Category: series notes

First Draft Pass Complete

chapeditsExcised 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.

Damn, I Thought I Thought of That

I created an intellectual class of citizens called Hizaki (his-sah-kee).

stylepostFitat`femax (loose helovx translation: noble Femmar of Ramaxia) is the name of the fashion-conscious aesthetic of the Hizaki.  An entire industry revolves around styling Hizaki, and it’s staffed by the laboring Bizaki (bis-sah-kee).  Bizzy’s were the first to recognize Hizzah vanity, and from this, created a business around their cosmetic upkeep.

In my second novel, Holodomor, we get a look into the life of an Hizak named Eppis Banto. She starts her day at a Style-Sit where her hair and nails are done before moving on to a Fashion House of choice, to be fitted in the day’s ensemble. At the Style-Sit, Eppis speaks briefly with a Hizak peer that’s getting her eyes lashes curled. My method involved applying a perm-like gel to the lashes, protecting the eyelid with a stick-on shield.

Unfortunately, I didn’t think of it first. It’s called LVL Lash Lift. Not only didn’t I think of it first, it’s been in practice since 2013.

Shit.

First Stage Edits: Holodomor

My 1st draft edits involve tightening the plot and fixing the dialog. I read my first draft (first time since writing it) and then went through and adjusted my scene cards, cutting any scene that added nothing to the overall story.

scenecards

This part is the worst.

I ended up removing scenes that I adored. I’ve quite a collection of scenes now excised from Suffocation and Holodomor. Some are brilliant character pieces, while others are pure pornographic trash. I think when I release the series on Patreon, I will tighten these scenes up and offer them as freebies to my patrons.

Bible Excerpt: Anatomy

Castes
Bizak, Subak, Marix, Zaxir, and Hizak

Anatomical Basics

  • The Femmar are engineered before birth into four castes.
    • Bizaki, Subaki, Marixi, Zaxiri, Hizaki
  • Average height range of a typical adult is 6’5” to 7’5”
  • The Femmar have 280 bones and 52 chromosomes.
  • Femarctic craniums are thicker that of the helovx, and their brains larger, with greater synaptic interconnectivity.
  • The Femmar have 38 teeth; the fronts are lobed, pointed, and cusped, for grasping and tearing food. Back teeth are thick and flat, for crushing bone and shells.
  • The Femmar have off-white sclera, and gold/bronze irises.
    • Femarctic eyes contain a protein in the vitreous that breaks down abrasives and protests against natural lachrymators. Their eyes also include a layer of tissue called tapetum lucidum, which allows them to see in the dark.
  • The Femmar have no vellum, axillary, or androgenic hair; all terminal hair is black.
    • Only the Marix-caste has no terminal hair.
  • The Femmar have eight layers of counter-shaded skin (dark throughout, but light to white along their chests, abdomen, and pelvic girdle), with a seam of skin called uzx, marking where the lighter chest and abdominal skin meets with the darker external hide.
    • Femarctic hides come in a variety of colors, from bronze and brown to various shades of gray and blue, with patterns ranging from light stripes to mottled spots–some Femmar have no patterns at all.

hidecolorchart

  • Femmar have what helovx consider to be ‘breasts,’ called suzsch. Suzsch are globes of subcutaneous fat over the chest.
    • Down the middle of each suzsch is the sensitive uzx.
      (Only the Marixi have differing suzsch and uzxi – see below).
  • All Femmar have a guzshlix (vagina), and a girxil,  a genito-anal slit used to expel urine and feces. The folds of the guzshlix are called the gashcol, and crowning the folds is a rydok (clitoris).
    • The opening of the guzshlix (vagina) is set where a human wears her pubis and navel; the elongated folds of the gashcol run vertically between the hips. An inch below the lower end of the gashcol is the girxil.
  • All Femmar, except Marixi, have a makodux (uterus) and a makzol (cervix); the Zaxiri have dual-makodux.

All Femmar produce a hormone called mitokerotein, a steroid not found in any other species on Ramaxicon. MitoK developed independently within the last generation of subjects engineered by the Femaki’xirpaxul. Helovxi calls MitoK ‘Femarctic Testosterone’, but no studies have been able to confirm any similarity to the testosterone found in helovx.

The Femarctic renal system is capable of processing salt water, allowing for safe digestion of saline. The Femmar also have an epigonal organ.

Holiday Accomplishment

I have to step away from revisions, the holiday doesn’t afford me the isolation my mind needs, to fix a manuscript. I’m using this time though, to clean up fuglies throughout my series-bible. The bible will be free to my monthly Patreon supporters, so I want to make it as polished as my ZERO-sum budget, allows.

For the timelines, I thought of incorporating the standard infographic style timeline. There’s plenty of free templates, and as lovely as some of them are, those horizontal lines are just so…human?  The Femmar are a species defined by two constants: ice & genetics. A double-helix style timeline was nowhere to be found (though there’s a ton of wallpapers on the net featuring “DNA”). I found a perfect graphic from a natural-disasters web site, and used the iceberg graph, as my timeline marquee.

timeline

Each era on Earth is divided by time periods, with noted events that shape the world my series is set in. The prehistoric Femati Era (Fematidol), the Human Era (Helovidol), the short and chaotic Time of Transition (Voskadulak), and the Femarctic Era, indicated by their new name for the planet, Ramaxicon. At the start of the Femitokon series, the Ramaxidol has been chugging along, just over 300-years.

Catching Mistakes at the End

There’s a scene in the second chapter of Suffocation that has our Sofita, and Fuzo Dox, aboard the PAC Goruym (her AI is called Gory, by her crew). Gory is a Polar-Air Command vessel, a floating cyber-marine life form that houses a clutch of deadly, Delphic Strikers.

When introducing her commanding officer, Deltad Polvix, I labeled her as ‘a Promad’. I wrote a sentence explaining her transition from PAC to Fleet, AND THAT WAS SO NOT WHAT I MEANT TO DO, but I did it, anyway.

Promad, is a Polar Fleet rank. It’s given to Marixi in commanding operational positions, that serve on ‘Fleet’ vessels, like the Toxis Class Submarine. You can’t be a Promad, in Polar Air Command–just by virtue of your vessel floating on the water.

Upon further review, I realized that all my PAC commanders, were given the rank of Promad. (OMGWTFBBQ). I had to alter the bios in my series-bible, to fix the mistakes.

diarypic2

What chaps my ass is that I didn’t catch this in my review of the 1st or 2nd drafts, my editors reviews of the 3rd, and 4th drafts, nor did I catch it in the 5th draft.

CRAP.