The Way They Fell
Book One in The Inevitable Series
A plume of dust spews out of the mountainside, burying the valley in grey. No one knows what it is. No one knows whether it will stop. The colony watches as the powder grows, and they wait for the elders to decide their fate. But no announcement comes. The members are forced to decide whether to break convention and act on their own or wait for a decision they’re not sure will come.
It takes this cataclysmic event for Teka to realize that she wanted independence all along. Tiladon challenges his beliefs about what it takes to be Head-Elder and a father. Desupon is forced to decide whether to continue living by the colony’s standards or escape the images of death repeating in her mind. Is this the perfect opportunity for the members to change? Or is it the perfect excuse for them to run from a group they want no part of?
Read for Free
The Way They Fell is a short prequel to Observing the Inevitable, setting up the story of The Inevitable Series. Fans of Ursula Le Guin should particularly enjoy reading it due to the focus on the themes, and the inevitable questions about society the book brings forth. The Way They Fell focuses heavily on its characters, and the development of the group itself. At 42,000 words (168 pages), it’s just longer than a traditional novella.
The series focuses on group dynamics and identity within a group. Though it deals with topics that are considered “adult” due to their seriousness, there is no sexual content, graphic violence, or excessive swearing that is attributed to adult ratings. It’s an exploration of a group’s culture and how they struggle to stay together, not a hack-and-slash fantasy-thriller.
The series has different elements not seen in our own reality. Thunder cubes that pull together and explode, icathial that glows blue and floats, force crystals that vibrate around other compounds and elements . . . are a few fictional elements that reoccur within the series. Of course, we can’t forget the existential dust that threatens the colony from the very beginning of the book. Will they one day discover more about it, be consumed by it, or flee from it?
Length: 168 pages (1 page = 250 words. Total length: 42,000 words)
Age Rating: 12+
Date Published: February 10, 2021
Series Title: The Inevitable Series
Number in Series: 1
Featured Book Chat
I had the pleasure of talking with EarnestlyEston, who read and recorded a book chat about The Way They Fell. He found that the book fit right in with his preferred style of writing, so if you’re curious to hear what someone else has to say about the book, check out his chat.
Exploring the Themes
Themes are important to me as an author
so lets talk ideas that drive the novel
Struggling with leadership
Finding independence within a group
What do you do when you don’t agree with leadership? Do you follow them and hope for the best? Do you convince yourself the leaders are right? Do you create discussion to find a middle ground? Or do you rebel?
Whether we have to deal with a boss, a parent, or even a government, we have to learn how to respond in light of disagreement. There are so many ways we can act, and no simple decision, but I think it is important to reflect on our propensities. For me, I easily submit to government, even if I grumble along the way, but when it comes to church leadership, I respond in a very different way (I push back and challenge). With bosses, I open up conversation so I can get disagreements resolved. Being aware of how I act is so important, so I can check myself when around different forms of leadership, and hopefully find a better balance.
In The Way They Fell, the colony members have always been submissive to the elders. But there were always hushed disagreements and unhappiness. Now they don’t have the self-awareness to prevent the worst from happening. Their response looks more like rebelling in the name of making things right.
No matter the choice we make, our actions always have consequences. Even when we decide it was the right choice, it involves change, and people may still feel hurt. I left a group that consisted of many great people, but the group itself was harmful to my emotional health. My leaving had positive consequences, but I lost friends because of it (from distance and my own failures to keep in touch with the healthy friends I had there). Within that choice were many other small ones, some that didn’t turn out well. It’s so important to understand that these consequences don’t easily fit into the categories of “right” or “wrong.” Think of it this way: “It’s complicated.”
Maintaining a sense of independence within a group can be very difficult. I have been in groups that it seems nearly impossible to feel like myself, and I’ve been in groups that encouraged independence and let it flourish. How can we be independent individuals, and be in a group? I think it all depends on the group’s culture.
One of the hardest things I think we have to come to terms with is that sometimes we can’t be ourselves while being with the group we have come to love. Sometimes the only way to understand your own identity is to distance yourselves from those people. It doesn’t make any person bad. Giving each other space is so important, and you may find your bond improve with those in the group as a result, or it may dwindle as you discover the people in the group aren’t good for you. Our relationships are organic things, and so are groups. But if the group you are in is non-negotiable, it doesn’t have to be the end of your relationship (work, personal, government), but you will mostly likely find that certain lines need to be drawn in order to work together.
Groups can have such strange influences on us, good or bad, that it is so important for an individual to understand themselves before they understand there relationship with the group. When we are easily influenced by the group culture, we allow ourselves to go on a wild ride that usually ends in a lot of hurt. Unwillingly giving up our freedoms to be a part of the group is not helpful. That’s how cults form, and I think we have a pretty clear understanding of the trouble with cults. We need personal strength and understanding to be able to function well in a group.
In The Way They Fell, people within the colony realize, if not for the first time, the importance of their own dependence. It is the first time they question how to do it, and they take steps which they think will achieve the best for them. Yet, with all their good intentions, there are people that question their logic, and are even hurt from it. With many people stretching their independence for the first time, they group together to find the answer to independence. The question is, do they come up with a good solution?
Sometimes things don’t make sense. Let’s just admit that. Sometimes things need to change. And sometimes we need to be careful how we go about challenging group norms. Finding a balance is incredibly difficult, but I think challenging conventions creates more harm than good when we don’t go about it cautiously. The trouble is, sometimes the culture of the group we’re in won’t allow for even the slightest conversation of change. And things get a lot more complicated in those situations. What is the answer? Well, really, I don’t know. For me, it was to leave the group. For others, it may not be so easy.
The Way They Fell sees the group needing to address these things. They question the very leadership that won’t let them speak. They know change is needed, but don’t know how to best achieve it. The reader is left to decide whether they were more helpful or more harmful in their attempts to change.
The Inevitable Series is very much an exploration of group dynamics. The Way They Fell explores the group under rigid leadership. In book two, Observing the Inevitable, the group has made some pretty big changes, but now they must face new dynamics and challenges.
The thing is, group dynamics are it incredibly messy. What is good for one person could be terrible for another. Helping one person could harm another in the group. For this reason, I think evaluating the truth of a group’s culture is incredibly important. And that’s one thing the series always presents to the reader: a group struggling with its own culture.