Writing Wednesday: Knowing One’s Role

I reached a big milestone recently–I finally finished (for now, at least!) revisions on the first book of my Phantom of the Opera trilogy.  I’ve gone straight on to revisions for Book Two, and will likely post about that in the near future too.  But it’s also nice to celebrate work accomplished.  I’ll likely come back to this first book for a quick read-through after I’ve done more on Book Two, making sure everything still lines up, but in substantive ways, this one is done.

So today I’m going to celebrate by sharing one of my favorite exchanges in the book.  And in some way it feels an appropriate one for Halloween too.  Meg and the Phantom speak to each other very, very rarely in the first book (this changes in Book Two!) but they are together in the final scene.  So here’s a glimpse at the very last chapter, and how each of my protagonists views their role in the story–at this point, at least.  Although, of course, they’re both wrong…


He looked back over his shoulder at me, and I wished so much that I could see his face, for whatever hint his expression might have given me.  No clues revealed themselves in his perfectly calm voice as he said, “You realize, of course, that I’m the villain in this story.”

I couldn’t tell if I should take that as funny or tragic, so I half-smiled and said, “I won’t hold it against you.”  Then I shrugged, and the same impulse that had made me confess loneliness led me to add, “If you don’t hold it against me that I’m only a supporting character.”

He didn’t agree or argue, merely turned away.  He continued his silent walk a few more paces, until he could leap down into the shadows of the orchestra pit—and was gone.  I didn’t know of an exit from that spot, but I was sure there was no point in going to the edge to see if he was still there.

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