Prologue for What Lay Beyond the Woods by Maggie

Hello, everyone, welcome to Critique Corner’s story!!! So, we’re gonna let Maggie take over from here.

Hey everyone!!!! Thank you soooooo much for checking out this page, I hope you’ll let me know what you think in the comments. So, what you need to know: WHAT LAY BEYOND THE WOODS is a YA medieval reimagining of the classic tale of Robin Hood. There’s gonna be some big changes. So, instead of a snippet of stories I’ve written, I’ll be putting up a new chapter for my story every two weeks. You’ll need to read them in order, unless you want to be filled with confusion. It’s going to alternate like a novel. (So, exciting, right?) And I won’t keep them up indefinitely. It’ll probably be after a couple of months since it went up, it’ll be taken down. In case one day I ever choose to publish it. I hope you’ll join me in this wild ride. If you like the idea, please tell me in the comments below. Your comments really help tell me what you like to see and want more of. 

Are you ready for the story of you lives. (Okay, I don’t think it’s gonna be EXACTLY like that since I’m not a Tolkien and all, but you get what I mean.)

Oooooh, big cover. Don’t you just LOVE it!!!!!

Okay time for the opening. Let’s dive on it.

In merry England in the time of old, when good King Henry the Second

ruled the land, there lived within the green glades of Sherwood Forest, near 

Nottingham Town, a famous outlaw whose name was Robin Hood.

(The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle)

Now, my dear readers, I shall tell you the true tale of Robyn Hood and

how she uncovered a deadly plan to destroy the kingdom. However, it is not

the story you are expecting. For the true heroes are most unlikely indeed.   


Sweat beaded off the man’s brow. The young woman before him may have been skilled and clever, but she didn’t have patience. And what little she might’ve had was being tested by this man. She leaned closer, noticing the way he slightly inched back.

“Who?” she asked again.

The man quickly looked at the large man towering behind her before returning his fear-filled hazel eyes to her. If he was more frightened of her partner than her, she was going to have to fix that.


“Who?” she barked. The man yelped and pushed against the stone wall. If he thought a question was that deadly, then he didn’t want to see the wrong end of her bow. The woman held her open palm out in her companion’s direction. He tossed a bag into it, the coins inside jingling to their own tune of merriment.

The woman dangled the bag in front of the man’s face, watching his eyes dance with the swaying of the bag. For the first time since she arrived, the man let a smile creep onto his scarred face. 

“I’ll ask you one more time, who?”

The man looked around the stone chamber, probably calculating if the coins to add to his mounting treasure was worth it. He better take it before she had to blow the horn, always faithful by her side, three times.

He dropped his voice to a raspy whisper, that not even the rats scurrying close by could’ve heard. “The one with the ability to unlock that which is concealed.”

She huffed. “Name?”

The man’s eyes caught everything surrounding them, searching for any eavesdroppers. There weren’t any. Surely this man didn’t think she would come here if she thought someone would know, someone would see, and most importantly, if someone would hear

“Rolfe.” The man turned his face downward. “That’s the name to look for.”

The woman almost stumbled. It couldn’t be true. The answer was right under her nose all along. 

“Let’s go,” she called to her companion, not daring to look into his eyes as they climbed onto their horses. In a blink of an eye, the two disappeared as quickly as they came…off to Sherwood.


  • Jane

    That…Was…Awesome! The prologue was great (considering that’s all I read) it gave a little bit of information but also left me with questions. It pulled me in and left me wanting more. but I do have one question, do you pronounce Rolfe with an A sound at the end or is the E silent? Great job, keep up the good work!

    • Maggie

      Aw, thanks a bunch, Jane!!!! Yeah, I wrote it months ago, so it’s not my best work. I was just kind of hoping for a teaser to get us all pumped for what’s going to happen next. So, yeah, there should be a LOT of questions. So, honestly I have no idea. I have this problem with picking names that sound good but I’m lost on how to actually pronounce. I do think the E is silent, at least, that’s how it is in my head. So, I’m just gonna stick with that. I do know it’s an actual medieval last name meaning ‘peasant.’ In case you might find that interesting. Thank you again!!!

  • Lily

    Hi Maggie! How’s it going? I love looking up medieval names and their meaning too!

    This sounds like a cool idea. I love how you took Robin Hood and gave it a twist by making it about a girl instead.

    There are just two things that kinda confused me. One, I’m not quite sure who’s point of view I am reading about (i.e the young woman or the scared man? To me, it seems to shift between them. I think since this is the prologue, it’s okay to start with the man’s POV, if you want, and then switch to the girl in the next chapter, but it’s totally up to you to decide.) And two, I’m not sure of the setting (are these people inside or outside?)

    But other than that, I do look forward to seeing how this story unfolds! Great job! 🙂 Is this your NaNo project this year?

    • Maggie

      What’s up, Lily!! Long time no chat, amiright!!!! Things are going pretty wacky for me, actually. How have you been? Ready for November? YES, medieval names are THE BEST!!!!!

      Awww, I’m soooo glad you think that!!! (Actually the reason I decided to make Robin a girl is a pretty funny story…)

      Oooh, THANK YOU for pointing those things out. I kind of get what you mean, actually, not sure why I didn’t see it before. So, I kind of wanted it to be the girl’s POV, but, honestly, I’m actually seriously considering taking out the whole prologue. It’s not really working with the rest of the story. (Oh, and they were supposed to be inside. I can see now how it’s not clear, so THANK YOU again for pointing it out! Always appreciated.)

      YAY!!! I hope it all just kind of works. I’m currently doing a little plotting, and it’s not sticking the way I want it to go. *shrugs* I guess we’ll see what happens with it. So, actually, I’m not doing NaNo, but I’m focusing most of November on wrapping up the second draft of my YA contemporary retelling of Aladdin. (Confusing, I know. I’m actually working on a number of projects, but if you wanna know more about that, I talk about it in my Know the Novel thing Christine Smith is hosting.)

      Also, I forgot I’ve been wanting to ask you. Did you ever see the 360 trailer for The Captive Kingdom?

  • Lily

    Haha! Longtime no chat indeed! I’ve been doing well, thanks for asking. Wait!! It’s November already??! XD (blame the quarantine brain!) I’m busy with school and writing projects so no NaNo (we’ll see about next year. The April/July camp look interesting. Have you done them before?)

    Oh cool. So why did you decide to make Robin a girl?

    Oh yeah, I saw the Know the Novel Linkup! I’ll take a look at your post 🙂

    No problem! I hoped the comments were helpful! I have seen the 360 trailer (though I have a chromebook, so it wasn’t quite working on the 360 part XD. But it was still pretty cool!) What did you think of it?

    • Maggie

      XD Yes, it’s November. I can’t really believe it, though. IKR, my days have been jumbled up since March. 😂 Yep, no NaNo, here, too. School is just taking away about all of my free time. Actually, no, but I’ve heard some talk about them and it looks really cool. I believe you get to set your word count goal, at least that’s what I’ve heard.

      *taking a deep breath* Okay this will be kind of long. So, I was doing some homework for English and there was a character, in one of the sentences I had to grammatically fix, named Robyn, and I liked that spelling that way. So, when I was first writing What Lay Beyond the Woods in the attempted first draft that was never finished, I came to the point with the villain and I named her Robyn. And then I started reading The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle. And I thought what if I do a Robin Hood retelling, so I started the first draft again (and STILL never finished it)but Robyn still wasn’t the main character. And then I stopped to work on my current WIP. And now I’m coming back to it, but this time as a true Robin Hood reimagining with Robyn as the main character. Yes, my brain is REALLY weird.

      Cool! Oh, yes, the comments are SUPER helpful!!!! Haha, I saw mine on my chromebook, too. I thought it was REALLY COOL!!!! I was seriously mind-blown. My favorite part, though, was when it said “The king will ascend again” I was screaming at that point. The music and those words, and knowing we were going to get more Jaron-fun just really made me emotional. *SPOILERS* But is ‘her’ Wilta? I couldn’t figure it out. Or was ‘her’ referring to Imogen and Jaron and her’s kind of fight. (I think it’s Wilta, but I’m not certain.)

  • Lily

    Hi! Sorry for the late reply *grins sheepishly*

    That’s so cool on how Robyn came to be. It’s always amazing to see how new ideas shape and change our writing. I’m looking forward to seeing Chapter 1! 🙂

    Ps. Do you guys have a ‘follow’ button for updates? (No problem if you don’t; I’ll set my calender to come back to Critique Corner in a week or so.) And I’ve only seen the 360 trailer once (and it was awhile ago. Totally forgot about the ‘her’ mentioned in the trailer *slams palm onto forehead* Now I need to watch it again!)

    • Maggie

      Hey back. Not a problem!!

      Yeah, it really is cool, but mine always seem to come from weird ways. YAY!!! Chapter 1 should go up about not tomorrow but the next Sunday. I just, er, have to actually write it. *hides face in shame* Oh, the pains of a writer!!! 😄

      You’re like literally the fourth person to point out to me my lack of a way to follow us. (Two of which happened this past week. Crazy.) But it actually makes me excited when people do, so that’s just AMAZING that you wanna follow us!!!! So, actually not at the moment. Buuuuttttt, I’m working together to get an email list that will notify you of when new posts go up and stuff. I plan to have it up some time today, as long as homework don’t overwhelm me. Aaaahhhh, I’ve seen the trailer more times than I could count. The ‘her’ was at the end, when Jaron was like ‘but if anyone can stop me, it’ll be her.’ WOW, I think I have some of the trailer memorized.

      • Lily

        I here ya with the ‘pains of a writer’! Totally relate. Good luck with your writing! (and school too!)

        Be back (Lord willing!) next Sunday! 🙂

        And thanks for setting up the email!

  • Ally M.J.

    That was absolutely amazing! I really like Robin Hood, but I feel like I’ll like yours even more! I love fractured fairy tales and retelling, so this fits right into my favorites. I’m new here, by the way, so hi, everyone. Nice to meet you.
    I think in the prologue, you did an amazing job with descriptions, and I really, really want to read more. It was interesting and I loved it.

    • Maggie

      Hey, Ally!!! In case you’re wondering, me, Maggie, is Issabelle from Go Teen Writers. Issabelle’s my real name, and you are more than welcome to call me that instead of Maggie. I get it’s really confusing. YAY!!!! Robin Hood is such an amazing story! Aw, I hope it’ll be really good! Yay, another new reader!!!! Hello, hello! I hope you like our site.

      THANK YOU…like A BUNCH!!! You’ve really just made my day. 🥰 More is on the way, now I’ve just kind of have to write it. 😉 Chapter one should be up in about a weekish. THANK YOU for reading and commenting!!!!

  • Jen

    Hi!!! Sorry it took me so long to actually come here and read this. Buuuttt, I think it’s amazing! You have a good style and I was hooked throughout the whole prologue. My only critique is what Lily already mentioned, I was confused on the setting and I wasn’t sure who’s POV it was written in or if you were doing 3rd person omniscient. So, other than that, fantabulous job! 😉 Can’t wait to read more! ^_^

    • Maggie

      Hi!!!! It’s ABSOLUTELY okay about the timing. I’m just super glad you read it and enjoyed it. YES! *pumps fist in the air* I try so hard to hook my readers. Yep, I totally see how confusing it is now, so THANK YOU!!!!!! YAY! Thank you, thank you, thank you. More’s on the way…

  • Trixie

    Wow Maggie for short prologue, that was good ! I am excited for more !
    I have a question, I am currently writing a story and I don’t really know whether or not to plan the story out and then write it, or kinda a chapter by chapter thing. I need a bit of help here ….

    • Maggie

      THANK YOU, TRIXIE!!!! More is coming. I hope it won’t disappoint.
      Ooh, QUESTIONS!!!! Ahem, excuse me, there is no ‘s’. Let me redo this: Ooh, QUESTION!!!!! 😉 First off, that’s soo EXCITING that you’re working on a story!!!! I LOVE meeting fellow writers. So, in answer: There’s not a “one-way” to write a story. Every single author out there has his or her own way of writing. You may hear the terms plotter, panster, and planster going around in the writing world. To break these terms down: a plotter is a person who plans everything out BEFORE writing. A panster is someone who sits down and just starts writing with little to no idea what’s going to happen. An author one time described it as “writing by the seat of your pants.” And a planster is a mix of the two. They plot a little and write a little.

      So, then WHICH IS THE BEST WAY? As I previously stated EVERY SINGLE AUTHOR WRITES DIFFERENTLY. For instance, my good friend and fellow blogger, Katherine, is a serious plotter. She sometimes tries to get every detail figured out before beginning to write. For me, I started out as a panster. But then I realized there is a lot of great aspects to plotting, and I found a perfect blend of the two. I usually have a general idea where my story is headed but let the individual details take shape as I work. I suggest for you to maybe start off by figuring out where the book starts and where it ends. Then start writing. During the process if you find you’d rather plot or pants certain things out then GO FOR IT. Whatever you start out doing doesn’t has to be how you finish it up. It’s about finding WHAT WORKS BEST FOR YOU.

      I hope this helps. If not, let me know and I’ll look into doing a post on it. Also, THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH for reading and commenting.

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