Vote over at TWC and you can see a panel from tomorrow’s page, and also just because my rank went way down and I’m sad 🙂

One of the weirdest parts about making a comic, and writing in general, is that sometimes you end up having to compromise in order to shove all the information at your readers that they need. Technically, I guess you guys don’t really need this page and tomorrow’s page. This bit helps resolve Elias’s issues with his mom, and it also makes it clear that his perspective is rather skewed because of his overall disappointment at being disciplined (and not being fully supported in his actions by his mother). If this were a movie, I’d have probably cut out this week’s pages lol. But the truth is, I needed to clarify a few things, and there’s no good place to do it any time after this chapter, so I felt like it was okay to do one last set of dialog-heavy pages and call it a day. Compromise! If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll have seen my tweets over the weekend where I kept changing bits and pieces of dialog and fretting over these pages, but I actually am pretty happy with what I churned out in the end. Most of the changes were to tomorrow’s page. I think I’ve made it clear that Elias has worked on his mom’s behalf (with the understanding that he’d take over as Alpha one day, hopefully), but from the get go, I saw him as an ambassador of sorts. I just apparently forgot to explicitly state that anywhere lol. So here it is! Which makes the last few pages make more sense, I hope.

As to why it’d be harder to lie to a werewolf, well…there are a bunch of physiological and verbal cues for lying, so I figure a werewolf would pick up on all that 10x faster than a human would. You could probably get away with little stuff, but the whole pack would have benefited by waiting to bring Elias in on the extent of the issue of their pack being spread too thin.

Fun fact! I originally conceived of the concept of werewolf politics because I needed a way to limit Elias’s whole pack from just showing up and fixing everything immediately as soon as Aubrey’s pack came into play. Or Sara, really. The biggest issue with writing anything is figuring out where you need to put your limits so that your hero(es) can save the day eventually. Or at least attempt to. If you consider the Hero’s Journey story structure, your hero usually ends up being a Chosen One, someone who is required to do the thing that saves the day, usually alone, and Just Because. I’m not actually sure why we’ve decided that the Hero’s Journey is the end all, be all of adventure storytelling. It CAN be used effectively, just like any story structure, but it also serves as Daddy Issues, the Adventure Story Template…sooooo yeah. In the case of HTBAW, my biggest challenge has been to realistically limit the outside help that Malaya could receive to deal with her sudden influx of Werewolf Issues, and in a way that forces her to actually consider her options seriously. Luckily, after a year of shoving myself relentlessly into my local politics scene, I realized how much bureaucracy can easily stop anything from getting accomplished ever, so there ya go! Malaya isn’t the Chosen One. She could still go back to her normal life and repress all her werewolf stuff if needed and live a very sad life. But, she wants to protect her family and maybe give herself some options. She chose herself :). And in the meantime, ya’ll get a lesson in civics via werewolves, I guess.

Anyway, I promise less pages that are just people standing around talking VERY SOON, and this chapter will end on a very werewolf-y note, but in the meantime, have some conflict resolution!