I'm starting a new novel tomorrow (https://tapas.io/series/Where-the-Forest-Meets-the-Sea) and wanted to share a preview of the first chapter with y'all.
This is basically shameless self-promotion, but hey, got to get those views somehow. Constructive criticism is always welcome (key word here being constructive) and I wouldn't mind some other people posting new novels they've started at well.
It had been a while since Wren had climbed a tree this tall. His duties in the village consisted of taking care of the plants that kept close to the ground, only occasionally creeping up towards the sky. Furthermore, his schedule had recently become busier in the past few years. He was training to be the next village leader; a duty that consisted of hours of dedicated study.
He missed pulling himself up branch by branch; higher and higher until the ground was so far away, even a human looked like an ant. When he emerged at the top, he closed his eyes and took a deep breath, letting the air fill his lungs and cleanse his soul. As a child, he would spend hours in the tallest trees; talking to them and trying to get higher than all his friends. Now things were different.
The smile that had been on his face disappeared and he sat down, staring out at the vast expanse of forest in front of him. He never thought he would be the next leader. He didn't feel ready despite having four years of intensive lessons covering everything from medicine to plant identification. Why was he chosen and not someone else?
The tree shook and sighed beneath his weight.
“I’m not saying I’m the worst candidate to take over,” Wren said, stroking the bark and letting the tree’s life force sooth him. “I want to know why me? I don’t feel I’m particularly special.”
The wind shifted and changed directions, bringing the scent of the sea to his nose. He wrinkled it and scowled. “Yes, I do suppose that’s one reason I don’t want to take over.”
He slid down and started rolling a pinecone between his hands. “I don’t get how father expects me to listen to everyone in the village talk about how awful the Ocean People are. Then he turns around and tells me I need to be nice to them.”
Of all the lessons Wren was having trouble with, diplomacy was the worst. As a leader, he needed to play nice with the other Forest Tribes and the Ocean City of Siezera. He didn’t know why the Ocean People seemed to hate them so much, and no one could give him a clear answer. It seemed counterintuitive to hate a group of people who were keeping the earth together. But he suspected Ocean People weren’t the smartest in the bunch. From what he had heard, they were rude, crass, and had little respect for the earth and all the Forest People did.
Though, as Linwood had reminded him, on land, the Forest People had the advantage. They weren’t that stupid if they were able to recognize this and didn’t attack.
Still, the uneasy peace between the two cultures was something that Wren now got to deal with. Fun. He turned and saw the distant ocean, the salty air still on the wind and ruining what was supposed to be a nice break.