Author Topic: 2011 Aug 15 - cjhuitt - Second Son  (Read 729 times)

cjhuitt

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2011 Aug 15 - cjhuitt - Second Son
« on: August 16, 2011, 12:11:54 AM »
Second Son Chapter 2 (D: Adult Situations)

This chapter introduces Beatrus.

In Chapter 1, Miki was summoned to join his family in meeting the Antuskian ambassador, who proposed an betrothal between his older brother Promhail and a princess of their land.

In Chapter 2, Sancha has a espionage lesson.† She learns that her mentor is retiring soon.
Caleb

cjhuitt

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Re: 2011 Aug 15 - cjhuitt - Second Son
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2011, 12:15:08 AM »
Of course, I immediately notice two mistakes in the email.  The subject should also have said Chapter 3, and in the text I also refer to it as chapter 2, instead of chapter 3.  Sorry about that, everyone.
Caleb

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Re: 2011 Aug 15 - cjhuitt - Second Son
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2011, 02:38:04 PM »
The chapter flows well,† but I worry that weíre now three chapters in and nothing has really happened yet other than two of the three characters are going to move to the location of the other main character. In this chapter we have a third perspective to follow, after hardly getting to know the previous two. Iím still looking for a hook to a greater story line, but so far Iím not seeing it yet. This chapter, like the previous two is a setup for a POV character, but not of the greater story and thatís what Iím missing most.

For most of the chapter Beatrus takes care of the house, of which you paint a pretty picture. I also get a good sense of her personality, which is good. But on the whole housekeeping is not interesting to read about and itís not until the last part, when her fatherís scheme is hatched, that Iím starting to get a little bit interested.† But it doesnít surprise me at all that sheís also being sent to Zandras.

So far your story is not without likeable characters, Miki, Sancha and now Beatrus, but itís like weíre getting the character far before their story-lines actually begin. Instead of in late, out early, weíre starting way early. They donít really have any conflicts or problems yet either, big or small.

Sanchaís big concern is getting a mission, which she gets in the same chapter when sheís sent to Zandras. Beatrus fantasizes about getting a good husband, and though she worries briefly about being married off to a baron this doesnít last long. Sheís going to marry a prince; is there a better husband imaginable? I donít know what Miki wants, but heís happy where he is too.† Thereís nothing here to hook me to them yet, itís all so peaceful. It feels like the story isnít going to start until everyone is in Zandras. If thatís so, maybe the story should have started there.

So we had another setup chapter. I hope the next one will go deeper into the main plot (whatever it is), or introduce some clear conflicts/problems for the main characters, but I fear the next time we see Beatrus or Sancha that weíll simply be introduced to their first steps in Zandras and settling in.†

cjhuitt

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Re: 2011 Aug 15 - cjhuitt - Second Son
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2011, 02:38:03 AM »
The chapter flows well,† but I worry that weíre now three chapters in and nothing has really happened yet other than two of the three characters are going to move to the location of the other main character. In this chapter we have a third perspective to follow, after hardly getting to know the previous two. Iím still looking for a hook to a greater story line, but so far Iím not seeing it yet. This chapter, like the previous two is a setup for a POV character, but not of the greater story and thatís what Iím missing most.

[...] itís like weíre getting the character far before their story-lines actually begin. Instead of in late, out early, weíre starting way early. They donít really have any conflicts or problems yet either, big or small.

Thanks for taking the time to comment.† I've been thinking about this for a bit (on and off), and between your comments, some other thoughts that I've had, and listing to the Writing Excuses MICE episode, I'm convinced that something is off in these opening chapters.† I'm not sure what to do about it right now, unfortunately, but I'm going to be thinking about it and looking at some options.† Including possibly just cutting them off and starting later, although I doubt that's the (entirely) correct thing to do.

Some of your other comments raised some questions from me, at least partly because I didn't think I was giving that impression or I thought I had set up a potential conflict.

Sanchaís big concern is getting a mission, which she gets in the same chapter when sheís sent to Zandras.

I realize this was in the previous chapter, but I wondered if others had the same impression you did.† Anyway, Sancha is already in Zandras, as the Ministry is headquartered there.† Additionally, the assignment she gets is viewed by Jorvail and the other agents as a step above busy-work; it may be necessary, but they don't really want to do it.

If you have comments on where things were confusing or how I might clear the text up, I'd be happy to hear them.

[Beatrus is] going to marry a prince; is there a better husband imaginable?

This is one where I wondered if I properly communicated a potential conflict.† She's being sent to be betrothed to Miki's older brother, the eldest of the siblings.† This is the same one who already received a public offer of betrothal from another nation, so there's a risk of the prince not even being available by the time she gets there.† Again, if this was confusing or not clear, I'd like to know so I can work on making it more obvious.

I donít know what Miki wants, but heís happy where he is too.

I agree that Miki is the one I've most lacking in conflict at the beginning.† As I mentioned, I'm trying to figure out how to make the conflicts more prominent.† It doesn't help that I'm starting to reconsider my ending as well, so what I want to be setting up may change in the near future.

Again, thanks for taking the time to read and comment.
Caleb