Forty-two chapters and 138,414 words later, Greysons of Grimoire has completed its first full Arc! A lot happened, so I wanted to take some time to recap, as well as just talk about the process and looking forward, much like those “___ Month In” blog posts I did each month.
Things may have felt chaotic through this first arc, and that’s largely because I was making things up as I went. I’ve talked about that before, but it’s worth repeating, especially now as I look back at how things morphed and changed and ended up where they did. The first few chapters, in particular, feel somewhat disconnected from the rest of the story to me, as I honestly hadn’t planned on any sort of Enchanted Dominion at that point – I originally envisioned this series as just mages in the city of Grimoire. Oh, how things can change!
I’m pleased with where things went, and I’m proud of how the story and characters held together. But now that I’ve reached the end of Arc I, I can more clearly see where I’m going in Arc II and beyond. Like I’ve said in other blog posts, the farther I get in this story, the more clearly I can see ahead, and the farther I can see ahead. I know where I’m going better than I did when I started, and that’s exciting. It should also lead to a more focused and consistent Arc II.
We started off with our main characters worried about children going missing due to Hollows known as Pipers, wielding their mysterious flutes to lure children away from home. But very quickly, Caleb and Chelsea met the mysterious girl Isabelle, and everything changed. The world opened up in a big way, especially as a major battle sent Caleb, Chelsea, Delilah, Lorelei, and Isabelle out of Grimoire – and even off of Earth – to the dangerous Hollow Island.
Soon, Caleb was separated from the main group due to his inexperience with his signature skillset: Time Magic. Since Chapter 18, when Chronoshin and Madame Chronos were introduced, Caleb has been on his own solo journey, and that will continue into Arc II, as he and Mister Midnight head to Sunset Square.
Chelsea, Delilah, and Lorelei stayed with Isabelle, and picked up a new friend in Gwen. They traveled to the Wood of the Wisps, learning the truth about Summons. There they also fought against the violet-eyed Anastasia, and Chelsea gained a Summon of her own in a white owl.
After a brief rest at Gwen’s home on Lilac Hill (and one of my favorite scenes in the entire story), the girls continued to Starlight Spires, a sprawling floating city, in search of a way to get Isabelle back to her home: the Library of Solitude. And they succeeded, leaving them at the entrance of the Library, reading a foreboding message, and wondering how things went so terribly wrong.
Shana and Shias formed their own team in the hopes of finding and saving the missing children: the Dawn Riders. When they finally did find those missing children, however, things took a turn for the worse, and they were stolen away to the Radiant King’s palace. Here, they saw face-to-face what Caleb had only heard about: the Eternals, known by Mister Midnight as “fool’s gods,” led by the Radiant King. The King wanted Shana’s help and called her The Dreamer, but she and her friends escaped with the help of the mysterious girl Annabelle, promising to find her sister Maribelle and come back to save her. We left off Arc I with them learning about how to find the Locksmith, who will hopefully set them on the path to Maribelle.
And finally, we have Fae. She didn’t see much time in Arc I, and that’s largely because she’s on her own journey that, so far at least, seems disconnected from the others’. She and the Star Sisters are on a journey of self-discovery, as Fae tries to find out why the Enchanted Dominion has been calling out to her through her artwork. She traveled the Plains of the Fallen, and then arrived at Eventide Archive, where she is about to find out that the path before her may not be a pleasant one.
And that’s Arc I! I had originally thought things would go very differently – Shana would be the first to reach the Enchanted Dominion, and Caleb would have stayed with the main group of Chelsea, Delilah, Lorelei, and Isabelle being the main big changes – but I like how things have gone. I hope you have, too! I know there are a lot of characters, and they’re very separated and on their own adventures right now, but I’m hoping to take what I’ve learned from Arc I and more deftly handle their different journeys in Arc II. While it may not necessarily seem so at this point, each of their individual paths are important, and will eventually come together.
Part of the reason I set out with so many characters is because I’ve often admired ensemble casts, when handled well – and, also, have found that most ensemble casts are poorly handled. I used to be quite a fan of the CW superhero shows Arrow and The Flash (I stopped watching both after the first two seasons), and the main thing that always bugged me about those shows is that they have a large cast, but don’t seem to know what to do with them or how to handle their characters, with characters frequently getting either shoe-horned into scenes they don’t belong in, or getting written out of the show for long periods as the writers struggle to figure out what to do with them.
There’s a lot to like about the storytelling in both shows, don’t get me wrong, and I mainly stopped watching because, like a lot of superhero media, it seemed clear these shows were never going to end anytime soon (says the guy who’s watched all 290+ episodes of Dragon Ball Z… twice). But watching large casts handled poorly bothered me, and served as my inspiration for taking on an ensemble cast. That, and I’ve seen large casts handled really well in other stories – Avengers: Age of Ultron, Shirobako, and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood just to name a few – so I wanted to see what I could do. After all, this web novel was partly an intentional way of pushing and testing myself. And, well… I hope I’ve succeeded? I think I’ve done a fairly good job, and I’m excited to continue these stories and take these characters farther towards the conclusions of their journeys.
I’ve been re-reading Arc I over this break and taking lots of notes, all in the goals of not having any inconsistencies moving forward, as well as making sure that things introduced early aren’t simply forgotten. This is a big story with a lot of moving parts, so I’m doing my best to hold everything together and not lose myself in all of it. If you ever feel confused or like I’m missing something or forgetting things, don’t every hesitate to leave a comment and say so. Feedback helps me write a better story!
Thank you so much to all who have been reading Greysons of Grimoire. It means so much to me that you take the time to read my crazy story about some crazy kids on a crazy journey in a world that just so crazy big that I’m somehow crazy enough to keep writing. It started off to me as a “hey, this is a neat idea,” and has become something I’m completely in love with and excited to continue. Look forward to Monday, where Arc II begins with the next chapter!