Feels kinda like everything is stalling out right now. April and Henry have had one too many chapters of chatting, while Cole’s plot keeps getting bogged down around motivation. The twistiness around the climax is pretty murky; Cole is pretty much either angry or scared all the time, which stops being a convincing motivation, or at least an interesting one. I’ve tweaked it so she at least gets angry and determined within the first third, but that’s probably not a compelling enough reason to root for her, and doesn’t jive with the wrap up very evenly. If she’s determined not to get tricked again, she should work towards breaking free, which she does, and then realize what she wants isn’t to be free, but to… what? Help others? She doesn’t have any basis for believing that. It’s imposed morality. It doesn’t make sense for her to even believe there’s a better life to be had, a reason to keep trying, by the end of the second act. So why keep trying? Why run or stay? If the motivation is to keep trying, then her reward for trying kind of works out. Plus there’s a little built-in catch where you can’t save yourself, you only escape by trying to save someone else, but I can’t just drop that in without setting it up… Agh! Maybe I could work the romance angle harder? Have her more attached to Ravel and Itri? Be all excited about meeting up with Itri and getting saved? But then she’s just submitting again. There’s an essential element of rebellion missing, or at least not continuous. The emotional stakes of Cole/Cadence with Itri seem like the key, but I’m not sure how. Maybe one of them needs to sacrifice his/herself to make it all work? Or a lesson about trying to leave it all behind, but in the end the people you encounter have an emotional bond that you can’t just walk away from?
What if Cole is motivated by a desire to be wanted? Loved? What if her motivation is originally to overcome the boundaries, but she realizes in abandoning boundaries, she doesn’t get what she’s wanted all along, which is to be valued for herself? Or something?
What if everyone else wants something different out of her, and she feels like a failure for not being what they want/need? That gives her motivation for continually trying to be good enough, suppressing her own desires, and culminating in the grand disappointment in not being the Cadence that Itri wants? Her arc goes from trying to meet expectations, running from expectations, abandoning the very construct of expectations, to choosing to turn back and save those whose expectations she fails to meet…
Start time: 2 pm
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