It is with a certain amount of relief that I am writing here again today. I finished editing and rewriting the next chapter of “Tishta the Crystal Orb” this week. I have been looking forward to being in Castle Colmaria for a while now. The group arrived in chapter 22, “Castle Colmaria.”
The structure of this chapter remained mostly in tact, so getting through it was relatively easy. My creative process also seems to have kicked back in, after the distractions of the last month, and that makes me feel a lot more encouraged about finishing the book. I think I might have increased the number of words by around thirty percentage, which is also encouraging.
It has been a while since I read these scenes, and I felt like I was with my travelers as they approached the castle. I felt bad that Coltan, who was cooped up inside the wagon, had to miss it.
“As they came around a rock outcropping, Castle Colmaria suddenly came into view, radiant in the golden glow of the late afternoon sun. It was spectacular—prominently perched high above the valley on a bare, rocky bluff. Its tall walls were made of dark grey stone, and the turrets were a lighter grey, with pennants and banners of every color on their tops, waving in the warm autumn breeze.”
This was one of my better description from the first draft and it didn’t change much from the original. I did add a lot more description of the people the group saw. I included what the uniforms of the castle guards looked like, as well as how the fine clothing the royals and nobles wore differed from the what the guards wore. I also described the King in much more detail, which was really lacking in the draft. I like it better now.
I enjoyed reading the private scenes with Coltan and Mar. He bathes her, as if bathing his own child—nothing between an adult and child is more intimate than that. It is here that Mar really starts to become Coltan’s daughter, and he, her father. It is something they both desperately needed. This time through, I included how this stirred some things up, emotionally, for Coltan. I added a scene where Gillan—elegantly dressed for the banquet honoring the group’s visit—triggers a memory for Coltan, of his wife. I learned—when I wrote the very long backstory about his first visit to Soldur-gan—that Coltan was prone to these dives into his repressed memories from before he became a vampire.
Backstories have given me a lot of insight into why my characters behave the way they do. I highly recommend them as a way to develop characters—and, who knows, you might find another story worth sharing.
I didn’t include any scenes from outside the group in this chapter, with the one exception of Criften calling out to Eido after Coltan’s episode with Gillan. The travelers were adjusting to being in a new place—living inside for a while again—and learning how to dress and behave as guests in a palace. Mar even wore a dress for the first time.
I already have a few ideas for adding some intrigue to the next chapter—Baldru has said, after all, he has spies at the castle. I’m sure Rindahl must, as well. It just didn’t seem to fit in this chapter. I may change my mind after making my way through the next several scenes—I always seem to spend a fair amount of time massaging the previous chapter as I make my way through the next one. It’s been a gleeful visit for me, so far. I’m looking forward to the banquet, although, I know Malcan isn’t.
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