Pangaea Commentary Chapter 7 – Encounter with a Madman

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 7 Summary

The chapter begins with Slade and Douglassaire at lunch. Internally, Slade realizes just how attracted he is to Doug. They talk about their lives and learn how different they are, but that’s exactly what brings them a bit closer. Slade pushes for more info about this mysterious Etherean Doug mentioned last time. Doug caves and spills the info, revealing his rival’s name and physical description.

Later that day, Slade and Gisela are hanging out on campus when Lesech comes into view. They decide to follow him and find him practicing his sword skills alone. Not only that, but they find him hovering above the ground, confirming Doug’s suspicions. They’re soon found out and threatened by Lesech not to say anything to anyone.

What You Should Love

I think you may love the interaction and budding relationship between Slade and Douglassaire. And I have my editor to thank for that. I originally wrote their relationship to have this undercurrent of unspoken attraction that never reached a head until a few chapters later (the love scene). With her notes, I understood that doing that would be too jarring for the reader and decided to spell it out a bit more.

I also think you can enjoy the tenseness in the friendship of Slade and Gisela. She is not secure in their friendship because Slade has started growing closer to Doug. She’s not ready for the change that will happen by letting him in, so she resists Doug. It shows in her protests of Slade following Lesech to find out the truth.

Finally, you get more insight into who Lesech is as a person. He’s pompous, a little crazy, and kind of scary. He was a joy to write! I especially love this line of his that perfectly sums up who he is (and, to an extent, my sense of humor):

“’But you ask how our ether works and if I told you, I’d have to kill you.’ He paused and his lips curled into an evil grin. ‘Very well, I’ll tell you.'”

What You May Dislike

The biggest pain for me was not being able to show Gisela’s thoughts in this chapter. Yes, this is written in third-person, but too much “head-hopping” (telling the thoughts and feelings of multiple characters in a scene) confuses the reader and makes for a jarring reading experience. Here’s what I mean by this:

When Slade and Gisela are secretly following Lesech, there’s a moment where Lesech turns around, seemingly suspicious of them. Slade thinks fast and grabs Gisela’s hand and pretends they’re lovers on a stroll. Knowing Gisela and her crush on Slade, you can imagine just how confusing or thrilling this could feel in the moment. And originally, I wrote all of her feelings. However, upon a revision, I found that there was no way to keep those details there and have a high-quality chapter. So, all in all, you may not like that lack of description (if you even noticed). But more so, this is a piece of the scene that I hated to remove.

On To Chapter 8

The next chapter is short, but important for Slade and Doug’s relationship and sets up what is to come down the road. Stay tuned!

Thoughts / Comments?

What did you think of chapter 7? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to connect and discuss.

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