Hello, and welcome once again to the Plotstains Perspective. This time we will be discussing in brief about chapter 2.13 of Shadows Rise. Click the link if you haven’t yet read it. This is your only chance to avoid spoilers. Let’s just get right to it.
I really enjoy Blackbird’s writing. Honestly, I’d hope I did after investing ten years of my life into it. And it can really be summed up by the wonderful climax to this arc which is displayed fantastically during a storm while Lena and Dani take each other in a dramatic duel. Rain pours down, wind picks up, and trees sway to the point of breaking all while Dani is pushed to her limits.
All through this arc, we see Dani unsure if she is ready to take on the responsibilities that will be thrust upon her one day. That’s the journey we follow. Sure, there’s the Wolf Hunters looming in the background, eagerly reminding us that the Wolves are being threatened, but that isn’t what we focus on. We focus on the growth of Dani, Lena’s struggle to keep her enlightenment under control and the relationship between the three sisters. Seeing the conclusion to the Dani portion of these conflicts is what we come to see by the end of this chapter.
It is a closely regarded secret that Blackbird and I aren’t the greatest at writing fight scenes. There are famous examples of us writing terrible fight scenes together. So every moment we have to write one, we have to psych ourselves up. This one was no different and apparently it turned out differently than Blackbird had intended. A flashy display of strength between the two characters transformed into a battle of will in which Dani struggles to go far enough to allow Lena to yield. We see a true test of character. And tests of characters is what Blackbird truly excels at. This is why I enjoy reading Blackbird’s stuff so much. It often oozes character. Amplified by the description of the not so subtle metaphor of the storm and you have a perfect blend of meaningful character moments.
From this, I want to address something else. The pacing of Shadows Rise as a whole thus far.
As we’ve seen, Shadows Rise has made an interesting choice in how it wants to tell the story. In Arc 1, we saw only from the side of the Wolf Hunters. Not much happened except for introductions to the characters. Then we reached a moment where things changed in the characters’ story and we were brought into Arc 2. In this arc, we’ve only seen things from the point of view of the Wolves and we’ve reached the moment where things have changed. Dani has proven herself and Arc 3 is just a chapter and epilogue away. We’ve introduced all the characters, so what now?
In terms of the five-point story structure, we are about here.
That’s not very far in the story, especially when you consider that we’ve written over 176,000 words! For context, Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is 187,790 words long.
There is no doubt in my mind that we’ve scared a few readers away with the extensive introduction to our characters. By no means is this something that I haven’t thought about long and hard over the year and a bit that I’ve spent editing this. This more than anything is probably the biggest risk that Shadows Rise has taken.
We’ve described this as a “slow burn” story in which we take a lot of time for you to become acclimated with our characters before we really bring them through the ringer. Hopefully this will make the highs much higher and the lows devastatingly low. Like any good slow cooked meal, we let all the flavours sit with each other for as long as possible to get as much flavour out of each bite as we possibly can.
And things will only start picking up from here. Arc 3 is going to bring our two worlds from arc’s 1 and 2 together. We’ll meet a few new characters and we’ll see what happens when the most deadly force in Valcrest faces off against the one thing that seems to scare them.
For those of you who have stuck around through all of arc 1 and 2, I’d really like to thank you. It’s been a rough year as I’m sure you know and hopefully our twice monthly chapters have given you an escape as much as it has given us one. There’s only one chapter left before we finish off this arc. Then we’ll have the epilogue chapter and then take a short break before we get into the next arc. Keep your eyes peeled.
Until next time, happy reading,