Writing Queenslayer

Queenslayer is the fifth book in the Spellslinger Series.

Story Journals are where I talk about the writing of the books I’m working on. I update these with the latest content at the top, so start from the bottom if this is new to you.

October 17th – Tweaking the first act.

I’ve become somewhat obsessive about prose lately – going back over the same lines repeatedly until I’m sure they’re as close to perfect as I’m capable of achieving. It’s not the most efficient way to proceed, but I like the feeling that each major section of a book (I tend to write in either four or six acts) is truly finished before moving on. In this case, it’s mostly minor stuff, but it’s all important to me.

September 14th – By the gods of sea and sky, Kellen is a mean bastard . . .

Making a number of tonal changes to the story. When I first wrote Queenslayer years ago, Kellen was really callous and hard-bitten. I still want a bit of that edge to him (after all, he’s been hunted by his people ever since he got the Shadowblack), but I also want that vulnerability that’s so key to his character. Also, man is Reichis ever evil in this book. That part I’m not changing, though. He is a squirrel cat, after all.

August 21st, 2018 – Okay . . . how do I do this now?

Queenslayer was actually the first Spellslinger book I wrote. I’d wanted to write about an outlaw mage with a lousy life – no money, no prospects, hunted by his people and abused by his mean-spirited “business partner”. However when it was time to go to a series, everyone agreed we needed to see Kellen’s origins, and so the earlier books came to life. Since Queenslayer’s already written, this should be easy, right? Piece of cake. Just a tweak here or there for continuity . . .

Nope. I’ve got to go line by line, page by page, and chapter by chapter to figure out what the book wants to be now, and not what it was when I first wrote it.

Still, it sure is fun to read just how much of a jerk Reichis was in that book.

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