I am making a number of small changes to the Shadow of the Dragon King
as I write the last chapter of Part 1. I thought I'd document the changes as a reminder to myself and to give information to others.1. What Was the Place Called Again?
For some reason the island where all the action begins was Zhoran in the first chapter, then became Azhoran the very next and stayed that way. It is now Azhoran in all instances, or at least it had better be.2. And Where Was It?
Originally I called (A)Zhoran the island at the southern end of the Fire Nation archipelago, mostly because I wanted to put it in some out-of-the-way corner. Then I came up with the later travel sequence with Zuko trying to get home, and decided to place it to the east instead in the chain of islands between the Fire Nation and the Earth Kingdom. (See also map
.) I never really changed the location in the first chapter, though, so I went back and did that.3. Wait, When Is This Taking Place?
At first, in Chapter 2, I set the time at early summer, then decided to change that to late spring. That came from Zuko and Sa Ye's conversation
about the date she expected to have the baby. Not a terribly important point, but I just wanted the consistency.4. How Old Are You, Dear?
From that same conversation with Sa Ye, I set Mai's age as one above Zuko (due to lines from the show that indicated she was 17 when Zuko was 16), but it seems the official Nickelodeon character bio places her at one younger. So I changed that.5. The Hyphens Have It
As long as I was re-uploading the chapters as .odt files, I fixed the hyphens as well. You know that annoying thing fanfiction.net does with the hyphens, shortening double hyphens into a measly single hyphen? Turns out that doesn't happen when you upload an .odt file, and a decent word processor will consolidate the double hyphens into a nice-looking long hyphen--which will show up as such on the site.
Having made the transition from coding HTML by hand in a text editor, I highly recommend writing stories on OpenOffice
and saving the documents as .odt for upload. Word processing features like spellcheck are pretty convenient (you can simply right-click and add the words the dictionary doesn't recognize by default), and especially if you exchange files with a beta-reader for comment, features like notes in the margins, edit tracking and highlighting are all but indispensable.6. A Question of Organization
Another slight change I made was to group the first ten chapters into Part 1: Dragon Dreams
and the next ten chapters (or so) into Part 2: Shadows.
It's possible that the last few chapters of Part 2 will be split off into a third part, Flames
or something, but I'm not decided on that yet. The whole thing is still one story, but the first and second half of the story have different ambience and happen in different places, hence the separation into parts. I guess I could make Part 2 into a sequel, but then I'd have to come up with a new title and that's a pain. Besides, both parts were always planned to fall under that one title, even in the early stages of the outline when the second part was like two chapters long.
On a side note, when I downloaded the full story for editing it turned out to be 130 pages by word processor. Since this was between the dates of March 13 and July 9, that comes down to 130 pages in four months. I was ridiculously obsessed with the story for the first few chapters, and poured out more words during those weeks than is sustainable or desirable. That pretty inevitably resulted in temporary burnout, a couple of months during which I couldn't bring myself to touch the story. Now that I'm back on it, hopefully I can take it to the finish line at a steady pace.