The making of Chapter Twenty-four

A few minutes ago I uploaded the final scene for Chapter Twenty-four (or 75). This last scene marks the end of Chirikai's personal arc and his mother's death. Like Asuka in the previous scene, he passes the property post marking Warase's house.

If you have an excellent memory —or you binge-read P+FD recently—you might remember that Chirikai's mother married Minister Warase when she came down to capital, and upon discovering that Lady Warase was a fox demon, Minister Warase was exiled.

During an earlier confrontation, Chirikai told his father that his mother had hooked up with Warase. So father and son find themselves at Warase's house in exile outside the capital of Gekkōguni.

This was a scene that I was crazed to write, even though it's a quiet scene, built entirely on subtext. It's also the understated sort of scene that you only get to write at the end of a book where your readers know the characters. You don't have to narrate much, you don't have to spell it out.

I'm always interested in other people's writing processes, and while I was working on this scene I took snapshots of quotations as I wrote.

The first thing I wrote for this scene was actually the conversation that Chirikai has with his father once Retan Shitunpe leaves the house. I like to know what I'm working towards, concretely, so after I finished this bit of dialogue, I moved backwards to write Warase and Retan Shitunpe's conversation, then last I wrote Chirikai approaching the house.

Chirikai's dad goes into FULL LECTURE MODE.

Okay... That's a little better. But what should go after the semicolon? (He strikes me as a semicolon sort of guy.)

Screw the semicolon. That one sentence is all I needed!


Better. But... I'm not in love...

So, the above was the final version of the chapter for 4/20/2014. Then I bounced back to write the Warase and Retan Shitunpe conversation... I decided to sketch it.

The entire scene was sketched before I moved to the top and put that first line. 
I changed the opening of the sketch. By the time Chirikai reaches the house, his father is already inside:

Kind of clumsy writing, but...
And believe it or not, there was "research" done for this chapter!

Answers courtesy of
Please, do not tell me about the lack of sugar, oranges, and lavender in Classical Japan. As author, I made an executive decision —I like these things so they go in my fantasy world now—after much consideration.

Actually though, this chapter made me sad.