Coming Unstuck

I don’t think it’s any secret that I’ve been stuck in the middle of the next two Amethir books. I know I’ve kept people waiting, and it hasn’t been fun on my end either, believe me!

A Green book cover with a yellow pencil on it that says "The Author Stuck List" by Becca SymeI’ve been listening to the audiobook of Becca Syme’s The Author Stuck List (not an affiliate link) and that, combined with a random driving-home-from-work realization has unstuck me!

A moment I took a lot of joy in was literally taking one of her prompts, which was to go to your stuck point and type, “And then the dragons came.” As readers of the series will know, that’s really not too far out of the realm of probability!

It wasn’t something I was planning to do that early in the story, though, and shaking that up has definitely jolted some things into place for me, plotwise.

One of the things I realized as part of coming unstuck is that two of my characters were too similar and needed to be sorted out. So RIP Niklo, I loved you dearly in that draft, but you are now a part of Zolin.

To honor the memory of my darling Niklo, I’d like to share a bit of a scene that had to be deleted because…well, Niklo and Zolin are now the same person, so it would be a weird conversation that included banter between them. This interaction just doesn’t work as well without three people.

“She’s mad,” Niklo said. He brushed his hair out of his eyes and then shrugged his shoulders a couple of times. “Ugh, I hate the days we don’t have weapons training. By the end of the day, I feel like ants are crawling down my back.”

“Ick.” Naia flicked her nail against his arm. “Don’t talk about creepy crawlies, you know I hate them.”

“Almost as much as Zolin hates fish.” Niklo flicked a teasing glance at him. “Kind of funny, you living on an island and being scared of fish.”

“They feel gross.” Zolin lifted his small kettle off the burner and poured water into their cups. “They don’t taste gross, though,” he added in satisfaction. “Mm, fish rolls and seedcakes.”

“But doesn’t it bother you, knowing they’re slimy and scaly before they get sliced up?” Niklo asked innocently.

Zolin rolled his eyes. “Now you’re just being rude on purpose,” he said. “Bet you can’t say all of that in Lankish.”

“Can so,” Niklo said, and spouted a sentence full of words Naia didn’t understand. She’d studied Amethirian, Tamnese, and Common, but she’d learned the vocabulary through painfully drilling the words into her mind. She would never have survived Lankish, with its extra persons and an entirely different script.

She tilted her head to one side, keeping her expression smooth. “Funny, that sounded like, ‘Zolin, I’ll give you the last of my dried heartfruit chocolates if you’ll make me more of this tea’.”

“Hey,” Niklo protested.

“That would be lovely, Niklo,” Zolin said. He sipped his tea, and Naia could tell from the glimmer in his eyes that he was doing it to hide a smile. “I do love heartfruit chocolates. They taste like summer and sunshine.”

“That’s not funny.” Niklo narrowed his eyes and looked from Zolin to Naia and back.

“I think it’s funny,” Naia said.

So there’s your sneak peek into the next Amethir book–which is tentatively titled Shroudling, because Witchery’s End is still coming, but this series just seems to keep demanding more books.

Shroudling: A Storms in Amethir Interlude
Shroudling: A Storms in Amethir Interlude
Due:2 years ago

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