Just wrote a scene in which my theme is fleshed out. While I put seeds of the theme in the previous five chapters, Chapter Six finally confronts it head-on. I figured you'd enjoy a sneak-peek, so here's a snippet from Chapter Six.
Ne'ram paused. “Now listen to me. I said I didn't have much time. I can feel a coldness climbing over my bones...but ah, I think I'm ready for it. It twists in my stomach, but I shall embrace it. To speak with my God at last!” For a moment, he lapsed into silence. Then he blinked. “Death puts me off track, lad. As I was saying, I don't have much time. In order for this quest to work, you need to remember two things.”
“First, let me ask you a question. How much are you willing to give up to see the curse destroyed?”
Elijah's stomach lurched. How much would he give up? To find forgiveness...everything, maybe. If God were truly real, then he would give up anything. But instead, he found himself saying, “Why do I have to give up anything at all?”
“I tell you the truth, lad...this quest, if you accept it, will cost you dear. Good things always do. But I didn't ask what you would give up, but what you were willing to give up. There's a difference, lad.”
“I—” Elijah halted. Then he forced it out: “I'd give up anything.”
“Even your life?”
“To destroy the curse?” Elijah swallowed. “Yes.”
“That's what I needed to know, lad.” Ne'ram smiled, as if he had just confirmed something he had suspected. “The willingness is there; faith is what you must discover now. But what you have just said is the key to getting Daren's participation.”
“Tut, lad! I don't give out free advice. Figure it out for yourself. Wisdom isn't given, but earned. Now, for the second thing...what was it?” Ne'ram screwed up his face for a moment, and then he lit up. “Aha! When the time comes, remember this: that even though you think it may cost you your life, take the risk and do what no Elaraster has ever done before. Give up everything that makes you an Elath in order to gain what you can never lose. Don't bother trying to find out what it means, lad; you'll understand it when you need to.”
The words burrowed in Elijah's chest, like a bittersweet ache. “I—I don't understand, Ne'ram.”
“Goodness, lad! Daren isn't the only one who doesn't have ears to hear. I just told you that you wouldn't understand.” Ne'ram blew a half-raspberry. “Now, lad, go convince Daren to go on this fool quest of yours.”
I'd love to hear your thoughts on it. And again, like my other excerpts, this is freshly written and very, very rough. (I also edited for spoilers. Heh heh.) Still, I hope you get the main gist of things.
On other news, I've finally finished Chapter Six after a flurry of writing activity. Tornado C's word count is 31,058 – Chapter Six is nearly ten thousand words long. (There's no doubt about it now: it'll be broken up into at least two chapters during revisions.) Insane, but it's one of the finest things I've ever written. Worldbuilding, character, and theme all reach a peak here as the drive of the plot is at last revealed.
And I'm beginning to hope that the long chapter trend won't continue. My projected word count is climbing past 115,000 words. *headdesk* This book will be impossible to write if it keeps getting longer.
Since I've reached one of the two main turning points (chapter six and chapter eighteen) I'm putting aside Tornado C until December. The rest of October will be devoted to three things: finishing The Prophecy of Einarr (last year's NaNoNovel), continuing my Will Vullerman revisions, and storyboarding for The Voice of God, this year's NaNoNovel.
Then, on to NaNoWriMo! [insert battle cry here.]