20 Apr 2017

The Soul Blade Chapter 29 - Commentary

Checkov's gun went off, in The Soul Blade Chapter 29.

The pacing issue is still around.  While Tricia is handling the heavy lifting for the plot, Brenna is waiting for her cue.  Problem is, the story is Brenna's, not Tricia's, so there is a lot being shown of the Hallidays and their lives.  Tricia gets to violate the laws of nature.  Brenna gets forced out of the house by her own sister.

Brenna not being a morning person surprised me.  Part of it may be that ghosts are more active at night, so that can mess up Brenna's sleep patterns.  She also doesn't have to be up early for any reason, unlike her father, who works, and her sister, who has classes.  Brenna can avoid the early morning chaos and eat breakfast at a leisurely pace instead of having to scarf down a couple slices of toast while filling a thermos with coffee.  What work Brenna does have is freelance; as long as it gets done, the hours aren't as important.

Fabric stores are money drains for people who sew.  My mother quilted.  She would often go to a fabric store to get something for a one quilt and come back with fabric that she thought she could use for future projects.  Cosplayers tend to be the same.  Fabric stores are like live mouse traps to them.  Brenna isn't just thinking of the work she needs to complete, but of future possibilities.  She really should have an Etsy shop.

Tricia used the gun she picked up at the end of Chapter 28  I hope Fiona's demise wasn't telegraphed too hard.  Tricia planned to have Fiona as the last sacrifice.  The shock of betrayal in the dispatched soul would have an exquisite taste, or so Tricia believes.  The portal opened.  Partially.  Tricia siphoned off a bit of each soul for her own misuse.  She assumed that the ashen man would do to her what she would do to him if their positions were reversed.  To be fair, she was correct.  Evil doesn't share power well with others.  The ashen man was going to kill her, though he'd never tell her that.

The question of how to show what the ashen man is saying inside Tricia's head was one I had to consider during NaNo.  The original work has the interior dialogue marked as italics.  I've used italics in the past to show what a character is thinking, notably in Subject 13.  With that as a precedent, I wanted to clearer that it was the ashen man and not Tricia speaking.  The temporary solution is a font change.  I have no idea if it works, so let me know.

Friday, power corrupts; absolute power is nifty, in The Soul Blade Chapter 30.
Also Friday, over at Psycho Drive-In, Hanna-Barbera's Godzilla.
Saturday, over at The Seventh Sanctum, Jem and the Holograms.


  1. Why should Brenna be a morning person? The ghost activity thing does make some sense. As to the fabric, it feels like that might have flowed better if it had been intentional. The fact that she randomly pulled over made it feel more like padding. Though it's cool to see the realism behind it here. (I am not one with fabric.)

    I wouldn't say Fiona's death was telegraphed, but it lacked the emotional impact it could have. We really didn't get to know much about her, whether she would be missed (I guess not), or even what overtime she'd been doing. The death didn't even really add to Tricia's character for me, except in that I guess she reacts the same whether it's a stranger dying or not. It was just there. Also, why the gun? (I guess Tricia's not a knife thrower, but she could have been standing at the door, and she was fast enough to not have her prior victims scream... if it was about spatter, she ended up changing clothes anyway.) For that matter, why do this at the office? She must know where Fiona lives, and she seemed keen on hauling the tarp regardless. Actually, why the tarp again, not talking on the desktop?

    The betrayal and counterpoint was well done. I wonder, could Ashen have not simply asked for a tenth victim, to replenish the missing essence? The font change also works really well, in my opinion, and would probably be even more effective if it was used for his speech all the way through. That not only makes it seamless, but adds another 'otherworldly' quality.

    I *do* question why Ashen says they must deal with the "meddling Bladekeeper". The only thing she's done to "meddle" was delay the doctor's secretary, and then fight back under direct attack as substitute victim, all of which was accidental. There's been literally nothing in the days since then. It could be that Ashen knows she'll be able to do something in the unspecified plan to come, but if so, then why only raise this as an issue now? Moreover, for all he knows, she left on a road trip to New York days earlier. Anyway, the pacing is picking up.

    1. It is padding. I was floundering to keep Brenna in her own story here, and this was the result. ^_^;; At least Brenna being a night owl by necessity works.

      Tricia wanted to see the look of shock and betrayal, but I guess I didn't put that in. She wanted to make the last death extra spicy with those emotions from her victim. With Fiona being her last victim needed, Tricia is getting a little careless and power hungry. I had the tarp there, then forgot about it. ^.^;; The dangers of writing in spurts without looking back.

      Oh, good, something worked. :) He could have, but that throws off the ritual, which has a specific number for a reason. Magic gets fussy about numbers. Yay for the font change. Evil beings use Courier when occupying someone else's head. :) I'm keeping the font change, then.

      Now that he has something close to what he wants, he knows that the Bladekeeper can stop him, while before, killing Brenna would just complicate matters. It's not so much what she could do before, but once things go public, and world domination tends to make the news, he's expecting supernatural resistance.