More art

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!

Loyalty progress

March is the month of endless revisions, apparently: Identity (which I actually had the gall to think I was done with) and now I have beta feedback on Loyalty.

Actually it’s not bad. I’d planned to dedicate the entire month of April to fixing whatever structural problems came up, and… drum roll please… there don’t appear to be any!

At least, not in the opinion of one person.

My alpha reader still thinks it doesn’t pack the same punch Identity did, and obviously I don’t want it to be a let-down, so I think I’m going to let it simmer a bit. I’ll dedicate April to it by not even looking at it, then return in May and hopefully have a bit of distance to be able to evaluate it properly and figure out what secret spice is still missing.

It needs that zing.

Criticism:

  • I use too many ellipses (guilty)
  • Same but for semi-colons (definitely guilty)
  • Paragraphs could do with being longer to create better flow
    • Actually this one is funny because Identity has the exact opposite problem
  • Cut a little dialogue–“be careful, or the reader might feel a bit tired”

And positive remarks:

  • “I definitely can see that Anutéa has matured during the whole book, in fact she is my favourite character. But at the same time, she is really courageous and badass, something that I am not, but I know every reader wants to be”
    • YAY
  • “I also enjoyed how this book is fast paced, but at the same time it is not rushed as some novels tend to be”
    • DOUBLE YAY

And a really great idea:

  • “I enjoyed also how the book is structured!  It would also be cool to have a glossary on how to pronounce the names and a map! A map would be awesome”

Well, off I toddle to go Google the best way to create glossaries for entirely imaginary worlds which exist in my mind.

(The trouble with maps, of course, is that right now my jumpgate travel system is entirely non-falsifiable. I can say RE-ytri is a two-days’ journey from AA-olea, and who can argue? Once there’s a map though…

I foresee trouble ahead)