Book 1, Second edition: Other changes

23 Sep

The House in the Old Wood coverThere are several other miscellaneous changes in the second edition of The House in the Old Wood.

Probably the most significant one is the replacement of the word “Zounds.” That word, it turns out, means either God’s hounds or God’s wounds, and is considered by some a curse word. In addition, one of my critical readers pointed out, it just didn’t make sense. There is no “God” per se in these books.

But there is a remnant of worship of the First Ones, so I’ve replaced “Zounds” with words based on references to the First Ones. That continues through the rest of the books, so for those of you who bought the first edition, I’ll share a passage from the second edition that explains things a bit.

Spoiler alert: If you have not read The House in the Old Wood, you will not want to read the rest of this post!

This takes place in Chapter Thirteen, when Karia is hiding under the porch as the adults talk:

“She masters fire,” her mom said.

“Nym’chin!” Avar shouted.

“Avar, watch your language!” Nana scolded. Karia jumped. She had heard the term only once or twice before – it was short for “Nymph on a chain” and was a strong curse word. She never could figure out how that could be a curse word, but then again, there were expressions she used a lot – Nymph’s Wake, Meadowstars and Fires and Ashes – that didn’t make a lot of sense to her either.

She knew how to use them, of course. Meadowstars was a way of saying something was ridiculous; Nym’chin was a much cruder way of saying much the same thing. Nymph’s Wake was something you said when you found yourself in a bad spot. Fire and ashes? she thought. I guess it’s just something you say.

“And keep your voice down,” Nana continued, “or should we just invite Narek, Timbal and Karia to join us?”

The other changes were mostly fixing typos – in part because Word doesn’t like to spellcheck when you have 90,000 words in a document and dozens are in made-up languages and therefore look like misspellings – and adding words I dropped while writing. That’s bad habit I have. I mean, that’s a bad habit I have.

And those two things are why I, and my wife, Julie, and my critical readers, have all been paying a lot closer attention to these things for Karia’s Path and beyond. I’ve even added someone to my critical readers team who is very good at spotting typos.

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