I want to begin by saying these commentaries are more for those readers who are curious about the nuts and bolts of my writing process, or are curious about my directions with plot. I’m being kinda nerdy when I write these, lol, but if it helps someone with research or techniques in their own story, then it’s not wasted time.
But before I go on about the chapter, I want to share the DEV’s notes on the Oracular Order.
Some of the highlights are:
- The Oracles are not blind. This is a parlance of the Overseers and more of a symbolic “blindness” to the issues of the world.
- The High Oracle’s location is a secret, but it’s suggested that she travels from chapel to chapel. In SF, she’s traveling with Hawk.
- Oracles fight, apparently. And with maces. In SF, I call them Handmaidens (my own term) since they are Arella’s personal guard.
Some of this story is Pants-ing (writing by the seat of your pants, like Stephen King), and some of this is detailed outlines (chain of events). Which means the pantsing created some issues that didn’t fit into the outline. Some characters underwent revisions, and Tarquin Hawk was one of them. Arella is the other. Zoey became Billie Lurk to keep more canon characters in the fray. That, and Corvo and Billie will be bumping heads, a lot.
This chapter took a while (five versions…five!) because Tarquin Hawk couldn’t make up his mind whether to be a jackass, or empathetic bad guy. He decided on the latter when I overhauled his dialogue trees (since those kept sounding contrived) and really thought about his motivations and his method of speech. Tarquin is all about unity of the Empire, and he’s tired of the in-fighting going on between the nations (that hasn’t gone into detail at the moment), and he’s very tired of the Outsider’s followers making things difficult in general. He has seen some of the darker aspects of the Outsider’s influence – more so on his trip to Pandyssa than in The Isles. His knowledge of that continent comes into play very late in the game, but sets the stage for the third part of the story.
I wanted him sympathetic, not quite your amiable bad guy trope, but something close. He’s your “the ends justify the means” type of antagonist.
Arella is more ambiguous, very mysterious in her motivations. I do know why she does what she does, and what her eventual fate is, but I’m curious to see how people respond to her. Not many stories deal with the High Oracle (due to lack of info on their clandestine ways) or Oracles in general, but I like challenging myself and fleshing out the Lore. But the one hint I can give is that Arella is the driving force behind Hawk’s interest in Corvo.
And Daud. Sorry to those who expected him to make an appearance. I ended up having to push him back to the third chapter. But the main question here is: Did Daud kill the Duke?
Maybe. Corvo will begin to believe it even more in the next chapter, which will set the stage for some interesting conflict when those two meet. And Daud’s involvement in chapter 2 came late in the revisions. He went from not being mentioned at all, to integral motivator in the conversation between Hawk and Corvo. Big one-eighty and completely unplanned. Pantsing is fun sometimes 😀
I do want to say thanks to Blandcorp and Skarto for reviewing, and being there to bounce ideas off. And to all my other reviews, good or bad, for taking the time to read.
Next chapter will feature both Daud and the Outsider. It will be long. I like to keep chapters around 5-6k, but with what I have planned, it’s going to be an easy 7-8k. Lots of good stuff ahead.
Till then 🙂
Edit: Daud didn’t make it in chapter 3. But chapter 4…yeah, he’ll be there. Sorry!