As I think I’ve mentioned before, while I am writing I like to go back every now and then to read over what I’ve written so far. Every five chapters of progress seems like a good number for me. I actually went to chapter sixteen this time, though, as I was on a roll, so to speak, and didn’t want to stop at that point. Anyway, what I’m getting at is that after finishing chapter sixteen, I did a read-through, which I just completed. I found some clunky sentences, a few places where I’d changed the name of something later in the book and hadn’t gone back to correct earlier instances, added or rearranged a sentence or two in various places to get the flow at those points to feel better, adjusted word choice and description in certain earlier scenes so they are better in-line with how I describe the atmosphere later in the book, and so on. Little things that one doesn’t think too much about in the heat (or in the slogging) of getting the words on the page.
It’s looking pretty good so far. As it was a bit in book 2, now that the guild exists, what dragonlinked must deal with keeps piling up. And as they are new, there are no ideas as of yet on what exactly it is that dragonlinked do beyond ‘protecting people’ (which includes dragons!). That also means there are no limitations. It’s fun playing with that.
One of the difficulties with the series at this point is the number of characters. What I tried to do in book 2, and am still doing now, is to pick a few ‘main’ characters for the book and mostly use them as the driving/point-of-view characters. The other characters are still there, obviously, and they do get things to do and say, but the ‘mains’ carry most of the book. Another thing I’m trying to do is to give the different characters a little bit of style. By that I mean, their own quirks—phrases, actions, nervous tics, etc. I don’t want it to be anything in-your-face, though, and it doesn’t have to be. Something as simple as the nicknames used for bond-mates has an impact of how characters ‘feel.’ For many this may seem beyond obvious, and I suppose it is. But the more you get a handle on certain aspects of your craft, the more time you can devote to other aspects not quite perfected. That’s where I am now, still learning and (hopefully) still improving.
Now, back to work on chapter seventeen!