Zach’s Page

Zach on Chapter 1 – 17 August 2010

To speak honestly, I believe it to be difficult to find problems within this
first chapter. I enjoy the descriptions, good length great word choice, and
also the practicality of the main characters actions, which is usually
lacking in writing done by someone my age. Most of the possible flaws I
found were in the first few paragraphs, the introduction is slightly
difficult to read as far as grasping the importance of all of these details.
Rereading the chapter I find that there is a use for nearly every one, and I
enjoy the fact that these details coincide nicely with the plot. Though one
thing to consider would be the word arrangement in some sentences, an
example being: “The Carlin man was shaking his head, sloshing some wine off
the table with a hand that was none too steady by this stage.” As compared
to “The Carlin man was shaking his head, sloshing some wine off the table
with a hand that by this stage was none too steady.” Then when Rainald was
being attacked, I felt thoroughly confused. Other than that, there are a few
grammatical errors I trust you won’t have problems spotting.

Besides those slight flaws I find myself to be captivated by this story. I’m
surprised by how skilled of a writer you were at age fourteen. The amount of
detail behind the characters, how they spoke, how they acted, and the manner
in which Rainald analyzed this was superb. Just thinking about the amount of
time it would take me to sit down and think about each individual character
to give that person a very convincing personality, is mind blowing. Thank
you for the first chapter can’t wait for the second, and sorry for taking so
long to write this.

Zach on chapter 1 rewrite – 14 September 2010
The chapter improved nicely, it seems most if not all the holes noticed
before were filled. The manner in which the bar visit was introduced was
nice, also making the fact that he was visiting there to search for the wine
thieves more conspicuous was a nice change.  This time there was quite a bit
more focus on character rather than the surrounding which is a nice swap,
though I do enjoy the painting that was the writing before so I hope that
we’ll be seeing those indepth description of the environment down the road.

Zach on Chapter 2 – 12 October 2010
The dialogue between Rainald and Alleth seems kind of choppy, it doesn’t
flow as smoothly as one expects in your every day conversation. This may be
coming from the excess amount of words in their sentences, for instance
“What did you do that for?” she demanded panting. “You should have won, but
you let me. That’s not fair!”

“I didn’t feel like winning,” he said, grinning. “I just enjoyed the race.
Besides, you didn’t stand a chance against Imril here anyway.” In Rainald’s
sentence he has already specified that he could have won, so why is the “you
didn’t stand a chance” there? Then also “you should have won but you let me”
is another example, perhaps something along the lines of “why did you let me
win?” would be an improvement, at least from my perspective it would be.

A plus is how well the dialogue changed from his less formal tone he used
when speaking or thinking about his family, to the formality expressed when
Rainald is conversing with the footman.  The change is obvious, giving more
depth to Rainald as a character.  It’s nice that the change from lord avigor
in training to lord avigor isn’t automatic. Rainald is still sliding into
his father’s shoes, and is taking a little time to adjust; showing once
again the human dimension which can all too easily be overlooked by immature

What I’d like to see thrown in when Rainald and Alleth is returning to their
home would be a description of the landscape.  We have plenty of things
being seen and heard, but what about smelled? Or felt? Keeping in mind all
of the five senses when writing descriptions will paint a nice picture of
the world that Rainald grew up in.

In this chapter he spent a few months in Macha, with his family preparing
for when he would have to head back to Colgarma for full council. What
preparations did he have to go through? How did his family mourn the loss of
his father? Not only was an important family member lost but a new lord was
put in his place and full council is in three months, surely something
significant had to have happened during this period of preparation
concerning those three events?

Rainald’s precog ability came on very suddenly. From nowhere he was tackled
by this amazing ability, what’s a bit more surprising than this sudden
ability is his trust in it.  If you were to think of his precog as a person
it’d be like some person he’d heard about but never met before, walked up to
Rainald shook his hand and said “Hi, you’re going to fall in love with this
woman.” A slower transition between Rainald without precog and Rainald with
precog would be greatly appreciated, if that makes sense.

So overall, removing of unnecessary words, description of landscape
including all five sense when appropriate, details of home town, and some
extra time for Rainald to test the waters of his precog gift would improve
this second chapter.


Zach on Chapter 3 – 19 November 2010

Every once and a while, we are taken from the story suddenly and are given a section of explanation concerning an event that is about to occur. First instance being: “Rainald stared at the rings, his mind awash with memories
not his own. Mirella, usually in flawless control of her feelings and her thoughts, had let the barrier slip a little during the intense moment in which she had seen the rings. Rainald, who was very receptive to any feeling on a strong mental wavelength, had picked up scattered images” This could be replaced with something simpler. Perhaps a description of the action, rather than an explanation would be more effective. “Mirella, in her distress, allowed the barrier to slip. Images were forced onto Rainald’s sensitive mind.”  If that makes sense, that is.

Directly after the scene where Mirella was shaken to her very foundation by the image of wedding rings, she is joking with Rainald about marriage. I just don’t feel that is how one who has been scarred like she has would act
that way. Also the transition between “serious Rainald, serious Mirella” To “Joking Rainald, Joking Mirella” was surprisingly sudden. It seems that the chapter might be moving a bit quickly, the marriage, the gift, and the
emotions. As if the characters themselves are moving at normal speed, but the plot and their thoughts are advancing rapidly.

Once again, I find myself astounded by how much detail you have placed into the clan and Ichari. Very deep, very human they seem. The prospect of coming up with all of this history is a foreboding one, to say the least.

As far as whether or not to combine chapter two and three, I would not suggest it. There is far too much information in both of them to be able to cram it all into one.

I also liked how the chapter ended.

Zach on Chapter 2 Rewrite – 18 January 2011

There seem to be some superfluous words, for instance “the very next day” or, “he suddenly could not wait to see it again” “…had been truly given to him” the words being, very, suddenly, and truly. They seem to make the sentences slightly choppy. Removing them would be suggested, though leaving
them there wouldn’t do any harm. Maybe a little bit more of a transition from happy Rainald to sad Rainald as far as “charging at full speed on horse of awesome” to “contemplating life without father” though it isn’t necessary. I enjoy how his thoughts are sort of swapping back and forth between topics at points, like when he is crossing the bridge to Macha. As far as the all at once event pointed out by Courtney, I stress the importance of rectifying that mistake as well, as well as keeping an eye out for others similar to it.

The planting of the seed that will grow into Aleta’s and Rainald’s relationship was quite a bit more subtle in the re-write, which is a nice improvement. Yet again I find myself struggling to find errors.

This story is beginning to wrap around my mind which I hope to be a good sign as far as how the reading may go for other teens. Thank you for the new chapter.

Zach on Chapter 3 Rewrite – 21 February 2011

Early on in the rewrite the only problems seem to be trivial at best, mostly grammatical. A “ facing the wrong direction, “Rainald walked back to his own quarters with wearing a broad grin….” The with or wearing needs to be removed, and own isn’t necessary though no harm is being done by its presence. It may be my ninth grade social studies teacher’s influence, but the use of the word thing in the sentence: “This whole thing would be a veritable thunderclap from a blue sky…” bugs me. There seems to be other uses of the word, changing it would be suggested.

“In that case, would you care to present yourself and anyone you might wish present at my chambers within the hour? I shall take it upon myself to ensure your bride-to-be will be in attendance….”

The second present doesn’t seem like it belongs there.

Lord Dow as already there

I’m assuming the as was meant to be a was.

They had extensive knowledge of Patters

Patterns instead of patters. I enjoy the doubt Rainald experiences when questioning the Ichari’s wisdom. It seems to be a foreshadow of a future conflict, though whether or not my guess will prove fruitful, only time will tell. In general all of my qualms were met in this rewrite, I enjoyed it greatly.

Zach on Chapter 4 – 11 April 2011

Towards the beginning the chapter goes on a bit of a tangent about a mother
feeling downhearted by the marriage of Rainald to Aleta, this text may
be unnecessary.

The conversation between Aleta and Mirella is hilarious, I’m not really sure
why though, may have something to do with the phrase “if I can corner him.”
Depicts more of a hunt than a ball. The thank you at the end of the
conversation seems to hang in the air somewhat awkwardly. Why are Rainald
and Mirella whispering to each other before the enter the ball? Can they not
speak to each other via contact?

The comment “naturally everyone invite accepted with alacrity” contradicts
the previous statement about the Ichari.

Aleta “surveying” the ball gives a more formal tone to her perspective than
should be permitted for such a night in this young woman’s life. Later on in
the chapter her excitement is clearly shown, so changing that
isn’t necessary.

The conversation are realistic which is a great plus, they not only tell you
what the individual is saying at a given time but in a way what they are
doing while saying it. For instance “and that bald man talking to lord
“Where? oh tthat is….” as compared to Rainald instantly knowing the man
she was indicating at such a large event. I’ll keep that in mind when

When Rainald and Gilden are discussing their partners they say “picked” a
lot. “That’s why I picked her” and such. This seems rather rude of them, as
if they’re speaking of fruit rather than their femal companions.

I like Rimmuz, his “don’t worry about what you can’t change or will on it’s
own” attitude is enjoyable.

Tensity rather than tenseness?

As a final note, the entire “their first child was born…” really came out
of the blue and punched me harder than a cheese lover would hit a cheese
destroyer. Did not see that coming. Thanks for the chapter.

2 Comments to “Zach’s Page”

  1. I had a lot of trouble finding things I didn’t like about this first chapter as well Zach. It’s hard to find something wrong in such a short window to a story. I found myself constantly second guessing what I was finding wrong, thinking “well, what if this gets addressed later on?” Just wanted to let you know you weren’t alone in that, ha ha.

  2. That’s relieving though I’m gonna have to put in some effort to keep up with you and the others, as far as analyzing the chapters.

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