Toy Soldier Saga

A series of novels and stories in a fantasy space opera universe.


Development Notes for Chapters 14 and 15 of Brothers in Arms

Posted on April 9, 2014 at 6:00 PM

Writing these chapters, I found that the story of Shaundar's entrenchment in the Bloodfist family was falling flat.  I didn't know what the missing piece was, but it was frustrating the hell out of me.  I slugged through the writing of Chapter 14 stubbornly, even after my initial re-write.  And then I figured it out; I had Shaundar with the wrong woman!  It took me until after I wrote a scene in the middle of Chapter 15 (no spoilers, so not telling) to figure it out.  I decided there was no reason why Shaundar wouldn't fall in love with Targ's wife, and I could see no reason at all why he would fall in love with Corin's wife.

This is a departure from the events of the game that I based all of this on, but it fit the story better, so I changed it.  I also changed around the names.  So for those of you who were following the story, Shaundar still falls in love with Y'Anid, only Y'Anid is married to Targ, and her twin sister Ynga is married to Corin.  Skim over those parts to re-acquaint yourself and it should be easy enough to follow.

Keeping in mind the Bechdel test, I realized that I also needed to flesh out their characters much more in the book in order for them to be believable and interesting (what is going on in my head is another matter; I know them pretty well there but they weren't coming across as I liked.)  So I got them actively involved in the scro polltics that I'm beginning to introduce in earnest in these two chapters.  Again, I'm not going to spit out any spoilers, but the scro government is hardly monolithic, and many complex factions are competing for control of events.

For the first time I also got into the head of our illustrious Scro Overlord.  I also allude to what Yathar had been up to during this time - I know some of you readers have been asking. ;)

I have also tried to fit events into the context of canon Spelljammer events.  The astute will be able to take note.

The first fight scene in these two chapters is entirely the product of my imagination.  The second was carefully blocked out with a martial arts teacher, my SO Jamie, who is an active consultant for combat scenes in these books, and has been now for several months.  I used pictures of the HMS Warrior ironclad ship to get a feel for the deck of a Scro Mantis, which is not well pictured anywhere in the official Spelljammer products.

Events take a sudden turn here, partially political and partially personal, in the Bloodfist household especially, and these events I have been waiting to write since I started the book.  Most of that is in Chapter 15.  This concludes Part Three, and in Part Four, I return to the world of elves for a little while.

Forward and onward!

Categories: Development Notes, Character Notes

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