Seventeen weeks into the production of Acts of War: Aftershock, and the revision process is about to kick into high gear.
Progress: Tomorrow, I’m heading into the Privateer Press offices to discuss revision notes on Aftershock with publications director Mike Ryan and the continuity team, which includes Doug Seacat and Matt Goetz. One of the handy things about living in the same city as your publisher is you can have a face-to-face meetings to make sure we’re all on the same page with any big changes. After the meeting, I’ll start revisions in earnest with a goal of completing them by the end of the month.
The Best Part: Help is on the way. One of the great things about writing for Privateer Press is that I have access to a fantastic team of editors and continuity editors. I can get questions answered on just about anything Iron Kingdoms-related from arguably the best source on the planet: Doug Seacat, the sage of the IK himself. The man is a literal encyclopedia of Iron Kingdoms lore. Mike Ryan and Matt Goetz also help out with continuity, and, even better, all three of them are accomplished writers with a great sense of story and characterization. So, in other words, I’m in good hands, and the changes I’ll be making will only improve the final product.
The Hard Part: No, mine! With revisions on a novel this size, you’re going to have minor disagreements from time to time. I’m not talking about the cut-and-dry continuity stuff that’s either right or it isn’t; I’m talking about more nuanced things like characterization and narrative pace and structure. Occasionally, they’ll want me to change something I’d like to keep. It could be a small detail, like the description of character, to something a bit bigger, like that character’s motivation. Invariably, the editors are open to discussion, and if I can make a good case for leaving things the way I had them, they’ll remain unchanged. On the other hand, the editors often make such a compelling argument, even on a point I’m fairly passionate about, that I’ll come around to their line of thinking or at least find a workable compromise.
Mini Excerpt: As many of you know, Asheth Magnus, one of the heroes (?) of Acts of War: Aftershock, is not a “whole” man. His right arm has been replaced with a mechanikal prosthetic, which, as we see in the excerpt below, he has been known to use creatively.
“I know who you are,” Kovnik Narova broke in. “A murderer, a traitor, and a liar.”
Magnus chuckled. “Well, I can’t deny all of that,” he said. “But I’m glad we’re well acquainted.”
He squatted down in front of the Khadoran, ignoring the pain it wrung from his braced leg. He reached out with his right hand, a mechanikal prosthetic, bulky and crude but effective, and laid it on the kovnik’s shoulder. The man did not flinch or pull away, but he would feel the weight and strength of that hand. “I have some questions for you,” he said and squeezed, not enough to hurt yet. He could feel Dane’s eyes on his back, watching, evaluating.
“I will tell you nothing,” Kovnik Narova said.
“I understand,” Magnus said with a sympathetic nod. “You are a good soldier, and you must say that.” He tightened his grip, and the Kovnik winced. Bruising pressure now. “Here is the first question.”
I recently broke my collarbone, a painful experience, and one that I drew upon quite a bit in this excerpt . . . and what comes after. 🙂
If you have a question or comment about the book or my writing process, ask away in the comments section below. And if you’ve missed the updates for the previous weeks, you can find them right here:
Isn’t -ova as in Narova a female form?
It’s entirely possible my grasp of Khadoran gender forms is shaky. Have to run it through the experts at Privateer and see. 😉
I was thinking of the Slavic / Russian.
Thanks for the update even though you broke your collarbone! It probably pained you to write the updates, as well as everything else, did you find it made the content even better? Drawing on the experience to write more into the story?
The collarbone break itself wasn’t too bad. The recovery was kind of awful, though. 🙂
Sure, I drew on that personal experience when writing the scene, and I was able to include some detail I likely wouldn’t have without experiencing that particular injury firsthand.
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