The latest on Battle for the Throne. I haven’t posted in over two weeks (my apologies; I’ve been busy), so brace yourselves, because I have a whole cascade of things to share.
1) 16/77 chapters are written and edited for the book. (The total chapter count went up by one because one of the redone chapters was split in two.) To put that in another perspective, 20% of the book is done. Done as in apart from a grammar and typo check, I’m not planning to make any more changes to these chapters. What a relief!
Lots of things got changed up in the chapters that I’ve edited since I last posted, and wow has it been worth it. When I first enter the editing phase, it’s easy to have a depressed attitude. I’ve already written these chapters, after all, and thought them grand. How can I possibly improve them? Or on the flipside, I look at them and go, “Oh, blazes, there is so much to fix. Where do I start?”
But then I start digging and soon the ideas begin flowing again and the chapters—which frankly can grow quite stale after I’ve looked at them for several months and memorized their contents—take on a fresh life. It is magical.
2) Something fun I was thinking and writing about recently were the characters and their different views about drinking. Everyone has a stance on alcohol consumption and, depending on their background, personality, etc., it can vary widely. So, it was neat to examine that aspect in my own characters and use it to draw a deeper portrait of them.
3) I’ve also been thinking about characteristics of this book that distinguish it from Quest for Freedom and Winds of War. The main one that leapt out at me is humor. This book has a lot more of it woven in than the prior ones, often in the form of dry wit or pointed remarks. (“Fool of a prince,” Fergus muttered. “Countless bloody miles Edward and I have marched for his sake. He’d better not endanger his precious life now.” [Said ironically while Fergus is potentially putting his own life at risk.])
Two women have also joined the main plot. They both have strong personalities and are a match for the men in energy and wits. They also both have a strong desire for independence, which ruffles more than a few feathers on occasion.
Oh, and there are siblings everywhere. I’ve counted and there are five brother-sister combinations in the book. (That wasn’t planned, it just turned out that way.) It’s rather interesting to see, really, because Quest for Freedom was very focused on mothers in a way, while Winds of War was fathers. Now it is on to siblings, which I just love. I do have three brothers.
4) The other week, I came across a great quote. The author was talking about maturity and what it compromises and wrote this: “Maturity requires the tenacity to continue a work once begun, to its very end, without giving up the struggle in the face of this or that obstacle that stands in the way.”
[From In Conversation with God: Vol 1, p. 373 by Francis Fernandez]
That really sums what it takes to write a book, clean the bathroom, fill in the ___. It also characterizes much of what takes place in Battle for the Throne. Mark’s opportunity to take back his usurped throne is finally drawing near, and much stands in his favor. But still will he be able to do it? Or will his struggle with some of his fellow Gerdians, companions, or even himself defeat him or lead to a hollow victory?
There is only one way to find out.
Battle for the throne!