26 Jan 2017

The Soul Blade Chapter 17 - Commentary

Brenna finds something worse than nothing while investigating, in The Soul Blade Chapter 17.

Turns out, Grace had a reason to stop Brenna from digging into the murders.  The sisters just don't communicate well.  As I've mentioned before in other commentaries, the Hallidays and their cousins have unusual abilities.  Grace's include precognition, though not with any control.  Her lack of foreknowledge beyond her graduation isn't because I didn't know what would happen, surprisingly.  This was planned as a key point.  Something is blocking her abilities, making sure that no one sees what is to come.  Sometimes, I do plan.  On the fly, but still plan.

Turns out, Brenna's psychometry, her object reading, can short circuit a plot.  I had set up a way around her ability early, the blank she saw at the scene of the first murder in the story.  If I didn't have Tricia as the villain, say an angry ghost that is acting beyond just screech and attack, Brenna could see who her opposition was.  However, just seeing wouldn't be that helpful.  If she doesn't recognize who she sees, she's still in a position where she has to keep looking.  However, Tricia's spell was far more than an erasure.  Brenna didn't do a deep search the first time; she just ran into blank so stopped.  This time, she went looking and ran into the spell.

I'm going to remind everyone that breaking works into chapters is a relatively new skill for me.  The Soul Blade wasn't broken into chapters originally; I'm retrofitting them in as I edit.  This chapter and next were one larger scene originally.  But, I'm trying to keep the chapters roughly the same size, though even that gets variable.  I'm trying to avoid short chapters; nothing under 1500 words, just to make reading the posted part worth the effort of reading.  Compare The Soul Blade to Unruly, a deliberate serial where I had real chapters.  Unruly's chapters are far more uniform in length, planned that way.  The Soul Blade is more haphazard.  However, I've been treating NaNoWriMo as a learning experience as well as a writing experience.  Each year, I try to do something new, to see what works and what doesn't, whether it's a genre or a writing style.  The Soul Blade was the first urban fantasy I wrote for NaNo, letting me explore the genre and giving me a better grounding for Unruly.

Tomorrow, girls' night in, in The Soul Blade Chapter 18.
Also tomorrow, over at Psycho Drive-In, hiatus week.  Sorry.
Saturday, over at The Seventh Sanctum, Mad Max: Fury Road.

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