20 Oct 2016

The Soul Blade Chapter 3 - Commentary

Brenna gets summoned!  Dead body!  Annoyed Grace!  The plot returned in Chapter 3!

The chapter opens with morning at the Halliday household.  Everyone is well aware of the oddities of the Soul Blade that they're used to it.  Grace has often caught her sister holding a conversation to someone that she can't see.  With this part, I could show off more of Brenna's personality and her girly-ness.  Brenna likes frilly; she's liked frilly since before she inherited the Blade.

Bert was a fun character to write.  He came about because I needed a way to get Brenna to the crime scene.  I did put some thought into him; his life and his death, his mannerisms, and all for what was meant to be a one-time only appearance.  He turned into a gentleman around Brenna, and led to some fun dialogue.  Bert also let me introduce the otherworldly types into the story in a non-confrontational way.

Inside the office building, I worked with Brenna's second sight.  Technically, she perceives auras, but it's not just people who have them.  Objects that that have soaked up the emotional energy of people reflect that.  Churches tend to have positive, uplifting auras.  Funeral homes are sombre.  Office buildings are beige.  Thanks to her own abilities, Grace doesn't show up as anything but a grey slate that melds into the background.  White like a blank slate is rare and requires a new building; even then, thanks to construction workers, there's always something more.

The body was something I had come back to because of what the killer does with other corpses in later chapters.  I hadn't decided on what the villain was doing with the bodies at this point.  Once I had, the discovery in this chapter had to be changed just enough, mostly the position of the body.  However, the blank slate was there in the first pass.  Violent deaths leave violent emotional residue, and that's completely missing from the crime scene.

Tomorrow, the police arrive, in The Soul Blade Chapter 4.
Also tomorrow, over at Psycho Drive-In, Dungeons & Dragons, animated.
Saturday, over at Seventh Sanctum, first impressions of the Lethal Weapon TV series.

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