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EricD
April 29th, 2007, 01:03 AM
Well, i'm working on a fantasy story. It is called "The Second Sons". The world it is set in is called Andaroth, and it centers on a kingdom known as Tyrien. It's about two young men, Amalric Viamed, a young knight and Gendarius Falen, the young Prince of Tyrien. By virtue of being born later, both men are seen as worthless. They soon meet up with each other, and despite their status as second sons, find themselves entangled in the intrigues and battles that will decide the fate of their kingdom and their world, for good or ill.

So here it is, I guess
http://www.sffworld.com/community/story/2402p0.html

James Carmack
May 6th, 2007, 09:55 PM
Well, Eric, you've got a story with some potential here.

Random Guy: "But you say that about every story you read."

Nonsense. If a story absolutely has no redeeming value, I'm going to say so, or be polite and say nothing at all. Now, hush, you. I'm talking to Eric.

Where were we? Oh, yes, the story. First off, let me say that your prose, while lush and vivid, is excessively verbose and overwrought. You're stuffing in too many details. It's a common mistake, so you're in good company. It's nice to paint a pretty picture, but it has to read smoothly. You need to learn to streamline, provide only the details necessary for the desired effect and leave a lot of the legwork to the reader's imagination. I'm not saying you have to be a minimalist, but you don't want to be clunky either.

There are a host of punctuation errors, too, largely in relation to the dialog. I can go into detail on that at another time.

Now let me touch on some plot points. Your extreme take on primogeniture is fine as it's reflective of the culture you've created, but there's a major quibble I have with the way you've framed it. Successive sons never have any part of the inheritence, so they can't be disinherited. In other words, you can't lose what you've never had. Now, had dear old Dad happened to discover a long-lost illegitimate son that he elevated to full legitimacy, thus robbing Amalric of his expected inheritance, that'd be a different story. Also, as the custom is widely known, what Amalric would be dreading is not disinheritance but facing the world on his own without the support of his family's name and wealth. Simply framing it as a fear of going out into the world, while begruding Theodoric's privileged state, would be a more sensible choice.

Next, knights by virtue of their station have some feif. That was the whole point of knighthood. You swear your service to a lord in exchange for a bit of land. If Amalric has nothing, you might as well leave him as a squire and thus have him seek out knighthood, if possible. (There were no shortage of squires who never made the next level. Even then, it gave them an advantageous position over the commoners.) You could have it be that Amalric's choices were to gain a small feif as one of his father's vassals (like Sir Kyed) or to seek his fortune abroad as a knight-errant. Obviously, the former path offers more security (but given Amalric's disdain for Theodoric, who would eventually become his lord, it would explain his choice to go abroad instead).

Lastly, while it looks like Amalric's getting the shaft, being fully equipped by his father is a fine exchange. Full battle rattle was and is very expensive. To go out in the world with a complete set of gear is a rather generous move by ol' Dad. Admittedly, when compared to Theodoric's share, it may not seem like much and, considering the bias of the third-person limited, you can justify this perspective on account of the active lead.