Today's writing notes
Working on: Voyage of the Kaus Media 2nd draft
I'm up to chapter 4, and this manuscript is already at 92,000 words instead of 88,000. I anticipate even more lengthening to come. I'll be honest, I think it'd be fun if it broke 100,000 words, but I certainly won't try to force it.
I'm trying hard in these early chapters to play up the Menketi Noblirim being manipulative jerks. I want to make it clear that they're the kind of people that Angela is used to dealing with back on Earth, so when she ends up with the Falcarians - who actually care about her as a person - the stark contrast wakes her up to how she used to allow herself to be treated, and helps her start on the path to taking better care of herself.
I also hope it comes through well enough that the Noblirim are not a hopelessly antagonistic species; there's just some stuff that they struggle with culturally, just like humans. As Radnama points out later in the book, the Noblirim are naturally great artists with an eye for aesthetics, but they too often ignore that aspect of themselves to focus on a hunger for power and dominion. Radnama is one of the few Noblirim who has not lost himself in endless power plays and scheming. Even if they are mostly antagonistic in this story, I wanted there to still be the idea that they could be great forces for good if they tried, and Radnama is an example of that and an example to his fellow creatures.
Also, I never meant for the Noblirim to come across as ugly. They look like anthropomorphic dinosaur-dragons, which is an awesome combination. :) So when you're reading, please imagine them as epic-looking as possible!
I'm also trying to clarify a lot of Angela's actions and thought processes, especially throughout the first half of the book. Hopefully now it's easier to understand that she struggles with trust issues, which are not helped by how the Menketi Noblirim treat her, which is why it takes her so long to open up to the Falcarians. She doesn't ask too many questions in the beginning of the story, not because she doesn't have questions, but because she's worried they won't be answered (the Menketi certainly were not interested in answering her questions). It's only when she starts to feel more comfortable with the crew of the Kaus Media that she ventures to get a geography lesson from the captain.
This also explains why Angela spends so much time on the Kaus Media reading fiction and playing dolu--she's filling herself up and taking care of herself, which is something she stood in sore need of, so that she can have the strength and better mindset to do things like stand up to the Menketi elders and Janus. Her voyages are healing experiences for her as she learns that she matters as a person, too, and it's okay to have good friends who care about her, and to have things she enjoys doing.