1 Jun 2017

The Soul Blade Chapter 35 - Commentary

Tricia calls her legions, in The Soul Blade Chapter 35.

Once again, Brenna has a relatively normal day while Tricia continues working on her goal of absolute power.  With Brenna, the idea was to show her and her extended family and the relations within.  The conspiracy among cousins to get away from the parental units is one that has been used long before Rae was born.  Rae was always too young to join her older sisters and cousins on their hijinks before.  Back in Chapter 32, Grace complained about the last time she had to share a bed with Rae, so it has been some time.  Rae isn't a child anymore, so the older girls are now including her.  Not that Rae appreciates being included.  She's been the young tag-along for too long to trust her sisters and cousins.

Writing this chapter, I was still trying to set myself up for the end.  I could have focused on just Tricia the past few chapters, but the story is supposed to be Brenna's.  So, half the chapter is Brenna spending the day out, the other half is Tricia locating Brenna and her family.  I did manage to work in that Brenna was out and about into Tricia's scenes.  Getting the Bladekeeper and her family in one nice neat package is a bonus for Tricia.  It means she doesn't have to study genealogy to find her current and future threats.

Tricia is also taking advantage of having minions and magical power.  If one can't enjoy being attended to hand and foot by magically animated skeletal minions, why bother having them?  The location spell is something I used in a different story draft, one with a loose tie to the Brenna-verse.  The spell tracks a known person on a map, a real one instead of a map app.  Tricia's version requires a blood sacrifice, which is never a good thing, even if you use your own blood.

The raising of the skeletal army was worked out in my head before even setting words down.  I pictured the scene as a movie.  Tricia creeping through a cemetery, intoning mystical words, then skeletons crawling up from graves.  I try to work through a scene in my head before typing.  I want to make sure that I have the right point of view, the right camera angles, and the right feel.  If something is out of place, I can move it in the scene in my head far easier than I can when typing.  All I have to do after that is describe what I have in my head and hope that it makes the translation.  I'm not saying that this is the best way to write, but it works for me.

Friday, Grace graduates and the police respond, in The Soul Blade Chapter 36.
Also Friday, over at Psycho Drive-In, adapting to games featuring Cortex/Cortex Plus.
Saturday, over at The Seventh Sanctum, Get Smart.

1 comment:

  1. Related to my comment on the prior commentary, the detail is good in terms of atmosphere and angles, not only in the graveyard but also the beach. The problem (I feel) is in the motivations. The only investment I had in Rae was her parents' thing, which isn't dealt with. Summer's issues with borrowing the book and giving Brenna rituals isn't even brought up. The end of this latest part has Tricia thinking "time wasn't on her side right now". ... ... Why not? No one cares about her.

    Plus she just spent the day being waited on by skeletons. Time she could have used for research instead, if she'd simply talked to Ashen Man about the situation that morning, instead of before dinner. (Why IS he having her wait?) Also, if its about the police, and then all the Bladekeeper's relatives around, why not go to New York instead? Or LA? What's keeping her here? What, in short, is Tricia hoping to accomplish with her power (and how is it apparently tied to location and time)?

    The thread between the POV characters could be tied a little tighter too, like if we had a sense of when the tracking spell would wear off, or if it didn't involve the dots moving, so Tricia would have to strategize for when to best use the spell. We could worry about the unaware Brenna being caught in a bad spot, instead of pancakes. For that matter, why not use the spell at midnight, realize they're all in the same house, and crush the house the same way she crushed the police car? Some might escape, but she could send the skeletons after them, right? Or other things? (The animate lamp post was funny, by the way.)

    Related, the graveyard thing feels more like a spur-of-the-moment deal for Tricia, rather than part of an overarching plan. So how does it tie in? As, basically, a distraction? (I guess we'll see, but I feel an army needed more build-up than "You haven't come up with any ideas".) Ah well. Back on the topic of writing, I wonder if anyone does it even more visually, with miniatures. I liked the call-back to Brenna's stutter in that part as well.