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The Man Behind the Curtain

Wordbender February 14, 2012 User blog:Wordbender

Commentary on Chapter Six of Air, in which we learn the identities of the mysterious woman and her master.

I have just realized that there has been no actual action up to this point. This mostly has to do with the rearrangement and resizing of chapters I had to do, but I promise, there really is action in this story. Quite a bit. And we’re coming to it, so in the meantime, enjoy the suspense. XD

A Good Brainwashing; this title has always appealed to me. It’s been rattling around in my head for awhile with nowhere to go, so I’m glad it finally found a home. ;)

I have to admit, I found the attempted brainwashing scene particularly difficult to write, partly because Ru Yong was doing things but couldn’t actually *do* anything and partly because of all the ‘shes’. I, for some unfathomable reason, loathe using the same word more than once in any short span of a time (a sentence, paragraph, chapter.) Being unable to interchange the pronoun ‘she’ with anything different was a killer on my tyrannical Inner Editor. It certainly didn’t help that the brainwashing process itself reminded me of the fairy ‘mesmer’ in Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl series and my attention was constantly diverted to Mr. Colfer’s masterful alliterations, wit and overall brilliance. I aspire to someday be as wonderful a writer as he.

Now for an interesting fact: this entire subplot of Ru Yong, Iroh, Smellerbee, Longshot and Long Feng was added in after the rest of Air was written. In that fateful November when I took my beloved A:TLA characters on this little thrill ride of mine, Longshot and Smellerbee did not appear until much later and Iroh was virtually abandoned (though not quite to the point as seen in ‘The Promise –Part One’). This was, of course, unacceptable. Once I’d taken a well-deserved hiatus from the project (my brain was bleeding random Avatar facts and my sister was so sick of it she refused to acknowledge my existence), I set about with a devious plan to give the characters left behind in Ba Sing Se a little action.

Long Feng is of course the Man behind the Curtain. The Emerald Curtain. My logic: He isn’t dead, therefore he must be up to something. Plus, what about that entire cavern filled with Joo Dees we spotted in ‘Lake Laogai’? Whatever happened to them? These unanswered questions were far too good to pass up and were instantly added to the appropriate List. Thus, a secret society was born. And since Long Feng was always a bit of a snake, the ‘Emerald Serpent’ seemed the perfect name.

This subplot –which I lovingly refer to as the Smellershot Subplot, and no, that has nothing to do with the shipping of the same name– rounded out at about twenty-four thousand words. [Holy crap! I never actually looked at the word count before.] This is in addition to the 200k of Air itself. Yes, it is long, but it’s good; don’t take my word for it –I’m pretty biased– judge for yourself. Fitting it in with the rest of the story was aggravating and tedious, pacing was a boarcupine, but in the end I love how it turned out. I hope you enjoy it. XD

That’s all for me today, my rabid, rockin’ Avatards. This is wordbender, flying off to finish the epic finale!

(Speaking of Mr. Colfer, I’d appreciate it if you’d peruse this story:

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