Mechalarum went through many iterations before it found its final form. (Pre-order-ers get to see all 100,000+ words that got cut!)

Writing in Jolorn's point of view wasn't in any of the original versions. It was only after beta readers pointed out that he was too unsympathetic, too much of a caricature villain that I decided we needed to see inside his head. What we see still isn't completely flattering, but at least we get a sense of his motivations and thought processes.

Something I struggled with was what exactly I should call Kiellen when Jolorn was thinking about her. It's kind of a meta question, like wondering how people see you, and separating that from your own understanding of yourself. It's a subtle difference, but in my mind it would feel far too intimate to say "Kiellen stared past his shoulder." This is a quasi-military setting. He would hardly ever address her by her first name. It's possible he wouldn't even know it. Although he's been interested enough in this case to learn it.

The issue with thinking this way is that it can confuse the reader to jump from one form of address to another. I still remember how I struggled to get Dostoyevsky's characters straight, when they seemed to be called by new names every other page. Hopefully in my case the switch is more edifying than baffling!

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