The Full Story

The first six books in The Celestial Wars have taught me so much about the art of writing that I really wanted to revise them before going wide to the world. When Dan Johnson agreed to re-narrate, the project was on.

 

Below is one example of these 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...

Original Version

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.”

Dragon 2.jpg

Revised Version

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 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, So that’s what breaking ribs sound like.

Dragon 3.jpg

Revisiting my characters and revising for clarity and cadence has been 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 to be published shortly and a Texas-sized Thank Y’all! to my audience for bearing with the pause in this series.