War-Torn, the second installment in the epic Warring Realm series, comes out today, and like so much of my writing, when I look back at the book that I’ve written I realize that I am far and away from where I first thought I’d end up. In the misty, far off days of plotting the entire Warring Realm series out, which was in truth less than nine months ago, I thought I had an idea of where things were going to go, who was going to be doing what, and when the various twists and turns were going to happen.
But then Luce grew up.
It might seem strange to say it that way, but I’ve found that when you create a character and start putting them through the paces of the world you’ve fashioned around them you’ll find them changing. They mature and deepen, they scar and bruise, and by the time they’ve reached whatever milestones you’ve laid out for them you realize that they aren’t the same character any more. You learn more about them as you tell their story, and as you do their abilities, their character, and their souls are tested in ways that shape that story. You find that they are racing along, clearing those stumbling stones and making those milestones blur by, or, if you’ve been particularly cruel, you find that they limping along far out from that milestone and one more stumbling stone is going to break them. And sometimes you need to break them, letting them fall and fall hard so that from those pieces they can grow again like a remodeled bone, textured and stronger.
I once heard Mr. Stephen King say something to the effect that his best stories, or maybe it was just the best stories, are ones in which you just put characters in situations and let things roll. It can get ugly, it will get raw, but in the end you have something that is a thrill to write and readers are going to enjoy. Plot can get in the way of a good story if you let it and Lord help me, but I love writing too much to tolerate any of that guff.
So I’ve watched Luce grow and then I watched him fall, hard. I watched him crack into all these cutting pieces that coalesce together into this walking construct who grows more jagged with each step until he is bleeding with each step. Then I let him break again.
What happens from there? Well, that is quite a story. Why not go and find out?
From the Publisher:
Haven’t read book 1 yet? Pick it up by clicking on the cover.