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Okay everyone, here is an explanation of what I've been up to lately and why there have been no recent releases. I'm very sorry about that but I've just been very busy. 

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

  • Stuff

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! 

-ClearMadness
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ClearMadness

Bio: Not actually a goblin.

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aSoftSilence @aSoftSilence ago

"Teaches goblins stuff and improves lair" - Keep this. It's one of my favorite parts. While it may not have progressed the plot (normally a no-no), I feel it really helped Blacknail gain independence as his own kind of character in the story.

"An attack by the knights from the beginning of Written in Blood to show more about nobles and society." This is a good idea. Adds some much needed action to the beginning of your story and also helps give light to Blacknail's background. 

pppp22 @pppp22 ago

I like the strory like it was. For me it perfect, but that is only my opinion.

As always thank you for your hard work!

Boubouh @Boubouh ago

Here's what I think about the changes you want to do :

- Training by Vorscha : really small part and helps to set a relationship with Vorscha, you should keep it.
- Red Dog and Saeter attack deserters : it sets why they end up in a tight spot, you could shorten it a bit but not delete it.
- Teaches goblins stuff and improves lair : it's a funny part. Moreover as aSoftSilence stated, it helps Blacknail in his gain of independance. You could even use the goblins later to make a Goblin Corps in the band if they manage to evolve or become more intelligent.
- Meets Luphera and gets information : another fun little part and it sets the background for why he later goes here to gain information on Fang
- Saeter confronts Herad and Mahedium : not really useful except if you want them to go against Avorlus after the war. But keep the explaination about what blood mages do to understand what's special about them.
- Herad falls back and sets wall alight and Mercenaries are pushed into flames and defeated : you could delete it but it helped reducing the number of enemy mercenaries so you could maybe just reduce the length of this part.
- Lures Malthus into overgrown land : maybe speed up the part between the battlefield and the forest but i thought it was fine as it was.
- Finding the cave and a battle with a powerful mutant, such as a giant snake : it's a good idea because you set up the possibilities of a crystal cave but in the end it's just completely forgotten. You could also make that the ghoul infection comes from when they explore the cave.
- Build up the world more naturally with resorting to interludes : interludes are fine but it would be better if they have some links with the main characters. For example, the interlude : Study and reflection has no direct link with the main story and is not really useful for the development of the story.
- An attack by the knights from the beginning of Written in Blood to show more about nobles and society : interesting. To make it more interesting, you could make them battle on the way back from the deserter camp and the troll comes in the middle of the battle, killing the knights and 'saving' the bandits. 
- Very action heavy arc with lots of chaos : why not but there is already the queen of swords arc. So maybe just in an interlude about the wars between countries.
- You could make an arc or interlude which shows the past of blacknail in the sewers but from a human POV, especially you could show how Blacknail became a Vessel.

Btw thanks for the story ! And I hope that my comment will help you to make an even better story.

mafiapl @mafiapl ago

From what i see the story is building for the Blacknail to defeat the mutant dragon from first chapter.
So i asked myself, what else Blacknail would need to defeat a beast that even the best elixir fighters coudnt. And that dragon has that nasty breath of his.

So the MC would need a reason to go there and kill it. Perhaps once Herad establishes as the Queen of thieves, she will build a city and the only way for her to do so would be take over some ruins. And there is a abanded city that is guarded by a dragon.

Next thing. That ice breath of dragons. Blacknail doesnt stand a chance against that... unless he will know about it and there will be a way to help against it. Perhaps some kind of ice resistance potion and at same time dodging that breath. MC would need first to discover before confronting the dragon that he actually has that frost breath. This involves Blacknail in gaining experience in fighting against some big bests and other non-mutant dragons. So Blacknail needs a way to block/resist/dodge/inhibit dragon from using the breath.

Next thing. Weapon. That dragon had some really tough hide. Blacknail needs better weapons. Perhaps some elixir powered ones, or something?

Blacknail needs to be faster and better. As he is now, even though he is faster than human, he isnt near mutant dragon level of speed. That dragon would chomp him in half before he could do anything.

MC doesnt need to do this alone. Perhaps an army of mutant hobgoblins, elixir powered/mage ones would be of some help.
------------------------------------
Thats as much i can think about the dragon.

As for other things...
Blacknail and his goblin ancestry. He could go on a  journey to discover his roots. Deep inside forest, through some wild goblin bands led by legit hobgoblins, not by fat crazy jealous ones. There was a mention that goblins had their own societies before humans came. The world is big and goblins are very sneaky, it coudnt be that humans pushed or wiped out all of them. There must be some remains of the old goblins. It was also mentioned that those old tribes were led not just by one hobgoblin but by a groups of those. Perhaps Herad will send Blacknail back to camp and he will use this opportunity to go explore his heritage.

Underground. There was once mentioned that there is vast underground area. That it has natural crystal formations. That also can be explored. After all Blacknail was interested in whats there.

galeg @galeg ago

I find the social interactions of Blacknail far more interesting try than the constant action scenes. In some if the really action heavy chapters I often find myself just glossing over the text.

Lorcogoth @Lorcogoth ago

[*]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.


these two seems like good ideas but the fight with the big mutant snake seems wrong mostly because almost all the mutants so far have seem really damn strong and took the death of a dozen persons to take down.

Wise old penguin @Wise old penguin ago

I think that the ghoul infestation came outta nowhere, you could try to have them explore a crystal cave first. Where some of the bandits get infected, as suggested by someone else.

Dragrath @Dragrath ago

Hmm it is tough to say what to change. I feel to give accurate evaluations one would have to reread the story multiple times and point out weaker areas. From memory I really enjoyed the exploration of your world and the characterization of the wildlife as an ecosystem rather than simply monsters to fight. Likewise character interaction is one of your stories key points. It really got you attached to the characters and helped develop them. 

I can't really add much more detail wise as I am not that good at remembering things like that.

I can say that Daggerpoint has had a harder time keeping me interested than the earlier material as it has felt more drawn out but I kinda feel that time wise it makes sense in story as those sort of events aren't the type to progress too quickly.

I guess I am afraid that if you try and condense things that you will lose that attention to detail and complexity that really makes the story feel special.

Growl @Growl ago

19/07/2016 10:59:48galeg Wrote: [ -> ]I find the social interactions of Blacknail far more interesting try than the constant action scenes. In some if the really action heavy chapters I often find myself just glossing over the text.


You're not the only one. I do the same. 
I honestly thought those goblins were going to be recurring and a large part in developing Blacknail's character and status. But now it appears the author wants to scrap that...