Last week I talked about the biggest change we made when collecting Book 1. We made a number of smaller revisions as well, which may have gone unnoticed by all but the most dedicated readers. Here are two that focus on pacing and atmosphere.
We added a page into Issue 2, during the introductory sequence for Adrost. The new page adds some nice pacing to the scene, stretching the important intro out a bit and giving the sequence a bit more dramatic weight. It also gave us a chance to introduce an important character – Baron Lord Ardam.
Before we inserted this page, Ardam was introduced alongside Kadin a couple pages later. That introduction worked fine, but Ardam is a rather important character in our saga, and the new page gives him a little more heft. It also shows some of his garden, which we see again in Issue 9.
We inserted another new page into Issue 3, when Arion and Aliyana have returned to Athelica and are walking through the city. For the Book 1 cover, Aaron produced a couple variations of Athelican cityscapes, so we decided to adapt one for a new interior page. The scene worked fine without this page, but it definitely adds a huge sense of scale and atmosphere. It also shows subtle character work, too, as Aliyana continues to stride away from Arion, demonstrating their differing outlooks on the merits of this city.
In storytelling, little things can make a big difference. It can be hard to stop and smell the roses when you’re wanting to get to the exciting bits of the story. But never underestimate the pull of a slow burn. Taking the time to set your world up right can pay big dividends down the road.
Next week, the rest of the Book 1 changes. But before that is my very favorite con in the great Midwest — Appleseed! Our hometown con is back for another great weekend, and you can find us and loads of Black Rose swag right up front. Stop by and say hi!