Category: revising

Dialogue Excerpt

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)

Ilo Cux

“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 Wram

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!”


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.

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.

Shell Follow Up

In the first novel (fully edited – needs beta) the Shell began operating on its own, touching Sofita’s mind without permission, taking over for moments at a time, etc. In the second novel, Sofita follows up with an examination at the holistic lab, but Fyla Uym (Shell’s designer) isn’t there. In her place is Riltav Gwo. The young Hizak is a character that will feature heavily in the series, but in this scene, she makes her debut.

Currently editing this first draft…


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.