree, maybe not. I can't explain, maybe it's because Dutch is my 1st language and we usually don't use those words in that order. :o
When one of the baddies grabs her arm and it starts to hurt him, I immediately thought of Harry Potter. :p I don't know how others think about this, but there is a risk that people will think you copied HP there, because those books are so popular (I bet JK isn't the first one with this either!). I don't know how much you will need to change in order to 'fix' this and if you even want to. It's probably an important part of the plot/story...
The paragraph that starts with 'The girl watched as the figures started to fade...' could use some more text, I think. What's happening in that part is really epic, like a 'whoa' moment, lol. Very awesome. :D Although it happens so fast, that I wish it felt more awesome. So the pacing feels a bit off there. I hope that makes sense.
Overall, you use a lot of long sentences in the non-dialogue parts. This is entirely personal preference, but it could work better to have some short sentences in there as well for variation. On the other hand, the sentences that you have written are so beautiful, I don't want them gone! :o Do with this point whatever you want! Hmm, that goes for all points of course. :p

The rest was perfect, I think. I hope you don't mind all those things I wrote, I really want to help. :o

I will read the next chapter tomorrow, I'm really looking forward to it. :D

04-05-11, 00:55
Incredible so far! :D Love the opening, it's sort of shocking and intriguing at the same time. The only line I don't like is "his mate never even knew that anything had happened." I think i'm just being picky, but this annoyed me. :p

Other than that, great so far! :D

04-05-11, 01:30
Wow, I only read the prologe so far, and it's amazing! :tmb:

04-05-11, 06:11
Really? That is a shame. Try this link. http://www.booksie.com/fantasy/novel/raijacqueline/the-lost-oracle

If that doesn't work, pm me and perhaps I can send it to you some other way.
still not working :(:o

04-05-11, 19:25
Thank you so much for the comments :D :hug:

Dia2blo: coming from such a great writer, it means a lot that you like my writing. Hmm, I may see about changing that line, reword it somehow.

L2R: Thank you! and I appreciate the in-depth critique as it allows me to see where I can improve. I will take a better look at the prologue alongside your comments when I have more time and see what can be done. I look forward to seeing what you think of the next chapters :D. As for the likeness to Harry Potter, I'm not sure what you mean. I'm more concerned over the likeness to Hayley's 'Shadow. You'll see why.


05-05-11, 00:26
You're very welcome dear! :hug:

I'll post my thoughts on the next chapters soon. :)

05-05-11, 08:09
Changes have been made to the prologue, if you're interested in reading it again :). (big thanks to L2R :hug:)

05-05-11, 22:01
Yeah, I think people who read it before should definitely read it again. Please tell if you agree with the changes! :o

Chapter II

I really loved this chapter, even more than the prologue. It got me hooked from beginning to end. I loved how you described everything, I could see it all happening. I felt really sad when I already reached the final words, but thankfully there is another chapter waiting for me to be read. :D

Some small points again:

The glowing reds oranges and pinks ... morning. This one is quite long, a pause could be good here, somewhere.
Amidst the forest ... view. I think this sentence is definitely too long. I completely understand what's going on, but readers who don't pay enough attention might get confused. I strongly recommend to break this one up.
Perhaps it was the isolation ... girl. I think it should be effect instead of affect? :o
I thought it was funny when Kalinda enters the shop and uses a high-tech screen. It totally came out of the blue, lol. I imagined everything to be very old-fashioned and suddenly I was like: :confused::p I loved this actually (so it's not critique, just something I wanted to share :)).
In a small room ... pentagram. I think there is a small error in this sentence ('was'), you will see it when you read it again. ;)
Quite the most popular ... shop. Perhaps this sentence could use a pause right after 'in'. But this is just a small thing (there are more like this one), maybe you don't agree and like it better the way it is now.

Moving on to the next chapter soon! :D

05-05-11, 22:03
hehe...can't beat L2R with the in-depth critique:D I agree with her that some sentences are too long...need to be shortened

keep it up:tmb:

05-05-11, 22:27
Thank you again L2R. I totally agree some of the sentences are too long. I definitely need to wok on that. Ah, I always get effect and affect mixed up :p. About the high tech PC, I'm glad this had the effect I was intending - I hope it doesn't confuse too much. I will definitely take your comments into consideration. Feedback like this in invaluable :D

Thank you CerabreAssasin. :D

I hope you both enjoy the next chapters as they come.

05-05-11, 22:47
Thank you again L2R. I totally agree some of the sentences are too long. I definitely need to wok on that. Ah, I always get effect and affect mixed up :p. About the high tech PC, I'm glad this had the affect I was intending - I hope it doesn't confuse too much. I will definitely take your comments into consideration. Feedback like this in invaluable :D

Thank you CerabreAssasin. :D

I hope you both enjoy the next chapters as they come.
You are very welcome! :hug:
I'm glad to help and also happy that you do something with it. Some people only listen to positive comments and ignore all the negative. I think it's great that you don't, it's the only way to grow! :)
You're an amazing writer and have a gift of describing things so vividly, you can't really go wrong there. We are only here to spot any minor issues. :p

And don't worry, it's not too confusing. Just something that makes you stop and think for a moment. :)

And by the way, you did it again! :ton:

05-05-11, 23:33
:vlol: *slaps wrists*

06-05-11, 19:47
Looks like the site screwed up your formatting on chapter 1 a little bit, because some parts read like a wall of text. At least on my end. No biggie, though, MS Word does that to me all the time.

Maybe it's just me, but the prologue starts off a little bit too much like you'd expect a fantasy story, with the mysterious wanderer trying to get away. But it's great the first chapter has a hook there at the beginning to draw in the readers. My eyes tend to wander when I reach long paragraphs, but once I read that first line with the house suddenly appearing, I had to back up because my mind just went "wait, what?" :D Love it when that happens. Other than that, maybe you could shorten a few phrases here and there in order to add a dynamic element? They're easier and more enjoyable to read, I think. (Or maybe I've read one too many spy novels >.>)

Anyway, good luck with the rest of the story and have fun! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that you won't have too much trouble publishing it.

06-05-11, 21:09
Yeah, I need to change the formatting a bit. Tis annoying when that happens. So the prologue is predictable? I guess, but it has it's place, trust me ;). I'm glad you liked the next chapter and the house appearance. I have plans to go through the chapters and tidy them some more. I am aware that some sentences are too long.

Thank you for the comments, I will bear them in mind. Thanks for the luck also, I hope you will follow the novel. :D

Minty Mouth
07-05-11, 15:01
I had a look at your prologue and quite irritatingly the text cannot be copied and pasted, so I can't do a proper critique of the whole thing. I did, though, type out the first paragraph and made some notes that I think you will be able to apply to the rest of the text.

The girl hurried down the path, pulling her cloak closer around her to keep out the icy wind. [Quite a cliché opening sentence. Particularly the phrase 'icy wind' which you see far too often. You'd be better off changing it and going with a more original turn of phrase.]She kept ['She kept' is a strangely informal phrase; it sounds very out of place] darting [darting in this context is more commonly used as an adjective than it is a verb, as you have it here. It made me stumble when reading because I had assumed you were using it in its adjectival form. (ie, "She fired several darting looks..."] looks behind her as if afraid she [were] being chased by some invisible source [A source can't chase someone. Perhaps 'presence' would fit better?]. The night seemed darker than was natural, as if someone had turned out the stars; the moon was hidden by a thick mass of clouds.[Like this a lot] There was a crack of thunder, [Again, 'crack of thunder' is a cliché best avoided] startling the girl further. [awkward phrasing, there. It's generally intuitible that thunder would startle her. Maybe you could leave that clause out all together, for simplicity's sake] Within seconds it started to rain in a heavy flow that soon had the lone figure drenched. [Another awkwardly structured sentence. Again, you could leave out the part about being drenched because if it's raining heavily we know she will be drenched. Maybe something like "Within seconds a heavy flow of rain..." I don't know, the fact that the rain is in a heavy flow doesn't need to be removed from the noun 'rain' as you had it. It works better as a pre-modifier rather than a post-modifier, I think. Otherwise the sentence sounds jarring in a way that is hard to explain.] She slid slightly but managed to correct her balance, fierce determination to keep going [seems too colloquial. Maybe 'continue'?] etched over her pale face.

Overall I think there are some clashes with your narrative voice, particularly the intrusion of a couple very informal phrases that don't match the rest. Also something for you to watch out for is the structure of your sentences: sometimes the word order is rather convoluted, like in the two examples I flagged above, resulting in a sentence that sounds more complicated that it has to be and makes it hard to read. Very good advice: KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid!

Also watch out for clichés. Before you use a phrase ask yourself if you've ever heard it done before. Ever. Icy wind and crack of thunder, in particular, are very common and should be avoided.

In general the concept of this opening is a cliché in itself. Is there any particular reason the prologue has to be here? It sems to me like the classic 'hook' prologue: someone running away on a dark stormy night. If the only reason it is there is to start off on a bang, you'd be doing yourself a favour to get rid of it completely. If you feel the need to spice up your beginning, revise your chapter one, don't add a prologue. If this is relevant to the story you should include it when it happens, chronologically. If it does happen before everything else in the story, it should be chapter one, not a prologue. Ask yourself this: at a severe stretch, could you do without it? The hardest thing to do as a writer is to cut, but it seems to me like the prologue is unnecessary. It would turn me off right away if I picked it up at a book shop because of its cliché nature.

Having said that, I had a peek at your actual chapter one and it was, in my opinion, a far better opening, and the voice was much more consistent, too. Honestly, I don't like prologues and I don't think you need it, but I will leave it to your discretion because you are the only one who knows if it is truly necessary or not.

07-05-11, 18:40
Thank you for your comments, Minty. I will take a look a the prologue again and see what I can do. As for whether to include it at all, I have deliberated over it and in the end kept it in because I couldn't decide. The events happen before those from chapter 1 onwards. The girl appears later on in some capacity. I still can't decide if the prologue is necessary.

I'm glad you felt chapter one was better.

21-05-11, 22:43
Just read the 3rd chapter, I thought it was really great!

It was fun to read and there were no parts that felt rushed or too slow, so the pacing was just excellent. Loved the introduction of the new character, and the mysterious event at the end. The dialogue was good too, it felt natural and also made me want to know more about both of them. What other 'ideas' did she have in the past, are there more clues that she is indeed 'different' from most other people? :)

So overall, I loved it and I can't name anything that I didn't like. Bravo! :D

I've got a few points, just small things like typo's or things that I didn't fully understand:

'With His friend's eyes... ' (Just a typo.)
'... shut up shop...' (Is that a British saying? :o)
The next day, she is working on the dolphin again. Did she forget about that poor wolf? :p
'The sound of the sea...' (I think it's just me being tired, but at first I thought the sea birds were watching the children. :vlol: >_<)
'This shadow, if that was what it was darted' (An extra comma after the second 'was', so before 'darted', would be good here I think...)
At one point you write that the shadow 'leaps in the air'. How could a shadow be visible in the air? :confused: But I suppose it is not really a shadow in the first place, yes, that's it. :)

Before I read this chapter, I would agree with Minty Mouth that you should consider taking the Prologue out altogether, maybe, but I personally loved the 'aha' moment when I read the final part of chapter 3. Those white eyes, not the first time they've appeared in the story! :D

Great work Rai, I hope you upload the 4th chapter soon. :hug:

21-05-11, 23:01
Thank you again, L2R :D. Yes, 'Shut up shop' is an English expression, meaning to close (if you hadn't guessed). Should I change it? :o. I'll take your other points into consideration too. :)

About the prologue: I'm hoping that scene will take on further significance as the story progresses. Would it be better if I had it as Chapter 1 and have something like '100 year ago' as a sub-heading? It is previous to the story we're reading with Kalinda. I'm kind of loath to get rid of it altogether :o.

21-05-11, 23:16
You're welcome! :)

Oh, I see. :D
Maybe... If you want to reach readers from outside of the UK then maybe you should. It's the first time I've seen it in my life, so it sounds odd to me. :p

Thanks. :hug:

Well, it's your story after all and if you like it this way then you should not remove it. The purpose is to draw readers in, right, and it is indeed exciting to read. I like it. But other readers might be put off by it, like Minty Mouth (because it apparently contains some clichés that could bother people who have read many stories)... And I must admit that the 1st chapter is actually strong enough to have the same effect. So would the novel as a whole suffer from it if you took it out? I don't think it would... :o


Minty Mouth
22-05-11, 07:30
About the prologue: I'm hoping that scene will take on further significance as the story progresses. Would it be better if I had it as Chapter 1 and have something like '100 year ago' as a sub-heading? It is previous to the story we're reading with Kalinda. I'm kind of loath to get rid of it altogether :o.

My suggestion is to keep the scene somewhere on your computer so you always have it on hand, and, if later on it does have some significance, add it as a flashback scene in the middle of the book.

If you keep the scene in a 'Cutting Room' word document is takes away some of the pain of deleting it from your story, and you always have it to add back in later. Deleting stuff is never easy :p

Avalon SARL
09-06-11, 19:04
This is fascinating
I will read it all...

Finished the first chapter :D
great work

28-06-11, 17:26
Just to let people know that I haven't forgotten or given up on this. Chapter 3 is half done and Chapter 4 has also been started. I'm slow, I'm sorry :o :(.

01-07-11, 16:23
I just finished reading the prologue and the first three chapters. When Kalinda used the voice activated screen, it made me do a double-take because I was expecting the medieval fantasy vibe from the prologue to continue :o It should be interesting to see how the fantasy elements interact with the futurism in the story.

You've got a knack for illustrating beautiful imagery in the reader's mind: crystal pentagrams, shimmering water, a harbor town, the people, and Kalinda's sculptures. Something that feels missing though is the main character's goals. It could just be that she hasn't really started her quest yet, but there should still be some kind of tension carrying the story forward: maybe Kalinda is unhappy with her job, or she's bored with the city, or maybe she's facing some deadline. We've seen what Kalinda does from day to day, but we don't yet have an idea of who she is as a person. Going by the synopsis in the OP, though, it looks like Kali's got an exciting quest just around the corner!

31-07-11, 15:52
So, how's this story coming along? :tmb: