Natasha McNeely's Author Blog

Never stop dreaming, 'cause the day you stop dreaming, is the day you stop living.

Fatigue: A Writer’s Eternal Enemy


Fatigue. A writer’s eternal enemy. That pretty much sums up the reason this post is so late. This first week back at college has been rough and wore me out. Now, starting tomorrow, I’ll be working for four days straight, meaning Monday and Tuesday I have class, then work. It will be a rough weekend and begin of the week.

I originally intended to not post because of this. It feels like I’m seeing things through a haze and I can’t get around it. Luckily, I’ll be able to sleep in before my eight-hour work day.

The surprise I meant to post today will have to wait, but I’ll unveil what it. The newly edited prologue of my novel, Tales of The Forbidden.

The problem is that I wanted to edit it earlier this week, but couldn’t get around to it due to college and all. So, I now offer you a new date; either next Friday or Sunday. After my four-day stretch, I’ll have time to edit and present to you the shiny new version, seen for the first time. To hold you over, I’ll give you a look into part of the prologue. The first couple paragraphs.

I felt bad not having this done by the time I wanted, so I figured the least I could at least give you this. Before I pass out.

This is about as much as I can write without losing coherency, so happy reading!


Bitter winds ripped across the gritty plain, casting grains of sand into the air. A man clad in tattered white robes stood in the desert. The sand beneath his bare feet caressed his skin, though colored crimson as blood trailed from many wounds and soaked into it. The upper part of his robes had been shredded and hung past his waist – a large gash tore across his chest and bled profusely.

The lacking garments on his upper body freed his wings; two wings larger than himself, once a stunning white were now tainted by dirt and blood, the remnants of his battle. His left-wing twitched and hung limp, and he cringed in pain, knowing full well that multiple bones were broken. The battle he ignited had stolen one of the few things that defined whom he was.

Despite his wounds, the man, no more than twenty-five summers, kept his composure. His sharp features, though twisted in slight detest, did not show the pain he felt. Pressing a hand against his abdomen to slow the blood flow of one of his wounds, he cast a glance around.

The battleground had fallen into silence, though once raged with the fight between both sides – the rebels and the holy. Now bodies littered the ground, wounded and fallen from both parties. Even though the war was fair at the beginning with no end in sight, the holy had soon received back-up and upon cornering the leader of their opponents, sealed their success.

Let me know what you think! I’m eager to hear your opinions on this first part of the prologue. The entire, edited, prologue will be available for reading soon!

Author: Natasha McNeely

I'm a writer, reader, gamer and a dreamer. I love losing myself to thought and considering possibilities. That is how I create my stories and weave the erratic tales into readable ones.

5 thoughts on “Fatigue: A Writer’s Eternal Enemy

  1. I think fatigue and stress can get to any writer, definitely. It’s also hard to find the time or organize your schedule to squeeze in writing, you know?

    Anyway, I hope work doesn’t get you too stressed! Good luck with the prologue, I’ll give you some feedback a bit later when it’s all done and edited.

    • I’m sure it can. The problem is that almost half my monthly work hours were scheduled into these upcoming four days. Normally, it’s more spread out.

      I hope so, too! And thanks so much! I’d love to get your opinion on it.

  2. It’s a pleasant beginning which tells us what we need to know. My immediate opinions are:
    1. I would like the writing to focus more directly on the character right from the first line. Instead of telling us there’s sand blowing around, you might like to change it so we know how that sand is affecting HIM (eg. “Stinging grains of sand lashed his bare skin, both sticking to his wounds and being washed away by the steady flow of blood.” blah blah, you know). In one sentence, you can cover half of what was said in the first two paragraphs. If you focus the description on what these external elements mean to the character, then we have a reason it matters to us from the start.
    2. I know this is a short excerpt, but I’m a big fan of using senses to give a place life and draw the reader in. If he’s on a recently-ended battlefield, there could be smells of blood, damp patches in the sand that cling to his feet, the scent of his own sweat. Is it daytime? Is there a burning sun making his wounds that much harder to bear? Or is it nighttime and the strange desert insects are singing into the cooling air, drowning out the last groans of the dying?
    3. Cohesive writing. Paragraph two, he cringes in pain, paragraph three he’s composed and not showing pain. If you mean that his body tensed reflexively in response to the pain he was trying to ignore, let us know that. Sometimes reducing our writing is really important, but sometimes one word (“cringe”) carries connotations or just doesn’t express enough.
    4. Watch for your own repetition. We all have something we fall back on. In paragraphs one, three, and four, I see:
    “…caressed his skin, though colored crimson…”
    “…sharp features, though twisted…”
    “…fallen into silence, though once raged…”
    You see? Something-something, comma, “though” something-else. We ALL have funny little habits. Be aware of them and you’ll find strong ways to write dynamic sentences.
    All in all, it’s a good beginning with a lot of potential to be really exciting (who doesn’t like battles!). I personally don’t write prologues, because they tend to be a passive scene, basically an introduction. With that in mind, you’ve got the right thing going on here, and in the second edit, you’ll just be able to start combining information into tighter, more vivid sentences. That’s pretty great! 😀


    • Thank you so much for giving so much feedback on such a short snippet; it means a lot to me! I’m glad you spotted that funny habit of mine – I hadn’t noticed and probably wouldn’t have until someone else mentioned it. Thanks again for all the advice.
      I edited the prologue twice and it is now available for reading on my blog; I hope you enjoy it!

  3. Pingback: Available Read: Tales of The Forbidden – Prologue | Natasha McNeely's Guide to The Beyond

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