Last week, I shared what 5 things I added to The Bow of Hart Saga over the time I was writing the series. This week, I’m sharing what I removed from the series. This one is a bit tougher since I had to think through so many years development.
1. First on the list is a major sub-plot. Once I really re-booted my work on the The Bow of Destiny and the series, I added a major sub-plot where events unfolded in a totally different part of Denaria with different characters. It was pretty good writing but very unnecessary as pointed out by my editor. So, I removed the sub-plot but held onto it for later publication as a single book or a novella series. Hopefully, I can begin sharing some of that in the coming months as the early portions of this could easily be developed into the first two books of a shorter series.
2. Next, I dropped additional books. When I first planned the series many years ago, I wanted to write between seven and nine books. I trimmed that notion to five books and then to three. I think three books were enough to cover what was needed (reference to the Withlings intended).
3. The meaning of the Bow of Hart was next to be changed. At first, I intended to write it much differently (no spoiler here) but the more work I put into the current version, the more I knew it had to be twisted. That meant dropping my original intentions and I think that worked out much better. For those who haven’t read it, you need to and you’ll understand.
4. Along with the shift away from more books, the plans I had for a major war in the lands of Shildra and Grendon shifted north which made sense. Fewer books meant less time to move into other lands so I kept the series arc as simple as possible – anything else was pushing too far. I did not get to show events in other places like Shildra, Grendon, Hart, Rok and several others. Perhaps I can write another series about those lands (and, no, the previously mentioned content is not about these lands).
5. Lastly, I dropped a very convoluted beginning that spent far too much time with Athson being alone and making long trips to and from Auguron City. That left him involved with no one so there was less dialogue. Also, it was just boring so I settled on pushing the reader directly into Athson’s confusing reality and a single, straight-forward journey to the city with Gweld while moving the ranger station further away and adding a few stops along the way for better context and plot development.
So those are a few details that were cut, and generously so. I think it made the overall series better, more concise. As a bonus, I can also share that I split the initial first book since it would have been far too long, shifted the title to the second book and developed The Bow of Destiny title. That took some doing but it worked. Next week, I’ll share more details I added, especially in The Bow of Destiny that made the book better in my opinion.
The following post is a fictitious news report based on events from An Arrow Against the Wind, Book Two of The Bow of Hart Saga:
The Ezhandun Resistance Tribune
“Resistance News Dwarves Can Trust”
Date-line: Somewhere in the Central Drelkhaz Mountains By Cracked-Shield (true name withheld for security)
A rare opportunity has presented itself for an interview from an important personage and news from our scattered people from west over the mountains. Just a few days ago, none other than our former leader, Tordug of Chokkra, arrived with several other people of import in his company. They are on a quest which I’ll let him describe as well as deliver his message to us. This writer is aware that this piece may be controversial for many of our people still living and fighting hard against Rok but the message may prove to be of help to many, even those who harbor low opinions of our former leader.
Cracked-Shield: Word of you has been mere rumor for so many years. Can you tell us where you have been?
Tordug: I was saved by Makwi while fighting in the upper-southern halls where we were cut-off whe Cokkra fell. We escaped out a secret entrance but were still pursued by trolls so we fled west into the wilderness as best we could. After a time, we split up for more than a year but we found each other through scattered people living as refugees in Auguron. We agreed to do our part hunting trolls in the Heaths though none would rally to our cause.
Cracked-Shield: So, you’ve been fighting like shadows without the aid of any of our brethren warriors. Some would mention honor – even with Makwi at your side – as cause enough not to support your efforts. Others would commend you for continuing the fight virtually alone. What brought you over the mountains at this time?
Tordug: We joined a quest at the request of a friend but we didn’t come over the mountains. We entered Chokkra through the Troll Neath on our quest. We have seen, first-hand, the cursed desecration and destruction of our home.
Cracked-Shield: Through Chokkra, eh? Perhaps you were on an assassin’s quest for a certain wizard?
Tordug: If only that were true. But our friend is a Withling seeking a relic to fight against not only Corgren but Magdronu as well. As you have heard the tale already, some of our party barely escaped a trap, including Makwi.
Cracked-Shield: Yes, it is rumored a Withling accompanied you here among our resistance fighters as well as Makwi. You seem to be in honor raising company, even bringing us an actual Ax-maid. What can you tell us of this quest and this Ax-maid?
Tordug: Yes, an Ax-maid is with us. She earned the title saving an Auguron ranger from trolls. She even displayed the death-grip in the incident and several times since, including on her journey here with me.
Cracked-Shield: Death-grip you say? You have brought us some truly brave and honorable visitors. One can only hope that you bear news of hope?
Tordug: I dare hope that our quest will make some difference against the trolls and Rok as well as the dragon and his wizards. But we have yet to find the relic.
Cracked-Shield: Were you aware of the plight of our people here? How they are used for blood for the dragon?
Tordug: I had heard of these things. Several in our party, including Makwi, were rescued from such a fate. I am ill-pleased with the extent of this heinous problem. I will take council with Duliwe and Withling Hastra about these matters as time allows. But as you know, I rule no longer so my word is not law. Only the honor of my companions brings me gracious aid at this time. But it is necessary that we recover this relic for the Withling so that Magdronu may be countered. My great desire is that the power of Rok and the trolls will be broken over Chokkra by recovering this weapon.
Cracked-Shield: So, you offer your people hope after all these years of silence?
Tordug: I do indeed offer some hope though I do not know how it shall be accomplished at this time. I understand that many may given up on any possibility of restoration of Chokkra. Without this quest, Magdronu’s evil will only fester further throughout Denaria.
Cracked-Shield: Can you share more about this quest?
Tordug: I can only say that it is a Withling-blessed weapon passed through a Hartian family over many generations. It is certain that Magdronu knows of our movements and intentions as does Corgren and his brother, Paugren. But the less said the better, I think.
Cracked-Shield: You have grown wiser in the years of your solitude while fighting trolls. It is said your fighting honor rose among us while you traveled here. What of this tale?
Tordug: Aye, our enemy has raised some creature of magic named the Bane. None can slay this creature without the help of a blessed weapon or the presence of a Withling. Hastra was not with us so I and the Ax-maid fought it when it attacked during a fight with a Rokan squad. I pushed it over the side of the mountain but it haunts us still.
Cracked Shield: A deed, well done then. Perhaps you will do more than offer hope in a blessed weapon to defeat our enemy and regain us our home free of the threat of our enemies.
Tordug: Makwi, our companions and I will do all we can to end the power of Magdronu and his minions. It will be done if I must breathe my last do accomplish it.
Ending note: Rokans have since threatened Duliwe with a force of their spearmen. Tordug, Makwi, Hastra the Withling and the Ax-Maid have left with other their companions on their search for the blessed weapon. We can only wish them well for our own sakes though many might harbor little hope of deliverance from such a desperate quest. This dwarf for one, hopes that Tordug’s determination will win him back his lost honor and, somehow, our lost home.
Also of note, Duliwe has reportedly sent a special force of artisans and fighters to block the high-road to the place of our old celebrations now used for the cursed sacrifices of our people. It is not an option we wish at this time, but certainly one which must be carried out if possible. We’ve played for time and survival long enough, perhaps it’s time we cut-off one avenue of Magdronu’s magic supply using our people’s blood.
This is Cracked-Shield, bidding all my readers hope in these dark times.
Look for more of these fun reports about the series. If you are interested in The Bow of Destiny, An Arrow Against the Wind or the newly released, final edition, The White Arrow, please click the appropriate link for the book-page. Following is the direct links to find An Arrow Against the Wind at Amazon where you can also download it for free via Kindle Unlimited:
The following post is a fictitious news report based on events from The Bow of Destiny, Book One of The Bow of Hart Saga:
The Auguron Wind-Times
Brazen Troll-Attack Near Marston’s Station
Date-line: Marston’s Station, Auguron Forest By Rowigan Skaulter, Roving Reporter
This evening was disturbed by turmoil around Marston’s Station which roused this reporter from sleep. Reports are coming in this evening of a troll attack when travelers approached this very way-station. Events are unclear at the moment, but trolls becoming so bold as to attack as far as the station are ominous.
While rumors of other attacks much further east have not yet been confirmed with the rangers guarding the roads, this reporter has been able to substantiate these local claims of fighting.
When I descended to the common room, I found the entire number of overnight visitors roused amid a storm of confusion. I saw one young woman brought in by a giant, an unusual sight in these parts, to be sure. The woman seemed wounded as her arm was covered in blood.
What follows is my interview with a dwarf who seemed to have been part of a scuffle, judging by the blood-spatter on his clothing.
Rowigan: “Sir, you look like you’ve been in a fight. Can you tell us your name?”
Dwarf: “Uh, Tordug.”
Rowigan: “Mr. Tordug, do you-”
Tordug: “Just Tordug.”
Rowigan: “Do you mean, Tordug the Just?”
Tordug: “No, Tordug.”
Rowigan: “Oh, I’m so sorry, it’s so loud in the tavern now. The men seem to be celebrating about something. Tell us what happened, Tordug.”
Tordug: “Well, some travelers arrived, shouting about trolls attacking on the road, just east of here. They said the brutes shot arrows at them. Then they said they were missing two of their party. So a bunch of us grabbed our weapons and ran off along the road to help.”
Rowigan: “I see, so there were trolls? What did you find?”
Tordug: “We got there just in time. There was a young woman astride a horse and a young ranger fighting alone against a pack of trolls. The moon rose back east and shined on the woman so she glowed like silver.”
Rowigan: “I heard mention of this woman and saw a human female brought in by a giant. Is that the same person? Was she wounded?”
Tordug: “Well, we fought off the trolls and found she was wounded but the ranger had only a few minor scrapes.”
Rowigan: “So there were trolls who were driven off into the night and one wounded in the fighting. Is that correct, Tordug?”
Tordug: “Yes, we drove them away. But the Withling healed the woman, her name’s Limbreth, I think. But she lost blood so she passed out anyway. Had an arrow-wound.”
Rowigan: “Withling? There’s a Withling in Auguron? Now that’s news, indeed! Can you point her out? I’d like to interview her.”
Tordug: “Uh, I don’t see her around just now. But she was there, I’m certain.”
Rowigan: “So the young woman is this Silver Lady, these men are talking of in all this celebration?”
Tordug: “Yes, it is. My friend and I will be composing a dwarven verse about her bravery on the road. She rode back wounded for the ranger.”
Rowigan: “That’s is a deed worth a song. And this giant, do you know his part in the tale tonight.”
Tordug: “He was with the Withling and the others that got attacked.”
Rowigan: “What? The Withling was attacked too? And this giant was with them? You’re sure of the details?”
Tordug: “Yes, I saw them when they arrived.”
Rowigan: “Well, Tordug, it was fortunate for this Limbreth, and the ranger, that you and your friends responded so quickly. Thank you for sharing your account tonight. Auguron owes you a debt of gratitude for your quick and decisive response to the danger.”
Tordug: “That’s what we dwarves do with trolls.”
And there you have the full account of the attack as this reporter has discovered directly from someone who fought in the altercation not far from Marston’s Station this evening. I’ll work to obtain an interview with this Withling and the blessing of such a rare appearance in Auguron Forest. We’ll have more to report from all across Auguron regarding the rumored, and troubling, incursions further east as we travel west toward Auguron City. Look for more reports in the coming days. Troll attacks can only mean trouble for our elven forestlands. This is Rowigan Skaulter sending by pigeon.
Look for more of these fun reports about the series. If you are interested in The Bow of Destiny, An Arrow Against the Wind or the newly released final edition, The White Arrow, please click the appropriate link for the book-page. Following are direct links to find The Bow of Destiny at Amazon (available in Kindle Unlimited):