Hmmm… So I have Va’el, the bastard son of a bastard son of an emperor, who’s heading for a good dose of trouble – and I have another character thrown into a different batch of stress and pain – totally unrelated, but both events are far reaching, both necessary to the plot and both (of course) meant to engage the reader – I wanted these scenes spaced apart simply so that readers are not, in this instance, pulled in two different directions (sometimes that’s exactly what I want, but on this occasion it would be detrimental).
The natural unfolding of the story to date unfortunately brought the onset of both scenes to roughly the same point, which is something I needed to avoid. So, then came the who-goes-first game, which wasn’t/isn’t even easy in my imagination (because of scope – in the imagination is easiest, but I am juggling not so much giant scenes as a series of biggish ones, each an evolution) – never mind on paper, which is much more complex.
Just how far apart they have to be from each other is yet another consideration.
However, I seem to have resolved the issue. The trials and troubles of these characters are not incidental, but structural to the plot, so what each goes through will take the story somewhere. Each thread has a destination.
Both sets of trouble are brutal, but in different ways. Both will prove long-lasting and game-changing. In effect, I’m looking at two halves of the book. Therefore, automatically and inescapably, the two sides overlap. How can they not? The actual crunch part of their experiences is what I want to keep apart, but the consequences and developments that come are what makes the plot (I knew that).
In the end the answer was easy, and that means I don’t have to go through all the fluffing about I thought I would yesterday in Thread Weaving and a Tangle of “Nots”.
This story is more deeply about Va’el and his trials, so Va’el has to go first.
See? Sometimes it pays just to chat. 😀