Grell went through a pretty dramatic change between the first draft and the last.  Here’s her first appearance in the original draft of Goblin Hero…

Grell pulled out her sword and held it horizontally between them.  Grell was one of the few goblins who understood the idea that technique was more important than the weapon.  She had taken a rapier and removed the crossguard and basket.  This left a long, naked blade with a simple wooden handle.  She poked the tip through the hook of Braf’s weapon, snapped her blade against the handle, and pulled back.

The hook-tooth spun around her blade several times, and she caught it in her other hand.  She raised an eyebrow at Jig.

Grell resembled her weapon: tall, slender, and quick.  She wore a black leather vest and trousers ending at the knees.


About halfway through the book, I realized that Grell was, in a word, boring.  So I made a few minor changes.

A change in the footsteps behind him made Jig whirl.  He tried to draw his sword, but his hands were wet from his last fall in the snow, and his grip slipped.  “What happened to you?”

Grell spread her fingers and examined her hand.  The last time Jig looked, Grell had been a lean, muscular warrior, with reflexes like a whip.  Now it appeared her body had aged at least a century, and since most goblins didn’t live past the age of thirty, that was saying a great deal.

Her back was hunched, and she had traded her sword for a set of rough-carved canes.  Her skin and muscles sagged like her body had grown too large for her bones.  Her face resembled a bruised, rotted fruit.

“Don’t ask me,” she said.  One whiff of her breath made the rotten fruit comparison much more apt.  “Looks like the author decided my character wasn’t providing enough tension or amusement, and he’s too much of a lazy jerk  to go back and rewrite my scenes.”

She fingered the broken tip of her yellow fang.  The other was missing completely.

“Right,” said Jig.  He glanced upward and whispered, “Just don’t do that to me, okay?”

Jim C. Hines