Diagramming Babel (Part 29 and Last)

Diagramming Babel (Part 29 and Last)




Diagram 29.  At last it ends!  After twenty-nine weeks, we come to the final diagram of the last full chapter.  Will’s line is not specifically marked, but you can see that he descends to his moment of crisis step by step, as if undoing the great Ziggurat he’s spent most of the novel climbing.  In retrospect, it’s odd how important that was to me, given that there’s no way the reader would ever know that.


From top to bottom, left to right:




.                                    THE DRAGON


.                                                               THE JUDGE


He is moving down the 

side of a ziggurat

drives out (something) lords

He closed and locked the doors


Will looks up etc.




They were all aspects of Me.

I have taken a particular interest in yr family

was slippery as eels

all evade responsibility




I’ve blocked out two key names because . . . well, don’t you hate it when somebody ruins the ending of a book for you?


“Will looks up, etc.” was just a place-marker for a scene I obviously knew in great detail.  So it’s extremely odd that I have a character and obviously one who is a major power (THE JUDGE) who never made it into the novel.  So, even at this late date, the book was still in flux. What was going on, I suspect, was that I was going to invoke a supernatural power, possibly one of the Seven, to make or imply a few explanations, the way I did in The Iron Dragon’s Daughter with the Goddess’s Consort.  But TIDD was a very different book.  Jane didn’t belong in her world so all her issues were essentially moral and religious.  Will does belong, and as a result, this is a secular book.  That’s why Will never gets to talk to a god, though there are plenty of them about.  I mean, Esme did sell her youth to the Year Eater, after all.


I wonder who was “slippery as eels,” though — Will or the Judge?


Note that at the end the unnamed character goes one way and Will the other.  One soars and one does not.  To find out which, you’ll just have to read the book.




One Response to “Diagramming Babel (Part 29 and Last)”

  1. Janiceek Says:

    thats for sure, guy

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