22 Jun 2017

The Soul Blade Chapter 38 - Commentary

Brenna and family face off against Tricia's skeletons, in The Soul Blade Chapter 38.

Writing is tough, until you get past the first sentence.  I've never been one to be told, "Here's a writing prompt.  Write for thirty minutes."  Nothing comes out.  It's not that I need to be in the mood to write.  I need the scene, or at least the beginning, sorted out in my head first.  I run the scene in my head so I can figure out where all the character's are.  Sometimes, it takes a few passes to work out why a scene properly.  And with The Soul Blade needing an ending, I imposed on myself a need to write.

However, I already knew what the ending was going to be.  That made writing much easier.  The problem I had with finishing The Soul Blade was extraneous plot lines that hadn't wrapped up instead of not having a clue what the ending would be.  Made the writing easier.  And, yet, I still left wriggle room at the end.  Not "Next Week" but "Coming Soon."

The reason for the skeletal army was that, when I first started working on the story, zombies were getting overexposed.  Then The Walking Dead aired.  So, what do I know?  But zombies have well known weaknesses - head shots are common in zombie fiction, and they still have fleshy bits like muscles that could be damaged enough to slow them down.  Skeletons, though, don't have those weaknesses.  There is no brain.  There is no flesh.  Depending on the story, even smashing them doesn't stop the bony fingers from still trying to reach out to grab throats.  And, unlike zombies, skeletons are under the control of one person, who is usually evil.

The chapter is dialogue heavy.  The skeletons aren't doing much beyond marching and trying to choke Brenna and her family.  Everyone is just swinging bats.  The action gets repetitive.  The dialogue carries the plot here.  Thus, Henderson blowing up Matt's cruiser.  It got rid of the skeletal column just in time for the rest of the army to appear.

The story was building up to the final battle between Brenna and Tricia.  Too bad for Tricia that I had other plans for her.  Those plans were in mind ever since the Ashen Man appeared in Chapter 5.  He and Tricia had been working at cross purposes throughout the story.  The Ashen Man just never got the focus.  Questions should be answered in the next chapter.

It does feel good to see progress on the story.  Brenna has needed an ending since 2009.  With this finally done, I can start thinking about future works featuring her or the Soul Blade itself.

Friday, the thrilling conclusion, in The Soul Blade Chapter 39.
Also Friday, over at Psycho Drive-In, TV versus film,. fight!
Saturday, over at The Seventh Sanctum, Batman (1966).  Yeah, I miss him, too.

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