Commentary: Life of the Witch

For newcomers to the novel, you can find all the information about White Destiny here or by searching the tag “White Destiny”.

Riding on the momentum of chapter 6, I spent two all-nighters updating past chapters to the latest version of Ashlora. I admit, the depiction of life in Les Miserable has a great impact on the recent changes I made to White Destiny. It seems I now have a tendency to write life, especially life in regions of the plague, at its most wretched. And with the revision of chapter 4, I also have a tendency to include musical segments in the story as well, courtesy by Les Miserable the movie.

And the Witch, being at the center of the plague, was affected the most. Hence, in the latest revision, the vibe of the Witch character in chapter 3 is brought in line with that of chapter 6.


I added West Rufus and Fa’el to The lands of Ashlora overview.

West Rufus received major expansions in chapter 6, there are now an underground market, a workshop and a glimpse into the life of the people there. It might not sound much in term of world-building but this is a huge improvement to the Witch character. I originally intended for the Witch to receive her supplies from Ironheart via the bishop and the Inventor but in the latest revision, she can now trade and purchase supplies in West Rufus. The area is inhabited by outcasts and criminals; the kind of characters who are more than willing to make trade with the Black Witch.

More importantly, West Rufus and its decline was revealed in the latest revision of chapter 3. The Witch played the role of a historian in West Rufus’s decline, she witnessed the degradation of men in the aftermath of the plague. And the Church played the role of a  villain in the whole event. For the Witch, the injustice she witnessed that day marked the turning point of her character; it left her broken as a person but completed as a survivor.


There’s one thing I love about the Witch character: her admirable survival instinct. She may be willing to give up all she has, including her virtues, for the ones closest to her but she never gives up her life for anyone. Her will to survive allows her to commit atrocious crimes, dishonorable acts and many, many deeds fitting her Chaotic Neutral alignment. This trait she inherited from being at the bottom of social ladder differentiates the Witch from the Baron, the Archbishop and, ultimately, the Priestess.

I used to worry about her state of mind, living all alone in the Dark Forest and hated by almost everyone. If anything, I have to consider her actions in chapter 3 and 6 borderline insane and I’m pleased the writing gives off that vibe, even though it was unintentional. I think I know the secret of writing nutjob characters. It involves pulling all-nighters and writing on until the brain goes numb, at which point the brain will flip the table screaming “screw this, let’s kill everyone” like a gun-tottering madman in an opera house.

Deadly aspect asides, I remember Tetisheri once asked me whether the Witch had always been self-conscious and seductive from the start (this is because the corrupted version of the Witch in Black Existence was depicted as extremely seductive). I kept her question in mind and now I finally can give her a definitive answer:

“Yes, Eliot is aware of her natural charm from the start and she does not hesitate to use it. Just that, prior to the corruption, she’s not bold enough to go all the way. Except when it was the last request, like in the case of the bishop of Ironheart.”


It’s another thing I learned from Les Miserable. Each character in Les Miserable received over a hundred pages of backstory and development prior to the main story. I don’t plan to spend that many pages on pre-story material but I’m reminded of how naive my writing has been when it comes to interaction of past events and the view of a character.

In other words, I need more slice-of-life side stories and expositions to build characters for the main story.

So, from now on, I’ll devote a significant portion of each chapter to a side story and idle chatters that may or may not have any relation to the main story. Things like: the spread of the rewritten nursery rhyme in chapter 6, various quality of life in the Dark Forest remarks in chapter 3, misconception and the Inventor’s secret partnership with the Witch in chapter 2, etc. will become more prevalent in the future.


Updated chapter 2, 3 and 4. Also, updated “the lands of Ashlora” page. Oh and, sexy and deadly Witch in chapter 3, nuff said.


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