As I'm going through these chapters a week at a time, I keep seeing parallels between the two stories. This week, both Flight of the Scions and Sand and Ash deal with an elder trying to pass advice to the main characters. The difference is that Garèo is telling Kanéko that she is making a mistake and Gichyòbi is telling Rutejìmo that he is on the right path.
The desert culture doesn't like to say things explicitly. For the most part, if Kanéko was in the desert, not magically dead, or being half-white, her clan would be finding ways to keep her away from Pahim. Subtle ways, like sending her to a different part of town or finding ways to occupy her. They wouldn't say “you are making a mistake.”
Before Garèo fled the desert, he would have done the same thing. The problem is that Garèo isn't in the desert. He doesn't have a clan to help him. He doesn't have the respect that comes with being an elder that would make it easier. Not to mention, he is struggling with herding the other teenagers and taking charge of the trip (many adults find this specific trip to be obnoxious and a waste of time and money). He doesn't have time to deal with Kanéko's rebellion other than to warn her about larger mistakes she is about to make.
Sand and Ash 26: Return to Wamifuko City
This chapter is a rough one. While it mostly building characters, it is also setting out much of the rest of the plot for the rest of the novel. Hopefully, with hindsight, going back to this chapter will point that out.
Like Mikáryo, Gichyòbi knows that Rutejìmo is becoming something more. His wife also knows, because she is also an elder like her husband, but Rutejìmo doesn't know it. The Wamifuko believe in the present world and the hidden stone beneath the mouth. She is the stone that he stands on.
I love showing a couple that has been married for years and are still in love. I think it shows there is hope, but I also wanted a functional relationship since so much of fantasy involved ruined families. Gichyòbi loves his children even though they were sired by someone else. He treats them as more important than anything else and will die for him.
Flight of the Scions 8: Camping Partners
Chapter eight was one of the chapters cut when I tried to reduce the book from 220k words down to 100k. I had a quote on editing that was in the fifteen thousand dollar range and I got hit by a bunch of sticker shock. I ranted about it on Twitter and Maggie Stiefvater gave me a name of a good editor who would do it for considerably less.
I screwed up that referral. I really did. I contacted the editor and got it scheduled, but then at WisCon, I met up with another editor who was willing to do it for a little less. I sent an email to the first one and ask for feedback. She didn't answer for three weeks (24 days actually), so I gave the job to the second one.
That ended… poorly for me.
At the same time, I don't think I can go back to the first one. So, I basically burned a bridge (though I was polite as I could) because I wasn't patient enough.
Between that incident, the fallout that followed, and the Immerse or Die review, I pretty much can't get a book out. I know that I'm flawed when it comes to writing and I need an editor. Every time someone gets 40:00 at Immerse or Die, I'm hit with this envy that I was nine minutes shy because I didn't create a good enough book and get it edited. I didn't go with someone who could help me and I don't seem to be able to fix the flaws myself. That is one reason I'm so picky about the cover and the editing, but at the same time, that is also what is holding me back.