I wrote the first new Napoleon chapter.
I didn't refer to any of the previously written material, though it obviously contains some of the same events. I was much more direct, and much more conscious of trying to create a strong character.
I think this is a much better approach. Harder to pull off, but if I can do it, will make the book.
For one thing, I'm pretty much sticking it right out there in front: This is the premise -- this is why I think the premise works. The reader can decide right up front whether or not they buy the premise.
Sometimes I think events are better off not explained. That is, the explanation only makes it less believable.
So I can postulate a wild pig apocalypse (Aporkcalypse) and just ask the reader to believe it. That worked OK for the first book, when it was an isolated valley with humans who didn't know what was coming. (Though I was surprised by how many people seemed to think the idea unbelievable.)
It was even OK with the second book, where the Tuskers are in hiding.
But by the third book, I needed to establish why Tuskers were a danger to all humanity -- and risk that the reader doesn't buy the premise. I started that in the second book.
So the basic idea is: The Tuskers are super smart and are quickly learning all the human tricks, and they are breeding exponentially and infiltrating every part of the continent. They have built The Machine, which is capable of creating such a strong EMP that it destroys everything connected to the electrical grid. Human civilization falls apart.
Meanwhile, a zombie plague has unintentionally been loosed upon both humans and Tuskers. Also, Tuskers can control other species, adding to their numbers.
So Tuskers and humans are both struggling to survive, and are on equal footing (or hoofing.)
I don't know. I don't see why this is any more wild or less believable than a thousand other Apocalyptic stories...
So I'm all in. My job is to introduce all this information in an interesting way, slowly convince the reader that it could actually happen.
2 days ago