I love reading about and writing interesting systems. I also love playing games with well-designed systems. Unfortunately, I very frequently find that the systems that I encounter don’t make sense to me as a designer and/or as a writer.

This is true both in fiction (e.g. reading LitRPGs) and in reading or playing game systems.

This isn’t to say that having strong systems is necessary for a book to be a good experience, or even for a video game to be amazing. Simple can be best in cases where the systems side isn’t the focus.

I also acknowledge that people design systems with different goals in mind, and things that don’t make sense to me may work perfectly well for other designers, players, readers, etc.

That being said, I’d like to talk about some things that I *like* seeing as a reader/player, and that I try to take into account with my own writing.

When designing the components of a system, one of the first things I like to think about is how it can be interesting for whoever is interacting with it – that is, the reader (if it’s a book) or the player (if it’s a game). I suppose I can add the audience for things like TV, movies, etc.

When I’m talking about systems components here, I’m referring to things like:

  • Spells/Skills
  • Items
  • Monsters
  • Character Classes
  • Methods of Advancement
  • Etc.

For example, let’s say I’m working on figuring out the abilities of a character that’s meant to be a physical fighter. This can be in the context of a book, a video game, or anything else.

When determining the abilities that I’m going to give to a character, I think about what the core fantasy of the character is supposed to be, and the role that they’re supposed to play in the game – both mechanically and in terms of narrative.

A “fighter” can mean a lot of different things to different people, so I’ll narrow the context a bit to a fighter in a traditional fantasy setting.

What are some things that are core function of a fighter in that context?

I’d lay out some things like:

  • General combat ability
  • Protecting other people
  • Being able to endure a lot of damage

These are some foundation points that can be broken down into sub-categories and handled in a lot of different ways, and each of my main fighter characters has different ways of handling these things.

Let’s compare some of them, for example.

Taelien:

  • Taelien is a talented swordsman, but it’s his use of metal sorcery to augment his fighting that makes him unique. By shifting the weight, composition, or dimensions of his weapon (or other metal he comes in contact with), he can make himself an unpredictable opponent.
  • His primary method of “protecting” other people is by deliberately limiting the use of his full strength to avoid killing his opponents outright and to avoid collateral damage. He also can use his metal sorcery to dull or break enemy weapons to prevent them from doing harm.
  • He has above average physical durability (largely from years of using stone and metal sorcery).

 

Velas:

  • Velas is proficient with a wide variety of weapons, but generally prefers the reach of spears. This has excellent synergy with her use of motion sorcery, which allows her to move rapidly around the battlefield.
  • This same motion sorcery makes her excellent at being able to get in the way of attacks aimed at her allies.
  • She often wears heavy armor, giving her high general physical damage resistance.

Marissa:

  • Marissa has a combination of unarmed and armed combat training, including some unusual techniques that are outside of the scope of her academy education.
  • Her Attunement increases her movement speed, allowing her to put herself in harm’s way. Her martial arts also allow her to grapple and disable opponents.
  • Her Attunement also gives her a powerful shroud, deflecting weak attacks entirely and diminishing the strength of stronger ones.

These three characters all have abilities that are completely different, but still allow them to serve the core functions of their roles. Some are better at certain elements than others; Taelien is more of a damage-dealer, Velas focused on mobility, and Marissa is better suited to defensive combat. But they all represent elements of the “fantasy” of a fighter, and they all have room to grow further, both within and outside of their specializations.

I’m mentioning this because in many games I’ve played and books I’ve read, a fighter character basically swings their sword and doesn’t do anything else. Single classed old school D&D fighters often fell into this category, for example, and characters written in that style often reflect that. This is simple for gameplay and writing, but to me, it’s far less engaging than characters who have abilities that synergize with their story role in interesting ways.

This type of thing is possible for any character type. I mentioned fighters because they tend to be the least interesting fantasy character archetypes when used in literature, at least in my experience. It’s much easier to make a wizard or cleric interesting, since they tend to have more utility (depending on the setting and systems used, of course).

When designing items, I try to think about how those items can have interesting synergy with characters.

In a game, the most entertaining items (in my experience) are the ones that change the way you play the game.

Some great examples of items that change gameplay go all the way back to Super Mario Bros.

  • The Mushroom lets you take two hits instead of one. This is something of a gameplay change, because it means you won’t die if you take a hit, but it’s not something you’re probably going to make too many decisions around – because you don’t want to get hit anyway (in most cases, barring things like exploits, glitches, etc.) This is still a pretty good item, but less interesting than the others.
  • The Star makes you temporarily invincible, and it also makes you deal damage to enemies that you run into (rather than them hurting you). This significantly changes the way you can play, and notably, it also changes your appearance and the music while it’s active. This gives using a star a frenetic style that *feels* great.
  • The Fire Flower lets you throw fireballs by pressing a button you do not ordinarily use. This was always my favorite item, because it gave me something new I could do that I couldn’t do previously. Much like the Star, it’s exciting to get one, but requiring a button press makes it even more engaging.

These types of gameplay changes can appear in modern games, but oftentimes they are (in my opinion) neglected in genres like RPGs in favor of things like raw stat increases. This is not to say that there’s no role for a sword that deals extra damage, but having some variety can make gameplay vastly more interesting.

For a good example of this, I’d recommend taking a look at the weapons in Dungreed or Dead Cells. In these games, each broad category of weapon you use plays completely differently. Using a sword feels different from using an axe or a whip or a bow, and there are whole sub-categories of each (e.g. multiple sword types) that feel distinct as well.

There are still varying quality levels of each that have different raw stats, but you might switch to a lower quality axe instead of a higher quality bow just because you prefer the playstyle – or because the axe has advantages against a specific type of opponent. That, in my opinion, is far more interesting item design than just raw stat increases.

(If you’re wondering what I’m contrasting this to, consider classic D&D weapons that are just “Longsword +1”, “Longsword +2”, “Longsword +3”, etc. Even a lot of the cooler ones, like Vorpal Swords, are more passive – they don’t change the way you play much, they just add a chance that something awesome happens when you choose the same action that you always do.

This type of thing is super common in MMORPG weapons, which often just have higher damage per second and maybe some stat increases, like +Strength and +Stamina or whatever. Sure, that 3% extra damage might make you an inch higher on the damage meters, but it doesn’t offer any meaningful or interesting gameplay change.)

In a novel, an item that opens up new options is similarly more interesting to me than something that simply gives an incremental improvement to the character’s existing capabilities. This is especially important for genres that overlap do have a lot of explicit statistics, like GameLit and LitRPG books often do.

For example, I’ve got a lot of magic swords in my books. I like magic swords.

Each of them has a very distinct function.

 

(Some minor spoilers for people who haven’t read On the Shoulders of Titans yet – you may want to skip this part or stop reading here.)

 

There are three “main” swords in On the Shoulders of Titans so far. Each of them is written to be fundamentally different in function.

  • Selys-Lyann has an ice aura, which can be used for both freezing enemies solid on contact, and for utility functions (e.g. freezing water or protecting the wielder from fire). Once Corin learns to manipulate its aura, he can also use it to attack at range.
  • Ceris absorbs magic. This can be used both defensively (e.g. to prevent an enemy from hurting you) or offensively (to store an attack within to provide extra punch).
  • Bright Reflection can reflect spells. This is, much like Ceris, both defensive and offensive in nature. It’s similar, but has the advantage of knocking the spell back instantly (rather than having to absorb it and redirect it), and the disadvantage of lower flexibility. It also presumably has other abilities; we haven’t seen all the functions yet.

In all cases, these items give the wielder new options in battle, and even options outside of combat situations. They also all have enough going on that they have a learning curve where a character can use them to some degree immediately, but they can potentially have more options if the wielder practices with them and learns to use them more effectively.

I’m not going to claim that these items are perfect (nor will I claim that my character designs for the fighters above are). But they’re examples of the general type of thing that I personally enjoy seeing as a reader.

The core philosophy here also applies to other things, like monster (and other antagonist) design. Not every monster has to have higher raw power than the last ones the heroes faced – they can simply be functionally different.

Sometimes a weaker enemy that is specialized in a way that the protagonists aren’t good at handling can be more effective than a raw powerhouse. (Surprisingly, Dragon Ball Super actually did a good job of this with the introduction of Frost, who was much weaker than the heroes but used tactics that most of them weren’t able to counter.)

Now that I’ve managed to digress into Dragon Ball, I’ll say one thing relevant to that particular series that’s related to this general discussion: character progression doesn’t have to increase every element of a character equally, or all at once.

One of the things I feel like Dragon Ball missed as an opportunity is that during the Cell Saga, they showcased a character utilizing a form that sacrificed speed for raw strength. This was quickly abandoned (and considered a useless form), with most future forms following a linear progression of being just faster, stronger, and better at virtually everything.

I think Dragon Ball would have been a much more interesting series if different characters continued to focus on developing and improving more specialized forms and techniques, rather than just getting better at everything – and the same is true for character progression in books, games, etc.

Sometimes having to choose a specialization can make a character much more interesting, especially in settings with teamwork. I’d like to see more series exploring that style in the future.

This post was just a bit more long-winded than I planned. If you’ve made it this far, I hope you enjoyed the post.

Advertisements

Here are some recent status updates.

The audio book version of On the Shoulders of Titans is currently being recorded, to the best of my understanding. I still don’t have a release date, but since it’s in progress, I’m hoping it should be done soon.

Next, project updates.

Defying Destiny continues to be a significant challenge for me to work on. I’m just not as engaged in that particular writing style as I used to be, but I’m not giving up on it, either. I’d put my progress at somewhere around 55% to 60% on the first draft, but the length could vary significantly depending on if I choose to include or exclude certain scenes.

I’ve been working on Six Sacred Swords, the Keras spin-off for Arcane Ascension, on days where I’m having trouble focusing on Defying Destiny. This is going much, much more smoothly. I’m also leaning toward ending this book earlier than I’d originally expected and splitting the content I’d planned for it into two or three books, each of which will be much shorter than a standard Arcane Ascension novel (more like the length of one of Will Wight’s books or Forging Divinity). If I choose to go that route, I expect this book will be done relatively quickly after Defying Destiny, or possibly even sooner. If I do end up finishing it first, I’m going to hold off on releasing it until after Defying Destiny to avoid making some story spoilers, but there’s a chance they could end up coming out pretty close together (e.g. within a month or two of each other).

Ideally, I’d love to get both of these books out in the first few months of next year, but it’s highly probable they could end up being pushed back a couple more months for editing time.

I’ve also started my prep work on Arcane Ascension Book 3 in earnest. I’ve been making notes for quite a while, but I’ve actually started writing the first few scenes now, as well as working on more detailed outlining.

My current plan is to write AA book 3 directly after I finish with Defying Destiny and Six Sacred Swords. I’ve been finding it very useful to work on two books at the same time, so there’s a good chance I’ll either work on a second Keras spin-off or another book simultaneously with AA Book 3.

I have several other books to work on, including a few LitRPGs, as well as some books to explore other parts of the Arcane Ascension/Broken Mirrors universe (e.g. more continents, other time periods, etc.) I might throw a superhero novel into the schedule at some point as well.

That’s it for book updates, but I’m planning to make another post of a completely different style soon. I’m going to try to start getting back into writing posts with more design and writing commentary, rather than just updates, because they’re more fun for me to write and (hopefully) more interesting to readers.

For those of you who might not have picked it up yet, On the Shoulders of Titans is currently on sale on the US and UK Kindle stores for 99 cents.

Aside from that, there are no major updates. I haven’t heard anything new about the status of the audio book, and I’m still working on Defying Destiny and Six Sacred Swords.

Hello everyone,

Sorry for the relative radio silence – I’m trying to focus all my efforts on getting work done. Here are some quick updates, though.

Audio Book for On the Shoulders of Titans – To the best of my knowledge, this is being recorded next month. I do not have a release date, but my hope is that if it’s recorded next month, it might be out by the end of the year. This depends on how long it takes for the narrator to record it and how long it takes for the production team to finish any necessary sound editing, etc.

Manuscript Updates – I’ve made some minor edits to On the Shoulders of Titans to fix some small continuity issues that readers have pointed out (e.g. Derek being referenced in a scene where he wasn’t present and some clarification on the follow up for Vellum and Corin’s patent application). These are very minor edits, but continuity is important to me, so I’m going to continue making changes like these if other mistakes are found in my books in the future.

Upcoming BooksDefying Destiny is still going slower than I’d like, but I’ve made some progress. I got one particularly challenging scene out of the way last night, and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to make a combo out of that and continue to make good progress. In days when I’m really struggling with it, I’ve been switching over to working on Six Sacred Swords, which has been a helpful way to get more writing done and retain my creative focus. As such, I’ve already made a good chunk of progress on Six Sacred Swords, and I expect that book to go much more smoothly than this one. My hope is to get both of those books out next year (early in the case of Defying Destiny, mid to late in the case of Six Sacred Swords), then get to work on Arcane Ascension Book 3. That’s going to take a lot longer – the Arcane Ascension books are *long* – but I’m still hoping to have Book 3 done before the end of 2020.

Thanks for everyone’s patience and interest. I’ll post more details when I’m closer to a release for Defying Destiny.

Hey all,

This post is just some quick rune examples for people who might have either listened to the audio version of Sufficiently Advanced Magic, people looking for a refresher, or just haven’t read that particular series yet.

 

Enchanting

Enchantments are how people with an Enchanter attunement imbue items with magical power.

The procedure for enchanting an object involves making runes, physical marks that are powered by mana, which is magical energy.

In order to make a rune, you must carve it into the proper shape and then put in the right amount of mana of the right type. For example, a rune for a wand designed to hurl balls of flame would require a fire rune (as well as other runes).

There are a few main categories of runes that are used in the enchanting process.

Function Runes determine what the item can do. For example, a fireball wand would have a fire function rune.

Example: Standard Life Rune.

Basic Life.jpg

Activation Runes determine how the item is activated. For example, if the wand is activated by using some of your own mana, it would have a mana activation rune.

Example: Motion Activation Rune.

Activation - Motion

Recharge Runes are used to cause an item to automatically fill up with mana over time by drawing mana either from the environment or another source. These are not strictly necessary, but they are used in most so-called “permanent” items so that they do not have to be manually recharged.

Example: Life Mana Recharge.

Life Mana Recharge.jpg

Capacity Runes are used to govern how much mana the item can store. Without them, any item with a Recharge Rune will just keep filling up with mana over time until the object has more mana than it can hold and explodes. That would be considered bad item design.

Example: Life Mana Capacity.

Life Mana Capacity.jpg

Complex items may involve many different runes.

For example, an item for creating a barrier may require mental mana runes for detecting incoming attacks, then runes to create a barrier when an incoming attack is detected.

Similarly, an item designed to heal the user when they’re hurt may require mental mana runes to detect when the wearer is injured. An even more complex healing item might have functions for searching for which wounds are the most severe and prioritizing which order they’re healed in, or ignoring certain types of injuries that the item might not be able to heal properly.

Since Enchanters do not have access to every type of mana, they often use items called mana crystals or rely on help from others.

Mana crystals are exactly what they sound like – crystallized magical energy. An Enchanter can draw the mana out of these crystals and use them to power runes. Most mana crystals are found from the remains of monsters inside of the spires, but it’s possible for people with sufficient mana shaping skill to make their own crystals from the types of mana they can use. Veteran enchanters often learn how to make mana crystals so they can make more complex items.

In order to cooperate with someone else to make a rune, an Enchanter must first make a shell that is used to hold the other person’s mana inside the rune. This container holds the mana from the other person inside the rune, preventing it from simply dispersing into the air.

Making a shell is a mana shaping exercise that is similar to making a mana crystal, and thus not all Enchanters are proficient at it, especially early in their careers. Mana shells also have a capacity, meaning that a low level Enchanter can’t make a shell that can hold enough mana for something like an Emerald level enchantment.

Extremely talented Enchanters can also move mana from one rune to another rune. This is dangerous for most Enchanters, however, because moving mana generally involves passing it through your body to prevent it from dispersing in the air. If you pass mana from another attuned through your body, this can cause mana poisoning.

As such, only Enchanters who have sufficient shaping ability to move mana outside of their bodies or purify the mana inside their bodies generally are capable of safely moving mana between two different objects. (There are some exceptions where this is safer, such as being able to safely move mana between two items you created yourself, or moving mana that has already been purified by someone else.)

 

Attunements

Attunements are marks that grant magical powers that are obtained in the Soaring Spires during successful Judgments. They can also sometimes be obtained directly from a Visage, but this is relatively rare.

Each Attunement involves a physical mark that appears on the body of the attuned.

Attunements grow stronger as the user’s mana increases, changing in appearance and gaining new abilities. For example, most attunements begin to generate a shroud – a form of barrier of mana – around the attuned when the attunement reaches Carnelian level.

Each attunement comes with an iconic function. These are generally called “unique” abilities, but in truth, they can sometimes be accomplished through other attunements or combinations of attunements. For example, the “unique” function of the Elementalist attunement is access to lightning magic…but a Summoner can still get access to lightning magic if they make a contract with a monster that can use lightning. Thus, the term “unique” is something of a misnomer, and it’s more accurate to say that they’re simply the function that the attunement is best known for.

Every attunement gives access to two or more types of magic when it is first obtained, and generally gives access to a third at a higher level.

It’s commonly theorized that attunements are much more advanced forms of enchanting runes that incorporate several functions into a single rune, or perhaps collections of several runes that visually appear to be one rune.

Artificial attunements have been made in Caelford, meaning that they can be reproduced with some degree of success, but the procedures for how they’re made are not commonly known.

 

Diviner Attunement

Diviner Level Rune
Quartz Diviner 1
Carnelian Diviner 2
Sunstone Diviner 3.jpg

 

Guardian Attunement

Guardian Level Rune
Quartz Guardian 1.jpg
Carnelian Guardian 2.jpg
Sunstone Guardian 3.jpg

 

Elementalist Attunement

Elementalist Level Rune
Quartz Elementalist 1.jpg
Carnelian Elementalist 2.jpg
Sunstone Elementalist 3

 

Enchanter Attunement

Enchanter Level Rune
Quartz Enchanter 1
Carnelian Enchanter 2.jpg
Sunstone Enchanter 3

 

Mender Attunement

Mender Level Rune
Quartz Mender 1
Carnelian Mender 2.jpg
Sunstone Mender 3.jpg

 

Shadow Attunement

Shadow Level Rune
Quartz Shadow 1
Carnelian Shadow 2.jpg
Sunstone Shadow 3

 

Shaper Attunement

Shaper Level Rune
Quartz Shaper 1.jpg
Carnelian Shaper 2.jpg
Sunstone Shaper 3.jpg

  

Summoner Attunement

Summoner Level Rune
Quartz Summoner 1
Carnelian Summoner 2.jpg
Sunstone Summoner 3.jpg

 

 

 

 

Hey all,

Not a lot of updates to give yet. I’m still cranking away on the third War of Broken Mirrors book, Defying Destiny. I’d say I’m probably about 1/3 of the way through writing it at this point. That’s progress, but it’s going a lot slower than I’d like. I’ve rewritten the outline almost entirely again, and moved around several scenes to make it feel more coherent.

The core issue is that my writing style has changed somewhat as a result of spending the last couple years working on the Arcane Ascension books, and writing in the War of Broken Mirrors styles no longer feels organic to me. It’s taking a while to try to figure out how to adapt what I’ve learned without losing the flavor of the original series.

Another issue is that I’ve been trying to wrap up plot threads that were initially intended to go for more than one more book. The War of Broken Mirrors was initially envisioned as a four book series, but due to the difficulties I’ve been having with switching back to the style, I’m currently going planning to more or less wrap it up as a trilogy.

That doesn’t mean I’m going to try to resolve everything in one book – it’s become increasingly clear that would be a disjointed mess. Rather, I’m going to be dealing with some critical things that are central to the plot, then most likely breaking the series off into individual books to follow some of the surviving characters/story arcs. I think this will be more entertaining to both me and the readers, and it’ll give the characters and story arcs the time they deserve, without forcing me to continue writing in a style that doesn’t click with me as well as it used to.

I know many of you are waiting for updates on the audio book for On the Shoulders of Titans. At present, my understanding is that it will probably be recorded in October. I still don’t have a release date, but I imagine that December is a likely range if it’s recorded in October. I hope we can get future books recorded more quickly after the Kindle release, but it all depends on the publisher and narrator’s availability. Thank you all for your patience.

Hello all,

The most common question I’m hearing these days is about the audio version of On the Shoulders of Titans, so I thought I’d address that. The good news is that publisher is planning to hire Nick Podehl to narrate again, so we’ll have a consistent voice and the same level of quality. The bad news is that Nick doesn’t have any slots open in his schedule until much later in the year. We’re hoping we can work the book into his schedule if he has an opening sooner, but at the moment, don’t expect the audio until around November at earliest.

In terms of my other projects, I’m still primarily working on the third War of Broken Mirrors book. I’d call it about 1/4 written at this point, so I’m making progress, but it’s going slower than I’d like. Switching back to the style of the Broken Mirrors books has been a real challenge for me, but I’m hoping that the book will speed up as I get further in the process.

If you’ve already finished On the Shoulders of Titans and you’re looking for something new to read, I have a couple recommendations.

If you’re looking for something else with an anime-style vibe to it, the Landkist Saga by Steven Kelliher is currently on sale. I’d compare it to Princess Mononoke mixed with Avatar: The Last Airbender.

You can find it here: mybook.to/LandkistSaga

If you’re looking for something else with sorcerers and LGBT romance, I’d recommend taking a look at Sorcerous Rivalry by Kayleigh Nicol, which you can find here: https://www.amazon.com/Sorcerous-Rivalry-Mage-Born-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B07BX7PW1N/

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy the other books if you check them out!

Best,
-Andrew

Hey all,

If you haven’t already picked up my War of Broken Mirrors books, now is a great time! The Kindle editions are currently on sale for 99 cents.

Forging_Divinity_Cover_for_Kindle

 

US Kindle Link for Forging Divinity: https://www.amazon.com/Forging-Divinity-Broken-Mirrors-Book-ebook/dp/B00TKFFR36/

UK Kindle Link for Forging Divinity: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Forging-Divinity-Broken-Mirrors-Book-ebook/dp/B00TKFFR36/

 

Stealing Sorcery - Medium Resolution

 

US Kindle Link for Stealing Sorcery: https://www.amazon.com/Stealing-Sorcery-Broken-Mirrors-Book-ebook/dp/B016IPJ1R8/

UK Kindle Link for Stealing Sorcery: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B016IPJ1R8/

 

For those of you who are unaware, these take place in the same world as my Arcane Ascension books, but they’re in a little bit of a different style. They’re third person with multiple perspectives rather than first person, and the main characters are already older (20s rather than teens) and moderately powerful and well-trained.

If you’re dying for more hints about where the Arcane Ascension series is going, or about the world as a whole, they’re worth checking out.

I’d also like to give a quick mention that Will Wight’s latest book in his Cradle series, Ghostwater, is out now. Cradle is one of my favorite book series, and if you haven’t checked it out already, I’d strongly recommend it.

Hey all,

I’ve been debating this for a long time, but I’m going to be making some minor changes to Sufficiently Advanced Magic.

Up to this point, I’ve only really made corrections for typos and such. In this minor update, I’m making a couple minor changes for logic and consistency, rather than just grammar and spelling.

These are as follows:

  • In the old version, it said that people are only expected to reach Quart-B (25 to 29 Mana) before the end of the year. This was always expected to come across as easy compared to Professor Orden’s goal for Corin (reach Carnelian in 3 months), but in retrospect, it was absurdly easy. I’ve changed this to Quartz-A (which is anywhere from 30 to 59 mana). This is just a few lines in the text, but I think it’s a much more realistic goal that doesn’t feel as meaningless.
  • I fixed a continuity issue. In one of Corin’s classes, it initially identified Shapers as having Earth (Primary) and Transference (Secondary). Everywhere else, including the appendix and sequel, referred to Shapers as having Earth (Primary) and Enhancement (Secondary). I have updated the classroom scene to fix this continuity issue.
  • I’ve changed a couple sentences to make it clearer that Corin studied basics about attunements earlier, but that he’s three years behind in his studies and out of practice. This came across as somewhat weird and inconsistent in the older version. I may still need to make more corrections to this as I find them.
  • I’ve added a couple extra sentences to make this clearer, too. For example, when Corin asks Professor Orden about attunement levels, I added a line to indicate that he was just trying to check and see if she’d mention Sapphires. Logically (and from earlier in the story), he clearly already knows what attunement levels are. Similarly, I added a line after the first Magic Theory class emphasizing that he knows the very basics of how magic works, and that the first class was just reviewing things he hadn’t heard in years.
  • Tenjin was depicted as male in most parts of the story, but female in one of the statues. This has not been changed, but the statue section has slightly clarified to indicate that Tenjin can be depicted in different ways. (All of the visages can be.)

I hope that this makes the story as a whole feel a little more coherent and consistent.

There are a few things I didn’t change, at least for now.

  • I’ve considered extending the scene between Corin and Sera on the train to the university at the beginning and having them talk about life a little more (e.g. Corin’s mother, how long it’s been, etc.) This may end up being written as bonus content if I don’t add it to the book itself in the future.
  • I’ve considered making broader changes to make it abundantly clear that Corin does know the basics of magic before going to the school and simply needs to review them.
  • I have a longer rewrite for one of Corin’s scenes with Orden.

The reason I didn’t make some of these more significant changes is that I don’t want the Kindle/Paperback versions to deviate too far from the audio version (especially because of Whispersync). I may make more changes if I can book some time with the narrator to get the audio version properly updated.

I hope this helps give some insight into the process.

also hope this small update doesn’t break Whispersync, because if it does, I may have to roll it back.

Just a couple quick notes.

First, thanks to everyone who has picked up On the Shoulders of Titans so far! The book is doing very well.

I wanted to make sure people are aware that there’s a preview of one of my next upcoming books – Six Sacred Swords – in the back of On the Shoulders of Titans. It’s easy to miss, so check it out if you’ve already finished the book and didn’t realize it was in there.

I mentioned briefly in the back of that book what I’m working on next, but I figured I’d provide some small updates.

My next focus is Defying Destiny, the third book in the War of Broken Mirrors series. I’m still debating if it’ll be the last book – I’d originally planned for four, but I may wrap it up early or write the fourth book in a different style. I’m about 25,000 words into that, which is about 1/7 of the total length of something like Stealing Sorcery. I’m not sure if this will end up being around that length or not – it depends on what I decide to do with book 4.

The next book after that is Six Sacred Swords, the Keras spin-off for the Arcane Ascension series.

Arcane Ascension book 3 is my next major project after that.

Somewhere in between, I may squeeze in a couple other projects that I started in the past, but either never finished or just never published.

As some people already know, I wrote five books that I never published before I published Forging Divinity. Most of these will probably never be published, but there are a couple of them that I might update and publish eventually – most likely the two Blackstone Assassin novels. You’ve seen a few references to these if you’ve read my Arcane Ascension books – they’re “fiction” novels that exist within that setting, but about a character that *supposedly* actually exists.

I may also go and revise Marks of Iron, which had a very different Taelien as one of the two protagonists. If I decide to go back to that, I’d either have to make the main character someone else – because Taelien has changed drastically since then – or update the book to change Taelien to be consistent with how he behaves in the War of Broken Mirrors books. That would also create some potential timeline issues, but I have some ideas on how I could resolve it if I go that route.

Finally, I have a few other books I’ve started, but never finished. Two of them are more “traditional” LitRPGs – meaning that they have numeric levels, HP values, and all that stuff – but with my preferred flavor of min/maxing protagonists and genre awareness.

I also have a project focusing on the rivalry between twin sisters in a shonen anime style setting. This is the least written, but it’s one of my favorite concepts, and I hope to get to it at some point.

Thanks again for all the support, everyone!

-Andrew

Advertisements