Diagramming Babel (Part 15)

(Today’s entry achieves parity with my blogspot blog.  From now on, I’ll simply post the two blogs simultaneously, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays)

Diagram 15. Lord Weary’s Empire at last! I’ve finally gotten Will into the subway system beneath Babel. There are two lines because one (the diagonal) follows the plot and the other Will’s transformations of personality.

From top left to bottom right (with the occasional bit out of order to make it all more sensible):



* He knows about he dragon & just has to admit it.

Lord Soulis Venereal

We are not an ordinary community We are an army


Becomes Jack Riddle


* X is a surprise

Voyage of Discovery

Becomes Will Again

Hanging Gardens


“Upstairs” is what the undergrounders call the upper levels. Will descending into the underground is of course a reenactment of the Eleusinian Mysteries, though he will not see the sun at midnight explicitly.

That Will already knows about the dragon was a discovery I made only as I charted out the diagram. Will is, I discovered, faster on the uptake than the typical fantasy hero, though it was not my original intention to make him so.

Lord Soulis was the original name for Lord Weary. Lord Venereal was the next stab at his name. It took me forever to come up with the right monicker for him.

Tresjoli was quickly renamed Hjördis. “Tresjoli” was just too sex-kittenish a name for the Lady-Thane.

“Cicerone” is of course a function rather than a name. The individual in question became known, after a false start or two, as the Whisperer. He takes Will on a voyage of discovery (which, when I came to it, turned out to be quite different from what I originally planned) at the climax of which the Whisperer’s true identity is discovered. This time it is a surprise.

The two X’s mark the spots where I removed the Whisperer’s true name from the diagram. There’s no point in my spoiling my own plot.

The Hanging Gardens, where Will gets his first glimpse of Halcyone is a blend of New York City’s Central Park and the Skansen in Stockholm. If you ever get a chance to pass up seeing the Skansen, by all means don’t.


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