And so we had a brainstorming meeting and said, okay, "Ais should be a woman rather than a man. We need more gender balance in the story."
And one thing that a couple of us thought about and talked about ahead of time was the very ending, because the conflict between Kenton and Drile was: are we gonna sell our services as mercenaries and betray our independence? Or are we gonna keep going the way we always did?
And over the course of the book, Kenton says, "Okay, we're going to sell you ourr services and we're going to sell you our services, and we're going to sell you our services." And so by the end, when he realizes that Drile is not the bad guy, having him die in that battle just seemed wrong. So that's why we had him survive and had Kenton say, "Okay, you had a good idea, and I didn't like the way you went about it, but having your input in that can be a very valuable thing."
That was that was one of the big changes that got made. And when we talked to Brandon about it in that meeting, he was like, "Oh yeah, you guys are totally right. Over time, you guys got better story instincts than I had when I wrote it in the first place."
Some of those big changes were kind of a group brainstorming thing. And that was a fun process to do.