18 Jan 2018

The Devil You Know - Epilogue Commentary

Back home, in The Devil You Know's epilogue.

There were a lot of loose ends left dangling when the main plot wrapped up.  The problem now was getting as many of those dealt with in some way without creating ending fatigue.  Ione saved the world.  Everything else is anti-climatic.  I wanted to avoid the main problem that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo had, a story that didn't know when to stop.  With Dragon Tattoo, the main action was over, but the mystery that introduced the story wasn't done and took several more chapters to work out.  How can I get the rest of the plot strings at least tucked away?

The epilogue does a lot of telling, by necessity.  However, I did try to get the major highlights done in an interesting way.  Karen and Ben are no longer an item, which was a given.  Jack owes Ione money.  Ione also needs to explain to her work what she did.  Gemma has her own superiors to answer to and just how does she explain that an angel killed her team in Chapter 1?

Showing Karen moving on from Ben was easy enough.  She's dressed up to go out and she just had to mention her date isn't Ben but someone new.  Simple enough.  There's no need to follow Karen, either.  The other plot points, though, weren't as easy to wrap up.  However, Mara continued to be useful.  Again, for a character who was dropped in because Jack needed a co-pilot, Mara became indispensable.

Mara's arrival let me bring out Diesel's supernatural sense again.  Diesel has a backstory, but since he was peripheral to the plot, the background never came out.  But, he does have the ability to sense demons.  He just never expected his staff to know Mara's nature or that the succubus wasn't trying to tempt away souls.  Diesel graciously allows Mara to visit.

Since Mara is Jack's employee, sort of, it made sense to have Mara bring the money owed.  I also worked in the bubble nature of the Dunning-Krugerrand, making it Jack repaying the value of a Bitcoin instead of the cash Ione provided.  For Jack, getting that amount in a week isn't a problem.  After all, when he plays cards, it's not gambling.  Jack also gave Ione a headache.  If she had just received the original amount of money, she could explain it at work as being repaid for the money needed for the sting.  Ione has five times that much, so now it's income.

Ione is also on administrative leave.  Her employer needs to verify her report, especially since she wasn't supposed to be an active agent.  Ione did manage to repair relations with her British counterpart, Gemma, and destroyed a large shipment of drugs and weapons while passing along descriptions of two major players in organized crime.  She left out a few details, like Jack and the rogue angel, mostly to avoid having to go through a psych evaluation.  Jack did promise her that she wouldn't lose her job, though, and Jack never goes back on a promise.

Gemma just gets a brief mention.  She's back home giving her interpretation of events.  Beyond being needed to confirm Ione's account, the British agent just couldn't be worked in with Mara's visit.  I didn't want to use coincidence here; events already were fantastic and sometimes reality needs to be real.  Thus, Ione mentioning that she needs Gemma's own report to collaborate her own.

While Mara isn't tempting Ione to get at her soul, she still is a succubus.  Temptation is her nature.  She knows cake will tempt Ione.  Ottawa has several cake cafés, with cakes baked on site.  The Ottawa NaNo group has regular write-ins at Oh So Good both during November and after.  Writers survive on coffee and cake, especially during NaNo.  So, why not have Mara take Ione there?

This ends The Devil You Know.  I've compiled an index of the chapters if you've missed one or if you've been waiting for the entire work to be posted before starting.  The story worked out well; I had a good idea of what I wanted to do when I started and only had to do quick research while writing.  It's when I needed to start wrapping things up that I started having problems.  Much like The Soul Blade, I felt that I had a lot outstanding that needed to be tied off before the end could happen.  Setting the story aside for a few years helped.  The distance let me see what was important and what wasn't.  Some extra research, including just seeing what was around Monte Carlo, was enough to get to the final confrontation.

The serials will be on hiatus for a few weeks to give me time to get something ready to go.  In their place, I'm posting a few tabletop RPG characters from a few different systems.  Welcome to my thought processes.

Friday, playing around with character ideas, starting with the Demon Hunters RPG.
Also Friday, over at Psycho Drive-In, hiatus week due to illness.
Saturday, over at The Seventh Sanctum, Dragnet.

1 comment:

  1. It was a good tidy-up over all. I like that neither Ben or Jack were featured, I feel like they'd have other things to deal with astrally, or moving on from issue to issue in the world. Nice callback to Ben setting Karen up though. And Mara does make sense for tying things off there. (Wait, the cat had a backstory?)

    Ione could always have made predictions about Gemma, because I agree having her around would be too unexpected. The other point that didn't get revisited was Ione's sister, and the... I think it was a wedding? (I'd be amused if there was insistence that Ione go on a date, and she'd be all, yeah, going out now... with Mara. O:) ) Makes sense to segue from Ione into RPGs too. ^.-