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Analysis / Reflections of Eterna

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A case study in Exponential Plot Delay

Red on Red covered just over a year of the main characters' lives in a single 500-something page volume. From War Till War covered half a year on the same page count. Face of Victory covered just over six monthsnote  but was about 25% thicker than both previous books. Winter Break (a.k.a. From the Depths) was where this trope really picked up steam: despite being longer than RoR and FWTW (but still shorter than FoV), it barely covered one and a half months, chronologically.note  Poison of the Past was almost twice the size of RoR (in fact, it was the first to get Divided for Publication), but chronologically shorter than WB by a couple of days. Lies of Mirrors, Truth of Steel bucked the trend a little by covering almost three months in the same page count as RoR, followed by Orb of Fates, which was the shortest book to date, but also barely covered a single month. Sunset was about the size of FoV, but covered just shy of 2.5 months, while Midnight was equivalent to WB in terms of size and coverage. Finally, there is Sunrise, a book so gargantuan, not even five FWTW-sized volumes could contain it, despite covering (so far) only just over six in-universe monthsnote . Of particular note is the fifth sub-sub-volume of Sunrise, which covers seven days in the volume of Red on Red.

If you consider only the originally planned books in terms of Red on Red's size and chronological scope, we have:

  1. Red on Red (reference: 100% size, 100% coverage, relative size/coverage density: 1.00)
  2. From War Till War = 106% size, 52% coverage (rel. density: 2.06)
  3. Face of Victory = 138% size, 38% coverage (rel. density: 3.60)
  4. Winter Break = 294% size, 18% coverage (rel. density: 16.26)
  5. Heart of the Beast (so far) = 964% size,note  81% coverage (rel. density: 12.49), of which:
    1. Lies, Truth and Orb together = 188% size, 24% coverage (rel. density: 8.06)
    2. Blue Gaze of Death alone = 775% size, 55% coverage (rel. density: 14.42), of which:
      1. Sunset and Midnight together = 242% size, 24% coverage (rel. density: 10.23)
      2. Sunrise (so far) = 534% size, 30% coverage (rel. density: 17.71)
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For a more graphical representation of the phenomenon, see this PDF.


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