48 Chapters. 188,729 words. That’s Arc II so far. Let’s talk about it.
Lots of stuff has happened in the last twelve chapters. For one thing, there was a chapter that wasn’t even called a chapter! “Interlude: The Radiance”was me testing out a way to look at other characters who aren’t main perspective characters. I thought the Radiance was a good group to go to – first, because it came right after we saw our heroes face off against several members of the Royal Guard, and second because I’m not sure we’ll get a whole lot of time to see their perspectives and attitudes from the heroes’ point of view.
That Interlude took on a bit of a life of its own, and stylistically was a bit different from other chapters. I started thinking of it like a small-scale play: you have a single room (the stage), and characters walk in and out of that room, but our main character (Hestia) doesn’t leave the room, making clear that she’s the one whose eyes we’re looking through. It also made sense to me as a play because the members of the Radiance have a bit of a more elegant, dramatic style of speaking. Interludes will likely appear again in the future, allowing for little looks into the eyes and minds of characters that don’t get much perspective time.
To recap what’s happened in Arc II’s fourth month: Caleb is back to Midnight Bridge and training with Mister Midnight; Shana, Maribelle, and Annabelle have arrived at the Library of Solitude but were separated from Shias, Kathryn, Rae, and Ben; those four members of the Dawn Riders have taken Void to Grimoire; the “Library crew” of many characters are rapidly moving towards the center of the Library of Solitude; and finally, Fae and the Star sisters, after a frightening encounter with the Fates, are searching for a cure to the mysterious illness known as Collapse.
Speaking of Shias and that group of valiant teenagers who made a big play to ensure Shana’s safe arrival at the Library of Solitude, they are not likely to appear again until Arc III. Like I’ve said before, Arc II is being written with a chapter rotation: Chelsea/Delilah, Caleb, Shana/Shias, Fae in that order. Having Shana at the Library of Solitude now allows for two Library chapters per rotation, and Arc II is titled “Solitude.” This is the main story of Arc II, and now that Shana’s arrived with Maribelle and Annabelle, the Library story is pushing forward much faster. But don’t worry about the Shias crew – they’ll be back in a big way, they’re just taking a brief vacation with a dangerous villain in their custody.
But that being said, Arc II is almost complete! We might make it to 60 chapters, or it might be shorter, I’m not entirely certain at this point. It’ll be close. And knowing that Arc II is almost over, I also have very clear ideas of what both Arc III and IV will be. There’s a lot of total story left, and a lot of twists and turns to come, but it will come to an ultimate conclusion in time (though I still can’t tell you how far away that is – because I don’t know yet!).
Before Shana and Shias were separated, though, we got the highlight action scene of the entire Arc so far: Shana, Shias, Maribelle, Kathryn, Rae, and Ben battling against Artemis, Athena, Galahad, Platina, and the mysterious Gold Knight in a desperate bid to rescue Annabelle from the Radiant Palace. Taking place in Chapter 39, it was fortuitous that I stumbled across a YouTube video before planning and writing that battle that helped give me a much-needed perspective on constructing action scenes. The video talks about film-making, but the ideas are useful for literature as well, and I think it’s worth a watch if you’re interested in how to construct fights and other action-packed encounters. Fair warning: there’s a small amount of inappropriate language in the video, something I feel worth a warning since you won’t find such language in my writing.
Those action “hooks” were things I thought about a lot in constructing Chapter 39’s battle. Shias and Ben combining their powers (shielded doppels!) to fight back the formidable Platina, Brutus throwing a grand piano, and every other exciting moment from that chapter was planned ahead of time, and then it was a matter of finding a way to go from one to the next. It’s very exciting working with so many characters with so many unique powers, but it also has tremendous potential for utter chaos. I wish I’d thought about fights and action scenes like this from the very start, but hey, everyone should always be learning and improving. I’m glad I can keep doing so.
Fae’s journey continues to be the most disconnected from the rest of the story, but I think that’s fine, and enjoyable, for two reasons. One, it’ll come to connect to other things in time. And two, the more important one for me… this is where Fae belongs. This journey is good for her, it’s important for her, and it’s what she needs as a character. I’m excited to keep moving forward with her, and I hope you’ll continue to enjoy her story.
And that’s it for this monthly check-in! I’m going to get back to writing, and soon you’ll see the end of Arc II, and a major turning point for the story going forward. I hope you enjoy the ride, and please feel free, here and on any other blog post or chapter, to leave comments to offer feedback, questions, or anything else on your mind. Thank you, thank you, thank you for reading, and I hope you continue to stick around as the story continues!