Just For Fun: Deleted Chapters of Phoenix Rising, Chapter 50

Now we jump far, far ahead to near the end of the book. This chapter was deleted because the book ended very, very differently. Not only did Xavier only show up for a couple of chapters (being sent off to Idinus of Scimitar rather than the Wanderer, and thus not traveling with Tobimar and not showing up for the final battle), but also there was no "screw you" trap following Thornfalcon's death, and after their meet-and-greet, the three companions did, in fact, burn Thornfalcon's mansion to the ground and didn't confront the remaining Justiciars [ Continue reading... ]

Just For Fun: Deleted Chapters of Phoenix Rising: Chapter 12

This chapter followed the introduction of Tobimar and Poplock, and implied some time passed. As you can see, the timeline got shifted some -- in the final draft, of course, it's implied that the first events for Tobimar and Poplock happen after Rion becomes a Justiciar.     Chapter 12.      Lighter blade parried greatsword with a chiming impact that diverted the larger weapon but also drove back the smaller with near enough force to disarm. Rion cursed mildly as he backpedaled, his fingers clearly stinging. Kyri laughed [ Continue reading... ]

Just For Fun: Deleted Chapters of Phoenix Rising, Chapter 4

So, Toron had begun an investigation last time...   Chapter 4. "I am sorry, Victoria." The huge draconic creature's voice was soft. Kyri couldn't believe it. "But… nothing?" "Nothing, little Vantage." Toron's clawed talons slashed the air in his own anger. "I have used all my senses. I have spoken with all of note in this part of Evanwyl, from the Watchland and the Justiciars down to every living servant of the neighboring houses. I have meditated in prayer in the center of the wreckage, tasted the ashes for their [ Continue reading... ]

Just For Fun: Deleted Chapters from Phoenix Rising, Chapter 3

Seeing these deleted chapters gives a feel for how much can be cut from a book without it being immediately noticeable. I'd basically written out the investigation of the Vantages' murder and deleted the whole thing!   Chapter 3.      "No, Milady." Thornfalcon's face seemed even longer and sadder than usual beneath the silver-beaked helm. The poet and would-be swashbuckler of the Justiciars of Myrionar, Thornfalcon's lugubrious exterior usually masked a playful romantic, ready with a compliment for a lady or a quip to set a room [ Continue reading... ]

Just For Fun: Deleted Chapters from Phoenix Rising, Chapter 2

These chapters were mostly cut because they kept us from getting to the core action. There's still a fair amount of information in them that might interest readers, though the crucial parts I tried to stuff into the remaining chapters.     Chapter 2.      Kyri stared numbly down at the remains of the front door; with cruel irony, the fire-charm on the door had remained intact, so the huge portals were unscorched, smeared only with water and soot from the rest of the mansion but otherwise marred only by the deep [ Continue reading... ]

Just For Fun: Deleted Chapters from _Phoenix Rising_: Chapter 1

Depending on the story and the editor, some of my books have had significant rewrites and changes over the years. In the case of Phoenix Rising, I originally detailed a lot of material which was only mentioned as backstory in the novel. I think the decision to cut the stuff out was right, overall, but it did deprive readers of event and character detail that might well have been worth reading in its own right. So I'm going to post some of those chapters for my readers' amusement -- and maybe comment on each. Here is what used to be Chapter [ Continue reading... ]

Just For Fun: My Favorite Moments, Part 3

  Continuing answering the question of what my favorite moments in my own works are!   Polychrome: My only self-published work to date, Polychrome is a grown-up readership-targeted Oz novel. It is also the only story I've ever had that FORCED me to write it – literally shutting off my ability to write in my contracted novels unless I wrote at least a chapter in Polychrome per week. As such, one can guess that there are a lot of moments in Polychrome that resonate strongly with me; still, I have to pick three, so here we [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix Ascendant: What Has Gone Before

Today I begin the snippeting of the final book in the Balanced Sword trilogy, Phoenix Rising; we start with a summary of the prior two books. The first chapter will be up next week!   Previously in The Balanced Sword Phoenix Rising Kyri Victoria Vantage lost her parents to unknown attackers some years before; even the Justiciars of Myrionar, God of Justice and Vengeance, the patron deity of her country Evanwyl, were unable to discover the identity of the assailants. But she has moved on, and her brother Rion has become a Justiciar [ Continue reading... ]

Under the Influence: Wizards of the Coast

As I have mentioned elsewhere, I was a major presence online in the Usenet gaming communities rec.games.frp.* for many years (going back to the late 1980s). One day, in 1991, I was contacted by a person going by the name of Mavra, whose real name I later learned was Peter Adkison. He said he was part of a new RPG company and was looking for people to take a look at an early draft of their first planned product, and I was the sort of gamer he was looking for. Little did I realize how important a first contact I had just made. I of course [ Continue reading... ]

Paradigms Lost: Chapter 17

  Jason had another client we'd met...         Chapter 17: Laughing Assassin I really don't like this one. I'd done plenty of work for the police, and other people. I may not have been very old, but I'd already done everything from enhance photos and research prior art on patents to, well, finding out that vampires were real. Sometimes you get feelings about things, and right now, I had a very strong, very bad feeling about the job I was doing for Xavier Ross. Not that I felt there was anything wrong [ Continue reading... ]