6 Mar 2017

The Soul Blade Chapter 22 - Commentary

Tricia goes collecting, in The Soul Blade Chapter 22.

In 2009, pacing was one of my problems.  The spacing of events, the need to fill in the details of the day, and showing what Team Brenna was doing while Team Tricia was out being evil didn't really help.  Words were written, and that was the goal of NaNo.  I find my pacing improved with By the Numbers.  Of course, I had also planned that one chapter by chapter.  Hmmm.

Tricia's search for a victim establishes her need for control.  Despite taking orders from elsewhere, she's in charge.  The search also shows what care she is taking, to explain why the police are baffled.  Her choice of victim shows up in Chapter 23.  It's... not pretty.  But, with Tricia around, I know what is going on and what clues to feed.

Brenna's trip to the police station has two goals.  One, to get her and Matt to talk to each other again at some point.  That bit of subplot is still dangling and needs some resolution.  Two, Brenna does have information that the police may not have.  McCoy, though, needs something he can use in court.  Brenna's info isn't useless; and the effort is appreciated, but try convincing a judge that something like magic exists.  In the Soul Blade-verse, there's still a masquerade of sorts where the supernatural isn't widely known.  Some people believe in it, others are well aware it is real, but the average person, like the real world, would consider anyone talking to unseen ghosts to be a little on the touched side.

Friday, Tricia adds to her collection, in The Soul Blade Chapter 24.
Also Friday, over at Psycho Drive-In, War of the Worlds.
Saturday, over at The Seventh Sanctum, to be determined.


  1. I wonder if part of the pacing issue was an acute awareness of where you were going? I remember Grace bringing up her Graduation, and that there were plot designs on it. Maybe you didn't want to derail any plans you had before you got there? (I might be way off base.) It's just, even Trish is now hemming and hawing about finding someone to kill. So instead of worrying about filling in the days... have Tricia find someone at the bar the prior evening, and kill them. Have Summer call back sooner. Have Joni remember some detail of Tricia's appearance. Have something happen during the "extra day" instead of filling it with "the details", or skipping over it. (I don't know if you were working with a calendar or not, but it feels a bit like we're stalling - maybe to not have too many murders back to back? But that takes the edge off.)

    Brenna talking to the police may also be a wee bit unintentionally funny. After being told by Grace, and Krista, and (indirectly) Rae to STOP investigating... Brenna turns to the police. The people who are usually all about "stay out of the way and let us do our jobs". And (unlike Brenna's friends) they're cool with having a chat! Possibly because of her being a suspect. It's nice to see the cops are leaving no stone unturned though, even occult, and I agree that Matt shouldn't be left dangling too long.

    1. Could be. My approach to writing in 2009 was to figure out key scenes, then aim at them until they were written, then aim at the next. The climax is set around Grace's graduation party, and I've established that Grace can't see past that point. Trish didn't hem and haw too much; I think I was still trying to figure out her next target. A random bar patron wasn't my ideal target; the one she chose, seen in Chapter 23, was meant to cause more problems. (I had a calendar in mind, yes, and I didn't want too many murders in a row.)

      I think I unconsciously realized that Brenna's friends and family weren't being helpful. The police at least were willing to listen to her, even if part of the reason was because she might slip up and provide a detail that only the killer could know. Matt returns Friday.