Base colors approved – can’t wait to see the shade and inks.
First I want to say thank you for accepting my commission. (Daniel) The shot will be of Fuzo Dox and Sofita Kul. The pose is simple; it will be the stoic sensei (Kul) and smiling cocky upstart (Dox).
Dox is younger but taller, her body language is relaxed; she’s stoked to be posing and smiling for the picture because she’s new to being on duty and hasn’t seen anyone die yet. Dox has her arm raised and her pinkie up (a Femarctic sign of victory), the other hand is on her hip but obscured by Kul.
Kul is older, a bit shorter, she never relaxes; her arms are crossed over her chest and she does not smile. Kul’s not unhappy, she quite amused at posing for this picture, but Kul has killed people before and so jovial and relaxed isn’t her style.
(Tina) Here’s the line sketch I made to show you the proportions, placement, pose and expressions of the characters, I didn’t make the uniforms so you can see the body proportions well, and the background will be visible once I start adding color, please tell me your thoughts on this rough sketch.
I knew you’d nail the smile I was looking for (Daniel)! The pose is perfect. Overall impressions? No pointy ears. LOL Kul will be a bit shorter, and her ass is BIG because she’s Hizaki. Dox’ tits can be a bit smaller and her bicep thicker–other than that, you nailed the overall feel of it, great job.
On the plus side, Incorrect Use of Comma didn’t make the top 3 this week.
Former politician and industrialist Velto Wram is currently assigned as an Ambassador to the Slavic Empire; her ex-beauty Queen spouse Ilo Cux is with her. (first-draft edits, Tactical Pursuits)
“How can you tell when they’re pregnant, they’re all so thin.” Velto had paused to gawk at Ilo. “Maybe the ones you’re seeing aren’t pregnant. Maybe they’re just, healthy.”
“I can smell a pregnant helovx,” Ilo said, applying some sea-salt moisturizer to her legs.
“What do they smell like?” asked Velto, hypnotized by Ilo’s fingertips rolling smoothly over her voluptuous folds.
“Stink aside, I can hear the secondary heartbeat,” said Ilo.
Velto said, “I have a heartbeat,”
“You want my attention, doe?” Ilo asked.
Velto’s large round eyes shone back at her.
“Let’s list everything you did wrong tonight,” Ilo said.
Velto turned away, “That’s not the attention I was after!”
“Velts, you’re like a punch in the face,” Ilo said.
Velto knitted her brow, “I’m a pleasure to be around!”
“Why can’t you just be nice?”
“I’m the nicest citizen I know!”
“You’re a massive girxhole, Velts.”
As Velto folded up her stretching matt, Ilo reclined on the bed.
“Velto, do you remember the first time we got together?”
“At the Gathering Center in Mynu,” Velto’s tail of hair swung side to side as she collected Ilo’s discarded clothes from the floor.
Scooting to the edge of the bed, Ilo planted her feet to the floor.
“That’s not the first time!”
“It was in Mynu during that Prime Citizen social. I remember distinctly because all you bellies were there and I wanted to—” Velto paused, “Wait, you said got together? We got together for the first time, in Toxis.”
“What were you going to say?” Ilo narrowed her eyes, “You said you remembered because wanted to, wanted to what?”
“I’m going to bathe,” Velto tossed the clothes at Ilo and then pointed, “Your attitude better be different when I come back out.”
“Enjoy that tub, you’re the only one of us that fits in it!”
This is so clunky– but I’m working on it.
Once a respected scholar, Sofita Kul has spent years hiding behind a uniform she wasn’t engineered to wear. In her flesh is the Femitokon Shell, the energy-based armor inherited from her dead twin, the true heir to rule Ramaxia. Hosting the Shell has allowed Sofita to avoid her destiny, but when the Shell pushes her toward her twins ambition, Sofita is drawn into a deadly game of succession.
I’ve been avoiding the inevitable.
Splitting Tactical Pursuits (aka Holodomor) into two parts isn’t working.
On Monday I’m going to remove all the elements of the secondary plot and focus solely on Sofita’s mission and Velto Wram’s entry into the series.
The excised portions, Eppis Banto’s story, will be edited for release to Patreon subscribers. I think this may be the norm going forward for all the backstory/related-narrative of those in Sofita’s circle. It will allow me to remain focused on Sofita’s story arc, without sacrificing the stories of the ensemble cast (Eppis, Pitana, Velto, Laxum, and Fyla) sharing in Sofita’s goal.
Excised several scenes to tighten my plot but I feel like I’ve sacrificed a bit of characterization in the process. Renamed the book because there’s a movie coming out about the Holodomor in the Ukraine and I don’t want the association. The new title is Tactical Pursuits.
Jogging through the second-draft pass and I can’t shake the feeling that the chapters don’t fit. I know that I’m telling two different stories in this novel – Eppis adjusting her life in preparation of ascension, and Ilo dying as motivation for Velto and Sofita to put aside their differences and work toward ascension. The subplot (at this point I should say, microplot) involves the Slavic Empire and that’s grounded in the Velto/Sofita portion of the book. Eppis/Ilo are connected by their brief complicity in the past, a partnership that afforded them the lives they lived up until now; tying them together at the end of the book is problematic because of a character death. Interweaving the narrative of these two distinct storylines works on television, but in prose, it just feels clunky.
I’m going to keep each storyline together via ‘Part I’ and ‘Part II’ separation, then fuse the stories together at the end.