19 Jan 2017

The Soul Blade Chapter 16 - Commentary

Brenna has a minor crisis, in The Soul Blade Chapter 16

Chapter 16 sees the first major rewrite post-NaNo.  Originally, Brenna had issues with her father's new girlfriend.  However, at the beginning, Brenna was supportive of the idea.  There's no reason for the about-face, either.  Amy's younger, but not Brenna's age and definitely not Grace's age.  The section wasn't excised, but rewritten, changing the focus from Amy to Brenna's worries.  The change will affect later chapters and the ending, but the change now doesn't come out of nowhere.

The location of Pastor Brown's, a fictional restaurant as far as I know, is real.  San Diego has a restaurant row, which I found out when editing.  Would have been nice to know at the time; that's three words per appearance instead of the placeholder's one.  Something to know for another time when looking for appropriate locations.  I may have thought about using Main and Washington, then looked up the intersection and decided that it wasn't the best place for an eatery.

Brenna and Missy wearing jeans is a big deal.  Both wearing jeans at the same time is almost unheard of.  Brenna prefers skirts, long enough to hide her legs.  Missy typically wears shorts, even at work; she enjoys the weather and likes showing off her legs.  That's not to say that they wear nothing but skirts and shorts, but that's their typical outfit.  Missy has skirts and dresses, most of which also show off her legs.  Brenna does have jeans and she has dresses that she's made herself.  It's just their preference.

Matt and Kevin's Miami Vice phase came out of nowhere, really.  It's a bit of colour during a bit of colour. and gives a bit more dimension to Matt.  It gave the women a chance to reminisce before going on to tease Brenna over Matt.  It goes to show that Matt's not really part of the crowd, which will come up again later.

The chapter was more character building than anything else.  At the time of writing, it also gave me a chance to review what Brenna knew about Tricia.  From there, I could figure out what both women were going to do.  Tricia's avoiding Brenna, thus Brenna needs to do the hunting, ignoring Grace's advice from earlier.

Tomorrow, investigating Tricia's recent victim, in The Soul Blade Chapter 17.
Also tomorrow, over at Psycho Drive-In, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Saturday, over at The Seventh Sanctum, Mad Max: Fury Road.


  1. I think that change on Brenna's worries was a good edit - in fact, I thought Brenna's concerns about everyone "moving on" felt very sincere, leading to a nice scene with Grace, versus most of their plot-style conversations (that seem to stall out) or family conversations (that seem to cause bickering). Brenna also really had no time to get any sort of "vibe" - Amy's appearance was rather rushed. I figured they might have drinks and get to know each other before leaving, but it was all of 'introduction'-'bye now'. Did her father really need his daughters home for that? He could have shown a picture to achieve a similar effect.

    The "recap" feel at the dinner goes on a bit long, in my opinion. Krista's angle at leads adds something new to the murders, a public perception of events, and it helps to create her character. Also the seeing of future/past, something that had slipped my mind. (I hadn't consciously realized my Azure and Chartreuse had parallels with your characters.) But after the jeans remarks, leading to the recap of Missy's ghost and talking about Matt, nothing new is added, it's a rehash of events that aren't plot relevant. (Miami Vice goes to character, I guess, but having never seen it, that doesn't do anything for me. It also may date the story, something you spoke about in a prior commentary.) Could probably have been a paragraph summary instead, but that's just my opinion.

    1. The original issue didn't make sense, which you pointed out before. Removing it removes one of the dangling plot points that were preventing an ending. And the conversation between the sisters at least avoided bickering. It was a short meeting, but Gary wanted to make sure that everyone met.

      A little; could be edited down some, but I wasn't sure how. The future/past comes from the original concepts, Hindsight (Brenna) and Foresight (Grace). I need (or maybe needed?) to work on getting the cast in gear and going instead of talking. (It's a ground-breaking police series from the 80s, setting the style for a decade. :) ) Could be, yeah - I need to avoid that in the future.