The Road to Reaving…Part V

Khan Amanda Carrol

Now that my little sidetrip on my writing approach is complete, we’ll get back to our narrative. (Need to catch up? Flip over here and follow the links…)

Back to the Phone Call…

In mid-April, right around Easter I believe, I got a phone call on a Friday night. Herb dove straight in: “So, where are you at with the Reaving text?”

“One full chapter, part of another. Going’s been slow due to various plot and perspective issues.”

“Well, kick it into high gear. Project’s been shuffled…”


“You’ve got until mid-May; we need it to hit layout by the end of the month.”


“Still with me here?”

There was more to the conversation after that, but the bottom line was this: WOR needed completed five months before the previously adjusted deadline. The book was being moved to an early fall release date to fill in the gap left by Jihad: Reckoning. That book had slipped due to other issues and the production hole needed filled. WOR was next on the table after Historical: Reunification War, which was slated for the convention season along with a TRO. (The convention season runs June through early September, in case you were wondering. This covers Origins, GenCon, and Dragon*Con.)

After that call, I needed a damage assessment and the prognosis was not good. At all. I was only roughly 40K into what was outlined as a 120K book; not quite halfway, and roughly four weeks to the new deadline.

Fortunately, I’d finally settled the book’s voice, plots, and pattern. Now I needed to simply write it.

Partial image from the intro art for Trials of Possession

First, however, a new outline was necessary so that art could begin generation. You’ll notice how the timeline below differs from the previous one I posted in Part I; this one is closer to the final but still isn’t the final form:

WOR Sourcebook Outline (Revised)

00 Title Page (Art)

01 TOC/How to Use this Book

02 Fiction – Descent into Madness (working) (3,500)
Art: Full page before chapter
Image of last scene of story, centered around main event in Dec 3071

03 Trials of Position (~10,000)
Art: Full page before chapter
Detailing some of the events post 3061 that lay the foundation of the Wars, including the Babylon Diets, the Burrock Absorption, and the doings of the Hell’s Horses and Ice Hellions.
Necessary sidebar: The Economics of Enclaves

04 Trials of Possession (~20,000)
Covering Dec 1, 3067 – Dec 31, 3070
Art: Full page before chapter
Progression of the Clans through the Scouring of Tamar.

05 Trials of Reaving (~20,000)
Covering Feb 3071 – Dec 3071
Art: Full page before chapter
From the revelations of Diamond Shark and Snow Raven activities to the overturning of the Great Refusal, the Clans elect an ilKhan and make a stunning announcement with catastrophic fallout.

06 Trials of Chalcas (~20,000)
Covering Jan 3072 – Dec 3072
Art: Full page before chapter
The fallout of the Grand Council’s antics, both at home and in the Inner Sphere.

07 Trials of Annihilation (~15,000)
Covering Jan 3073 – Dec 3074
Art: Full page before chapter.
The Clans deal with the various events enacted by internal and external forces, from Clan Coyote to the Tanite worlds.

08 Trials of Surkairede (~15,000)
Covering Jan 3075 – Dec 3076
Art: Full page before chapter.
The Trial of the Coyotes, the Hell’s Horses Refusal, and the pronouncement of death of a Clan. Clearing out the Dark Caste. *End of initial Shark Watch report.*

09 Founder’s Future (~9,000)
In-universe addendum, covering 3076 – 3082
: Full page before chapter.
Setting is during the Council of the Six Clans.
Factional overview of the remaining Clan factions. Short briefs detailing actions since 3076 until the last Horse Watch transmission in 3082.
Homeworld factions (7 total)
Council of Six Clans (6 total)

Appendix (~8,000)
Art: Full page before chapter; Map of remaining Clan Homeworlds
Chart: Political balance tables (3067, 3075, 3085)
Major players [500 each]
15 leaders/players
Minor players [300 each]
8 leaders/players

Rules Annex (9,000) – Paul S.
Art: Full page before chapter
New Units
4 ProtoMechs, including new PM types: Glider, Assault, Quad
New PM construction and game rules
New PM weapons, armor, equipment

3 OmniMechs; 2 new w/ 2 variants each
New BattleMech weapons, equipment

1 anti-WarShip weapon

20 new ATOW-effect ‘weapons’/experimental offerings

Record Sheets

Total words ~120,000 = 224 pages(ish)

The ‘new’ outline was submitted to get Brent and his art guys on task (up to now, only the cover had been assigned and completed, back in the fall of 2010). And that’s when my nose met the grindstone.

(To be continued…)

3 thoughts on “The Road to Reaving…Part V

  1. Another cliffhanger! I need to find out whether our hero writes is magnum opus in time, saves the girl, and pushes the vile Riterz Blok over a waterfall.

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