Ravelling Wrath, chapter 2: Discussion

If you haven't read Ravelling Wrath, chapter 2 yet, you might want to do that before reading further.

Rinn and social class

It took me a long time to decide on Rinn's relationship to social class.

I was tempted to make Rinn be poor. Then ze'd be a badass poor person saying “fuck the rules”, which I like. But I was concerned that it would make the story a misleading representation of poverty. Could Rinn represent the day-to-day burden of being insecure in having your basic needs met? Rinn's “power” – the qualities that made the Blood God choose Rinn above every other person in the city – could make it pretty questionable. Rinn laughs at all burdens, because ze is just that extraordinary of a person. If the story's biggest representation of poverty was someone who could ignore the burdens, that would be bad.

On the other hand, a big focus of the story is on Rinn's relationship to anger. And I didn't want to center the anger of a sheltered middle-class person when I could just as easily center a poor person's anger. The former wouldn't necessarily make a bad story, but the world could use more stories that empathize with the anger of people who are forced into unjust positions in society.

Eventually I settled with this. Rinn's family has enough wealth to meet zir basic needs, but Rinn has grown up with poor people and is alienated by zir parents' classist attitudes. Ze inherently takes the side of the poor, not because ze thinks ze's doing a good deed, but because ze instinctively thinks of them as zir own people. It was very intentional that when Rinn says “real people”, ze's referring to poor people.

Promise theory

Continuing the discussion of promise theory from the previous chapter's commentary.

Dialogue is pretty good at generating short-term promises naturally, so I didn't have to think about that aspect too much in this chapter. My main intentional promise within this chapter was the promise to have Yali use zir magic power at the end.

This chapter doesn't end in a cliffhanger. In fact, it's a very straightforward example of the “non-cliffhanger style” that I described in the last commentary. The last few paragraphs directly outline some of the important promises for the next few chapters.

You don't always need to do it so directly. Some stories very cleverly set up their promises by implication over the course of the whole chapter. Either style is valid. With Ravelling Wrath specifically, I'm aiming for an easier reading level, so I prefer to be clear and direct about things.

Approximate readability: 8.59 (2014 characters, 440 words, 26 sentences, 4.58 characters per word, 16.92 words per sentence)