Monday, December 13, 2010

Part 31, Chapter 9 - Chirk Wakes Up

Finally, over five hours after her surgery, Chirk wakes up. Her first words after coming out of her months-long coma are about a library form Jonnie was supposed to send in, but once she figures out she's recovered from lapsin she gets spooked, wondering why those dastardly catrists haven't killed her yet.

"You're sitting there so they won't come in and vaporize me. Jonnie, that's brave and I should thank you, but you can't stop the catrists! They're the law. They're beyond any law! They can do anything they please, even to the emperor. Jonnie, you better get out of here before they come."

But Jonnie assures her that he "fired" the catrists, mentally adding "radioactively" like he's being clever. He tells Chirk it's her day off so she won't rush off to work, and has those two nameless Psychlo females take care of her. He tries to convince them that he's got paperwork exempting Chirk from vaporization, but "Whatever else he had said, he had a palm resting on his belt blast gun. They understood that." And so, as our hero threatens violence against captive females, the chapter and section ends.

Was there any good reason to drag out Chirk's awakening over three chapters? And then there's the whole "catrists" angle, that nefarious cabal of false physicians who wield absolute control over Psychlo society. Sounds like a good villain, right? Too bad we're only learning about them literally less than a hundred pages before the end of the book, long after they've already been killed.

Mind-blowing storytelling, L. Ron. Most writers set up the Big Bad early on and have the whole plot build up to the final showdown. You resolve the main plot less than a third of the way through your book, have an absolute dunce for an antagonist, and then explain how the hero accidentally and unknowingly defeated the real bad guys almost as an afterthought.

Back to Part Thirty-One, Chapter Eight

1 comment:

  1. "But Jonnie assures her that he 'fired' the catrists, mentally adding 'radioactively' like he's being clever."