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Plotting: Come Full Circle

Originally published at Joely Sue Burkhart. You can comment here or there.

Previous posts: Raw Data, Ask the Questions, The Journey, Getting Stuck, Seek the Tone

If you’ve read Beautiful Death, I hope you picked up on how the ending mirrors the beginning, reflecting in a matter of a few lines exactly how far Isabella has come through her character arc. For instance, in the first scene between her and Hades, he says “Come to me. I’m the only one who can help you.” Her response is:

Come to me.

Like hell she would, unless she carried enough firepower to blow him back to his planet for good.

Where at the end of the story, the scene plays out completely differently:

“Do what needs done, my lovely sarissa, and then come to me. I’ll be waiting for you beneath our tree.”

He glided away, his aura spinning moonlit rainbows on the marble tiles. Pausing, he looked back over his shoulder, his eyes glittering black ice, and then he tossed his head, shaking silver hair about his shoulders.

Come to me.

She’d better make this last stop a quick visit.

I *adore* coming full circle. I adore playing on key words and twisting the meaning to something else entirely. It’s one of those things that makes me smile with a very pleased spark of joy in my writerly heart.

It also helps me plot. If I know the beginning, and I want the end to come full circle, then I know roughly how I need to end up. It’s not as easy as that, though, not entirely, although it does help.

So I was sitting this morning with my first cup of coffee amidst the mad dash to get everyone ready for church, with my handy dandy notebook (I’ve been watching too much Blue’s Clues–I was even in my Thinking Chair) and I suddenly knew exactly what I needed to do. The pieces just fell into place so loudly, so perfectly, it gave me chills. I’m coming full circle…to Survive My Fire.

A new tribe called Tellan, the neverending hope for forgiveness, was formed at the end of SMF. It was hinted at in The Fire Within that the new azi expected trouble with them. Returning to Tellan also allows me to explore the original devalki, as requested by Jayne at Dear Author when she reviewed both novellas, tying all three novellas up with a lovely tidy bow. It’s only fitting that I explain how that split has fared over the years. How tal’Tellan might decide to work out a bargain with the current azi that’s not exactly according to Agni’s will. Remembering above all, that Shadow wants to ruin and corrupt everything, but especially, love and hope.

Of course, Tellan has been compromised. This plays into Koray’s backstory perfectly, as well as allowing me to show her admired traits and the lure of the Dark Side.

The only piece I still need to work out is when the trip to Shanhasson takes place. I believe it’s her rebellion. She doesn’t want to do what Agni is Calling her for — or she’s tempted to destroy them all in vengeance, which she rightly fears would take her toward Shadow — so she leaves with Ranulf. But they must come back. Back to the desert, back to the Well of Tears.

Why would Ranulf leave his High Throne to a tainted son of Murdering King Darius? Well, sometimes the world has to burn. And sometimes, it must be swallowed in Shadow before we can see the Light.

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