Development Notes for Rewrite and Chapter 15 of Brothers in Arms

I had to do a major rewrite because I realized that I had written myself into a corner.  If you have not read Brothers in Arms the following will be major spoilers.

The original game upon which the novels are based had Shaundar falling in love with Y’Anid, Corin’s wife.  But as I wrote further into the story, I realized two things.  The first is that in my haste to tell the story I had not fleshed out my lovely scro women enough as characters; and the second is that I could see no reason why Shaundar would have fallen in love with Y’Anid, but plenty of reason that he would fall in love with Ynga, Targ’s wife and the sacrifice of diplomacy; much of it grounded in similar experiences.  As a matter of fact, I had one of those unique writing moments in which the author discovers something about the character, rather than the other way around, in the writing of chapter 15, when the clan comes to Targ’s wife’s bedside.  Shaundar made it clear to me where his feelings lay.

So I made the decision that Shaundar’s love would continue to be named Y’Anid, and it would be Y’Anid who was Targ’s wife, and Ynga would be Corin’s wife and the future lady of the clan.  It’s not as simple as replacing one name with another, however.  Some scenes had to remain exchanges between Shaundar and Y’Anid and others had to be between him and Ynga.  Due to the changes in circumstances there were some changes in the ways in which scenes unfolded.  And I gave my ladies greater chances to get involved in the integral circumstances of the plot – my intention all along.

In the meanwhile, I began playing a scro-based campaign with my home gaming group, which is giving us opportunities for extensive worldbuilding around Dukagsh and the Scro Empire.  I added some references to the new cultural elements and characters who will likely appear in short stories later on.

I have also added a map of the Phlogiston and nearby spheres, including the current holdings of the Scro Empire.  I added this to an edit of A Few Good Elves as well, consistent with the chronology.

Then, when I began reading Brothers in Arms on Spreecast this past month, I was informed by Adam “Night Druid” Miller that canon stated that the survivors of the Borka Maneuver retreated to the Grinder; not the edge of the sphere as I originally wrote.  So I rewrote those parts as well, which has created a new dilemma for me that I’m not sure yet how I’m going to solve; namely, if Shaundar has pneumonia, he will not survive the long journey back to Dukagsh at this point.  It’s just too long.  I will have to find him some other method of healing that does not feel like a deus ex machina.  I’m not sure how I’m going to accomplish this quite yet.  But I have re-written all the flash-forward scenes that have appeared thus far as a result of this change.  To avoid confusion they have each been set at the beginning of a chapter, rather than scattered throughout as they were before.

The fight scene between Targ and Shaundar in this chapter (which I know you’ve been waiting for because I sure was!) was written after extensive consultation with professional martial arts instructor Jamie Field and my hubby (who is a black belt in Kyokushinkai karate.)

Now I am beginning Part Four.  And for those of you who want to know what’s happening back in the world of the elves – stay tuned!

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