Sand and Bone 11, foreshadowing, third person limited, and big cities

There is a minor spoiler in this post.

This is another chapter with little hints here and there. Some of them are for later books while others are foreshadowing of events later in this book.

The most obvious one ties into the limitations of third-person limited. I really like writing with limited point of view, if the character doesn't know it, then it doesn't show up in narrative. That is why Rutejìmo has a much different view of the coastal folk than Kanéko. It also means that it is hard to hint at certain foreshadowing without putting a big sign that says “this is a plot!”

For some reason, I get frustrated when I watch movies or TV and I see a cut or scene that is obviously foreshadowing for later. The main character picking up a weapon or retrieving their pack, Kubo looking at his musical instrument before he is tossed away, in Avatar when they look at skulls of flying creatures and “no one has ever ridden one before.”

One of them has haunted me from the very beginning of this series: Rutejìmo is a damage sponge. The amount of injuries he takes should have killed a lesser man. Actually, it would have killed a lesser man but he has a certain something going on for him and it is subtle. More importantly, he doesn't know it is happening (but I did).

Rutejìmo walked hand in hand with Mapábyo. The exhaustion from his purification ritual still plucked at his senses, but sleep and a full meal had helped recover his energies. Even his recent injuries, including the cut in his shoulder, had already started to scab over and no longer throbbed.

As I've mentioned before, there is very little magical healing in my world. When people get hurt, they stay hurt. But… there is healing and recovery magic. It just isn't always obvious. This isn't one of Shimusògo's powers which means his ability to take damage and recovery quickly comes from another source.

Now one that isn't addressed in this book is the talk about the formalized nature of kojinōmi in the eastern cities. I've had a number of readers mention they would like me to put more details into this one, but this is actually for a later book (related to this series though). There is a hint of that also in Flight of the Scions for one of the epigraphs.

“There are six of the Shimusògo in town, but only one… like me.” He couldn't bring himself to say kojinōmi even knowing it was acceptable. Too many years of not speaking about what he did stilled his voice.

She dug into the folds of her armored fabric before pulling out a notebook. With a brass pen, she wrote something before ripping it off and handing it to Rutejìmo. “You've been requested to present yourself to the other kojinōmi at this address in three nights.”

Rutejìmo took the paper, it was an address. “When?”

Dimóryo frowned. “For dinner, isn't that when you always do those things?”

Sand and Bone 11: Recovering

I remember one of the first times I went to Chicago as someone aware of the differences. It was a huge city and completely different than growing up in Naperville, Aurora, or even West Chicago. The joy of seeing it was a delightful contrast that I also had when I went to Los Angeles and New York. I wanted to put some of that into Sand and Bone with having the rural clan members see their first “big” city.

You may notice that both this series and Flight of the Scions are set in rural areas. That was intentional because it was easier to develop the world from the more sedate places before diving into the more populated cities such as Muddy Reflections or Clutch. I wanted to work out some of the interplay of resonance, magic, and the way people grow up before throwing thousands into the mix.

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