Twenty weeks into Acts of War: Aftershock and revisions continue. Here’s how the week went.
Progress: I’ve done quite a bit of work on the book in the last week to ten days. I started by going through the manuscript and addressing all the editors’ comments and suggested changes. Most of that consisted of straightforward and even simple changes, but there were a few scenes I needed to rewrite extensively. Next, I wrote three additional chapters designed to increase the presence of certain characters and solidify their role in the plot. This week, I’m going back through the manuscript again, word for word, chapter by chapter, cleaning up the changes I made and making sure they’re consistent throughout the manuscript. I have one major scene to rework in the third act, and then the first round of revisions will be done.
Revision Roundup: Today, I’m going to talk about another of the three major areas of focus for the revisions: character. As I go through the manuscript, many of the notes from the editors address a character’s dialogue or actions that aren’t quite in line with how they’ve been presented both in Flashpoint and elsewhere in Iron Kingdoms fiction. These types of adjustments are somewhat unique to writing media tie-in, where characters, like Lord General Coleman Stryker, Asheth Magnus, and Ashlynn d’Elyse, have been shared by multiple authors. So, even though I might come at a character differently than another author, he or she still needs to be recognizable to those familiar with the setting.
I’ve also been working on adding new chapters that give some characters more time in the spotlight. For example, I added a chapter about Ashlynn d’Elyse that reveals more about her motivations and how she interacts with the Llaelese Resistance. The antagonists can get this treatment too, and the entire purpose of Irusk’s new chapter, for example, is to give the reader a glimpse into why he made certain decisions that, viewed from afar, could be seen as quite villainous.
Mini Excerpt: One of the cool things about Ashlynn’s new chapter is it lets me spend a little more time with some of the awesome and unique troops that fight for the Resistance. The following mini-excerpt focuses on one of those Resistance powerhouses: the Thorn Gun Mages.
The face of one of the buildings ahead exploded outward in a plume of dust and smoke, disgorging a massive crimson warjack. The towering machine lumbered through the remains of the structure that had been hiding it, bringing its arms together in front of its body with a reverberating clang. The jack’s limbs were covered in slabs of heavy plate steel, like shields, and when locked together they made an impenetrable armored shell. Ashlynn knew the Khadoran design well. In her experience, it often lived up to its designation. Devastator.
Lieutenant Waevyr and her gun mages reacted to the appearance of this new threat as they’d been ordered, and their magelock pistols unleashed ensorcelled ammunition in a thundering volley. The Devastator was huge and slow moving, and the gun mages could not miss at such close range. Magelock rounds hit the target in a strobing flashes of blue and red. Some of the gun mages had fired thunderbolt ammunition, but the Devastator was simply too large and heavy to push back, even with the powerful enchantment. The rest had fired incendiary, and flames engulfed the warjack. The fire would have little effect on the Devastator with its armored shell engaged, but Ashlynn knew if she could force it into close combat, it would emerge from its steel cocoon, and the sorcerous flames would take their toll.
You know, I’ve never used that particular warjack in any fiction. I won’t say it’s the only reason I put a Devastator in that scene, but it didn’t hurt. 😉
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:
Acts of War: Aftershock is available for preorder in print and digital from Amazon, and you can buy and read the first book in the series, Acts of War: Flashpoint, right now.