J.K. Rowling once said in an interview something to the effect of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire being a particularly agonizing book for her to write. One of its chapters had to be rewritten a whopping thirteen times; there was a recurring plot hole that needed a baker’s dozen attempts to get rid of. Chapter Sixteen of SILVER BROWN didn’t have to go through that many rewrites, but it was pretty agonizing. For starters, it’s now Chapter Seventeen; I had to chop off its head and make the head Sixteen. The editing work this chapter and its severed head needed had more to do with cutting away superfluous elements and finding balance in the story than resolving any plot holes, though. But at long last, these chapters are complete. I might do a few more tweaks here and there to make Crocus Acadia even more unnerving than she already is, but all the main organs are functioning at least. They could survive if they hatched tomorrow. But they won’t hatch just yet. Maybe during Yuletide.
A couple of the characters I’ll be introducing to the audience at this point in the story had to undergo a few nips and tucks during the overall editing process, most notably Crocus Acadia. In the earlier drafts, she was a character clearly in the antagonistic category, one that was always quick to throw the book at Florys for every perceived transgression against the Lodge. Now she’s more of an Osiris-like entity. Not necessarily a villain. Attentively listening to all sides of an argument with equal impartiality before issuing a judgement upon a mortal soul, but never hesitant to fling you like a booger into the waiting sulfuric maw of a ravenous demon if your beating heart should tip the scales unfavourably against the feather of truth. She also sits upon a throne composed of fire – an idea which didn’t exist in the earlier drafts. Fire doesn’t hurt her. She’s a witch. A learned and experienced witch at that. You don’t get to be Vizier-Queen of any Lodge without being learned and experienced.