A few years ago, I was inspired to try and write a variant of "Aladdin" from the 1001 Arabian Nights. Additionally, Howard Ashman's cut lyrics also played a strong part in my initial drafting of the story.
In the following years since I wrote it, it has since transformed beyond Ashman's lyrics, except for the inclusion of three human friends for Aladdin and the ambition to take the spoiled-princess theme and meld it somehow with the independent-princess theme Jasmine has later.
My initial draft was written between October 2009--July 2011, clocking in at roughly 505,806 words, and four books. It is still, technically, incomplete. But due to feelings of dissatisfaction regarding the plot and some of the characters, I decided this year to begin all over again. Thus, only the first book is officially finished now. Additionally, it is about more than just Aladin; the other central plots woven within it focus on the spoiled princess, a Roman-eques chef, a Hidasta-inspired boy, and a mysterious quest on the part of the caliph across the sea's son.
That said, I think this would normally be the time when I summarize the story so you can decide if it's even worth your time. But as I've developed a distrust of summaries, I'll just offer the first 100 some words, and you can decide for yourself. For reference, this first revised story is only 111,511 words.
Once, in the golden sands, there thrived a glorious city. Magnificent sandstone gates, quarried from the distant cliffs in the southeast, surrounded the white peaked flower-head of the palace; its many cream-colored spires caught the setting sun like candle wicks. Golden sun-fire burned on the city’s crown.
The rest of the city flowed lazily downhill from the river bank it had been settled on, drifting effortlessly into the adjoining sands. Three ringed gates offered their meager semblance of order, dividing the rabble from the refined.
As for the nearby Ghayth River, it flooded almost regularly every spring from the salt lakes in the western plateaus. It was there, behind those smears of red and blazing chocolate, that the sun always vanished – the Sun’s Palace people called it, though too many tales survived to encourage young explorers from challenging its mystery. It was an abode of dangerous enchantment, and it was meant to stay that way.
Most young people, for the most part, heeded the tales, but there was one young man who didn’t listen. He was a good friend of mine and his name was Aladin.
All the same, I would be appreciative and grateful if anyone wanted to read it over, just for curiosity or critique. I'm open to suggestions for change (cut some things, alter things, shorten things, delete things, etc). I mostly just want as many opinions as I can get. Thank you.