The Astrals has long been a project of mine, being one of the first novels I ever wrote, one of the stories dearest to my heart, as well as a story that has gone through more revisions than any other I’ve written (in part due to the horrendous nature of the original draft.)
When I first wrote the story, my sister and I wrote a prophecy together that the story was tied around. Yes, I know prophecies are cliche, yesterday, and so not cool anymore… But I was twelve or thirteen at the time and unhindered by rules of writing.
This is the original prophecy, in all its clicheness:
One who rules the creatures free,
One who shall rule the seas,
One who rules the wind and sky,
And one who rules the trees
They shall join the fiery one
And one who masters all
Lighting darkness that has come
Brought by the one in thrall
Should they falter on their way
Their courage no more flow
The world shall fall in disarray
Beneath the cloak of snow
On the bright side, it doesn’t run on for multiple pages, and it rhymes relatively well, with a pretty good cadence.
On the downside, it’s very over the top.
Throughout numerous drafts and critiques, I had feedback from a variety of people who all pointed their fingers at the same thing–the prophecy needed work. Or, better, it needed to be cut.
After a long struggle, I decided not to cut the prophecy out completely. It was relevant to some threads in the story, and I liked it, cliche as it was. I did agree, though, that despite how short it was, it was still too long.
I don’t know how long I spent writing, rewriting, and re-rewriting this prophecy. It went through more drafts than The Astrals has, just on its own.
This is the final result, the prophecy included in the current, still-a-work-in-progress draft of The Astrals:
Darkness comes as fates arise,
Trees and beasts, sea and sky
As ancient chains shattered lie
Light will fade, hope will die.
Much briefer, much more mysterious (in my opinion, anyways), and far more suited for a MG/YA fantasy than the original.
What do you think? Do you like prophecies? Have you ever had a prophecy in a story? Did you keep it, or end up cutting it in a later draft?