During the writing of Greysons Arc I, I regularly had a blog post each month (or every twelve chapters) talking about the story so far, the writing process, etc.
Somehow, I completely skipped writing one after Arc II’s Chapter 12. It’s not that I forgot – I had entirely intended to write a “One Month In” post, but somehow I got caught up in other things, I kept letting it slide, until I figured it was too late and it was best to just do better for the two month mark.
So here I am again! Arc II is in full swing, and there are four separate storylines going on at once! I hope that isn’t too much for you to follow – I’ve attempted a new order to chapters this Arc, by switching to a new perspective every chapter (from Chelsea/Delilah, to Caleb, to the twins, to Fae, in that order), but if this new way of organizing the story doesn’t work for you, please let me know! This is a very large world, with quite a number of characters, and our heroes are, perhaps unfortunately (though it does seem to fit this stage in the story) split up in ways that seem nearly insurmountable. Shana and Shias have their sights set on the Library of Solitude after they rescue Annabelle, so it’s quite likely they will soon join Delilah, Chelsea, and the rest. But how will they get to the Library? It’s already established that the Library is far from easy to reach, and then there’s the state it’s in, with darkness closing in on its vast halls more and more each day.
And what about Chelsea? She and Gwen have passed from the Library into a strange world of darkness, where their tragic past and internalized anger and pain are haunting them in a very real way. Are they even in the Library anymore? If they manage to escape this darkness, will they return to the Library, or be left in some other new Location? And, assuming they do manage to escape, what will they be like after their ordeal? Suffering makes some people stronger – but that isn’t the case for everyone. Whatever the case may be, it’s clear they have a long road ahead of them.
And really, Chelsea and Gwen during this Arc capture what Greysons has become for me. It’s about the characters. Stephen King once said:
“Plot is, I think, the good writer’s last resort, and the dullard’s first choice.”
Great stories are about characters first and foremost. Not everyone will agree with that, but that’s been my own mentality in both writing and reading. The best stories, to me, are about the characters, and the characters drive and even create the plot. So if it seems my story has gotten a bit topsy-turvy, perhaps take a moment and think about where the characters are, where they’ve come from, and if their current predicament seems authentic to their own struggles, story, and desires.
In truth, I’d very much like for Caleb, Chelsea, Fae, Shana, Shias, and Delilah to all be together on one singular path. There have already been multiple times where I’ve tried to take Caleb away from Mister Midnight and get him to the Library. But it hasn’t felt authentic or right yet. He’s where he needs to be. And while he learns about Time Magic, and about the wider world and history of the Enchanted Dominion, he’s also becoming a better person – learning to listen more, to slow down, to not speak so quickly, and to pay attention to people and places. And all the while, his and Midnight’s story is also unraveling the larger plot of the Radiant King and his agents.
Chelsea and Gwen are in the darkness by their own choice, and they were both, we now know, drawn there by their own conflicted emotional states. They’ve been through a lot, and they’ve internalized their own tragedies in much the same way – towards hatred, anger, and other unsavory emotions. For them to move forward – for them to be heroes in this story and help save others – they may need to first save each other from their own personal demons.
Shana and Shias are on the journey they’re on because of their own choices – mostly Shana’s, but then, Shias is quite the devoted brother, so he doesn’t mind who steers the ship. And retrieving Maribelle, to then save Annabelle, is integral to the larger story at play. The Library of Solitude must be saved, if at all possible, and the Endless Night must be prevented, if at all possible. It seems unlikely these goals can be achieved without Shana and Shias succeeding in their current quest.
And then there’s Fae. I’m sure her story, so far, will be the most contentious or even seem superfluous. She’s completely separated from the others. She’s on a quest that seems to have no bearing to the Radiance, no bearing to the Endless Night. It seems, perhaps, indulgent.
And yet Fae’s story is happening, and happening the way it is, because of Fae. She’s got a lot going on within her, from her conflict with her parents, to her conflicted feelings about her siblings, to, in particular, her artwork and how the Enchanted Dominion calls out to her. If any of these characters is primarily on a journey of self-discovery and transformation, it’s Fae. I hope you’ll continue to pay close attention to her story. I can promise you that everything happening is connected, and will come together in its proper time. But first and foremost, Fae’s story is about Fae. And I hope the journey she goes on, and how she changes and grows along the way, will be satisfying.
And I can’t forget about Delilah! Unfortunately, she really hasn’t done much this Arc, has she? The story at the Library has been entirely centered on Chelsea. Several times I’ve considered coming back to Delilah and what she, Isabelle, and Lorelei are up to in the Library while Chelsea and Gwen are gone, but it just hasn’t seemed right. She’ll be coming back soon, though – she wasn’t set aside because she’s unimportant!
While the title of the story is Greysons of Grimoire, that second part of the title hasn’t had much of a focus. The city of Grimoire is a place I’m really quite fond of, and it has a large part to play in the story’s future. But for now, the Enchanted Dominion beckons the heroes, and so there they are. Though I hope you’ve picked up the clues here and there so far that all is not well in the city of Grimoire. Something is stirring, and it will come to fruition at the proper time.
Of course, all of this is assuming that I’m succeeding at the story I’m telling, and that I don’t fall flat on my face along the way – and that’s assuming I haven’t already fallen flat on my face! Like I said when I started this story, it began as an experiment and a writing challenge for myself, a way to push myself to do more and stretch as a storyteller.
It’s become so much more than that. I have fallen in love with this story and, in particular, these characters. So I earnestly hope that I’m doing my proper job as a storyteller: helping you, the reader, to fall in love with these characters, too.
If I’m failing at that task, don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments – hopefully with specific feedback and suggestions, as specific as you can, about how to do better.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’ll never be able to say it enough. Anyone who’s reading this, and especially those who have made it this far, and even more especially those who will continue to read chapter after chapter beyond this: thank you. I love to write, and so I write what I want to read – in a way, writing stories for myself. But I share these stories because I hope there are others out there who will find something worthwhile in the reading. I know that Greysons is freaking crazy, and there’s a lot of weird stuff going on, and it may at times (or all the time) seem like I’ve dropped down a fever dream rabbit hole, but if you’re enjoying the craziness – and if you’re enjoying the heart at the center of the craziness – then I’m tremendously happy.
Thank you for reading.