I tried something new in this book. I’ve been criticized—rightly—in the past for cramming too much into my endings. A good, fast-paced ending is great, but when you layer climax on top of climax, a little of it gets lost. I’ve been trying, therefore, to plot things so that we end up with the important climaxes spaced more evenly. My hope is to not lose any of the tension or drama, but to have the climaxes be more focused by not letting them interfere as much with each other.
We’re seeing this here with Spook. This chapter is, essentially, the climax of his scenes. We’ll have some smaller chapters involving him later in the book, but his storyline pretty much ends here (save for one loose end). Hopefully, by having this explosive chapter here, I can save the last third of the book to deal with the other characters, making the pacing a little more even.
Beldre Shoots a Coin at Spook
I imagine there being a lot of interaction between Spook and Beldre off screen in this novel. We start the book knowing he’d gone to spy on the Citizen numerous times, and had grown to look forward to seeing her there. We know that weeks passed while Sazed was building his machine, and Beldre was down with them for a good chunk of it.
However, I tried to make it so that the plot didn’t rely on there being a very strong relationship between them. In the end, she’s willing to shoot Spook, but feels bad about it. Afterward, she’s willing to forgive him for what he did, as he did not end up killing her brother—but instead, as you’ll see, brought him back from being under Ruin’s power.
Spook’s Delusions of Grandeur
Spook thinks a line here that my editor, and several writing group members, tried to cut. It’s the line where, just in narrative, it implies that Spook had been the one to overthrow the Lord Ruler. It says something like, “It was much like that night, the night when he had overthrown the Lord Ruler” with the narrative making it clear that the “he” was Spook.
You have to remember that I use a limited narrator, not an omniscient one. When I’m writing a scene from a character’s viewpoint, the text is colored by what they think and their view of the world. This line is deliberate, as by this point Ruin has his claws deep into Spook and is making him begin to think things that just aren’t true. It’s getting difficult for Spook to distinguish Ruin’s fantasies from the reality, and for a moment he inflated his own part in the overthrow of the Lord Ruler.