The Plight of Steel Series – Plans for the Future

As I continue writing on The Point of Chaos, I wanted to give some updates on what my plans for the series are. They’ve changed quite a ton since I began The Plight of Steel back in 2018… three years ago. Jesus.

The Plight of Steel started after I decided to write a television script (yes, at fifteen years old). Not much luck getting that anywhere, so my dad suggested I turn it into a book; I’ve told that story a million times in various writings and interview settings. How did I see the story and the world in the first place, though?

I saw it as any fifteen-year-old might: a fantasy tale with dragons and intrigue and some characters who were more developed than others based on how cool I thought they were.

What’s the Point of Chaos, then? Hah, see why I chose that title?

The Point of Chaos was immediately different to me when I started writing it. First off, some characters curse a lot more – for a reason, of course – and the tone and understanding of what I’m writing is far more advanced. Situations are happening because they are precursors to something that needs to happen later, and characters are far more in-depth than they were in the first novel. The dialogue is far more natural to boot.

This is a result of practice. In between the first book and this one, I wrote maybe twenty or more pieces, both screenplays and novels – some of which will never be released or seen.

I’m also older, with more life experience to draw from. All of this is very obvious, of course. It’s only natural that all of this would happen, so what am I complaining about?

Well, the issue is that the Plight of Steel is not a standalone book. It’s the first in an ongoing series, and for people to read the upcoming installments, they will have to chug through the first one.

Chug? Yes, chug. A point of criticism I received was that the first was too wordy, and that descriptions were odd or long-winded. People became confused as to what was going on, as the story was buried beneath moments like the three separate descriptions about the walk up to Castle Whitehaven through the Velerin streets.

I realized this after skimming the Plight of Steel to make sure I wasn’t missing any details while writing the sequel. Turns out, I was, but as I read on, I realized I didn’t like those details, and most of them were redundant or nonsensical. Why do General Clyndaerus, Sir Winmore, and Karyen Chandler all have fiery red hair described in painful detail? I don’t know either.

So what’s a guy to do about this? In the sequel, these characters are fully fleshed-out, given unique personalities and reasons for them being in the story at all. The history is being written as well on a private document so I can be consistent with references, incidents, and vendettas. It’s all becoming much larger than I had ever planned.

There’s complex political plays being made, vengeance being plotted, and motivations being cleared up. I know who Cassara is now, and who she is going to become, why Virion faked being poisoned, and why he had his wife murdered, and a lot suddenly makes sense in this massive web of very difficult storytelling. That’s what comes with practice.

So what to do about the first novel? I could leave it and force people to suffer through inconsistencies and errors… or I could release a second, revised edition.

Which is exactly what I think I might do.

Once The Point of Chaos is finished, I’ll go back to the manuscript for The Plight of Steel and do a revamp. Campy dialogue will be fixed, plotholes will be filled, and Fromir Trevel will do something far more serious and realistic than kicking Camus and his friends out of a broom closet… where the hell did that idea even come from?

Don’t take this a me beating myself up. I’m not. I was young and had no idea how much this story would become a part of me in every way. These characters are glimpses into my own life in more ways than one, and I feel a responsibility to make this story the best it can be. Armed with more experience in writing and storytelling in general, I feel I have to do the best I can to redeem the first book.

That is a picture of Cassara Vendyros, if you haven’t seen it already. Just the image of her here doesn’t match up with what I had in my head during the first novel’s creation. This is Cassara from The Point of Chaos. I need to make sure it’s also Cassara from the Plight of Steel.

So keep an eye out for that. It will come out after the release of The Point of Chaos, and before the third book is started, so people can read the real version of what the beginning of this story should be.

So in that case, what’s coming up after all that is dealt with? The third book, of course.

Then, there may be a fourth, which is planned as a prequel of some kind, possibly telling the story of Alavador Zorander and his conquest of Deyeron during the First Age. That is so far ahead, though, I won’t make promises that I’ll have to back-peddle on later.

One thing I’m certain of is that there will be smaller novellas and stories released that take place in the Known World, completely separate from the main storyline. What those will be about, I have no idea yet.

That’s the idea for right now. If you read this far, thank you. If you scrolled to the bottom for a summary, then here’s one: re-writing The Plight of Steel after The Point of Chaos, and maybe some spinoff stories after a prequel. There.

Once again, this story means more to me than I ever thought it would, and I need to do it justice. Whether The Plight of Steel will get a second addition with minor changes, or more of a full re-write, I’m not sure yet. If you bought the first edition, though, keep it. If this series ever blows up and gets big, you can probably get quite a bit of money for it.

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