(To further interest readers in the book) :) I thought I would take one paragraph per chapter and talk about it !!!
Chapter One - Nibel and the Amulet - here's the paragraph "Eventually, a few of Nibel's well-guarded mysteries were uncovered. Overcome with grief and remorse after stealing his father's treasure and abandoning his brother Ragand to the dangers of the Underworld, Nibel could be seen spending entire nights in the Poisoned Forest seeking redemption that was never to come. Then one night, the dwarf had a dream, so the stories go. He dreamt his father had placed a curse on the stolen treasury, including the most cherished possession of them all, the amulet Varina. The curse, once realized, would relegate anyone who sought gain from the riches to a nightly, painful transformation into a slimy, poison breathing lizard. Each morning at dawn, another equally painful transformation would take place. The lizard would melt away and the poor, wretched soul would return to his former self, only to have the events repeat themselves over and over again. By the looks of Nibel that morning and the mess he made on his bedroom floor, the stories of the old Northlanders were correct."
Discussion: I thought about this one for a long time. How to start the book? Is it too much to introduce Nibel and his lizard persona that quickly? Would it be too confusing for the reader? And many other question. I guess that will have to be resolved by you !!! But a couple of things here. The curse place on the treasure and the identification of Varina as the chosen possession by Nibel, is something that J.R.R. Tolkien (in many ways) referenced as well - if I might say that - meaning that he drew from Norse Mythology for cursed treasure that led to the Ring analogy. As other posts in the blog have mentioned, my mythology comes from Old Norse as well.
The idea of the lizard persona, again from mythology, is the symbol of greed, of course. The references are many through out mythology but I settled on the transformation from dwarf to lizard as a way of describing this. I also mentioned early - Nibels' brother, Ragand. That character will have to be dealt with latter. (Ragand you will remember, was abandoned in the Underworld but did not die.
On a another note, the paragraph brings up a lot of fun stuff like: mysteries, stolen treasure, grief, remorse, a lost brother, the dangers of the Underworld, curse placed by father, the Poisoned Forest, of course the transformation from dwarf to lizard and back again and seeking redemption. Perhaps the last thing that paragraph mentioned was the uncovering of some of Nibel's mysterious ways by the Northlanders. Who cracked the code? Who are the Northlanders? How did the discover some of the secrets?
What fun is this!!