Alma on Chapter 2

The Teen Council commentary has raised some excellent points, and these will be addressed in the rewrite, of course.

Let me get back to this. First, a few words on character.

I may or may not have said it here before, but Rainald, as a character, was NOT IN THE PLAN for this book. At ALL. The first time I, the writer, his creator, met the chap was pretty much as you, any of you, the readers did – sitting in that Colgarma inn eavesdropping. I went on writing about him because *I* wanted to know who he was, and he kind of coalesced as I continued his story. Out of nothing much. Of all the people I have ever written a story about Rainald was the most organic of them all. He grew like a mushroom. I learned about him as I put words on paper. I am only now really getting to know him, in this rewrite, and especially in the light that the Teen Council has shined in his direction. Let me be utterly merciless on my own self and tell you this about the inexperienced young writer who began writing this tale: Rainald turned up uninvited, took over, and I think part of my revenge is basically making him do the easy and the convenient thing even when I wasn’t certain that I could explain or justify it. Hence his original remoteness about his father’s death (it was a plot point, not a tragedy). The same thing applies here, in the second chapter, when it comes to his own convenient precognition. This… now has to be looked at. This character deserves a foundation – MORE of a foundation – than he first got when he waltzed onto the scene.

Well, but he learned his lessons in Chapter 1. I am certain I can make him do the same here.

Gilden (Hi, Loki!) was a slightly different kettle of fish.

I knew I needed the other side of the coin, the foil for this strange creature called Rainald who seemed destined to be the leader of one my future warring factions. And so when Rainald revealed himself as such I started to far more consciously build in place the kind of character I instinctively knew that he would need as his counterpart. Gilden was in some instances just as organically grown as Rainald ever was – but he was grown with the benefit of targeted fertilizer, and he grew into a much more mature, much more rounded character than Rainald did. (His sense of humor, alas, is probably largely my own [grin])

I do not believe that there are ever truly “minor” characters. The third spear carrier from the left is mentioned because of a reason. The reason might not mean that he saves the world, but perhaps he has a small role to play in saving the one who does, or even just being in the right place at the right time to say, “isn’t it a nice day”, and give the chosen world saviour the idea, the inspiration, or the focus for attempting such salvation in the first place. It does not matter that we never learn his name. He lives in the protagonist as the sum of his actions, however small. He is part of the weave. He is part of the story.

There are more of these characters scattered throughout the book. People who stand up and do something – sometimes a single thing – that changes the pivot of a point of view, or simply make a more prominent character make a different decision, take a different road. Watch out for them as they make their appearance. You’ll know them when you see them.

Getting back to where I began, though, I’ve been looking ahead just a tad, and more specifically I have been taking a look at Chapter 3. It occurs to me, especially in the light of the Teen Council commentary, that it may well be a very good idea to take these two chapters – both of which have very similar flaws – and actually blend them into a single and BETTER chapter which does far more to push forward the momentum of the novel as a whole than the two individual and rather wordy chapters do by themselves. So I shall be breaking the pattern, just a little bit – and the next thing I will be posting here, and soliciting Teen Council commentary on in this context, is the Original Chapter 3. Once we’ve got that one looked at. I will probably be doing a fair bit of work and integrating these two chapters into a single entity. So, then, Chapter 3 next week.

The journey continues.


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