Vote over at TWC and you can see thumbnails from this week and last week! Sometimes it's fun to compare what changed.
One of the reasons I stay away from werewolf fights and claws and blood and gore in this story is that, even though those things are standard werewolf fare, they aren't the point of the narrative I'm working on here. At 25, Malaya is offered an opportunity to figure out who she really is when Elias shows up in town. She can embrace being a full-fledged werewolf (adulthood), or she can stay scared and in stasis with her family (childhood). Yeah, partially she does need to embrace her physical strength and abilities, so the werewolf training earlier in this chapter served a purpose, but what she's doing in this scene is ALSO werewolf training. She's seeing someone who's in a situation that's not far off from her own, and she wants to help. Being a capable adult doesn't always mean you're the strongest or the smartest or have the best job or the most money; sometimes being a good adult just means you understand how to operate in a world with other people in a cooperative way.
So, I AM writing a werewolf story, but I'm not writing a werewolf story. Werewolves are the vehicle for the story I wanted to tell from the get go, which was inspired by my own road into feeling like a real Adult. The most Adult that's ever adulted! Which is why this isn't a story about teenagers! Because being an adult doesn't mean you need to struggle to be impressive and special and unique to be relevant when you're facing down the rest of your life, and it seems a lot less appealing than your youth. Malaya isn't The Chosen One. She's not special, she's just making an effort at trying to grow up a little and push her boundaries and improve herself, while having empathy for people who can't do anything to benefit her. And that's why I like her :).
Ginger, on the other hand, is 19 and terrified and has a ways to go, so I'm looking forward to her having a lot more story from this point!
Anyway, being in your 30s is great and I'm never looking back, amen.
Just to make it clear that I have most of this story memorized up in my brain, a little call back to chapter 2 on this page...