The very last novella of my Jagged Scars Series, Spoiled Gambit is out today and will be $0.99 for one week only!
Cal screwed up. He trusted the wrong guy. Wendy almost died and Shelter fell. In an attempt to assuage his own guilt, Cal joins a dangerous mission to lead the Primate’s people away from the survivors.
While laying a false trail for the Primate’s Skinnies, Cal discovers some old friends, but he also finds an enemy even more dangerous than the Primate. Now the group must decide if their objective has changed. Cal will do anything to prove to the others, and maybe himself, that he’s not a traitor. But will it be enough to keep his friends safe?
Three-and-a-half years ago, after I finally finished a good draft of Fractured Memories, I did as I always do, and sent it to my beta readers.
Beta readers get a version of the book that is good, but not great. No matter how long I work on a draft, it still has problems, and that’s why I bribe my beta readers to help me out.
Well, they came back with a few comments about the characters in the book.
Now I thought my characters were fine. And they were, in my head. But on the page a couple of them fell flat. One beta reader even asked, “Why is this character here? She doesn’t do anything.”
Okay that hurt. I loved the characters, but I had somehow missed making them shine on the page. After a few minutes of pouting, I pulled out the book I often turn to when I’m struggling with characters, and I flipped through it until I found what I had been missing.
The side characters didn’t have wants and needs. Most of them weren’t really struggling with anything, they were just there to accent my main character.
Well, I decided I could fix that.
You know that scene in Fractured Memories when the teenagers talk about their dreams and ambitions? How Arie wants a piece of the council and Cal is in love with movies? Yeah, that wasn’t in the original draft. Neither was the fact that Kev is dyslexic (which I never say, by the way, but it’s shown throughout the series) and Arie loves art. None of that depth was there, and I’m so glad that my beta readers forced me to put it in. Each of these factors play through the entire series.
While it makes me sad to leave these characters behind, I’m excited to be moving on to a new project.