When I first started Eon Fable, I really only knew one thing about it: I wanted every chapter to be very different. I wanted it to be an exploration of character voices just as much as it is an exploration of what it means to be an elemental creature. And though I admit I'm putting my whole heart into every chapter, it's still just an experimental piece for me. I'm writing it to push my own limits and see what I can do, and it's something I'd still write even if it had no readership. (Still, the readership is more than appreciated!)
(Also, if you're curious where I started NaNoWriMo at, it's the scene that starts with "Later, they came to take me to recess.")
After a ridiculous 33,000 words had passed and I finished this one, I was particularly pleased with it. Symbols and themes fell into place at the end that I wasn't actually expecting to work out as well as they did. But when I reflected upon the story, something began to concern me: I was worried that maybe the Flareon was starting to get too preachy at the end. And that's fine for one character to do, I guess, since Jasmine nor Grandfather really were concerned about preaching lessons and morals to the reader. But I began to worry that maybe too many chapters were going to go this route. I know the word "Fable" is in the title so it's implied to have morals, but for a while I got worried that if the story put too much emphasis on the elemental-themed morals, it would overshadow the actual stories being told, and maybe get boring. So instead of just diving into the mind of an Eevee and being immersed in the story from their point of view, you'll just be thinking "Okay, what's the moral gonna be, what's it going to have to do with (Electricity/Darkness/Ice), how cheesy is it going to be, and how many more words to slog through until I find out?"
After thinking about this for a long time, I realized maybe it's not as big a problem as I thought.
Eon Fable is about characters being thrown into crazy, unfamiliar situations and how they cope with the changes. That's going to be the one inescapable theme that links all the chapters together. The characters have to make some tough decisions where the answers aren't always clear, and they might end up making mistakes. But I realized it's the natural part of someone's character to look back on their mistakes and rationalize them, and justify what's happened in a way that will help them push forward. So really, if you get through a tough situation, a moral is inescapable because you need a way to deal with the reality of the decisions you've made. Of course you'll tell yourself that your mistakes don't matter in the long run. Or you'll tell yourself that the mistakes you made weren't really mistakes, and that they actually helped. You'll block things out. You'll make up crazy excuses, which may or may not be valid, which let you embrace or let go of the past and move on. That's something that everyone does, and it's something very powerful. So if I'm going to wear the masks of these Eevee characters and let them tell their stories, I know I need to let them do that if they want. I need to let them tell their stories in a biased manner that might downplay their mistakes and make their own side seem more justified than it is. Because that's important to any character, especially when writing in the first person.
In the end, the lessons learned by the Eevees aren't so much morals as they are questions posed to the reader. Some of the lessons might actually directly contradict one another. The readers are free to make up their own minds about the lessons that the characters learn. You can decide for yourself if the Flareon is a terrible person or not, if he's just rambling nonsense excuses or if he actually has a point. Because really, my goal is not to actually teach specific lessons to the reader (except for maybe the single lesson taught by the grandfather), but to just get into the heads of the diverse cast of characters and show how they think about things, especially under the influence of their elemental powers. They're not speaking with my voice, I'm trying to speak with theirs.
With the story being what it is, I'm actually not posting the chapters with the expectations that anyone will read them all the way through (or if they do, read them without skimming too much, as they're written to be read out loud). But I will say that if anyone actually manages to get through this miniature novella of a chapter, you have my greatest congratulations, and I'll happily be willing to discuss your opinions.