They’re heavy. Unexpectedly heavy. I didn’t realize that 283,000 words would weigh so much, take up so much space. When you spend hours and days and weeks writing on a phone or a laptop, editing the same way, words are ethereal little bits: Sure, they add up in the word counter, but that’s the only way to measure progress. Now that I have all three paperbacks out I can actually hold them, feel the realness of each and every word.
Just in this series (I mean, the entire Nine Hundred series, not only this trilogy) there’s about five hundred thousand words. How much would that all weigh? If, someday, I published everything–Into the Grey, Bootstrap_, At The Edge Of Our Star, The Spice Merchant’s Wife… It might fill an entire bookshelf. Would I still have more stories to tell? Probably. The more I write, the more I seem to want to write. If I were going to give a new writer one single piece of advice, that would be it. Write every day. It doesn’t have to be Shakespeare, it doesn’t even have to be much. But the more you write, the more will come.
I’d like to get all three of those into one hardcover copy one day, but right now Amazon has a page limit of 550, which isn’t enough. I’d like to see Murah and Yuun’s stories there too, and Mattrim and Eli’s. But right now I’m just amazed that imagination can be so heavy. So weirdly real, despite being just a story.
(Actually have you ever read the backstory to the phrase the world wonders? It’s really interesting! So in World War Two, were added to an encoded message as padding (they were meant to be meaningless). But the message was something like >>where is the USS Nimitz [author’s note: I don’t remember the actual ship in question] the world wonders<< and the admiral who received the message took it really personally, like, where the fuck are you admiral dude.
I guess the message is, choose your encryption padding carefully.)
This totally inspired me to go back and add (at least one) of these decompression scenes to Loyalty. It’s half-drafted now, about 1k words in (though it’ll probably clock in at about 3k). Anutea+Loren! If each book focuses on one character’s perspective, and the first book definitely focused on the Casey+Norah relationship, then book two is much more about Loren’s relationship with each of them.
(Although book 2 focuses on Casilim-la‘s perspective, so I’m not sure why it focuses on Loren’s relationship… this meta stuff is hard).
Can you imagine a more fraught relationship than Anutea+Loren at the beginning of Loyalty? Man, there’s some fucking history there.
I think I’m going to try my hand at turning the above ^ into a bookmark, plus also get some prints to send out with hardcopy signed copies of the books. I wonder what scene I’ll commission next? Possibilities, possibilities~
Actually I’m not sure I ever posted about the first art, so I probably shouldn’t label this one more art. But the point of the matter is: I commissioned some art of Casey and Norah in zero-g and got a sketch version of it yesterday, and I need to share this joy with the world.
It still needs colour, but doesn’t it look so fabulous? They’re so happy, my goodness. My happy darlings ❤
If you haven’t read this scene in Identity, it’s Norah trying zero-g for the first time (with Casey, who is definitely not in zero-g for the first time). Casey is also completely ignoring about six hundred urgent messages (#goals).
Actually looking at this (it’s my phone background now, so I see it many times a day) it occurs to me that there isn’t really an equivalent scene in Loyalty. I’m not sure exactly where I’d add one, but those little happiness scenes are important, aren’t they? One of my readers told me this was her favourite scene, and another said her favourite was Casey and Norah playing video games.
Of course, the character dynamics in Loyalty are quite different. But the karlzn scene (above) in Identity was a second draft insertion, so it’s not like I couldn’t go back and add a little… release of tension scene. Or a couple. Loren+Anutéa? Loren+Casilim-la? Why not? Or, hell, a flashback? Possibilities!