Matt, I almost don’t want you to read the first drafts for these final chapters. It isn’t because they’re more horrible than the others. It’s just that I hate to see the ending incomplete like this! It’s flawed. I don’t want you to get to these cool parts and think “Wow, this would be amazing if the writing didn’t suck.”
It would be like watching the end of Terminator 2, only to see Arnold get dropped into a bowl of pudding. Then Sarah Conner fist-bumps John while the T-1000 explodes from the power of robot tears.
Oh, sorry, that ending would still rock. I know I was going for a “worse ending” there to use as an example, but I just can’t seem to describe one that would be disappointing. I’ll try harder next time Matt–go ahead and read the chapter. Continue reading →
Only a few minor descriptions were improved in this chapter. Not really worth discussing. So shoot–I guess I’d better talk about the hit manga One Piece, and how it relates to this chapter!
Actually, every Japanese action comic seems to do what this chapter does: They like to remind you that the villain is evil. Here’s what they do: Is the final showdown coming up? Is the hero/heroine on their way there? Well we can’t have that happen without first making sure that all the tragedy has sunk in!
I don’t mind if a story does that–as long as they keep it short. That’s why this chapter is one page; I don’t want to dwell on flashbacks when there’s an ending to get to.
At the same time, this segment is absolutely essential: Not only am I describing a pivotal moment in Parlay’s life, but I’m using the event to link the two books. I’m making it clear that Pinada’s actions influenced Parlay. And she/he goes on to become the “villain” of the first story, continuing the tragic cycle. Now the reader can go to the final confrontation, confident that Pinada needs to be beaten for his heinous acts. (This was also a major theme in the chapter where he killed everyone.)
One more thing: I saw my old pal Jimmy at church today! I told him about these books and this site. Hey Jimmy! If you’re reading this you might want to watch out for spoilers! There are some around here somewhere. Continue reading →
Well, this chapter took a while. Was it tough? A little. This side-story with Mackaba needs to be handled carefully; if it doesn’t seem important enough the reader could lose interest in the finale.
But I gotta be honest: my immense resolve to write was tested. See, I got invited to the Hearthstone beta, and I might have spent a few nights playing cards when I should have been describing wind-swept landscapes and coming up with sarcastic things for government officials to say.
And then my friend Matt got into the game too! What am I to do!? Leave him to discover the deep mechanics of the cards by himself!? The Knife Juggler gnome card has complex strategies that must be explored!
I helped him out, and I’m lucky that he goes to sleep a few hours before I do–leaving me time to write without any excuses. Yep. Sometimes your willpower is only as strong as your friends’. Or at least it’s as strong as the wife that makes him turn off the game and go to bed. Continue reading →
I don’t normally talk about “feelings” and metaphors in my story, but the events of this chapter–and some events in real life–give me an opportunity to do so. Without spoiling anything in the chapter I will say it is about anger, and the prison it can create for a person. Lashing out in rage can seem like an outlet; but when it occurs it is anything but a release.
A few days ago a commenter in the Mark Reads blog ranted about some characters in Lady Knight by Tamora Pierce.It started out well enough, but he let his anger get the better of him: turning a constructive discussion into a full-on hate-driven rampage. It ended up hurting many taking part, even insulting the integrity of the author herself.
And this is where the “prison” part of anger comes in: he is now banned from the site forever. The excitement you feel from anger is short-lived; the consequences can be quite permanent.
Anyway, this chapter has something similar happen. In metaphor, of course. I mean, it’s not like I’d put in a LITERAL prison that’s set off by anger! Ha! That would be silly. Continue reading →