White Destiny [Commentary #1]

Those who have been following this blog must know that I have a long-running novel project called “White Destiny”. The story is about a witch hunt started by the murder of a bishop which eventually unveils a holy war between two immortal factions through means of soul contract.

Indeed while I have been on it since July 2014, I have never sat down long enough to write something worth half a novella, let alone a novel. The attempt this year by far has yielded the most progress. Optimistically speaking, the two-month hold-off after Chapter 5: Burden of Proof is to reevaluate White Destiny as a whole. In reality, I have been hitting the writing block and dealing with a few real life issues.

And Skyrim…

As mentioned long ago, White Destiny was originally a game whose plot is dictated by game mechanics and players’ decisions. There were many things going on at the same time in-game. At any given moment, there could be three or four character story arcs happening.

In the upcoming chapters, I’ll need to go over the missing story in the Witch’s narrative between the time after her meeting with the Bishop and the time she spent at Brown’s Boulder tavern. Before that, I’m afraid readers will have to sit down for yet another detour as The Scholar’s character arc resumes from chapter 2.

I wish to capture the simultaneity in novel format but it has become clear that all the detours are going to bog down the story rhyme as a whole. The built up tension in Chapter 5 will be lost if readers have to wait yet another two flashback chapters before the cast even starts fighting the Horseman of Death; and god knows how many more flashbacks before the battle may conclude.

I planned the novel to span across 15 chapters, max 20. However, with so many things going on, this won’t end before chapter 30.

I don’t want a lengthy story, I want a concise story.

A few prospective readers asked me a simple question that I have long failed to answer. They asked “What’s it about?”. In other words, they wanted me to provide a 20-word summary of White Destiny and show them why they should read it.

Yes, I had a summary, a long one which covers just the game-original story, which sounds grand and all but way too cryptic and too broad for the uninitiated. The revised introduction, not a summary, is this:

As the Archbishop had prophesied, Father Felacia was found dead in the Black Forest three days after his visit to Azeth. Seeking vengeance for her late father, Lilia, the Priestess, gathered an adventure party to raid the Witch’s hut. But, only one Militia answered her call.

Better? I hope so. I personally feel it’s more attractive because it centers on the first arc only, without any spoilery details of the other arcs.

More than just a neat introduction, this serves as the new project’s direction. I have made corrections to the plot so that the Archangel’s summoning happens earlier while demoting the Scholar’s story to background and giving Lilia aka the White Priestess the appropriate attention as White Destiny’s protagonist. The Black Witch can have her share of the limelight in Black Existence.

There are hiccups in doing so, of course, but with Death and the Devil’s appearance in Chapter 5, the Holy War is upon us already.

Speaking of which, Chapter 5’s pacing is a mess. I admit, I don’t like the Priestess and the Inventor’s debate. The ideal seems great at the time, it’s not now that I look at it. Then we have the Witch’s childish and cliche actions when she finally showed up after two chapters.

Alas, I realized half way through writing the next chapter that it’s too early for the big boss to show up. I should have edited him out of the scenario instead of faithfully following the original game’s progression.

This weekends I spent making up excuses and changing a great deal of background reasoning to make his appearance logical. It’s been hard work indeed but I finally got over the tough part. I’m going to leave chapter 6 in the brewery for careful proofread and plot diagnosis in another week or two.

Meanwhile I’m going to purge the ugh! parts from Chapter 5.

God has mercy, I have committed a sin.


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