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Progress Update

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It’s been some time since I wrote anything for my blog, so I thought I’d give you a quick update on what’s been happening on the writing front recently.

First and foremost, I’ve been working on finishing Dragon Hunters, the follow-up to When the Heavens Fall. It’s been an interesting process. I wrote DH a few years ago, and it had been a while since I’d last read the book. But, hey, I’d already done six drafts of the manuscript, so there was no way it could need much work, right?

Wrong.

In that final draft I cut around 8,000 words. The story didn’t change at all. No scenes were deleted. All I did was trim the odd sentence or paragraph to improve the flow. Over the course of a long book, though, the deletions add up.

The most significant change was to the characters (DH features four new POVs). I like my characters to be shades of grey, but sometimes I come back to my writing and think that a particular character is too unsympathetic. It’s the difference between confident and arrogant, or between cheeky and offensive. The line between them can be thin (and of course it will lie in different places for different people). Sometimes it just needs a few tweaks to a character’s thoughts or dialogue to tip them one way or the other. But as my editor put it, I don’t want to go too far and strip a character of their ‘edge’.

Here’s the blurb for the book:

"Once a year on Dragon Day the fabled Dragon Gate is raised to let a sea dragon pass into the Sabian Sea. There, it will be hunted by the Storm Lords, a fellowship of powerful water-mages who rule an empire called the Storm Isles.

Emira Imerle Polivar is coming to the end of her tenure as leader of the Storm Lords, but she has no intention of standing down graciously. As part of her plot to hold on to power, she instructs an order of priests known as the Chameleons to sabotage the Dragon Gate. There’s just one problem: that will require them to infiltrate an impregnable citadel that houses the gate’s mechanism—a feat that has never been accomplished before.

But Imerle is not the only one intent on destroying the Storm Lord dynasty. As the Storm Lords assemble in answer to a mysterious summons, they become the targets of assassins working for an unknown enemy. And when Imerle sets her scheme in motion, that enemy uses the ensuing chaos to play its hand."

Dragon Hunters takes place in a different part of the same story world, and at the same time as events in WtHF are winding up. It’s a self-contained story, but also forms part of a larger narrative that concludes in book 3 (which is out in October 2016 and features some returning characters). The action occurs over the course of just four days, and all of the characters begin in the same location, so there’s more overlapping of the different story threads. Hopefully, I’ll be able to put up an extract here soon.

The series continues in book 4, which will take you somewhere new again with a different set of returning characters.

 

 

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