The first six books in The Celestial Wars taught me so much about the art of writing that I really wanted to revise them before publishing the series wide to the world. When Dan Johnson agreed to re-narrate, the project was on.
Below is one example of those revisions. It is from "Waite on the Blind Angel." Harmon is trapped on another world and must survive a fight with a dragon to get back to home...
The dragon didn’t even pause to acknowledge my answer. He lowered his head, opened his mouth, and spat a ball of flame at me. I slowed time and sped under his fire, noting the four fangs set at each corner of a mouth filled with jagged teeth, each as long as my knife. Yeshu’a grew into a sword in my hand, and without haste, I slashed the elongated iris of one baleful eye as I raced by. The dragon reared back in pain, and a blast of sand blinded me. I kept moving at hyper-speed, using the light in my head to reorient. I ducked to one side of his bulk and slashed at his back leg as I passed.
That’s when I made my mistake. I hadn’t considered that the dragon’s tail was as much a weapon as his fire. Out of nowhere, that armored appendage, as thick around as my own body, slammed into my chest. I flew through the air in a long, endless arc. My last conscious thought was, “So that’s what breaking ribs sound like.”
The dragon belched fire, and I hyper-sped under the reddish-orange flames, drew Yeshu’a, then slashed the elongated iris of one baleful eye. The dragon reared back in pain, and a blast of sand blinded me. Using the light in my head to reorient, I ducked to one side and slashed at his back leg.
That’s where I made my mistake. I hadn’t considered the dragon’s tail was as much a weapon as his fire. Out of nowhere, that armored appendage, as thick around as my own body, slammed into my chest. I flew through the air in a long, endless arc, my last conscious thought, So that’s what breaking ribs sound like.
Revisiting my characters and revising for clarity and cadence was too much fun!
One lesson I applied was, Not one word more or less.
For example, my audience already knows the sword, Yeshu’a, grows from knife to blade in a fight, and that the hero, Harmon Waite, has Flash-like hyper-speed abilities.
Also, the attack made it obvious the dragon didn’t wait for an answer, so I just needed to get on with the action.
Finally, I clarified character inner voices with italized font, versus "quotes". Doesn’t make much difference here, but the dragon communicates mind to mind, so it makes conversations easier to follow.
Revised edition/s of first three novels are out to the world now. A Texas-sized Thank Y’all! to my audience for bearing with this pause in the series.