I have in fact been working on the story but not on writing new chapters. Instead, I'v been trying to improve the first half of the story. Your feedback would be much appreciated.
I really feel that I've improved as a writer since I started and thus I've been editing the first few arcs. On top of just general improvements I've also been trying to bring it up to e-book quality and format.
Below is a timeline for the story as it stands now. I had a much rougher timeline I was working from but as I actually wrote the story a lot changed. This is my first big writing project and I had no idea how to pace everything as I wrote. The Iron Teeth has turned out to be much longer and slower paced than I initially planned so some things need shifting around.
Current Timeline: Warning Spoilers
The Road North
- Merchant caravan in cage, thinking back to sewer life
- Bandit attack, freed by Saeter
- Training to do chores
- Meets Vorscha and Garalhd
- Goes out to get rabbits and sees harpies
- Meets Herad, reason for staying
- Out hunting for deer and spiders
- Sneaks into party and gets drunk
Honor Among Thieves
- Wakes up with hangover
- Rides Wagon and practices tying cord
- Stop for the night
- Does a lot of chores, skinning, smoking, gets knife and leather
- Hunts with trap and sling
- Bullying followed by Gerlahd and Herad fights
- Goes out to get snares and slime fight
- Search for cave and Mimic attack, goblins
- Merchants arrive and trade, Blacknail steals key
- Herad goes out to raid weapon shipment
- Boar attack and disappearances
- Raid returns with casulties
- Ghoul infestation and battle
- Blacknail sniffs out infection
Written in Blood
- Becomes a hobgoblin
- Beat up by Saeter and given a sword
- Kills bandit at latrine
- Khita is recruited
- Training by Vorscha
- Red Dog and Saeter attack deserters
- They end up in tight spot
- Blacknail sneak into deserters, kills leader
- They recruit deserters, mage, prisoner woman
- Troll Attack
- Follow Troll back to it's lair and kill it
- Returns to camp, see goblin
Along Twisted Paths
- Herad and Saeter go North to Daggerpoint
- Red Dog left in charge of camp for winter
- Blacknail follows Saeter
- Drake and Ogre Stampede
- Runs into travellers
- Run into goblins and fights harpies
- Teaches goblins stuff and improves lair
- Gets lost, uses human trap, and asks for directions
- Arrives at Daggerpoint and scales wall
Den of Beasts
- Stalks through alleys and explores.
- Meets Luphera and gets information
- Khita is ambushed and he intervenes
- Follows her back to base and overhears Herad
- Decides to kill her enemies
- Visits Luphera and gets info
- Sneaks into Fang's base and kills him
- Runs back to his tribe and presents Herad with Fang's head
- Visits Avorlus with Mahedium and they return with deal
- Failed attack on them by thugs
A Tradesman's Tools
- Wakes up in room
- Training with Herad
- Elixir from Avorlus
- Under bed next morning
- Goes out shopping and finds mask
- Sent to kill Galive with Saeter
- Kills him and avoids Malthus
- Hears footsteps on roof while sleeping
- Assassins and Malthus attack Herad at night
- Blacknail kills some and chases rest back to Luphera's
- Sneaks in, kills man, and meets Luphera
- Alarm is raised and he is convinced to kill man for Luphera
- Fights guards and assassins then duels with Malthus
- Flees through window but has to climb back inside
- Hides in closet until Luphera kicks assassins out
Queen of Swords
- Goes out with Saeter to recruit
- Run in with street children
- Hears about ghouls but it turns out ot be Avorlus' men
- He is a bloodmage
- Saeter confronts Herad and Mahedium
- Preperations for war and construction of barricades
- Zelena summons mercs and starts attack
- Hired thugs fail to take barricade after Mahedium blasts them
- Mercs advance and blow hole in barricade with mage
- Head falls back and sets wall alight
- Mercenaries are pushed into flames and defeated
- Assassins start targeting Herad's archers
- Blacknail is sent out to stop them
- Lures Malthus into overgrown land.
- Uses traps and ambush to kill assassins
- Blacknail goes back to battle.
- Sees Saeter fighting and dives in to save him
- Meeting of remaining bandit chiefs
On top of a lot of editing to speed up the pace of the first few arcs I've been thinking about adding a new arc in after Written in Blood. The point of this would be too make the first half story more self contained and like a novel; so it has a clear beginning, middle, and end that gives readers more of a sense of progression. Again, this is also to fix the really slow pacing of the story at the start.
Some ideas I've been throwing around for this are:
- Finding the cave and a battle with a powerful mutant, such as a giant snake.
- Build up the world more naturally with resorting to interludes.
- An attack by the knights from the beginning of Written in Blood to show more about nobles and society.
- Very action heavy arc with lots of chaos.
- Shows Blacknail's character and social status growth.
- Sets up the war in Daggerpoint
- Earlier introduction of unique Elixir powers
Tell me what you think and about any ideas you have!
Another big thing I've been thinking about is rewriting the prologue to make it more relevant and have a bigger hook. A good story needs to get people's attention in just the first paragraph and I'm not sure my current one does that. Some readers have also complained about it being so long and the shift in perspective, and they have a point.
New/Changed Prologue: The Shattering of Ways
Blood poured from the man’s wounds onto the cold ground beneath him. He was dying and beyond help now. He choked and gasped as bitter blood clogged his throat but he fought to hold still and at least die with dignity. In his last moments, and in front of all these witnesses, he wasn’t going to go out thrashing around like a fish out water. Burn that!
He refused to have regrets, even though he had never gotten what he’d wanted out of life. He had done the best he could and died for what he’d believed in! His would be the last laugh anyway.
He could still feel the inhuman eyes that watched and blazed with hate. The dying man tried to chuckle but all that came out was a weak gargling cough. The fools had no idea what they’d unleashed! They couldn’t see how the world had changed and turned against them.
As the man’s vision grew dark, scenes from his past began to play out before him. His last breath rattled through his teeth and he couldn’t help but think back to how it had all began…
The point here is to shorten the really huge and not completely relevant prologue I have now and really get it to grab peoples' attention in only a few sentences. The story is just so long now that keeping the same prologue wouldn't make much sense. I'll probably re-add it as an interlude.
If you have any ideas or criticisms for any part of the story I would love to hear from you. It would be really helpful to hear from all my readers about what they think makes my story strong and what makes it weak.
The more input I get the faster I can get this out of the way and get back to new chapters!