I’m closing in on a section of WAR OF MAGIC that was also written–several years ago–in the short story “Becoming Lioness”.
Now “Becoming Lioness” tells this part of the story from the point of view of a different character than the one who will be the focus in WAR OF MAGIC. But that’s not the only difference between them.
Some of the differences have to do with “Becoming Lioness” being a short story. (Actually, it’s a novelette, but that’s kind of an inside writing term for a long short story–not a short novel, which is called a novella.) Some characters that will be present during these events in WAR OF MAGIC were left out of “Becoming Lioness” because they got in the way of telling the smaller story in a streamlined way, for example.
In other words, it was written before the current version of the DUAL MAGICS series, though I had proto versions of what became THE SHAMAN’S CURSE (actually, that was always the title of the first book) and THE VOICE OF PROPHECY (which grew up under the pseudonym THE IGNORED PROPHECY). And some fairly major things changed in the rewrite of those first two book in the series.
- The birth order of some of the sibling or half-sibling characters changed. In the original version, Fenar was only a little more than a year younger than Vatar (the main character). And Kiara (who is the main character of “Becoming Lioness”) was the baby.Fenar ended up not having as much to do as I’d originally thought and Kiara’s age caused some problems for a major subplot, so I switched their birth order and made Kiara several years younger than Fenar originally was. “Becoming Lioness” still reflects the original birth order–Vatar, Fenar, Kiara–instead of the new one–Vatar, Kiara, Fenar. Now, that would be fairly minor to fix in the short story–if it were the only problem.
- Now, there’s something about the birth of the youngest sibling–no matter which of them it is–that potentially affects that character’s magic. And “Becoming Lioness” assumes that this explains Kiara’s unusual relationship with her magic. In WAR OF MAGIC, there’s another explanation for this. Again, I could probably fix this and bring the short story into better congruence with the series.
- But there’s one I’m going to have to work on–how she learns to use her magic. Now, maybe I’ll be able to keep that more or less intact in WAR OF MAGIC. Maybe not. I’d like to, but I’m not there yet and it might not make sense when I do get there. If I can’t, there basically isn’t any reason to fix the first two.
And there will be readers who won’t like the two stories not lining up. Actually, there will probably be some who don’t like the streamlining changes, either. In any case, there are already almost a thousand copies of “Becoming Lioness” out there.
So, I’m going to do some thinking about whether and how much to revise this short story now that the “real” (in the novels) version of these events is going to be available, too, sometime next year.