Writing Acts of War II – Week 3 Update

Week three has come and gone, and the first draft of Acts of War II has passed the 30,000-word mark. Below is my progress report for the week.

Progress: I wrote 10,022 words for week three and made it to the end of chapter eleven and very nearly to the end of act one (one more chapter to go). That’s less raw words than the previous weeks, but with the holidays and another large project intruding on my writing time, I’m more than happy with this number. I’m still well on track to finish ahead of my deadline.

The Best Part: Big battle scenes. This week included the first big set-piece battle in the book, and I always have a lot of fun writing those. One of my favorite things about these scenes is that I can really pull out all the stops and show my main characters, most of which are warcasters (that’s a kind of sorcerer who combines magic with steam-powered technology), doing what they were made to do. That means spells, feats, and all the other fun little bits WARMACHINE players see on their stat cards.

The Hard Part: Game to narrative. When you’re a media tie-in author for a company that produces tabletop miniatures games or RPGs, one of the challenges you will invariably face is turning abstract game language into narrative fiction. I mean, you have to take a rule like “automatically hits and gains an additional die on the damage roll” and turn it into something that makes some sense in the real world. That said, these are fun challenges, and I typically get a kick out of coming up with new ways to translate game to fiction.

Mini Excerpt: This week’s mini excerpt features warcaster versus warjack, and once again, we’ve got some awesome concept art for one of the main characters in the book, Asheth Magnus.


Magnus charged, the weight of his armor and the nagging pains of old wounds sliding away in a surge of adrenaline. The Sentinels parted before him, and the Spriggan loomed, its war lance swiveling in his direction. He spun away from the first thrust, which would have impaled him–armor, power field, and all–and hit the Khadoran warjack holding Foecleaver like a lance of his own. Magnus focused his will into the strike, and the mechanikal blade ripped through the Spriggan’s hull below its head, showering him in sparks and the black spray of hydraulic fluid. The Spriggan swung its assault shield at him as he wrenched Foecleaver free and tried to leap away. He wasn’t quick enough to avoid a glancing blow, and his power field blazed, absorbing some of the impact, but the attack still had enough momentum to smash him off his feet and stave in the right side of his breastplate.

Man, I hope Magnus did some serious damage to that Spriggan, or our favorite ex-mercenary antihero might be in serious trouble. 😉

Got a question or a comment about the book or my writing process? Ask away in the comments section below.

And if you’ve missed the progress reports for the previous weeks, you can find them right here:


Remember, you can still get the first book in this series, Acts of War: Flashpoint, at a 25% discount from the Skull Island eXpeditions website by entering the code ACTSOFWAR1 at check out.

3 Comments on “Writing Acts of War II – Week 3 Update

  1. I’m now super curious. The POV seems to be omniscient third person, which I’ve noticed is the case in Privateer Press’s game materials. This is unlike the non-omniscient narrators we see typically in novels, who kind of lead you along, showing, not telling. Has this been part of the general ethos of Privateer, to give potential gamers/customers as clear a view of the setting as possible?

    • Hi, David, the POV for the novels is usually third-person limited, though the POV character may change depending on the chapter.

  2. Pingback: Aeryn’s Archives – Acts of War: Aftershock – Aeryn Rudel's Rejectomancy

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