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Annotation Elantris Chapter 28


Chapter Twenty-Eight

I’ve actually been called a ‘square peg’ before. I believe the line was “You’re one of those creative types–you’re a square peg, trying to fit into a round hole.” I was twenty-two, and was getting let go from one of my first jobs.

That’s another story, though. Just note–apperantly, fantasy writers and ‘creative types’ don’t make good librarians. Go figure.


Anyway. . .I break triad here again. I’d forgotten about this one. Actually, you’ll note that the closer I get to an action sequence or a climax, the more quickly I shift viewpoints. I do it half-intentionally, half-unconciously. (If that’s possible.) Logically, I know that quickly-shifting viewpoints give the scenes more tension and a sense of movement. Unconciously, I just know that it’s good storytelling to keep things quick–and it’s more draumatic when you can end with a cliff-hanger line, then switch to a new viewpoint.

I’ll admit that this scene borders on being too melodraumatic. A couple of things justify it in my mind. First, the scene is more about Raoden confronting how he’d made a mistake with Shaor’s men than it is about Sarene discovering that she’d been betrayed. Second, Sarene’s ‘betrayal,’ as explained in the next chapter, is really about her own prejudice. Inside, she was just waiting for something like this to happen. That’s why she didn’t give Raoden the benefit of the doubt–she never wanted to like him. It was almost like she was eager to be hurt, expecting it, since things obviously couldn’t work out for her. (Or so she unconciously assumed.)

So, in a way, they were both kind of expecting something like this to happen. When it did happen, they allowed it to. In my mind, this takes it from a ‘silly misunderstanding’ and changes it into a ‘character-driven conflict.’


We have a nice little cliff-hanger at the end of this section. However, you have to remember the format of the triad system–when we go back to Sarene, we’ll be jumping back in time a bit. That means that you won’t immediately discover what is going on with the gate of Elantris.

Draumatically, this is my favorite of the triad structures. We get to hold this cliffhanger for a long time, building it through the next chapter.


|   Castellano