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.
The following will contain spoilers. Haven’t read Pangaea yet? Buy it now and follow along.
Chapter 9 Summary
This chapter begins with the introduction of a new character, Catherine, the Queen’s lady-in-waiting. She’s an Etherean, so already feels a bit isolated from the the others who work in the castle. Her status as the closest person to the Queen doesn’t help either.
Catherine acts out as a way to cope with that isolation. One of her moments of acting out was a smart remark about the Queen’s missing sister, but when the Queen calls her on it, showing just how intimidating the Queen can be.
When Queen Aeothesca is asked about her story, she retaliates with a test: telling it to see the other person’s reaction and if they can keep the details to themselves. She’s had others killed for the wrong reactions, knowing it would be just a matter of time before her secrets leaked. This is Catherine’s test now.
The Queen tells the story of her and her sister, Annonymn (Anna), growing up in Lorelei Castle. They were both princess back then and their mother was the Queen. Aeothesca learns of her powers, her mother calls her a monster and tells her to keep it a secret. Their mother dies, and Aeothesca takes over the throne at 12 years of age right in the middle of a long war with the Southern Third. Aeothesca reveals that she was the one who used her power over earth to sink the opposing army into the ground and win the war. Years later, Annonymn meets a suitor who plans to marry her, but out of jealousy and a sense of entitlement, the Queen steals him from her. This causes Annonymn to out her sister as an Etherean and flee the castle.
When the Queen finishes her story, Catherine is intrigued, not shocked or scared. She passed the test and counts herself as the Queen’s ally.
What You Should Love
This chapter is a big shift from following the main characters, but the personalities and stories of Queen Aeothesca and Catherine are so rich. I knew exactly who the Queen was when I started writing. Catherine as well. And I think it shows.
Catherine starts off as this troublemaker, but is quickly put in her place by the even more wicked Queen. And the dynamic is one that feels right. At least to me it does. And I hope you liked learning about these two.
What You May Dislike
The biggest thing may be my purposeful omission of conjunctions when the Queen or her sister speak. As royals, I wanted their voices to be instantly recognizable and somewhat elevated. However, I’ve since learned that this is a rookie mistake that many have made before that makes the characters sound weird. Not all the time, though. In this case there were a couple spots where it sounds off, but reading it back now, it doesn’t completely remove the reader from the story.
You may also have found it hard to get into this chapter, just as things started to move along between Slade and Doug. It’s one of the lengthier chapters, but one I think is necessary to add more details that will all be dealt with further on.
What’s Next in Chapter 10?
We get to see Slade and Gisela travel on their spring break vacation. They’re off to see Slade’s family, and Slade has to break the news that his stay will be short since they are also on their way further south to meet up with Doug. During their stay with his family, one of Slade’s old flames pops up. Stay tuned!
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