Interlude Between Act 1 and 2. Should I do this?

by Joey

Hi. I have planned the first act of my fantasy book thoroughly enough, and just finished wrapping up the first chapter, which focuses on one of my three main characters, a privateer named Nathaniel Farrar, the captain of the Queen's Arrow, and his helmswoman named Jane Barding.

Jane is crazy, she was very much inspired by Harley Quinn from the Batman franchise. I'd like to call her Nathaniel's foil, as he's very focused, responsible, and looking to prove himself worthy of being knighted while she is wild, uncaring, obsessed with acquiring Nathaniel's romantic love, and a person whose every action can be blamed on her emotions. I believe Jane is a very valuable character because I plan for her to ultimately become Nathaniel's personal antagonist in the overarching story, so this interlude will serve to foreshadow that and to set her on the path to corruption, both physically and emotionally.

The interlude I'm planning to write between Acts 1 and 2 would be written from her point of view, but that's the thing, she is not a main POV character. She is not the focus of this story. Nathaniel and the other two main characters, however, depend on her succeeding in her spinoff quest in order for them to achieve their ultimate goal of finding a cure to the king's curse. Basically, if Jane doesn't succeed, the main characters can't leave to begin their quest outside of the kingdom. They physically cannot leave the kingdom without being seen and incarcerated by the paranoid, cursed king who's the father of one of the characters who'll be going in said adventure.

My goal was to shoot two, or three, birds with one stone. I wanted to give my three characters a realistic escape option while accentuating the king's paranoia as I built up a future villain by making her feel hopeless of an ideal life through this life-changing, self-contained story that she goes through in the interlude that I ironically named "Selfless."

My question is, should I do this even though Jane is not the focus of the story? I admit, I really want to write this interlude because it's more than just a character-building story, it's also a world building, lore-rich facet of this world I created that I believe makes it unique. It opens doors for me to explore the war between temptation and purity in the book that would ideally feature Jane as a more prominent villainess.

I think there's value in writing this, but do you think it would take my readers out of the main story too much? It's only a chapter-length interlude, and that'll be the last time she'll be featured in this book, though.

Answer: I don't see a problem. You have valid reasons for having this interlude, and it seems to be integral to the overall plot (a prerequisite). Lots of writers introduce a second POV character when it's helpful for the reader to learn something the main character isn't present for. So I'd say go for it.

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