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I did a bit of arc chapter swapping here, as my original plan had been to catch up with Stryke and Pienya. Returning to Kaido, the guest character from ‘A view from the stalls’, wasn’t even in the plan until I sat down to write. At that point the chapter concept emerged and made a lot of sense – seeing the actual impact and real consequences of the sabotage on the people working on the ship is important, especially because The Mechanical Crown is a story which tends to revolve around people operating at the ‘higher’ ends of society.

This shows what’s happening to the folk on the ground, and also provides good material for when we do return to Stryke. The reader now has some proper context with which to frame his reaction to what’s been done.

It also promised to be a highly kinetic chapter which would operate on a grander scale than usual. The Mountain Breaker, thus far, has been a vague notion; it’s a half-finished skeleton of a ship. This chapter really serves to emphasise it’s sheer size and weight and imbues it – even in its unfinished state – with a physicality which will hopefully pay off down the line.


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