We’re up to the commentary for Chapter Six of Vodnik this week: the chapter where Tomas has a bbq and then almost turns into one himself. I’ve got two main things to say about this section. The first concerns the plot, and the second is on the food and the setting.
Plotwise, it took me a bit to find where this section was in the original draft. That’s because it used to occur a full quarter of the way into the book. Here’s a rundown, chapter by chapter, of the first draft up to this point (Warning–I’ll be touching on some spoilers here. And some things that seem like spoilers, but ended up getting changed through the revision process, so they aren’t actually spoilery):
- Tomas and his best friend Peter discuss Tomas’s upcoming move to Slovakia–and how less than enthused Tomas is about it.
- Tomas packs for the move and confronts his parents about how unhappy he is. They ask him if he remembers anything from his childhood there.
- They travel to Slovakia, and Tomas complains about the cars and the apartment. He glimpses the castle. That looks cool.
- Tomas has his first water vision, and then he goes to the joust.
- Katka takes Tomas on a tour of the city. He sees Death at the end of the chapter.
- Tomas and Katka go and confront Lubos about Tomas’s vision. Lubos doesn’t believe them.
- Tomas talks to his parents about how he’s not having a great time. Lubos offers him a job at the castle.
- Katka takes Tomas shopping and to the movies. He has his second water vision. Katka gets her first seizure.
- Katka and Tomas talk about the seizures and Tomas’s water visions
- Tomas and Katka have the barbecue–and we find out Katka is Lubos’s step daughter (there was a whole subplot in the original as Tomas and Katka had a developing relationship. Alpha readers found this too blechy–they didn’t like Tomas and his cousin being a thing, even if she was a step-cousin. Also, this conflicted with later Lesana plot lines.)
- Tomas meets Ohnica