Author's Notes: The Emperor's Dream Chapter Three

Hello and welcome to my author’s notes for chapter three of The Emperor’s Dream! These shorter notes are my reactions to the chapters that I have posted, as well as some fun facts about the writing process. So if you like peeking behind the curtain, or if it’s helpful to hear how another writer looks critically at their writing, read on! If that’s not your cup of tea, don’t sweat this one. See you next week with chapter four.

If you haven’t read chapter three yet, you can read it here.

If you just saw “The Emperor’s Dream” and you had no idea what I was talking about, no worries! It’s my ongoing epic fantasy novella that I’m sharing a chapter at a time here on my website. You can read it here. These are first drafts only, so the final published version might change a little or a lot, but hopefully you either enjoy or learn something from seeing the process.

Now on with this week’s author’s notes!

  • Ohh baby, chapter three. It feels like we’re starting to get into it here. I know last week I said I wasn’t sure about the chapter break, but starting off with Chengroh yelling is quite fun.
  • I’ve noticed this tendency I have to not want to repeat names too many times back-to-back. For example, in one paragraph, I’ll use “Tukharen,” then in the next I’ll say “the Ram chief.” I’m not sure if this is a good thing. It feels clunky to me because I’m the one writing and having to spend time coming up with synonyms. I don’t feel like I notice this as much in other published works I’ve read. But I’m not sure if that’s because this sort of thing is mostly invisible to readers or if it gets edited out.
  • The first look at Lan Banti, the staff magic system (I’m a big fan of magic systems, as you’ll see). Hopefully the term “l’anti staff” and Lan Banti are close enough to be associated but distinct enough to not just be mushed into one word in readers’ minds. “L’anti” is literally just an abbreviation of “Lan Banti staff.”
  • Another note about staffs. Apparently both “staffs” and “staves” are fair game. I’ve gone with staffs because I didn’t want to say “staves” all the time. But “staffs” also sounds kinda wrong to my ears. For now, I’ll stick with “staffs”, but it could change I suppose.
  • I’m not sure if I like the name “Blasters.” It just makes me think of Star Wars. But it’s also a very good descriptor of what soldiers with l’anti staffs do.
  • Ta-da, we’ve reached The Emperor’s Dream!
  • Once again, I’m a little concerned about info-dumping here. Readers needed to learn about the Tohk Empire, Testing Day, specializations between the three magic systems, and a little more about the four races. Hopefully it wasn’t too overwhelming.
  • To wrap up, another thing I’m concerned about is that this whole chapter was basically a conversation. No one really moved anywhere or did anything else. It’s a really important conversation that sets up the rest of the story, but still. I’ve noticed that I have several (important) long conversations in later scenes as well. I want to make sure these scenes are still engaging, but I also don’t want to stretch them out longer by having other things going on at the same time as the conversations.

I think that’s all for this week, friend! What questions do you have? I’d also love to hear your feedback. Let me know your thoughts!

And again, if you haven’t read chapter three yet, you can do so here. That’ll make this whole post make a lot more sense.

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Until next time!