Feedback on a 'prophecy' I have written for my story

by Sarah Ellen
(Virginia, USA)


I have recently come up with the idea for a story that I REALLY like! I have created a plot by reading your 'Create a Plot Outline in 8 Easy Steps' and other articles. They were extremely helpful, btw, so thank you for that.

My story revolves around a prophecy that is introduced in the beginning of the story. To sum up what the readers will know by the time they read the prophecy, a boy has overthrown the king of the realm and is slowly taking over the rest of the realm. The boy is enslaving the magic-wielders of the realm, which makes him the antagonist of the story. this boy has the most powerful magic of anyone in the realm, except for one girl, which makes her the only one able to kill him. This girl has been in a coma for 10 years. She is the girl in this prophecy, but no one knows who she is. Knowing this, does the prophecy I have written make any sense (a believable type of sense, as it's supposed to be partly a puzzle). For reference, Ashtavêl is the name of the realm, and Puplêl is a region in Ashtavêl. It goes as follows:

The child of the prophecy will wake
The sign will be when dams break;

Ten years Ashtavêl will wait
Death will be the child's fate;

She must break and she must bleed
For Ashtavêl's people to be freed;

For hers is the only magic that can beat
But he will blind her with deceit;

She will fight her battle within
For the battle Ashtavêl to win;

From Puplêl she shall wean
Long live the Queen. I really hope I made at least some sense in this. Thank you for taking the time to read this!

Response: If I were the boy king, and I believed in prophesy, this might have me worried.

A couple of thoughts, in case you find them helpful...

The fun part about prophesies is that they are never clear and unambiguous enough to be useful. There are multiple ways they can be fulfilled. So you can have a lot of fun misdirecting the reader and/or the king.

For instance, you could have the prophesy potentially point to more than one person (similar to Harry Potter and Neville Longbottom, though there was little doubt in that story). This makes it harder for the king to try to prevent the prophesy from occurring (which, with a true prophesy, can never be done, but the effort is entertaining).

Or you could have the prophesy be very clear, but inaccessible, so that the king must go to great lengths to find out what the prophesy says, and perhaps inadvertently makes it come true (thus making it self-fulfilling). Or perhaps the king (and the reader) only gets one verse at a time.

You could even have the girl try to prove the prophesy wrong -- to escape her destiny -- only to find it comes true anyway.

And then there is the question of who makes the prophesy, and why. Is it real magic, or an attempt to manipulate the situation?

I mean, if you're going to have a prophesy, you may as well do something fun with it -- to keep the readers guessing.

Best of luck.

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Thank you!
by: Sarah Ellen

Thank you for that response. The examples of thing to do definitely help clear some things up for me. I am thinking about having the king deceive her into thinking he's good so she doesn't want to kill him when the time comes. But there will definitely be some struggles over what exactly the prophecy means.
Thanks, once again. That was very helpful. :)

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