I’d like to say this was planned from the start. I really would. Truth is, this twist was a fairly late addition to the story.

The plan had always been for Furey to have an unknown side, and that ‘Rose Furey’ wasn’t her real name. She was intended to be a bit of an enigma, even something of an overly-familiar trope (self-constructed, in her case), who would then be turned upside-down around about now. The specifics were always a little fluffy, though.

Tying her in to Cal’s early experiences and the destruction of the orphanage he grew up in was never part of the original plan. That possibility is something which arose out of the evolving story. A substantial amount of ADoF’s plot has evolved in that manner. This is something which always used to frustrate me about serials, ordinarily television serials, as it always felt a little dishonest when the showrunners were making it up as they went.

I’ve slightly changed my tune since serialising ADoF, but I also think I’ve struck a balance. The over-arching plot was there from the start. The arcs are always planned out ahead of time in further detail. I’ve never entirely making things up, and I never get to writing a chapter without already knowing what it’s going to be.

Critically, and I think this is the crucial point, the themes of the story have never changed. If anything, the plot has altered to better accommodate and explore those themes. As long as that’s what I’m doing, I’m OK with whatever approach I take.

This is the chapter that takes Furey out of the main thrust of the story. A constant concern with ADoF is having too many high-powered characters. I took Cal out of play at the end of Arc 2 specifically because he’s become something of a Superman. That sucks tension out of proceedings, or forces you to contrive situations in which he’s surrounded by damsels in distress (of any gender).

Now that Cal has returned, having Furey around as well would really imbalance things. Combine that with Furey never intending to come along for the ride in the first place and it didn’t make sense for her to stay, as fun as she is to write (and hopefully read).

‘Interlude #8’ also serves as something of a break point, dividing the first half of the arc from the second. Arc 4 is epically long compared to the previous three, because it’s essentially got two arcs-worth combined. There was an option to end Arc 4 with the prison rescue, but it felt like Arc 4 is already on the home stretch, barrelling towards the big finale. Better to keep going, and really give people something to get their teeth into.

I might talk more about Arc 4’s growth next time.


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