Unreliable Narrator; Dragon Spirits; Progress; and Sand and Bone 24

This week, I talk about the limitations of third-person limited as it pertains to the master plot. Also, the problem with dragons coupled with why Damagar didn't destroy Kanéko in Flight of the Scions.

Finally, an update on the finalization process of Sand and Bone.

Unreliable Narrator

One of the things that readers have asked me is what Kosòbyo is actually doing. There was no question that Kosòbyo was leaving Tachìra but what is he actually doing? Is he changing is allegiance to Chobìre like Rutejìmo says or is he trying to exceed Tachìra's power or even try to bring himself up to the level of Mifúno?

From Rutejìmo's perceptions of the world, there isn't even a possibility that the snake would try to stand on his own or rival the desert herself. It is so far out of his realm of comprehension that he glossed over that possibility during the declaration of war in this chapter.

The reality is that Kosòbyo is the most powerful of the sun spirits, with hundreds of thousands in his clan. With the added boost of the dragon spirit, he is attempting to tap the energies directly from Mifúno and basically making himself a peer to both the sun and moon.

Rutejìmo doesn't know that. Since this novel is written as a third-person limited POV, everything he sees, everything I write about, is from his perceptions. He doesn't have the full story which makes him an unreliable narrator for his own tale.

This has frequently been a problem when I write. No one has the full story, no one really understands what is going on. More importantly, I don't want any one story to give the full picture. Truth is filtered by perceptions and I love show that, or I hope I can show that, as the stories layer on top of each other.

Dragon Spirits

An important aspect of the dragons in my world is that they have unlimited power. They don't get tired, they don't die of old age. Most of them switch bodies endlessly until they are caught, captured, and then used as a glorified Energizer battery for some mage's (or spirit's) nefarious purposes.

Of course, that leads into the logical question of why Damagar doesn't crush Kanéko in Flight of the Scions? If he is a source of unlimited power, not to mention earth magic, how can only a few people hold him off?

The biggest factor is Damagar himself. It takes energy to wake up the various processes that make up his personality. In effect, he can only spin up so many worker processes in a day to avoid overloading his system. At the same time (and in chapters I've written and cast aside), he has throttles that prevent too many from being running at a time (the personality Hunger is a reaper process for example, he has no disk-based swap so they need the ring-0 process to kill out-of-control personalities).

He can't be the all awesome powerful entity in a matter of days or even months. It also takes attention to keep running at full speed. The more attention he spends coordinating processes (personalities), the more conflict and the more likely he activates the reaper processes.

In Flight of the Scions, Hunger is the first killing process. It doesn't wake up but if it does, it goes on a devouring spree, destroying and eating everything in his path.

To avoid this, he shuts down (sleeps) any process that isn't required for immediate survival. You can read that with the various encounters as he is more awake and his communication gets more coherent. I have a time line for each process in that story to reflect his powers.

A fully awake and prepared dragon is a terrifying force. As I envisioned it, the fall of Damagar, the reason he was underneath the mountain, involved thousands of mages and warriors trying to defeat him. Most of them died and he escaped only to burrow under the ground to let his wounds heal (about a century) and hide.

Of course, when you jam a dragon spirit into a castle, you don't have to worry about limiters and throttles. There is no body for it to control. Instead, it just provides raw power for all tortured eternity. There are other problems with it too, but if I ever write the story about the Puzzle King, I'll flesh those out.

That's a different story.


I have gotten the final edits for Sand and Bone from the editor. They are integrated and uploaded to the website. That means that the book contents are pretty much finalized. I'm still asking for credits from my patreons, but otherwise as soon as I get the book typeset, I'll have it on my hands.

Officially, I'll still publish on June 13 but I'll do a few giveaways for patrons and subscribers over the next month or so.

Sand and Bone 24: Declaration of War

Injured but safe, Rutejìmo has to choose between revealing the terrible secret they have and risking his entire clan or keeping it to himself despite the armies amassing to kill him.

Of course, there is something else terrible going on. Someone he loved has been ambushed and kill. Will he choose to tend to their death or run to save everyone else?

Read the chapter at https://fedran.com/sand-and-bone/chapter-24/. If you like it, please become a patron or review one of my previous books. Subscribers get access to all my novels, including the first book of my next series and my high-society romance novel.