Monday, 10 December 2012

Towers of Midnight - Chapters 6-9

In this section, Mat, Lan, and Perrin are moved in directions they did not foresee.
Morgase serves tea, her perspective that of an outsider looking in. When Perrin tries to marry her off to Tallanvor, she protests, telling him he has no right to decide what is right for other people. Since she is another of the elder mentor characters, a former queen no less, her philosophy is meant to be correct thematically, and give Perrin yet another clue about how to win his conflicts.
Morgase has links with both Perrin and Galad, which is relevant enough to be of significance later, so this is the first opportunity to re-establish who and what she is, so that any role she plays in the later conflict between them will not confuse or surprise readers.
Lan gets three more followers, and like Perrin learns the futility of trying to tell people what to do. The humourous circumstances surrounding his grim march to the Blight feel natural, since Lan’s intense behaviour can’t help but be ridiculous when it isn’t venerated.
Perrin and Galad scenes are shuffled together in a single chapter, leading towards their confrontation. Cutting down on all but the dialogue was used foremost as a means of giving more intensity to the imminent collision between the two forces, but the reduced descriptive text in the Galad scenes has an additional result:
Galad is convinced of Perrin’s evil by Byar. At first, some description sets the location inside Galad’s tent, and shows Galad’s perspective on things. Once the author moves into dialogue, the descriptive text is trimmed down, yet there are two obviously distinct people conversing. The dialogue continues in the next page-long section with only four pieces of description allowing the reader to distinguish whose perspective it is: Byar said, lowering his voice and Galad said flatly, recalling a particularly embarrassing lesson he’d once been given and A coincidence, or something more? and Byar was obviously thinking along the same lines. In the next section, there are only two pieces of text to say whose perspective it is: Byar leaned in close, sunken eyes alight with zeal and Byar smiled, looking eager. From then on, there is just ‘Galad said’ and ‘Byar said’, if that. All of the inner thought has been moved into the dialogue.
The effect is to make Byar’s and Galad’s thoughts more similar, less distinguishable, such that Galad becomes an extension of Byar’s will, meshing his follower’s thoughts with his own and arriving at a conclusion that is a fusion of the two, without confirming that we are still following Galad’s perspective: “We have no choice. The Light has delivered him into our hands.”
To a lesser extent, the same technique is used between Perrin and Gaul in the scenes shuffled between Galad’s, though Perrin’s voice is more obvious.
Mat has received a letter from Verin, and is held hostage by his promise to do what it says if he opens it. The letter is used as motivation, providing incentive to keep Mat away from his stated goal of saving Moiraine for a time.  
The gholam has returned, kills two of Mat’s oldest followers, and threatens his closest allies. The threat is used as motivation, providing more incentive to keep Mat away from his stated goal of saving Moiraine for a time.  
Teslyn promises future help to Mat. Her role as a former damane will give her a unique voice in the White Tower, and common ground with Egwene.
Writing Lessons:
To show a character being convinced of something, associate them with other elements of the person convincing them.

No comments:

Post a Comment