At last we arrive at the chapter which occasioned the Great Rearrangement of Part Two. It’s an unusually short chapter, but it wouldn’t have been if the thirty-five hundred or so words that got relocated out of it into Chapter 13 were still here. And besides, the rearrangement was only partially about making verbal space for the events of this chapter; the rest was about making conceptual space for it. Here at the midpoint of the book, we’re back in the groove Alyc and I both like, where the chapters have strong organizational cores. This one isn’t all a single sequence of events, but the big set-piece here stands on a foundation of fallout from the previous chapter.
And it features one of my favorite stunts Alyc and I have yet pulled in this series. I can’t describe it in detail, but attempting to talk around it: there was a bit of plot that needed to happen, and in the normal way of things we would have come up with a swashbuckling caper to take care of it. But swashbuckling capers take a lot of words (which we probably couldn’t spare here), and besides . . . it would have felt a bit like old hat? “Oh look, the authors are doing that thing again.” But then we came up with a clever way to combine the requisite bit of plot with the big thing we wanted to do in this chapter, and to do it with an unconventional approach to boot.
. . . I promise, it’ll make sense when you read it. And it makes me grin, because sometimes the offhanded stuff is the most badass.
Word count: By an accident of math (which is almost certainly off by a few words thanks to tweaks that aren’t recorded in our spreadsheet, but whatever, I’ll take it), this chapter ends at 100,666 words.
Authorial sadism: The worst part of what we do to [redacted] in the first scene is, you don’t even get to hear half of it.
Authorial amusement: . . . yeah, basically that stunt I described above. It’s fun to end a chapter on a note of “wtf???”
BLR quotient: I’m actually gonna give it to rhetoric, because despite the costume it’s dressed up in, a lot of what’s going on here is the playing-out of some metaphysical ideas.