I struggle with myself as much as everything else. Intellectually, I have plans, but emotionally I'm afraid of making mistakes. The events in these two chapters reflect those fears and doubts.
Sand and Ash 32: Forbidden Words
Chapter Thirty-Two is one of the more stressful of my chapters. The premises of Sand and Ash was falling in love and finding oneself. I think I've shown that, I hope I have, and I really like how this story has turned out.
The problem is that I write fantasy. And most fantasy novels end with some big fight where secrets are revealed, powers are thrown left and right, and there is effectively a big crater where the final fight happens.
This book doesn't end that way. It ends the way I thought it should end. Not with a bang but a "here I am" and "this is what I've become." It isn't really a "climax" per se. There is no Big Bad. No heart-pounding fear of surviving. There is no fight where lives are put on the risk. It ends in quiet voices and revelations.
Rutejìmo is a pacifist and this story reflects that, his story ends quietly not violently. The final struggle has been happening for a while, his thoughts of leaving, his struggle being isolated from his clan, and now… someone close to him dies. The "fight" as it were is his own thoughts and actions as he finds out who he is and what he is going to become.
When I read almost every one of my fantasy books, I realize they don't end this way. Excluding the filler books in some series, you rarely find a book that doesn't end with a fight against some great evil or an action sequence. There are swords, fighting, and usually more than a little magic.
There are many reasons this series as "failed" as it were. I look at the readers who comment on the contents of the story in the last half year, the hits on the websites, and even the views over on Wattpad. They aren't a success with any metric I can think of.
I think the lack of fighting and violence is one of the reasons (but not the only one). It is part of the genre, at least in the bulk of what I've read. In some ways, I knew that the story would appeal to less people if I wrote about a pacifist struggling with themselves, but it was the story that I wanted to tell.
Right now, I'm struggling with the intellectual knowledge that this story doesn't appeal to many people and the emotional desire to be a success. Rutejìmo's story will probably never be a "hit" with anyone and I don't know what to do with it from here. Do I just acknowledge that the series won't succeed and start releasing the first book? Do I give up posting the next one? Do I give up? I don't really know.
Flight of the Scions 14: Changing Plans
Chapter Fourteen is where things change. Kanéko has her good life but now she is with Pahim but without feeling the passion she did before.
This is also the point where the original story diverged. Many years ago, when I wrote this, Garèo's story was intertwined with Kanéko's. The bald guy in this chapter is actually his nemesis, not Kanéko's.
When I decided to split the novel lengthwise, that mean that certain characters are only bit parts from one side but major characters in the other. Cobin is one of those examples. Kanéko only sees part of his actions, but Garèo has a more intimate struggle and conflict.
I don't know if this will work. Honestly, I'm terrified that it will fall flat because there are two different stories that touch each other so many different ways but were never tightly coupled.
Intellectually, I think it will work. Emotionally? Well, I'm terrified I'm going to fail.