Welcome back to this read of Dreamlander by K.M. Weiland with fun tidbits about the story and tips for writers using Weiland’s skilled storytelling as a guide.
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Pitch and Orias ride back to Mactalde’s army so Orias can kill Mactalde. When they get there in the dead of night with a lightning storm boiling around them, Pitch rescues Raz while Orias slays Koraudians, but both realize something is wrong. Most of the army has vanished virtually without a trace. Raz tells them that Mactalde has moved almost all his troops over The Wall. They’ll be in Glen Arden, the capital of Lael, by morning and take it while the king and his army are far away. Despite great temptation to stay and kill, Orias turns and rides hard to bring Chris and the king the news before it’s too late.
Reader Comments: Awesome! Absolutely awesome. This is the payoff I’ve been waiting for, or at least the beginning of it. I love that Orias is finally choosing to do the right thing. I’m dancing a happy jig now.
Writer Comments: Payoffs are very important. If you lead up to something in the plot or in a character’s journey, it’s essential to payoff all that tension with something truly satisfying for the reader. In this instance, Weiland has spent a good many pages building up Orias’s betrayal of Chris and Lael and how it’s eaten at him. Here, because she did such a great job drawing the tension higher and higher, making us feel for Orias, when he finally turns and becomes heroic, it’s all the more delicious.
Back in Chicago, Brooke comes to Chris’s hotel room to insist he needs help. They argue, and as he’s propelling her out of his room, he passes out, wrenched back to the dream world. In Lael, Orias has arrived with word of Mactalde’s movements. No one believes him except Chris. However, the king will not let that be enough. He needs proof. So Chris returns to Chicago with the orimere and borrows Brooke’s car, taking it back to Lael. With it, Allara, Quinnon, his father, and Orias, he races off to Glen Arden in hopes he can warn the city before Mactalde gets there.
Reader Comments: Yay for Orias. Now, hopefully, we’ll get to see Orias really prove himself. I bet he’ll do something at a critical point, which truly brings everyone around. Perhaps he’ll die to save Chris’s life. Hmm, the possibilities are interesting.
Writer Comments: Sometimes it can be difficult to get a character to react in a way that an author needs them to. Eventually, Brooke needs to be brought around to the realization that what Chris told her about the dream world was true. So how does Weiland do it? She has something impossible happen before Brooke’s very eyes. Her car vanishes. I don’t yet know what the results of this will be, but a dramatic change is in order in Chicago to bring other change there. Sometimes, a writer has to dig deep and reach for the large and dramatic to get a character to react or get things moving in a certain direction.
They reach Glen Arden barely in time as the Koraudian army charges toward the city. Chris goes after Mactalde while the rest warn Glen Arden and organize a force to make a stand against the Koraudians. Chris reaches Mactalde, but he’s far outmatched. From the city wall, Orias watches all this and insists he be let go to help Chris. Allara agrees, not because she trusts Orias, but because she trusts Chris. Orias arrives just in time to stop Mactalde from skewering the Gifted, They fight, but a hail storm erupts around them. Both armies flee before the onslaught of the skies. Chris and Orias race toward the city and shelter as Mactalde tries to reorganize his troops. Chris keeps saving guardsmen, ignoring Orias’s protests that he’ll die if he doesn’t just save himself. Disgusted with Chris’s suicidal heroism, Orias turns to protect him.
Reader Comments: Yes! Orias did exactly as I was hoping. He saved Chris, and he’s redeeming himself. Also, great written scene on Weiland’s part.
Writer Comments: In the midst of the greatest peril or the most intense circumstances, true character emerges. Here, Chris throws himself into sacrificing his life over and over to save others. Orias charges to his rescue. This is heroism at its finest. Compared to the Chris who brought Mactalde across the worlds, this Chris has Become. Push your characters to their limit. Place them in situations that will temper them into something pure and great. Force them through trial and tribulation to peel back layer by layer until their true core is revealed.