Monday, May 11, 2009

... a chapter after all

Chapter 19 congealed into a chapter far better than I had hoped, eventually coming together under the title Hosts and Hospitality, which applies to all four plot threads present. It is mostly driven by Sheam and Ghost who have semi-self contained and extremely important adventures which begin and end within the chapter, and are told bit by bit as we switch back and forth between them, with an occasional visit to James and Nightfall, who are both continuing the paths they began at the start of Book 5. Only Jyre is absent from Chapter 19, with part of Ghost's adventure being told from Lytha's point of view, who is with him the entire time. James meets a character often talked about but so far unseen, and helps me make up for all of those cute Ultima Underworld references I had cut from the story. Nightfall on the other hand gives a brief nod to nostalgia with a small touch which hearkens back to the original, in a story that increasingly resembles the original less and less. Sheam meets a collection of minor characters which I suspect many readers did not think they would see again, especially not all within the same chapter. As for Ghost, we may just learn his most closely guarded secret.

Additionally, I solved a problem I was having with James, being that a lack of a personal conflict for the character weakened his integrity as a principal. I have developed that inner conflict, and have evolved his adventure to take full advantage of it. This separates his path even farther from the other principals, which is what was needed, giving him his own set of goals, needs, fears, and possibilities of failure.

Amusingly, sometimes I like to check on the fraction of the entire story each principal represents. I discovered that Jyre, Lytha, Ghost, and Sheam all sit at around 17/16% of the total (in that order from high to low), with Nightfall having a much larger chunk and James a much smaller chuck - but if you average out Nightfall and James, both come to 16.5% ... I wonder how I managed to balance it out so evenly.

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