Nodding off watching The Wizard of Oz I realized the Tritti/Johnka meeting and story thus far is quite like the Dorothy/Fortune Teller scene early in the movie. I’ve not read the books, so I have no idea how it matches up that way.
It struck me that unlike the Fortune Teller, Johnka doesn’t make the slightest attempt to persuade Tritti to return home. This realization bothers me for several reasons. It makes Tritti appear old enough to be out on her own and I didn’t really want that appearance. It reveals the author’s intent in the story of propelling Tritti toward Ah’Taconscientee rather than obscuring it. And it apes the fantasy trope of gathering fellows for a journey to a prize.
Let me start with the least of my worries first: the aping thing. My primary goal is to write a good book, but I’m sure I’d be somewhat satisfied with just a book. I could do worse than to write an entire novel that aped fantasy tropes left and right. The fact that it’s taken me so long to notice means that it is not as obvious as it feels or that I’m so hopelessly deluded I’m not likely to ever recognize my own short comings. In any case, I’m not worried enough to stop. I am glad I noticed.
Continuing to work backwards through my original order and upwardly through my increasing concerns brings me to Tritti’s age characterization. I know when I initially wrote this I intentionally avoided starting scenes. Tritti meeting Johnka in the middle of a desert already halfway to where she’s going wouldn’t make much sense. Except it feels right. I’ve leapfrogged the adolescent angst of running away and all the characterization to make it look plausible for her to survive. If she’s there she must have run away and she must have been capable. I guess the rest falls out as carefully done backstory. Maybe it’s not so jarring that Johnka accepts her for who she’s becoming rather than turn her away for who she still is. She’s earned the right. In that case, I have some insight into what the two will need to discuss along the way.
And now the persuasion part. Despite accepting her for who she’s becoming wouldn’t it be prudent for Johnka to at least try to turn her around? Suggest comrade caravans headed back to where Tritti was coming from? He could still help her out but only by making her life safer. Which begs the question have I characterized ah’Taconscientee well enough (at all) as a place of ill repute? As well as am I as an author being too transparent about Johnka’s role in this story. Do his action need a little more realness to keep him from being an agent of the author?