December Update

I’ve gotten a decent bit of writing done since the last update, although by efforts have been a bit unfocused. Another chapter of Thrall is done, along with a couple of chapters of the next Alice Long story. I also have another two chapters of the superhero story I mentioned in the last status post.

Letting myself switch stories when inspiration strikes seems to be working better than trying to chain myself to a single book, so I’m going to continue to experiment with it this month. I can live with having a longer delay between books in the same series if it means I get more total work out the door. But I’m going to give this new method anther month or two before I call it a success, so we’ll see how it goes.

47 thoughts on “December Update

  1. How many chapters does that currently make in the respective novels (Thrall, Alice Long 2, 1)?

    Do you have any idea, roughly speaking, how many chapters total there will be in them?

    Somewhat OT (and perhaps improper. if so i apologize): What is your take on the recent changes made by Patreon to their fee structure, and do you think it will impact you?(*)

    _______________________________
    * = For those who don’t know what i am talking about, but are interested:

    https://patreon.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/115005631963

    a brief analysis:

    https://gamingballistic.com/2017/12/08/patreon-redux-another-way-of-looking-at-it/

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  2. I’m really looking forward to all the novels when you get them finished and on sale. I became a fan when I encountered your Daniel Black novels and really enjoyed the first Alice Long book when i read it. I’m eagerly anticipating the chance to read the continuation of both stories and I’m sure I’ll enjoy any other work, like this superhero novel you are talking about, as well.
    Keep up the great work Mr. Brown!

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  3. I just want you to know that I love your books. Also, what happened to Avila’s kitchen items that was locked by Daniel in the first book? Just wondering šŸ˜€ Anyway can’t wait for the 4th book.

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  4. Thanks for the update can’t wait for the next release waiting with great anticipation. Also if daniel does create an atom bomb what’s he going to use as a delivery system pretty sure he doesn’t have any ballistic missile’s lying around. Oh and not to be that guy but I believe you made a error in your post you said “although by efforts” when I think you meant although my efforts”. Anyway good luck with your writing.

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    1. The Dark Portal. That is a really terrifying weapon, which he needs because an enemy requiring a nuke might well not be physically on Earthh. And it is one of the issues he would face, should Kozalin fall.

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      1. Yea but it runs on human souls so unless he makes his own soulless version that’s not gonna work we already know where he stands on that.

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      2. How shall I put this? If things are desparate and you have pregnant wives at home, ethics tend to take second place. And if he is ready to go nuclear, the situation will indeed be very bad. He might even get volunteers. And if he does not do it, do you really think Cerise wouldn’t grab some unlucky bystander and the device to do what needs to be done?

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      3. The Dark Portal is just a method for the old wizard to resurrect himself. It’s why it only accepts human souls. You wait and see…

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      4. Dark Portal === Thrall.
        Thrall implies under control; I imagine the control is based upon the old wizard.
        Daniel will not use the portal; but must destroy it.
        Calling it now.

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      5. To put it bluntly: Why?

        The Archmage surely was not the nicest person, but he definitely was on the side of mankind, just because he was a man himself. What is in for Daniel if he fights him? What would Benito (by the way – is that a pun on Mussolini?) fight Daniel? For Kozalin or Varmland – doomed on a freezing and starving continent?

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  5. What ever works for you man. Far be it for me to tell an artist how to make their art. Iā€™m just glad to here your still chugging along:)

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  6. Really looking forward to the next Daniel Black! Having characters modify the world around them is always one of my favorite parts of any story and you’re doing a great job with that aspect. My buddies and I have a running conversation about if we got sucked into that world what elements would be take for ourselves. To get my fix I’m relistening to Fimbulwinter on Audio.

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    1. And what would yours be?
      The question is interesting. I would definitely take fire, as fimbulwinter means cold and if you tell me I need to be in battle right away, fire would be my first choice. Healing also goes without saying. Though I think his choice of flesh as an element was peculiar. If you gave me the task to visualize that it would be health or life. What I definitely not would have chosen would be Earth sorcery.
      I admit my first choice would likely have been fire and then healing. And then possibly air hoping it would give me flight or something like space-time. I really doubt I’d have the presence of mind to think of force or mana as elements.

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      1. I can’t imagine I’d have thought of Mana though once it has been suggested it becomes the obvious must have. I could see Energy as an element since that’s essentially acceleration and deceleration of nuclear forces which should give a wide power base and would let you both build and destroy (ice is just low energy water, mist is high energy water, etc). I’d have probably gone with life over flesh which couldn’t have done some of the things DB does but would give animation based abilities and more traditional healing. Then there would have to be something divination based such as a knowledge element that allows you to learn faster and gain information in different ways. That way you could acquire critical skills that we don’t have in our non-magical and modern world and get information about your enemies. Daniel is always playing from behind the eight ball and that would get old in a hurry.

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      2. Mana was the master stroke. I totally agree about that.
        In hindsight it seems clear that his choices were not entirely his own.
        Though why did he leave it last? Did he think it might not work, or did the stuff he learn taking the earlier sorceries influence his later choices?

        If you say Energy, would that replace Fire?
        And if I may, how did you select? Would you follow some rational plan with synergies between abilities? Or would you see problems, prioritize them and select a solution for each individually?
        If so, what would your list of problems be?
        And if you say life over flesh does that mean both thoughts would have occured to you? Or is that a preference in hindsight?

        DB himself addressed some concerns very well and others not at all. DB is infrastructure with a sideline of combat and healing. He did not choose anything for mobility, sensors, supplies, command or communications. In fact he did not even consider how to talk to people at the other end.

        His approach is very much in tools. He did not even think about using flesh magic in his first fight. He might have blinded the troll or even made it drop dead. Nor did he consider picking some indirect approach like picking mind magic, to just tell his enemies to go away.

        And he did not think about more than just the immediate battle. It seemed clear to him that they needed to get away from the house after the battle. In hindsight that was wrong. He never broke contact with the goblins until after the giant attack. Without the luck of meeting Captain Rain and his company. They would have dies during the first few days.
        And that was to an extent predictable. You are not going to outrun on foot with baggage any enemy who has any kind of mount, magical sensing, any form of communication or is faster than humans. In hindsight they should have all hidden in the vault he made for Avilla’s supplies.
        Yet he forsaw a need for mobility but did not select powers based on it. Why?

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  7. hi e william . i’m checking daily to see if either of your series has the new long awaited addition. Already read them 3 times. If they were hard copy they’d be pretty foxed by now. I was hooked in by Alice Long and I then found the DB series. I was totally impressed that both are well written but have a very different style as well as genre. A little hard to reconcile both styles with the same author. I like that, an unpredictable author. Still waiting. and waiting lol. Compared to some authors who churn out readable but 2 dimensional stuff, yours is awesome so the wait is worth it. (better be!!!) Someone already mentioned Avilla and Cerise’s stuff back at her grannys place which also crossed my mind. So dude, still waiting or did i already say that. Sorry don’t want to jiggle your elbow buuut!!!

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  8. I have read perilous waif about 3 times since I first picked it up and I can’t wait to read the second book I’ll definitely be one of those customers who finished it the night it comes out.

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  9. As always i’m glad to see you are working on the next Daniel Black book. We’ve all been waiting and rereading. As for the changes I would have made in what powers he took, I would change earth to nature, would have all elements plus the 99.9% of nature that is space including solar power, black wholes, dark matter, etc. One thing I would like to see Daniel do is thaw out the moat around the city. Seems like a logical choice as when he first saw the city it was mentioned that the moat was like a small lake around the city, but frozen and giants had just finished walking up an smashing a section of wall.

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    1. I can second it. I need my fix of DB.

      Regarding the sorceries, well, it might have failed, if you overspread. Or it might leave you with a stupid power like making flowers bloom and control gophers.
      It leads me to a point however. Does the knowledge of the transferee influence the result? Would flesh include healing infections if the sorcerer did not know the germ theory of disease when getting his sorceries?
      On another vein, DB can generate life. Otherwise he could not just conjure fertile soil. It needs to include soil fauna. Did he know that when you got his sorcery?

      On a meta note, is this the correct forum for such discussions? It feels like have a party in Mr. Brown’s garden without permission. Should we move to Reddit or something?

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  10. if i had the money i would be tossing it at you and tel you to write faster. alas i do not have that kind of money. but come on i want the next daniel black book. please?

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  11. I think that’s how Brandon Sanderson does it and he is one of the most prolific big name fantasy writers out there these days. He jumps around between series in order to keep inspiration and creativity more fresh. Your works have all been great so far so it isn’t as if I’m looking forward to your next Daniel Black book more than your next Alice Long book. At least not to a significant enough degree for this to be a bummer. If it lets you write more easily/quickly overall then I’m all for it. Though, if you take on too many series at once, it might get a little worrisome. Like 10 years without any releases, then BAM 5 books from 5 different series all at once — by which time interest and awareness might’ve waned drastically for each given series.

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  12. Having just finished the DB series on audible after reading it through twice I want to create a Fimbulwinter military. What would all you do based on what we see at the end of Extermination? The heroes who work for Daniel are getting really powerful but their military game isn’t improving a lot. The holes I see are melee fighters outside the 30 or so dryads and mobility for an expeditionary force. I think I’d create the trollheart or frostheart guard out of humans who eat the hearts of trolls or giants (trolls and giants? What would that do?). Avilla could do the heavy lifting on this one since she’s the one that created the Wolfen. The problem of recruitment of trained soldiers could be done by Elin when she’s out healing. There should be militia and noble guards getting shattered in these huge attacks. When a noble dies their guard force may become unattached and I bet lots of them will get wounded guarding their lord. As they are being healed and are jobless (for a while, no trained warrior will go unemployed long) that could be a primo time to bring them in. Humans who eat the hearts of trolls are giants with Avilla’s ritual should be MUCH stronger and tougher. Start putting them in inch think armor that no unmodified human could even lift with massive damage weapons and body shields. Add magic to those and you should have a force that can mix it up with Andregi and come out on top. If they could do that while the regulars form a base of fire the heroes could jump in and out as they are needed. Then for mobility I’d use something like Cerise’s bike, but ramped down for mortal reflexes. Put a cow catcher on the front and a “sidecar” style gun turret on the left and right with a single heavy cannon going forward the length of the bike that could be fired by the driver. Cover them all in the mica cages like the guys on Intrepid then put a couple of steps on the back outside the armor so infantry guys could step on and sit down (maybe three or four across, nothing big) and get off in a hurry to engage and enemy. Even if they only went 25 or 30 miles an hour that is equivalent of horse cavalry that doesn’t get tired and can go over snow/water without bogging down while offering huge amounts of firepower in a scouting/screening mission. There have got to be some cavalry guys in the city that have lost their mounts or who have been too wounded to fight. I imagine the three armored skimmers rolling out with five or six bikes ahead of them and to each side, four trollhearts on each. Meeting engagements with the enemy and when you find a weak spot drop off your grunts and continue to stir up trouble while they close in and the regular infantry deploys from the skimmers. Ideally with air support from some more purpose designed future versions of the Intrepid. They could also very quickly react to support the city in event of another breech and only the vehicles would take much of Daniel’s time. Thoughts?

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    1. Yes. Actually one thought. Why?

      In other words, what is their mission? Why would Daniel want his troops to get into a melee with enemies? He has artillery, a budding air force and strategic magic, all good for killing at a distance. So why give up those advantages? Ideally he’d slaughter his enemies with artillery guided by aircraft without them able to hit back at all.
      Building a good army is not about being good at everything. It is about being very good at something your enemies cannot counter for the tasks you need your army for. DB is never going to have the numbers necessary for infantry combat at any any scale beyond commando raids. He already has the people for that.

      The only task he needs lots of people for is lookouts on the walls.

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      1. Daniel needs a flexible assault force that can function without him so he doesn’t have to personally defend Kosalin every time it’s attacked. I’m a little surprised the Skimmers have not figured in the fight more strongly. They are also slightly misdesigned for this purpose, being armored personnel carriers instead of tanks. Create remote controls for the guns, crew with four men who are entirely inside the armor and build thirty of the things. They would break any assault.

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      2. Mainly to defend Kozalin. Every time he leaves the house they get attacked and he has to personally save the day when he returns. Even Brand has a group of retainers that do good work without him there. The more he can contribute to the defense of the city the better his chances for recruitment of power players as the losses stack up and everyone starts to look for a way out. Have a hard enough group that they can seal a breach without needing a coven member present at all times. That gives you more options. They would also be good to have on the Intrepid’s rescue missions. Not everyone breaks and runs from bombardment. Some people you just have to kill and the smaller explosions from above won’t take down everybody. It would also be nice if there was a better guard force able to mix it up around the coven members. I wasn’t intending to talk about huge formations to take and hold ground. I was mainly discussing a good strike force to take a point objective, give a coven member time to do their thing and withdraw while causing maximum harm to the enemy. It seems like the big hole at the moment is a force than can mix it up and hold a line of battle without one of the heavy hitters around. In the undead attack on the harbor Daniel mentions a few times that if he hadn’t shown up when he did his expeditionary force would have been wiped out. That’s no good.

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      3. Defending Kozalin is a mission, but there are three points

        a – it is a secondary mission. If Kozalin falls, that will be bad. If Black Island were to fall, it would be a catastrophe.
        b – it is a numbers game. He will never have enough people to hold the walls or plug more than one gap. And is it it worth the risk? Now if it is worth the risk, he can use his best forces
        c – any time spent on building new, less valuable forces, is lost on upgrading his best forces and his fortress. And there is a lot to be done. His people need a way to repair the mortars and air defenses without him. He needs more defenses at home.
        And his personal force field and flight ring could be used by any magic user at least. The Elves surely could build him some war golems to be crewed and so on.

        Finally remember that it is unclear how and whether he can feed Kozalin in the long run anyway. So he might not have a need to defend it in the long run.

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  13. Ever since Daniel built the disk to break into the dwarf cavern, I’ve been obsessed with the idea of an Earth Submarine. Spells to banish and conjure earth and stone in any direction, force magic to move it, maybe a quad gun on top. Can get into or out of almost any fight, cannot be chased. Three or four would do a crazy amount of damage to an Andregei siege camp.

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    1. That’s brilliant. What a nightmare it would be to have that thing surface, blow the stuffings out of everybody and then sink back below ground.

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      1. Well, the first time or maybe the first few times. After that the enemy would be pressing his ears to the ground. And you’d surface into metal eating fog or a cloud of insects.

        “Never assume that an enemy is incompetent”

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    2. Until you meet an enemy with earth sorcery.
      Though I admit it is a cool idea. However, if he met an enemy too tough to beat with skimmers and airships, can he assume that enemy lacks the magic that makes a subterrane unviable? And how do you sense where you are going? If he can use magic to look outside, can magic be used to locate the vessel?

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  14. What other enchanted items would all of you try to have created? It seems like having the other coven members make some would be the best use of available power since Daniel is pretty well occupied. How amazing would it be if Elin started making enchanted bandages or something like that. Start teaching first aid and how to clean woulds, set breaks, etc. Then have a bandage that wraps around the wound that does healing energy. I bet she could make a ton of those things without bothering Daniel at all. I’d also strain myself to melt the moat around the city and make incoming attacks more difficult. You should be able to launch heat stones from the walls without being in danger and a functional moat would degrade another force’s attack ability or at least make them work harder. I’d also expand the open portion of the river and try to get some fishing boats working out of Black Island. Having larger number of people around will require lots of protein for good health and you’d want to use the animals for breeding stock more than for food until you have large amounts of them available.

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    1. He’s crazy worried about attrition in his defense force. A factory enchantment to make human-physiology healing amulets seems like a no brainer – all his defenders should wear them.

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      1. Exactly. And the other one offs are candidates.

        – the fire resistance ring he made for Korak
        – his own curse barrier (if it lets the mana links work)
        – the enchanted shields he produced on the trip to Kozalin

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    2. Well, as already mentioned, if Daniel can make a collar for rats, he can make a collar for men, too.
      Daniel would have to make a few blank factory stones first. In fact, if he can, making a factory stone for blank or programmable factory stones would take the idea one step further.

      Elin: water supplies for the skimmers and the Intrepid. A field shower. Magical scuba gear. Magical gas masks

      Cerise: shadow grenades, magic ward rings, frost resistance rings

      Avilla: luck potions, gingerbread golems, armored coats for more people, preserved field rations

      The Groves: magical fish lures, modified animals, chemical weapons, bioweapons

      The Elves: weather control, weather prediction, weaponized storms, magical quivers or ammo pouches, golems

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