BooksMy Thoughts

Pangaea Commentary Chapter 3 – The Djed Key

Lecture Hall – Pangaea Chapter 3

Welcome to a new blog series called Pangaea Commentary. Each week I’ll be diving into one chapter of my book, Pangaea: Unsettled Land, in sequential order to give you the following:

  • my thoughts on my intentions for the chapter
  • how things changed through various drafts
  • why you should love this chapter
  • and even why you may stop reading

I’ve learned a lot about my craft by going through the process of writing and publishing this book. This will be a great way to share what I’ve learned and provide some entertaining tidbits.

Spoiler Alert

The following will contain spoilers. Haven’t read Pangaea yet? Buy it now and follow along.

Chapter 3 Summary:

In chapter 3, we see Slade in philosophy class at Burrow University (BU). We learn that his best friend is Gisela Benitez, the same character from chapter 1, and that she’s a bit awkward. The class begins a discussion on the lore and creation story of Pangaea; how the world was created on the isle of Ether. Ether is said to house the Djed Key and legend has it that if it were ever wielded by a human, that person would be granted the powers of their god, Elao. The only thing is, despite people having already searched all over the world, Ether cannot be found. There’s a peeling back of layers on other terms like lusae (dangerous magical creatures) and Ethereans (humans with magical abilities – of which the queen is one). And I touch slightly on the ancient tale of Elao and Calamity – a fight between gods that gave birth to the magic the lusae and Ethereans use. But, the real star of the show is the new character being introduced: Douglassaire.

He’s described as having massive arms, long legs, a deep voice, and coming off a bit arrogant to Slade. Douglassaire mentions that he may know of an Etherean that goes to school with them. This excites Slade and he wants to know more, but Doug hesitates to put his business out there just yet. By the end of the chapter, Slade finds himself even more intrigued by this new friend.

Goals for Chapter 3

My goal with this chapter was to feed you just enough historical info to flesh out the world of Pangaea while still keeping it grounded in the story and relationships of these characters. I also had to introduce my third main character, Douglassaire, and get the larger story rolling. His mention of the possibility of a fellow student being an Etherean should set up a bit of mystery for you to make you turn the page. I wanted you to question who is this Etherean and what does Etherean magic look like? At the same time, I wanted to start dropping hints of the romantic element of the story between Slade and Douglassaire – and the potential problems for that, seeing how Gisela is so unwelcoming of Doug.

What You Should Love

I think most people would enjoy seeing the friendship dynamics between Slade, Gisela, and Douglassaire play out for the first time. I also think most would have no problem picking up the hints I laid down about Slade’s attraction to Doug. They’re not explicit, but enough to make you go is he just sizing him up or is his feeling him? Many will appreciate not losing touch with Gisela after it may have seemed like she disappeared between chapter 1 and chapter 2. There are a lot of little breadcrumbs I leave here that should whet your appetite for answers.

What You May Dislike

I make a newbie mistake of head-hopping to the professor of the class for a moment. That may feel jarring to you. You may also dislike that nothing really happens. This is another setup chapter with a miniscule bit of movement forward in the narrative, and you may see now that the pace is not the same as or on par with other current fantasy novels. When I was writing this book, I had been reading a lot of literary fiction, so I think that had a lot of influence in how I structured this narrative.

Up Next

In chapter 4 I discuss Douglassaire’s rivalry with fellow warrior, Lesech, as they train for a big battle. Lesech definitely makes a big impression. Stay tuned for that.

If you haven’t already, sign up to my email list and get a short story in exchange. You’re gonna love it!

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My Thoughts

Content Creation Tactics – Social Media for Authors and More

Social Media

If you’ve listened to older episodes of my podcast or even read an older blog post, you know I’ve struggled with getting overwhelmed. Trying to balance the “meat” of writing new stories with the “potatoes” of new online content is hard. And around summer of 2018, I was completely burned out. I had been doing so much social media content that I neglected writing. And, without new stories to talk about, I was doing a whole lot that felt as though it didn’t amount to anything. So I took a long break from content creation – period, pooh. (Don’t judge me, that phrase cracks me up.) It gave me time to get my anxiety back down from being on the go all the time and allowed me the space to write.

Well, I’ve completed writing a short story, a novella, and I’m now outlining a new story. But, if you’ve noticed, I’m back on the sauce. However, things are different now. Hopefully. Here are my content creation tactics; a little bit about what I’m doing and how I’m pacing myself so I don’t completely lose it. My hope is that it will help you if you’re trying to do all the things.

Content Creation for Authors and More

Since I’m a writer first, I make sure I take time to write either when I get up in the morning or come home from work. It’s absolutely paramount that I mind the business of being an author first and most frequently. But where does all of the new content fit in? Easy. It all starts with this blog.

Every Saturday, I sit down to write a new post that will be a focal point for my content throughout the week. So, this post, all about pacing yourself and not getting overwhelmed, will get rehashed for Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and my podcast. That way, I don’t have to create anything new. If you follow me, you’ll see the following:

  • a quote from this post on Twitter with the link back to this page
  • a new video on YouTube going over similar information
  • a new podcast with the audio from the YouTube video
  • YouTube video posted on IGTV (Instagram)
  • video re-posted on Facebook and a separate Facebook post
  • promotion for that content and more all over

It all gets spread out over the week so I don’t bombard my followers with a whole bunch of information. Plus, I intersperse it with my normal social media interactions so it doesn’t seem so mechanical.

Now, it may seem like I’m repeating the same information over and over again, but you have to remember, not everyone who follows you on one network follows you on the other. Plus, the more you do this, the more you will have to pull from as you go. I can re-post a video from two weeks ago while also promoting my latest post, keeping it all fresh.

Saving Time

This method is a real time saver. No longer am I creating original content for each platform. If you have a team and the money to do that, go for it! But I don’t, and I suspect many reading this don’t either. So stick with what works to get things going.

Two more things

  1. Use a calendar to plan out your content. Either create one on your own in Excel like I did, or use a calendar app. Brainstorm topics ahead of time and stay on schedule.
  2. You don’t need to engage on every platform. I’m just hard-headed. I like the challenge of cracking the code on good engagement on all the platforms and stretching the bounds of my creativity. That doesn’t need to be you. If you feel strongest on Instagram, or YouTube, or Medium, just stick to whatever works for you. The biggest thing is to remain consistent. It’s a lesson I’ve learned over and over again, but it’s difficult. I’m still trying to put it into practice. So, we’re in the boat. Let’s keep trying this content creation thing together until we reach our goals!

If you haven’t already, sign up to my email list and get a short story in exchange. You’re gonna love it!

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