Posts Tagged ‘rewrite’

Mage Storm

I haven’t made much progress yet on getting back into the rewrite of MAGE STORM. Mage Storm

Here’s a taste, anyway:

Mastan closed his fist to cut off the trickle of red magic he’d been using to fuse the latest boulder to the top of the dam. Closing his eyes, he could picture what this had been like before that rogue mage, Grevin, had blasted this gap between the cliffs. A towering waterfall had cascaded from above like a gigantic, braided strand of pearls and diamonds, with a roar like the ocean during a storm. The white of the foaming water contrasted against the dark rock in an ever-changing, ever-fascinating column. Now, even standing at the top of what little he’d managed to rebuild, he could feel the height of the remaining cliffs towering above him to either side. Even with the addition of this boulder, he hadn’t raised the dam a tenth of the height of those cliffs.

It’d take much longer than the remainder of his lifetime to repair the damage and restore the waterfall and the lake beyond. And he still wouldn’t have done anything for all the other destruction the wild mages—and those who fought them—had caused. And yet, the world created magic every day, whether he wanted it or not. Much more than one old man could ever channel. Mastan had to do what he could to use at least some of it up before it ran wild and did even more damage. This was as good a way to do that as any—and better than some.

He stood up to stretch his aching back and saw the storm bearing down on him. Mage storm. One of the biggest he’d ever seen. And he was already tired. Clouds of cinders in white, yellow, green, and red roiled above and rained down destruction on the land below. Well, except that fortunately there wasn’t much below it at the moment to be harmed.

Mastan took an apple from his pocket and bit into it. The sweetness—and a long drink of water—would help him recover from the magic he’d already done while he waited for the storm to reach him.

There was no question the mage storms were getting worse with each passing year. Those with little understanding of magic—which was just about everyone, since the catastrophic end of the Great Mage War—thought that the storms were the ashes of the mages killed in that war. If only that were true, the storms would have burned themselves out long ago. No, as with most things concerning magic, the truth was more complex than that. Only the white cinders were the actual remains of mages. And they were the least harmful—well, except for the uncanny . . . sentience they lent the storms.

Which was why this storm was moving across the wind and headed straight for the river valley below, where it would rain destruction on farms and towns.

The real source of the mage storms was the untapped, unfocused magic of the world. With next to no mages left to focus and use the magic, there was nothing for it to do but run wild. That magic would destroy the world someday, if something wasn’t done.

Mastan sighed at the thought, accepting the necessity though he didn’t like it. For a while after his horrible failure with his only apprentice since the war, he’d tried to find a way to destroy the magic, once and for all. But he knew now that even a circle of a hundred mages didn’t stand a chance of accomplishing that.

No, the only solution was more mages. Some should develop spontaneously, just as they had before the war. There had to still be people out there with the magic lying dormant in their blood, just waiting for something to wake it. He snorted. The old mages had never been more virtuous than anybody else—especially the itinerate mages. There’d be descendants of the old mages, maybe several generations back. But some, at least would have inherited the capacity for magic. But prior experience proved that such random initiations were at least as likely to occur in the wrong people, those prone to going rogue and only making the problem worse. He’d needed some way to select for people who would want to heal the world, not destroy it.

And then he’d just have to hope that some, at least, of them found their way to him or learned to control the magic on their own before the magic killed them and added their ashes to the mage storms. Mastan didn’t like the risks he was forcing on who knew how many unsuspecting people without their knowledge or consent. He just couldn’t see any other way to save the world.

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I’ve started the first revision pass on BECOME: TO RIDE THE STORM.


The first pass is usually mostly a read-through, maybe fixing small stuff and mostly getting a feel for what work needs to be done.

However, in this case, the first chapter was a train wreck. Well, maybe not that bad, and maybe no quite an infodump, but very much tell rather than show.

That first chapter had been added on the advice of one of my critique partners who’d read the early chapters. For a couple of reasons:

  1. Otherwise the book starts with a chapter from the point of view of a brand new character never even mentioned in the first book. Now the book starts in the POV of one of the major characters from BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING.BecomeCover2
  2. That critique partner felt that it was a good idea to provide the reader with a quick orientation as to where the story left off in the first book, since the first few chapters would be from the POV of characters who weren’t in the first book or were not important characters in that book.

So, I basically rewrote that chapter, adding in a little more conflict. Something I wouldn’t normally do during a rewrite. I’m not positive I’ve got it right, yet. But that’s why the revisions are a multi-step process. I do know it’s better than it was before.

From here, hopefully, the read-through will proceed more normally.

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