I blew through chapter 28, “The Aldashi Plain,” in a day. Right now, it might be the shortest chapter in the book, “Tishta the Crystal Orb,” although, I am very likely to add one or two scenes to include my Dark Wizards. I just don’t know what they would be right now. So, I am moving on to the next chapter.
On the Aldashi Plain, Coltan is faced with his demon-ness. Throughout the book, up to this point, he has been treated more and more like a human, and he has started to feel less like a demon. The acceptance he got from group, especially from Mar and Malcan, let him feel that way. Reminders that he is a demon will be a recurring theme throughout the rest of the book. Maybe that is why I liked writing this section so much.
Coltan is not the only character going through self-doubt. Malcan continues to struggle with his PTSD. Primarily, he is afraid he will let Coltan down again, but, if he does, it will put the mission to retrieve Tishta in jeopardy. Criften is dealing with his own self-doubt. He made a decision to defy his Master Wizard and The Council—he doesn’t trust them. He has lied and kept his knowledge about the location of Tishta a secret. He is following his instincts—which is one of his characteristics—but that doesn’t preclude him from questioning his own decisions.
There are only three chapters left. I am so excited! In the next one, we meet the plains folk. It includes my favorite scene in the book. Then, on to the climax and resolution. The addition of the new dark wizard apprentice, Keldra, has helped me formulate some ideas on how to make the ending more satisfying—it was one of my editor, Anne Bean’s, comments from her review of the first draft of “Tishta the Crystal Orb.”
I like the way adding darker characters makes the story come together. The first time this happened was when Coltan walked into the story—he surprised me. He paved the way for the whole story and stole the limelight from Malcan. I purposefully added Contara to add some conflict when my characters where getting along all too well. Keldra might do the same for the ending. I can see how she will cause conflict for The Others starting really soon and continuing into “Into the Wolf Dream.” Never be afraid to add new characters.
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