No Chapter Today

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I really wanted to release 2 chapters this week and keep doing that for as long as possible. However, it just didn’t happen. ūüôĀ

The chapters I am writing right now are very important ones with lots of plot development. This means I have had to go back and edit them a few times and that writing them is very slow. I don’t want to release them early if it means quality suffers.

There will definitely be a chapter on Sunday, and I hope to keep releasing more Wednesday ones as well. Thanks for reading.

Some Website Changes and News

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I have made some changes to how my website is set up. Some of the changes are small¬†design things but others are more important. I thought I’d better explain the changes since some of the them might confuse readers that are used to things being set up in certain way.

The biggest change is that I’ve added Pagination. This means that the chapters I upload are now automatically split into smaller sub pages. You click the page numbers below the posts to move between parts. The next and previous post buttons will take you to different chapters. I hope this isn’t too confusing for readers.¬†There are a lot of reasons I did this. It helps get the bounce rate down so I get better analytics and it is easier to read on mobile where my old set up made chapters really long and hard to read.

Here, have a helpful picture:

changes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The front page now also shows an excerpt from the latest author posts and one for the latest chapter. This is mostly just to keep the page relevant and so that news gets auto updated. Search engines like this stuff. If any of you are having any issues with this than feel free to comment below.

On the topic of actual writing stuff, I’m still trying to get as much done as possible. I finished my self-editing of the first part of the story and have hired a professional editor to go through it so I can get an e-book out. It won’t hit the shelves for a while though, because editing takes a long time and I left picking an editor to the last minute. Book 2 will probably come out pretty soon after book 1 because it is easier to convert and I have things set up now. Live and learn I guess.

With that out of the way, I have more time to focus on the web serial aspects of writing. I’m hoping to get back to releasing 2 chapters a week but we will have to see how much I can get done.¬†Quality writing is not easy to do on such tight deadlines but I’m going to try.

Explanations and Stuff

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Okay everyone, here is an explanation of what I’ve been up to lately and why there have been no recent releases. I’m very sorry about that but I’ve just been very busy.

I have in fact been working on the story but not on writing new chapters. Instead, ¬†I’v been trying to improve the first half of the story. Your feedback would be much appreciated.

I really feel that I’ve improved as a writer since I started and thus I’ve been editing the first few arcs. On top of just general improvements I’ve also been trying to bring it up to e-book quality and format.

Below is a timeline for the story as it stands now. I had a much rougher timeline I was working from but as I actually wrote the story a lot changed. This is my first big writing project and I had no idea how to pace everything as I wrote. The Iron Teeth has turned out to be much longer and slower paced than I initially planned so some things need shifting around.

Current Timeline:  Warning Spoilers

The Road North

  • Merchant caravan in cage, thinking back to sewer life
  • Bandit attack, freed by Saeter
  • Training to do chores
  • Meets Vorscha and Garalhd
  • Goes out to get rabbits and sees harpies
  • Meets Herad, reason for staying
  • Out hunting for deer and spiders
  • Sneaks into party and gets drunk

Honor Among Thieves

  • Wakes up with hangover
  • ¬†Rides Wagon and practices tying cord
  • Stop for the night
  • Does a lot of chores, skinning, smoking, gets knife and leather
  • Hunts with trap and sling
  • Bullying followed by Gerlahd and Herad fights
  • Goes out to get snares and slime fight
  • Search for cave and Mimic attack, goblins
  • Merchants arrive and trade, Blacknail steals key
  • Herad goes out to raid weapon shipment
  • Boar attack and disappearances
  • Raid returns with casulties
  • Ghoul infestation and battle
  • Blacknail sniffs out infection

Written in Blood

  • Becomes a hobgoblin
  • Beat up by Saeter and given a sword
  • Kills bandit at latrine
  • Khita is recruited
  • Training by Vorscha
  • Red Dog and Saeter attack deserters
  • They end up in tight spot
  • Blacknail sneak into deserters, kills leader
  • They recruit deserters, mage, prisoner woman
  • Troll Attack
  • Follow Troll back to it’s lair and kill it
  • Returns to camp, see goblin

Along Twisted Paths

  • Herad and Saeter go North to Daggerpoint
  • Red Dog left in charge of camp for winter
  • Blacknail follows Saeter
  • Drake and Ogre Stampede
  • Runs into travellers
  • Run into goblins and fights harpies
  • Teaches goblins stuff and improves lair
  • Gets lost, uses human trap, and asks for directions
  • Arrives at Daggerpoint and scales wall

Den of Beasts

  • Stalks through alleys and explores.
  • Meets Luphera and gets information
  • Khita is ambushed and he intervenes
  • Follows her back to base and overhears Herad
  • Decides to kill her enemies
  • Visits Luphera and gets info
  • Sneaks into Fang’s base and kills him
  • Runs back to his tribe and presents Herad with Fang’s head
  • Visits Avorlus with Mahedium ¬†and they return with deal
  • Failed attack on them by thugs

A Tradesman’s Tools

  • Wakes up in room
  • Training with Herad
  • Elixir from Avorlus
  • Under bed next morning
  • Goes out shopping and finds mask
  • Sent to kill Galive with Saeter
  • Kills him and avoids Malthus
  • Hears footsteps on roof while sleeping
  • Assassins and Malthus attack Herad at night
  • Blacknail kills some and chases rest back to Luphera’s
  • Sneaks in, kills man, and meets Luphera
  • Alarm is raised and he is convinced to kill man for Luphera
  • Fights guards and assassins then duels with Malthus
  • Flees through window but has to climb back inside
  • Hides in closet until Luphera kicks assassins out
  • Stuff

Queen of Swords

  • Goes out with Saeter to recruit
  • Run in with street children
  • Hears about ghouls but it turns out ot be Avorlus’ men
  • He is a bloodmage
  • Saeter confronts Herad and Mahedium
  • Preperations for war and construction of barricades
  • Zelena summons mercs and starts attack
  • Hired thugs fail to take barricade after Mahedium blasts them
  • Mercs advance and blow hole in barricade with mage
  • Head falls back and sets wall alight
  • Mercenaries are pushed into flames and defeated
  • Assassins start targeting Herad’s archers
  • Blacknail is sent out to stop them
  • Lures Malthus into overgrown land.
  • Uses traps and ambush to kill assassins
  • Blacknail goes back to battle.
  • Sees Saeter fighting and dives in to save him
  • Meeting of remaining bandit chiefs

On top of a lot of editing to speed up the pace of the first few arcs I’ve been thinking about adding a new arc in after Written in Blood. The point of this would be too make the first half story more self contained and like a novel; so it has a clear beginning, middle, and end that gives readers more of a sense of progression. Again, this is also to fix the really slow pacing of the story at the start.

Some ideas I’ve been throwing around for this are:

  • Finding the cave and a battle with a powerful mutant, such as a giant snake.
  • Build up the world more naturally with resorting to interludes.
  • An attack by the knights from the beginning of Written in Blood to show more about nobles and society.
  • Very action heavy arc with lots of chaos.
  • Shows Blacknail’s character and social status growth.
  • Sets up the war in Daggerpoint
  • Earlier introduction of unique Elixir powers

Tell me what you think and about any ideas you have!

Another big thing I’ve been thinking about is rewriting the prologue to make it more relevant and have a bigger hook. A good story needs to get people’s attention in just ¬†the first paragraph and I’m not sure my current one does that. Some readers have also complained about it being so long and the shift in perspective, and they have a point.

New/Changed Prologue: The Shattering of Ways

Blood poured from the man’s wounds onto the cold ground beneath him. He was dying and beyond help now. He choked and gasped as bitter blood clogged his throat but he fought to hold still and at least die with dignity. In his last moments, and in front of all these witnesses, he wasn’t going to go out thrashing around like a fish out water. Burn that!

He refused to have regrets, even though he had never gotten what he’d wanted out of life. He had done the best he could and died for what he’d believed in! His would be the last laugh anyway.

He could still feel the inhuman eyes that watched and blazed with hate. The dying man tried to chuckle but all that came out was a weak gargling cough. The fools had no idea what they’d unleashed! They couldn’t see how the world had changed and turned against them.

As the man’s vision grew dark, scenes from his past began to play out before him. His last breath rattled through his teeth and he couldn’t help but think back to how it had all began…

The point here is to shorten the really huge and not completely relevant prologue I have now and really get it to grab peoples’ attention in only a few sentences. The story is just so long now that keeping the same prologue wouldn’t make much sense. I’ll probably re-add it as an interlude.

If you have any ideas or criticisms for any part of the story I would love to hear from you. It would be really helpful to hear from all my readers about what they think makes my story strong and what makes it weak.

The more input I get the faster I can get this out of the way and get back to new chapters!

-ClearMadness

News and Updates

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A lot has been going on lately, so I thought I’d get everyone up to speed. Don’t worry though, there’s nothing too bad happening.

4th bonus¬†Chapter Event:¬†First of all, the 4th bonus chapter event has finished!¬†We‚Äôve reached 120¬†TV Tropes¬†on our page. Thanks so much everyone that helped out by adding tropes.¬†Although I tried to get it done, I didn’t manage to¬†finish the bonus chapter for today. Sorry guys and girls, you’re going to have to wait until next Friday. You will get your extra chapter though, so don’t worry.

 

5th Bonus Chapter Event:¬†So we’ve moved on to the next event. The fifth bonus chapter will be unlocked when we reach¬†1000 votes on Wattpad. It sounds like more than it is, since you can vote once per chapter. ¬†You need to login to vote, but you can do it quickly through facebook. By voting you’ll really be helping me out, and spreading the word about this web serial. So click the below link and vote away.

 

New Patreon Page: Patreon recently completely redesigned the set up of their pages, so I had to¬†basically rebuild the page from scratch.¬†¬†I liked the old design better, but after a lot of effort I think the new one looks good as well. If you haven’t seen the new page then go check it out.¬†I’ve recently run into some heavy expenses, as explained below, so while you’re there I would also appreciate some pledges.¬†If you do pledge you’ll get access to exclusive content, and chapters in advance.

The Iron Teeth Patreon

 

2nd Patreon Goal: The second Patreon goal has been reached! This means you can expect some more artwork soon. I’m super grateful to everyone who subscribed. It’s people like them that will make The Iron Teeth into a truly epic dark fantasy story!

 

First Ebook: Very Minor Spoiler Ahead. We’re¬†approaching¬†the point were the first book would end. I¬†definitely¬†want to release The Iron¬†Teeth as an e-book, but first I would like to get it professionally edited. Editors are¬†however¬†very very expensive, as in up to thousands of dollars. I can’t really afford a good editor right now. Thus, I would really appreciate donations and pledges. Patreons who pledge over $3 will get a free copy of the e-book when it’s done.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I’ll get back to writing the next chapters for you all now. ūüôā

Journal Entry: Crystals and Mutations

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Ancient legend says that the god of darkness Cor-Dius’ bears an old grudge against the god of light Hel-Lustra. Some believe that this hate is so strong that it oozes forth from the earth and takes on physical form as mana crystals.

Such tales are nothing but silly superstition of course, but this one does perhaps accurately portray how dangerous and vile mana crystals can be. They are the scourge of human civilization all across the world. No matter where you travel you cannot escape the lingering threat of these deadly formations.

The most common type of crystal is rarely even identified as such. It is a black oily looking growth that is usually mistaken for rock, hence it’s name Blackstone. Luckily, this basic form of mana is inert and has no magical effects; it simply grows and spreads deep within the dark corners of the earth.

As it expands, Blackstone consumes the dirt and rock around itself to create long twisting tunnels. Eventually, Blackstone growths will run their course and old crystal formations will dissolve, leaving nothing but rock behind. This is how significant portions of the Dark Paths were probably created.

Unfortunately, that is not all Blackstone does. As it expands the crystals will occasionally consume something that causes what is commonly known as a mana stone to form. These crystals are bright and occasionally even glow, which makes them hard to miss. They come in many different colors, shapes, and sizes, but the important part is the magic that lies within them.

Every mana stone has a unique magical effect that a mage can produce by using their mage gift to burn the crystal. While many are useless or even dangerous to users, some are extremely powerful and useful.

These stone are the foundation of a mage’s power, and all the stones created by the guilds are copies or offshoots of naturally formed mana crystals. This makes such stones incredibly valuable to mages, and thus treasures of great value. Many a life has been lost searching for such stones.

The Dark Paths are of course extremely dangerous themselves, but crystal formations make them even more deadly. For once you have Blackstone and mana crystals forming you will also start to see mutation.

Exposure to mana crystals sometimes causes the crystals to take root within living things. The process transforms an animal and creates a mutant. Such creatures are not only unnaturally strong, large, and swift, but the mana within them can actually imbue them with magical powers.

These horrors are the stuff of nightmares, and a plague upon all human civilization. As crystal caves grow they can breach the surface, and deposit their vile contents upon it. Thus, what was once considered safe civilized land can suddenly become wild and dangerous, as mutant abominations run wild across it.

Stories abound of such beasts, such as those of hard working farmers being slain by rats the size of dogs that can pass through walls or drive men mad with their whispers. Only, by removing the mana stones and sealing the tunnel can the nearby lands be made safe again.

Some of the creatures that dwell within crystal caves have no obvious earthly origin, but instead seemed formed completely of the crystals themselves. Slimes are the best known of these, but rumors persist of hulking creatures made of Blackstone that dwell within the deepest parts of crystal caves.

The magic derived from crystal caves is useful, but personally I do not believe it makes up for the threat such formations pose to humanity. They are just far too dangerous and unpredictable; you never know where one will appear, or what will crawl out of it.

Monsters of legend such as the Breshura Cyclops or the Wurm of Terringale were probably mutants as well, and the stories passed down about these monsters puts those of any modern mutant to shame. These creatures leveled cities and cast down empires. One day, I fear that something truly horrendous will again be born within the depths of these horrid places, and then all of humanity will weep and know the face of fear.

-Farstidiuous Der Lanmount, Royal Gervaien Surveyor.