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From what I’m reading I’d personally find a way to split the chapter between Zurina and Hartanti (because while the chapter’s initially about Valera, that doesn’t mean it needs to be his pov, and Hartanti already knows what’s going on with him if I’m not wrong). But since you don’t want to split the chapter I would probably still go with Zurina. She doesn’t know Valera’s stuff though so that would be saved for later when Hartanti’s next pov comes up, which would also show more about the Barraza plan possibly as she’s thinking back to the trial, so it would change the chapter’s focus a bit, but it still seems like the Zurina and Liliana stuff should come first.

I could be missing things, I’m trying to read through the text several times though so this is what I’m getting from it :woman_shrugging:


One more thing about splitting chapters and I will personally fly to Sweden to shake you. THESE EVENTS CANNOT BE SPLIT OR IT WILL SPIT IN THE FACE OF EVERYONE TRYING TO UNDERSTAND THE TIMELINE.


I made another suggestion. I just agreed they’re both important and I would place them at the same time. Since you had already made it clear you didn’t want that though I moved on.


I know I just…need to angst. It’s in my nature. It would be a mix of writing the same scenes twice and then adding in random scene breaks and trying to make it understandable to everyone who isn’t me.

I guess my new problem is I like having Zurina for the Barraza stuff but the theme is really about Valera because 0 of the stuff that happens in the arc that this chapter introduces happens without him.


It’s tricky because of the people within each scene. Hartanti would be easiest, but that also depends on how much weight you want the trial to have on the reader. If she knows more of the plan and what happens after, the present trial might not feel as important or tense. With Zurina, it would be more in tune with how a reader would feel, right? Correct me if I’m wrong, but the reader isn’t supposed to like Barraza, right? So reading his trial through the POV of someone of a similar mindset could be more fulfilling. For that reason, having Valera there like you said would not make sense, but even if he was there, it might not feel as gratifying for the reader because he is not as close to the predicament and thus might not express the scene with the proper tone.


Ok but please don’t angst at me right now.

I think I’m missing the importance of Valera, possibly just because he’s a “new” character and is just beginning to show, but even if it’s about him I don’t see his pov being all that interesting compared to Zurina’s or Hartanti’s if he’s just getting out of prison and I dunno, will go over the deal he’s made in his head? Does he know anything (detail-wise, I guess, because I’m assuming he’s not too emotionally involved) about the rest of the events because that’s where I lose him I guess? His pov just feels kinda off in all situations other than his own.


I feel like I’ve done a thorough job in getting most people to dislike Barraza. So the scene isn’t really even about him. In this case it would either be the set up to undermining his sacrifice (Hartanti) or understanding that Zurina likes watching people suffer, which readers by now also already know. Zurina’s most important scene with him is yet to come and I could arguably put in her emotional side later. On the other side, if I choose Zurina’s pov it would also be about her feeling like she’s being pushed out of the “inner circle” of Escana government because of Leonides which then goes back to Valera anyway. The trial is not the biggest part of this chapter although I might have made it sound like it is.


He’s not emotionally involved in the Barraza scheme specifically, no. The shady dealings that got him out of prison is slightly tied to that in the fact that it’s part of Leonides play to bring everyone who rose to prominence in his absence down so he can climb back up, so he would be indirectly involved and still have a perspective and scene to offer he just would not be allowed in on the trial, which based on what information would be revealed weighs about as heavily as a character missing out on Queen Liliana’s speech.


Does Valera and Hartanti talk? Could their experiences be combined somehow by Hartanti running into/seeking out Valera and telling him about the things he’s missed, either in this chapter or it being the events being referred back to later?

So if this was the case either Zurina would have the pov this chapter, and Valera/Hartanti would discuss their experiences in a later chapter, or Valera (meeting Hartanti at some point) getting the pov and Zurina would be the one looking back with emotional investment later?


Ah I see. I suppose in that case Hartanti might be best? She has the widest range of knowledge and might be useful in showing Valera’s thoughts as well, assuming she knows any more about him than Zurina would (which I was because of her connection to Leonides, but I can’t remember how much he ever told her/gave away that she picked up on so this might be null).


Eventually but Hartanti isn’t really the socializing type and right now while she’s way more aware of Valera and who he is than the other POV characters it’s more of a distant curiosity than I “I’m gonna talk to him” kinda thing. She doesn’t understand his deal yet and when he takes on the role he he will in OEA they’re not at odds but Leonides will make it hard for them to get along just by existing. Long way to say I’m not sure if they’ll ever talk long enough for her to catch him up to speed.


Hartanti’s pros are certainly that she knows more about Valera than Zurina (but he’s regrettably hard to read which is also fine since the point of his POV vs hers really is that so far she can only make assumptions based on what Leonides is saying and not saying about him and a good chunk of them are wrong). Really the only thing Zurina has over her (at least that I feel) is there is value in Zurina expressing how she feels towards being shoved out of the governing power and the Barraza thing whereas any Hartanti chapter focused on her watching other people do things are usually very impersonal.


nah I just figured if it was something she was supposed to do (catch him up to speed), but I get it. It’s hard to say when I’m not caught up because as you say, the trial sounds very important and Valera does not but it seems to be the other way around? All I can do is throw ideas at you and hope something loosens even if it’s not even remotely what I suggest.


I get it. It sounds important and probably will seem that way, I just don’t because I know it’s gonna be all for nothing but most readers don’t and aren’t supposed to whereas Valera is probably one of the most important characters in the book both because of what he does and the purpose he will serve in the ending. But those aren’t things yet.


Then wouldn’t it be good to make it seem that way in order to surprise readers?


Hmmm I feel like I’d be more interested in Zurina’s POV. You could always write two versions (or three) and see which works better. Or do that, but focus more one which versions feel easier to write.

Or reorganize everything so that these don’t occur in one chapter.


Yeahhh I just also have probably dragged out these Barraza events for so long.


That would be the dream but if this doesn’t happen in one day we won’t see the end of OEA until chapter 103 or the end of the series until book 54. This is in everybody’s best interest that these two events are contained to one chapter. And there’s an underlying theme and I hate splitting up my themes because that means more fake clever chapter titles.


I disappeared for a bit, but I’ve finished the chapter and written 1.9k today so it’s not all bad. I’ve also forgotten Vincent again so I have to go back and add his presence…

Oh Barraza… Poor Grandpa Grump 2.0