I started working on Forging again. I know, I know. I need to stick to something. But Kristin, my beta reader, had some great suggestions and I thought of a way to implement them when I woke up this morning. Since it added about a thousand words, I am now cutting. I think I'll end up with a net 115,000 words.
About midway through my novel, I had a storm that was more-or-less a random event. This always bothered me about the story. Well, this morning, I thought of a great way to make it not-so-random and add a lot of depth to the character of Verit, Abriel's patron deity.
I also thought of a way to give Abriel a bit of competition. One of Verit's subordinate deities will succeed in attracting a much-feared king to his fold, thus increasing the deity's chances of winning the divine contest that is at the center of the novel. I originally envisioned this king for book 2. However, he fits in PERFECTLY here, because he seems so much like the ultimate candidate for the contest. Think Hercules. Blend in a bit of Alexander the Great. Add a huge amount of sheer chutzpah. That's my king.
However, he will only be mentioned in this novel, not actually introduced to the reader. I wish I could introduce him properly in this novel, but I have not found a way to do so yet. I don't think I can. In book two -- if there ever is a book two -- it will be a wonderful surprise for the reader when he shows up the way he does.