Today I’m continuing my exploration of the second act in A Shapeshifter, Cyborg, & Wisp using The Story Equation.
Two days ago, I outlined act 2.1, the cause; and two days before that, I outlined the first act, the bio. Now I’m supposed to outline act 2.2, the fight; yet I can’t help but feel like I need more time to do this properly. So I’m calling this 2.2.1, and in a future post, I’ll flesh out 2.2.2.
From what I understand, the fight is like the rising action before the climax. To put it another way, it’s when the character stands up for the cause.
But honestly, I’m still figuring out The Story Equation. Since I’m unpacking this model three times—I’ll go through it again this month with Emergence No. 7 and American Catseye—I figure I’ll understand it better by the end of Preptober.
A Shapeshifter, Cyborg, & Wisp: Act 2.2.1
- Chapter 19: Saerun gives gold to Eleanora and reminds her that alchemists are valuable. Then he leaves ahead of the others, while Eleanora, Ben, Lilli, and Lutz take a horseless carriage to Bound Castle. The night before departure, Lilli admits she feeds off of Eleanora’s emotions; she also admits that the green glow they like so much is happiness. The honesty reinforces their friendship. Because Eleanora trusts Lilli more, she takes the will’o’wisp as a light atop a walking stick as she prowls the city at night in the guise of Abba the fortune teller. At the end of the chapter, after Eleanora returns from her shapeshifting night on the town, she reads The Great Game, a book about colonizing the stars.
- Chapter 20: Eleanora thinks she senses Lutz scrying on her while she’s reading The Great Game. The shadows in the rooms undulate, but don’t speak. Then the morning comes, and as they get into the horseless carriage, Ben asks them what they think Bound Castle will be like. Eleanora scoffs at him, reminding him that he knows fey don’t go into castles. Then she says:
I’ve lived in fey courts, where the woodlands, shadows, and caverns provide sanctum. I’ve lived in elf kingdoms, where every house is part of the collective fortress, and courtyards make up half the land. But these coal-powered machines you humans create, then infuse with magic…all of that is new.
- Chapter 21: Lutz shares his memories of observing fey-lines. The horseless carriage is passing the nearest fey-line to the Forbidden Woods, the Crossroad. Eleanora realizes Lutz’s scrying power is quite powerful; even as a child in the woods, he could see as far as they’ve traveled…possibly, further still.
- Chapter 22: Still trapped in the horseless carriage, Lilli floats away from the “smog-thickened porthole” to listen to his friends opening up to one another. Eleanora tells Ben she’s the daughter of the king of the fey, Xelu Mede, Emperor of Tir A Nog; but her mother’s a human, so she was married to the elf courts. She tells Ben “he wasn’t a good husband.” Then they play cards with Lilli. Lutz isn’t interested; he’s too busy looking at the fey-line outside. Towards the end of the chapter, Elly asks Ben if he knows about the “boogeymen in the mists,” and Ben replies, “You mean the trolls?” Then they briefly meet a troll as they’re stepping out of the carriage, into a checkpoint in the Bound Suburbia.
- Chapter 23: Ben checks with the carriage-keeper, Will, to see if he can program a small detour before they see Saerun. A few things about Will:
- He wears a checkerboard-patterned hat
- His parents play ricochet sports with Mel’s parents; they also don’t like fey, so Ben hides that his three friends are fey
At the end of Chapter 23, they head to the glass restaurant, Stilettos.
I might need to extend my exploration of Act 2 into two days… 2.2.2, and 2.2.3.