I am smiling as I write this. I just finished the final scene in the final chapter of part four—Chapter 25, “Answers.” It has been only four days since I finished the previous chapter, “Questions.” I guess staying home this weekend, instead of volunteering at film festivals, allowed me to spend my time writing. I was a little overextended for the last few weeks.
In “Questions,” the group found some strange goings on at Castle Colmaria, as well as reestablishing some old connections—especially Malcan—meeting some new people, and learning a bit from their encounters. “Answers” doesn’t answer all the questions, but it does answer the biggest question that has been looming since the beginning of the story—where is Tishta? It sets up the final part of the book—Part 5, “Heading East.”
We learn a little more about Malcan’s childhood at the castle, a bit about Coltan’s past—when he has another flashback—and a bit more about Brant, as he recalls living with his mother at Castle Bindar.
Once crucial event happens when Criften finds out where the Orb is—he crosses a line about who to trust and, more importantly, who not to trust—that sets the stage for future interactions with his Master Wizard and with The Council of Master Wizards. It won’t come into play much in this book, but it is an inciting incident for some of the things that occur in the next one, “Into the Wolf Dream.”
Because “Tishta the Crystal Orb” has never been a stand alone book, at least in my mind, I have introduced people, prophecies and events that drive the epic story along. They will come into play later, as Criften’s team prepares for what I am currently calling “the coming battle.” Part 4, “Castle Colmaria,” was a vehicle for this. Otherwise, it was really a pit stop where my warriors could rest and regroup mentally. For Coltan and Mar, it gave them the opportunity to spend a lot of time together, bonding. When Malcan joined them, it completed a family unit that will continue to exist and flourish as the story progresses. For Criften, it started his path to isolation, even from his most trusted allies.
I am not sure how other authors accomplish setting things up for following books without doing exactly what I have been doing. I have put a lot of thought into ensuring “Tishta” has a solid story, with its own inciting incident, challenges and conclusion, but I already know most of the next story. “Into the Wolf Dream” starts right where “Tishta” leaves off. Some of the major story arcs continue to the end of “Wolf Dream.” It is already one-hundred-twenty thousand words long. Hopefully, with what I have learned while writing “Tishta,” I can have that book ready within six months of publishing this one.
But first, I need to finish this one. Part 5, “Heading East,” is going to have a lot more added, especially near the end. It currently has six chapters defined with twenty-four thousand words over forty-seven scenes. I am sure I will massage it, combining scenes and moving them around a bit. I will also certainly add new scenes. It will be interesting to see how these numbers change. Now that I am paying closer attention to these types of details, I noticed I will need to go back through some of the earlier chapters to do more edits like these. Learning more each day.
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