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Enlightenment - Chapter XIV

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Chapter XIV

February 7, 2008

  • This chapter went through the most revisions than any other chapter so far. The major things I originally planned for the chapter was to show Melfina's reaction to last chapter, and have Stark find out that she's been practicing Necromancy. The first draft was coming out well, and then I decided to cut out some of the details to be used later. That left me with a draft that wouldn't become long enough.

    The answer was to add more content. My first draft started with Melfina already walking through the woods, and ending where it does now. The question was, do I add more content before or after what I already had?

    My first instinct was to play out the conversation after Melfina tells Stark her conclusion about what happened. It seemed like a fairly easy and obvious way to lengthen the chapter. The only problem was that I planned to end where I had for a reason. I've already written chapters where Melfina and Stark yell at each other. I'm going to write more chapters where they yell at each other in the future. If I find places to trim it, or cut it out completely, I should probably do that.

    That left the beginning. I could show Melfina waking up, and write out the helplessness she felt, before the anger came. But I didn't think that would be enough either. Then I started playing around with doing another dream sequence. The first time I did one, (Chapter 106) it had been a lot of fun, and it's been something that's been in the back of my mind to use again at some point. This was probably the perfect time to try writing another. But only if I came up with something good. Otherwise I'd have to go with playing out the conversation between the two.

  • Writing a dream sequence isn't always easy. This one was definitely harder than the last. What feelings are causing the dream? What parts of her real life experience will creep in? How strange do I want it to get? I'm a lucid dreamer, so I remembere a lot of my own dreams, and can oftentimes control them. And a lot of them are really weird. But writing something weird, doesn't mean I'm writing something good.

    My first dream idea was going to have echoes of Melfina waking up throughout the night. She was going to be tired within her own dream. Instead of her bedroom door, there was going to be a curtain, and as she tried to pass through it, it clung to her like flypaper. She would struggle to get out, only to trap her further within it, until she gave up, and started to drift off to sleep within its warmth. That's when she would hear the shatter of glass, would try to force her way out, only to have the curtain dissolve around her. (Some of this is from the dream I had the night before I wrote it.) Then she would go downstairs, noticing things disappearing, run back upstairs to find her bedroom gone, then try to run back downstairs only to find the stairs gone, as well as everything else.

    Obviously some of those elements remained. But a lot changed as well. I tried out a second dream, because I wasn't too happy with what I had. I wasn't happy with my second attempt either. So what I ended up doing was combining both versions to get the version that made the final draft.

  • There are more changes from my original draft. My first attempt had Melfina out in the woods because she had came to the conclusion that Wayland was responsible, and she was try to release her anger that Wayland was messing with her life again, rather than being angry for not being able to understand what was happening. The problem with that, was that it took away from the impact from the end of the chapter. There is no big reveal. It's spelled out right in the beginning. If I left the chapter with that format, it would make more sense to have my current ending as the midpoint, and actually continue the arguement between Stark and Melfina.

    I tried changing it so "Wayland" isn't specifically typed out, but she still leaves her place because of anger towards him, but that wasn't working either. It's way to easy to figure out. At least I thought it was. It could be too easy to figure out right now as it is, but at least I tried.

  • The final change to the chapter was changing the document. Due to the other changes that I made earlier, it no longer made sense to use the document that I originally wrote. So that had to change. I didn't want to use another Melfina diary or Stark journal entry, and there was no obvious scroll, message, book to use from the chapter. So next I thought about a message from one character to another, not necessarily to either Stark or Melfina. Perhaps Cadence or Gwenalyne to Lord Luna. I really liked the idea of finally writing something from Michael, but it seemed like it was too early from Michael to be back, since Chapter 213 established that he was gone. So I settled with Draven, which I'm happy with.

  • 02/08/2008 - I did a quick edit. This is the first time I'm documenting it here. I used "With all his power and influence" twice, in the second to last paragraph, but realized there was way too much repetition in the chapter, and that just needed to go. So instead I cut it down to "With all his power" for the first instance, and "with all his influence" for the second. It's just much better that way.

  • 01/19/2009 - Rewrite to version 1.80. Rewrote the entire chapter. I don't know how the last change was only a minor one without thinking I should change more. A net change of +43 words to 1,355.

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