Story structure

The fractal structure of The Search for Kalid.

I'm currently reading through The Search for Kalid and making sure that all of the parts are consistent with each other. This is particularly important for this story since it was written by two people working over a period of more than one year.

The first seven chapters of the story might be called "The Search Begins". It is not until Chapter 7 that Leone begins to really accept the possibility that there might be something to Sybil's "mental powers" nonsense. At that point, Kalid sends the Search off in an unexpected direction.

Chapter 8 is a pivotal chapter. For the first time Set takes the stage. Up until that point the reader has only seen him through the eyes of other characters who refer to him as "The Evil One". Finally, the reader learns what has driven Set to perform his terrible deeds. The pivot in Chapter 8 is tricky. Set begins to undergo a personal transformation and in so doing he makes an alliance with Ketar. At this point, the reader should be thinking, "Oh my, nothing good can come from this unholy alliance!"

There is a lot going on in Chapter 8. Just when the reader might be getting comfortable with what has come in the first seven chapters, the ground starts to shift.

In Chapters 9-12 the reader is introduced to the apparently uninteresting, end-of-nowhere star system known as "h32". During these chapters the nature of h32 transforms before the reader's eyes. Leone's search for Kalid continues after they almost meet in the h32 system, but Kalid is called away to a special engagement by Set.

Chapter 13 is the second pivot of the story. Set has been "born again" and two other characters, until this point assumed to be dead, arise unscathed from the ashes of destruction. The reader is now wondering: "What will Set do with his new "lease on life"?

Chapters 14 and 15 bring the story "home" to the cradle of civilization, now a sludgy wasteland. The reader can wonder: "Is there a hero in the house?" Does anyone have the tools required to turn this sow's ear into a silk purse?

Chapter 16 is the third and final pivot and the reader is whisked off to the distant and mysterious Haldus star system where Set's soul is put into the balance for judgment. Can the reader see Set as something other than the "The Evil One"?

In Chapter 17 the story reaches its end. With Set now decisively deflected from his original trajectory towards impact with Sakkara, Leone is shown now being ready to get on with life...will he later look back on his search for Kalid as just a strange two week "vacation"? The reader can see that the search for Kalid was just a start down a path towards some greater adventure. The story is "complete", but many questions remain to be explored and answered in a sequel.

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