I always start novels with an outline. The problem is, I don't like restrictions and go with the flow of the story. For these books, it ended up being 10-20k words short, but there were still unexpected things that popped up despite my best efforts.

The tenth chapter was one of them. Tsubàyo wasn't suppose to be in the story. He was suppose to fail killing Rutejìmo in the previous book and then wander off to have adventures of his own (in a novel that may end up being called Horse Thief). But, I'm pretty flexible when something sounds right and went with it.

Tsubàyo is an interesting character. In the first book, as one reviewer said, he was set up to be a rather stereotypical character. That was intentional, mainly because I do write from a character's point of view. Rutejìmo's view of Tsubàyo was stereotypical and rather two-dimensional, much like his initial views of Chimípu and Pidòhu. It wasn't until he got to know the two that they gained depth.

I think that people are the same way. At first, they are nothing but stereotypes and first impressions. But as you interact with them, they start to get depth and characters, quirks that make them a richer person.

In the years of thinking about Sand and Ash, Sand and Bone, and Horse Thief, Tsubàyo had become a much richer person. The events after Blood sent Tsubàyo down a much different path from Rutejìmo. Not any less painful or a struggle, but different. And both have a great deal of tragedy in them; a theme that seems to carry through most of the desert stories.

2015-10-04