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From The Archives: F/25852/YA

The bead ran a ragged pattern across the sheet, then spelt L, U, I with individual letters.

‘“Lui”? “Him”?’ He frowned. Him and you, the same person? Couldn’t be, since he wasn’t dead. Unless… unless this had nothing to do with him.

He scanned the writing on the sheet again. All words, all phrases were either written in first person, or in the formal second person. Je, moi, mon, vous, votre, etc. But there was no reference to a third person, or to anyone who was not part of the conversation.

Yet the bead was trying to refer to someone other than him or the ghost moving the bead. A third person.

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From The Archives: C/37065/SAJ

‘This is a terrible idea,’ he said, and stubbed out his cigarette end in the overflowing ashtray. ‘Absolutely terrible.’

Nevertheless he took out a thick folder from the top drawer of his side of the partner desk and opened it. Scrutinising every page, he removed all notes, copies and newspaper clippings that might be deemed offensive by anyone reading over his shoulder.

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Structuring the Archives

Impatient as I am, I created The Kalbrandt Institute Archives series to cover as many subjects as possible within one project. As a consequence, the classic story structure doesn’t work.

The standard 3-act (or 5-act, if you prefer) story arc is designed for a single plot with subplots. When you weave multiple plots together, you have to switch focus between them. Just look at Game of Thrones.

But where the Game of Thrones intersects the plots, permitting a classic structure for each plot in itself, the stories from the archives were going to be stand-alone stories that do not touch on one another. Their only link – at least initially – is be Eva, who reads them.

All Plots Are Equal

Assembling apparently unrelated stories into a single, coherent story is a unique challenge. The answer, however, was obvious:

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From The Archives: C/44230/NTD

Chandra didn’t see them coming, but she felt them, those sharp knives plunging into the front and back of her right shoulder. Clammy, living leather rubbed against the side of her face. She wanted to scream, but something heavy collided with her head and her breath escaped with a sigh. A cable as thick as a barrel coiled around her and squeezed.