After a great meeting with my editor, I realized that I had to restore a subplot I cut out of the book. I figured it was going to end up being in book 3 instead, before I realized that its original intent was going to work. So… 5 new (old) chapters were put back in the book near the beginning. In fact, one of them is now the new first chapter.
But as for moving forward, I had gotten stuck on several points on my last chapter, and it just… blech! It wasn’t working. Too overwrought and loaded down with purple prose that was muddying even my understanding of what was going on. The good news is that now that I have worked through a serious scientific problem, I can also see that this book is living up to my hopes and has the potential to being a real awesome adventure when I discussed my plans with my editor. She was so good at just letting me vent ideas. Still not sure on a few simple points, but mmmm boy…. this ending, thanks to the solution brought back by the restored subplot got so much better.
It was a sub-plot that originated from characters from A Light Rises in a Dark World, so some favorites are returning and having an impact on what’s going on. This also will end up creating more of a tie-in to book 3 that I hoped.
I also have the timeline more squared away. Having to start writing chapters that will be inserted earlier into the book because I’m writing this chronologically forces that issue.
I’m seeing the ending far more clearly, now, and that makes me happy. But I have to start thinking of what to title this thing. Even a working title would be good.
As you can see, a significant jump in word count too.
New (Restored chapters and locations)
1. The Hunt
3. A Desire For Home
5. Confession & Revelation
7. An Interrupted Meal
8. Breaking Bread With New Friends
And the new chapters since last with their new position:
57: Rewards, Conundrums & Disappointments
58: The Drowned Forest
59: The Valley That Drives Away Evil With Light
60: Temple To An Unknown God
61: The Weight of Sin
I guess it has been a while since I’ve given you a chapter update. So as a mea culpa and désolé, here’s an excerpt from the new opening chapter
The beast had come across the ice that winter. Tracks left in the snowpack frozen by spray from a storm haunted Aske’s mind. The prints were startling along the beach of Neinnvanbjarg as it had wandered along for a short while, looking for evidence of food, found it, then went into the trees and vanished. Perhaps the beast would just pass on to another island looking for better fare, but that was not to be. A week later, an team of oxen were killed. Their kusk escaped with his life by the grace of God. Something needed to be done now for this beast was there to feast.
Early March had created a world without horizon. For days on end, the air was warm and thick with fog. Heavy coats were laid aside, and most timberjacks went about with only light oilskins normally for rain over their autumn clothing. Aske and his men slogged through the mud and wet snow of the spring melt. Near the beaches the crunch and hiss of ice shoves were a disquieting din as the winds and waves pushed floes and bergs all the way to the treeline. Sometimes the piles reached over forty feet high. But among the trees the sound of dripping water and sighing boughs was all that could be heard. The birds refused to sing, not even the chickadees or cardinals, for they knew a killer lurked among the pillars of nature’s cathedral. The beast made it easy to follow by dragging the dead oxen back to its cave in the rotted limestone cliffs that made the northeastern end of the island. Ten of them came with Aske while the rest protected the woodyard and the logging camp. The track may have been there, but it might be still on the prowl. None the less, Aske’s knowledge of nature told him to expect a full it inside.
The plan was simple. They would go in as many men abreast as possible and when they came across across their quarry, pin it in place with the first rank of spears, then the second rank would stab the trapped creature till it stopped moving. The hide might be ruined, but this was not about another fur, this was about survival. Of all the choices for hunting the beast, this was the safest and fastest.
The cave was a small alcove set back a few dozen yards from the beach and elevated in the rock about the height of a man with talus of rotted rock scattered at its base. The smell of feces came strong on the stirring breeze outside the mouth of the lair. A deer’s ribcage poked out obscenely from the melting snow telling that the oxen were not this beast’s first kill. Even in the full light of the foggy day, the shadows inside were deep enough that the men could not see more than a few feet into the short cave.
Aske took the middle of the first rank, was flanked by his two strongest men, and began entering the dark. The cave was not too deep, maybe a hundred feet or less, but it took a bend to the left, which concealed the deeper chamber of the cave. Behind him, a rank of men held torches high. The flames sizzled in the spiderwebs and burned the rock lice. Unstable slabs of loose rock clunked under their feet and the stink was overwhelming. The torches were now their only light. Ahead, soft breathing could be heard. Would they be so fortunate as to catch their prey still sleeping?
Feel free to comment and ciao for now!