29 Jun 2017

The Soul Blade Chapter 39 - Commentary

Brenna got her happy ending, in The Soul Blade Chapter 39.

And it's done!  I had two false starts, resulting in rearranging scenes to try to get things worked out, then rearranging again because I needed a different beginning.  There was a lot that wound up not getting in, in order to have the end happen.

Brenna's possession was set up back in Chapter 24.  She and Matt discussed what happened on their class trip to Gettysburg.  Brenna's susceptibility to being possessed was one of the core ideas I had for her, long before the story was even a concept.  She refers back to the Gettysburg trip to remind readers of the conversation, so it doesn't feel like the twist came from nowhere.  Grace's resistance to telepathy, empathy, and all that has been hinted as well through the story.  Brenna has used the Blade on her sister a few times, though only really twice because of a major fight between them.  So Grace is the one to keep the possessed Brenna busy.

I needed Brenna to come up with the solution to retake her body.  She's the heroine.  She can't sit back and wait for someone else to come to her rescue.  The original idea was that with Grace being attacked and hurt, Brenna would be able to regain some control.  However, the idea hit me that Brenna knows her own body's reactions than her unwanted guest would.  Thus, Matt.  The combination of Grace in danger and Matt in proximity gave Brenna what she needed to get some control back.  The colours in the Blade represent that fight for control.  At least there, I kept to my original idea.

The wrap up threatened to continue.  Again, there was a lot outstanding that needed some sort of conclusion, from McCoy's investigation to Tricia's body.  I almost forgot that she was still there, lying on the road, dead from multiple gunshot woulds.  Matt's placing was good, which means he also gets to be investigated by Internal Affairs.  Gary and Keith still needed one last appearance - as Greg mentioned in the comments for Chapter 37, they're not going to just leave their daughters in danger, even if the daughters are more capable in the fight than they are.  I was starting to see ending fatigue, which was the reason why I couldn't finish the story in 2009.

There's still some outstanding problems.  Joni is the biggest one.  An idea that came to mind that I wish I had thought of sooner was that Joni's time on Earth as Brenna's advisor is coming to an end.  Brenna did mention that it may be time.  The day to day writing left that potential dangling, though.  Oops?

Now, if I were to adapt the story, I would treat what I'd written as the pilot movie or mini-series, with a lot of editing to bring to a manageable length, then move on with a new premise.  Detective McCoy gets tagged to head a special unit that investigates paranormal oddities.  Not quite X-Files; McCoy is aware that the supernatural exists.  He'd have a small staff, including Matt, Cruz, and Henderson, and would have Brenna on a retainer for when it really does look like the supernatural is involved.  The focus remains on Brenna, though.  It's her life, though she can now work with Matt.  I have no idea who to cast, so feel free to suggest names in the comments below.

I want to thank a few people.  First, the Ottawa NaNoWriMo Region for making November an enjoyable time, especially as one of the Municipal Liaisons in 2009.  You guys made things easy and kept me going.

A big thank you to Greg Taylor, who not only left comments on the story here on the blog, but also provided an early look.  Go over to his site and check out his own work, and vote on his current Epsilon Project!

And thank all of you who have read through The Soul Blade.  You've made it through three-quarters of a year with weekly updates on a story that might not have been finished at all.

Friday, the first chapter of a two-part story.
Also Friday, over at Psycho Drive-In, Batman (1966).
Saturday, over at The Seventh Sanctum, St. Trinian's.


  1. I couldn't recall if I'd personally thanked you for the thanks, and it looks like I hadn't, so now I am. Thanks. :) I do appreciate the extra effort of adding links too. Regards the post itself, I agree that Joni didn't really serve the main plot too much in terms of a final tie-in, and like the idea of McCoy getting the "dubious promotion" there. Things that could still be dealt with in edits... Brenna herself insisted on more closure already. :D

    1. You're welcome! :D I figure that the least I could do is to have links to the people who helped. :) I should have thought Joni through better, but once I got into NaNo, it was too late. McCoy wasn't meant to be recurring, but he became indispensable once he appeared, so giving him his own unit seemed to fit his story arc. There are edits that are needed, like getting Joni to be consistent. Brenna also wants Matt. ;)