8 Jun 2017

The Soul Blade Chapter 36 - Commentary

Grace graduated and the police met Tricia's army, in The Soul Blade Chapter 36.

When I first wrote this chapter, I had place holders.  The chapter was done in the final days of NaNo, so I just getting words out was the main concern.  I was pushing for a nice large number, and got it.  I haven't been as prolific since, but I am getting better at pacing myself, both with how plots work out and maintaining a good writing speed.  To maintain speed and the ideas I had in my head, I put in variables for the different street names and Brenna's neighbourhood.  Turned out, the street names were worth more words than the variables.  But, working out where San Diego's cemetaries were, then working out walking routes for the skeletal armies involved would have taken away from both writing time and mental processing power.

Grace's graduation ends her story arc for the story.  She now gets a party with friends and family, works for the summer, then moves to LA to study law.  Joni's appearance might be a problem, as Greg pointed out in a comment.  If I had been thinking about it, Joni`s disappearance would have been related to Tricia`s blanket effect.  Of course, Brenna would then be worried about her.  I do have an idea, but it'd be difficult to retrofit now - Joni's purpose for remaining has been completed, so she can now move on.

Matt returns again!  This time, he's actually working.  Cruz and Henderson also return, mostly to give Matt a hard time.  I re-used Cruz and Henderson to avoid adding more characters to track.  Thus, they appeared in the chapters leading up to this moment.  They know each other, having met on the job, obviously.  Cruz has no problem hazing Matt, either.  It's about time Matt found someone, really.

The argument Matt and Cruz have is about the effectiveness of clerics in different versions of AD&D.  Cruz prefers first edition, where sixth level clerics got an automatic disrupt on the Turn Undead table against skeletons, destroying them outright.  Matt's playing with the third edition, where there's no instant destruction, but he can still force weaker under to turn away even on a bad roll.  Henderson prefers wizards, who can cast the third level spell fireball at fifth level, no matter what the edition.

Matt's last line, "Anyone got an idea?" isn't just him looking for options.  That was the end point of NaNo 2009 for me.  I let The Soul Blade lay fallow to try to clear my head and see what I could do to wrap up all the plot points I saw dangling.  That time let me see which ones were the problems, which ones were illusions, and which ones were important.  One thread involved Amy; Brenna did a 180 on her feelings about her.  Fixing that removed Amy as an immediate plot point.  On re-reading, the relationship between Brenna and Matt wasn't as urgent to wrap up as it was while writing.  During the writing process, it seemed like the obvious direction for them would be into the back of her van.  For now, they're in a good spot.  The odd thing is, there is more romance in The Soul Blade, unintended, than there was in my attempt at a paranormal romance.  Go fig.

There is more coming.  Chapter 37 goes up tomorrow.  There will also be a Chapter 38 and a Chapter 39.  I have an idea for the end; I just have to get to it.

Friday, the stage is set, in The Soul Blade Chapter 37.
Also Friday, over at Psycho Drive-In, Get Smart.
Saturday, over at The Seventh Sanctum, Death Race.

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