24 Jan 2019

The Elf's Prisoner - Commentary 13

More on human/elven interaction, in The Elf's Prisoner Chapter 13.

The commentary for Chapter 11, all the background details I quickly worked out to have Lia, Nyssa explains for the Leo and the reader here.  Though Leo wasn't embarassed by the commentary like he was here.  Nyssa has no problems seeing her squire blushing.  She's been there many times with her previous squires.  Her former squires probably get together every month to commiserate and have Leo's invite already drafted.

Why the breakfast?  I suppose I could have jumped to the characters leaving Wildwood, but that would mean that I knew what was going to happen.  I was working out scenes the night before, as I was going to bed.  I had no idea what was going to happen, so I let the characters do some developing.  Sure, they could have done something on the road, but there's a difference between chatting with someone briefly knowing that there's a way out if needed and chatting with travelling companions when there's no escape except for dropping out entirely.  A relaxed moment lets guards down.

I also tend to be dialogue heavy.  It's something I'm working on, but the more characters, the more dialogue.  Inter-character relationships are important, at least to me.  I'm as interested in how characters get along as I am in what they're doing.  Some conflict between characters helps, but if they're working together, they need to figure out how to get past their problems.  Mecha Academy gets into this more with Rhiannon and Dusty.  Here, the conflict is muted.  Jyslyn isn't trying to be leader, Nyssa and Kazimier are professional with each other, and Leo and Wren are too young to try to vie for leadership.  There's some distrust of Jyslyn from Nyssa, but mainly because the knight is aware of life below.

Language is an issue when multiple cultures come up.  Kazi has a way around it, but I didn't want to have him keep using that spell.  Nyssa has learned the language of the Wildwood elves; she's been around.  Kazi, Jyslyn, and even Wren understand Nyssa and Leo; when one have the equivalence of several lifetimes, one picks up other languages.  Leo will eventually learn the language, but he's still young.

Cuisine is another little worldbuilding detail that came up without me knowing what I wanted from it.  For me, breakfast is something quick to tide me until lunch, so a muffin or a croissant, if that.  Nyssa is not me, so she gets a larger breakfast.  She's also adventurous, so giving whoever is cooking free rein is natural for her.  A picky eater she isn't, and she's encouraging Leo to expand his tastes.

I managed to toss in one of my favourite lines from the original Battlestar Galactica, from "Lost Planet of the Gods, Part 2".  Now, given the nature of the two stories, one space opera, the other epic fantasy, some changes were made.  Nyssa got to be Boomer here, with, "Horses, after all, are ridden in the seated position."  It's not the exact line, though.  Lt. Boomer, when he reports with the rest of Blue Squadron, who are all recovering from a near-fatal disease, is told by Col. Tigh that he can barely stand.  Boomer's response, "A Viper is flown from the seated position, sir."  Considering that Blue Squadron came in like the cavalry to save the pogies of the people on the planet and back up the rookies already fighting off Cylon raiders, it's a line that says to me that Boomer is willing to push himself hard for his fellows.  Nyssa will do the same.

Friday, setting off, finally, in The Elf's Prisoner Chapter 14.
Also Friday, over at Psycho Drive-In, Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse.
Saturday, over at The Seventh Sanctum, Bumblebee.

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