Today's writing notes:
Working on: Skydwellers third edition
Done! Auuuggghhh now I can move on with my liiiiiife. And by that I mean work on my next project! In the meantime, I'm going to hand this book off to my proofreader, so I'll make a post when the new version of the book is available for purchase! If you've read either of the first two editions, you won't be missing much in terms of story, but if you're thinking of buying the book for the first time, I highly recommend this new third edition over the other two. It's better!
If I had a dime for every time Rohui rubs his chin, I'd have several dimes. Pro writing tip (that a very helpful editor gave me): avoid repetitive character actions. They deaden the prose. Also, avoid writing character actions as prose filler, especially during a conversation. The simple "he-said-she-said" exchange may seem boring, but it reads better and smoother than a bunch of meaningless and unnecessary actions, especially when those actions get repetitive because you can't think of any new ones.
Story-wise, another thing I am altering here is Miette's character arc. In the first edition, she triple-crossed her aunt and uncle, getting the idea during her hike in the woods with the other girls. In the second edition I decided this was a bit of a stretch for a 9-year-old girl (even a very smart one), so instead she remains fully loyal to the Faemor until the climax. In this edition, I've realized that that's not really true to her character either, so now when she rejoins her uncle with Mathchis she does so hesitantly, obviously feeling guilty and reluctant to work against people who have befriended her and shown her true unconditional kindness, especially since she discovers she identifies greatly with Mathchis. Thus, the climax is now a moment of bravery on her part as she finds the courage to break away from her family, fight the Faemor, and protect Mathchis.
I'm actually cutting out a lot more Wilder/Rohui banter than I thought I would. I guess, looking at it now, their relationship in the previous revision seems to be unpleasantly contentious. I think that, despite them both being young, they both realize that there's no point in slinging insults at each other all the time, especially when there's a world to save. Considering everything they've been through and everything they're dealing with, their verbal (and sometimes physical) jabs at each other just seem out of place and forced, like I felt obligated to shoehorn in banter everywhere I could. Nowadays, I find that I like nice conversations much better than banter--unless characters are purposely doing it because they're joking with each other, of course.