Chapter 1 RAW version, Part 2: Calamites

So, I figured I might as well continue posting this unedited first chapter since it would be too much of a tease to leave just the first part. The suggestions I got for improvement for Part 1 (which is here) were helpful, so here’s some more for my appreciation. There will be a Part 3 to top it all off.

Book 1(untitled): Chapter 1 – Senator
Part 1

Part 2 (unedited)


Walking up the steps of the Senate, Andro noticed a group of his colleagues engaged in a discussion. They were standing in the shade of a column, off to the side near the entryway. They appeared to be Calamites. He did not need the tiger’s head badge on each of their right shoulders to tell that fact. Their worried faces were proof enough. Calamo was the closest major city to the western borders, and Andro understood their anxiety. It seems we are in for a debate today. I can feel their tension from here! Something must be done though. Yes, it is our duty to do something about these Westerners.

Stepping into the grand, arched entryway with his usual, leisurely pace, Andro walked over to his assigned seat. It was the same seat he had known for over a decade. It was quite comfortable, the cushions were dyed the perfect shade of Solan violet and contrasted beautifully with the white marble of the inner dome chamber.

As was his custom, Andro had arrived at the perfect time. It was not too long before the talking began, though he was far from being the first to arrive. That was the pattern of the younger senators, such as the Calamites outside. Experience told Andro they must have been there for some time. The Calamo representatives were experiencing a high turnover rate of late, and punctuality was a way of making proper first impressions.

Calamo’s citizens must be stressed, indeed, he thought to himself. He had just taken his seat and was now watching the same senators entering that he had seen a few minutes ago. Something was up. He had never seen them, or any senator for that matter, look so grim. He wish he knew their names, but anonymity was an unwritten practise in the Senate, meant to stop discussions from becoming personal. Still, Andro knew the names of many of the other one-hundred and thirty-eight senators, but they were new.

* * *

When all the delegates were seated, Malago, the Senate’s long-time Mediator and neutral voice, began the day’s discussions with his low, rumbling voice.

“I open the floor of the Senate of Sola for discussion on today, the sixteenth day of Mid-Spring in the fifth year of our Royal, Niemo, in the year 497 AC. Senator Gieslo of Calamo has requested to speak first. Do I hear any objections?” Objections were rare, and there none that day. “Senator, you may speak,” Malago said as he courteously gestured toward the Calamite.

The man stood. He must be their new head representative. He seems young to be here, yet all his entourage are younger still. What is happening out west? This morning has been one bad omen after the next. The Calamite was probably in his fifties, as most of his hair still retained its pitch black colour. Andro no longer had any hair left on his head, only the curly white beard from ear to ear, and he did not take reminders of that loss without confrontation.

“Thank you Mediator,” the man named Gieslo said as he walked out onto the white, marbled floor. Before he spoke again, he looked out toward the other senators, peering with this wide green eyes from one end of the half-circle of seated representatives to the other.

“My fellow senators! Kinsmen! I bring word from the west. The Blood-Heads have entered our lands.”

“We have spoken on this already! They have done us no harm. Does Calamo now cringe at every question thrown its way?” The interjecting man was from Sola. His comment brought laughter to all but the men bearing the tiger head on their shoulders. Calamites were known for overreactions to smaller matters, but the comment was not meant as a true insult. Solans were an animated people – foreigners noted the Solan love to yell and laugh at each other. Happy at one moment, offended the next, forever talking.

Blood-Heads. Why does he use that word? We all know what they call themselves. The Aquari. This ignorance can only hurt our hopes of reasoning with them. Wars have started for less than insults, wars in our own lands, no less. Andro shifted in his seat to sit in a more straight-up position. From what he had already seen that day, he found it incredibly hard to believe that it would end in laughter.

(to be continued)

Again, please comment with any constructive feedback you can think of. I’ll post the final part next weekend. I hope my saying “this is as bad as my writing gets” leaves you wanting to continue following along. Also, after tomorrow’s map post there are only two more Map Features remaining, the last of which has informative labels, and there are plenty more Lieutenants and POVs to come (at this point in time, it appears Jastos may be the most popular character).

Have a great week, everyone!

© 2013 FOTS Fantasy


  1. Hi! I enjoyed reading this – I really want to know what is going on and can’t wait for the third part to be put up.
    I do have some suggestions for you. First, it is usually best to just say what something is, rather than it “appeared” or “seemed” (unless it is in dialogue). I always have the problem of using appeared and seemed WAY too much and always have to edit it out. I know I use it to add uncertainty to my character’s narration, but in the end it just clutters the story. So instead of saying “They appeared to be Calamites,” just say something like “The tiger’s head badge identified them as Calamites as well as their worried faces.” At least that’s how I would begin to revise it.
    Second, blatantly stating that someone does something all the time can pull readers out of the story. It’s helpful in a first draft, so that you don’t have to worry as much about all the important details, but when you go to edit, I really suggest that you show us that Andro has a knack for showing up right on time, and that the Solans are animated (you could show us that even when he is walking through the city – the people he passes could be VERY animated at that point and we readers would understand).
    I think that was all that really stood out to me this time. I look forward to reading more! Keep up the good work!

    1. These are wonderful suggestions, thanks again! I do appreciate it, and they all make perfect sense. This one particular character for me is the most difficult to write for because, for one he is sixty-two and secondly, unlike my other perspective characters, Andro is mosty artificially created in terms of the lack of personality traits he shares with my own.

      1. Yes, I know how hard it can be to write characters that are different from yourself. One thing that helps me is to write the whole draft (or most of it) and then flesh the characters out more in following drafts. That way the plot is all there and you can really focus on the characters and their reactions to what is happening.

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