It’s done. ‘Shield and Scepter’ is now with my beta readers. The first draft is complete.
I finished this morning, well ahead of the July deadline I gave myself before surgery. I’m hopeful I’ll get notes back from at least some of them before my fingers are worked on. Which is good, as my specialist has said that I need to keep using my fingers as much as I can right after surgery. It’ll help keep them limber, flexible.
I can baby the palms, and be careful that the stitches don’t get infected or pulled out, but the fingers will need to move.
I’ll admit to tearing up a little as I typed the last chapter. I don’t know if my readers will, but it was hard for me to write. Not because of anything bad.
But because this cast was only meant for two books. They’re both written now. Denise Barone is shopping around the first one. The second should be in her hands before the end of summer, depending on how long I need for revisions.
I’m not sure I’m ready to say good bye to these characters yet.
The cast came from a remarkable D&D game, played with friends I consider family. They trusted me with their characters, understanding that some things about them may change as the plot evolved. I tried so hard to honor their original vision while writing the best possible story I could.
They deserved nothing less than that.
We were still playing the characters when I started writing ‘Scales and Stingers’. We were early in the pandemic, playing online, and striving to hold onto some sort of normal connection in the midst of chaos and fear. I started writing because the adventure path was coming to a close soon. The characters were going to be retired, we as players would start from scratch again.
Honestly, I didn’t want to let go of Thia. I didn’t want to lose the banter between Jinaari and Adam. Or the jokes cracked by Pan or Gnat. The constant chaos that was Helix.
I was in the middle of a pandemic, where nothing was certain, and we couldn’t celebrate the end of the adventure like we wanted to. So, I began to write, to plot, to immortalize the cast.
Because, damn it, we were epic.
For a few days, I’m going to take a step back. Clear my head. I have decisions to make.
Am I finally ready to let go of these characters? Let their future be hopeful?
Am I finally ready to revamp an old story, fit it into the world of Avoch, and rediscover that cast?
Or can I just not let go yet and push for a 3rd book?
Right now, I can’t answer any of those questions. I’m damn proud of what I’ve done, though. Hopefully, there’s a publisher of LitRPG out there who agrees with that statement.
And then it’s up for readers to decide if I need to keep Thia’s story alive.
BB/Chan Eil Eagal Orm