This week is a study is contrasts between two very different character, one who has no secrets left to hide and another one who is just learning about herself.
Sand and Bone 2: Cowardice
One of the things I've never read about is how hard it is to create a trilogy. Even in this second chapter, there is all this history of the previous novels that plucked at my thoughts as I tried to figure out how to introduce Rutejìmo to potential new readers while not overwhelming those I hope have read the first two. At the same time, I think I've learned more about introducing a story. In Sand and Blood, I took four chapters to slowly introduce the Miwāfu names and the formality systems. It was shorter with Sand and Ash and even shorter with this book. I spent only a chapter on the names and then this one to give a simple introduction of Rutejìmo and his philosophies.
This is fifteen years after the first book. Rutejìmo has fully realized his world view. He knows who he is, though there are moments like this chapter where is is forced to face it once again only to have it confirmed.
Growth stories are fun, but I also like more mature characters. I like when they aren't fumbling to figure out themselves or learning how to use their powers but know their very limits. There aren't many stories where the main character is "comfortable in their skin." Most of the time, the mature characters are the mentors and soon-to-be victims. He knows exactly his limits, probably painfully aware, but he has no doubt why he runs from danger only to walk back into it.
Read Sand and Bone 2: Cowardice at https://fedran.com/sand-and-bone/chapter-02/.
Flight of the Scions 36: Regret
The problem with being hot-headed is that sooner or later, you realize you made a mistake. Of course, when you are relatively bright and alone, that times comes sooner or later. Kanéko recovers pretty quickly from her brief fight.
A moment later, an itch tickled the back of her mind. It felt like Damagar or Ruben trying to communicate. Holding her breath, she looked across the sky for Maris and Ruben, but didn't see the signs of Maris' flight. She lowered her gaze to the surrounding lands, looking for Damagar hopping toward her but there was nothing for dozens of leagues in all directions.
My writing group has repeatedly mentioned that I was rather subtle about psychic searches. The hard part about them is that I want to give the reader a hint about them but not reveal that information to the writing. With third-person limited, I can't say "she didn't realize someone was looking for her". Instead, I have to inject the search into the sentence but then gloss over this.
This time, however, she knows what to look for and therefore this ends up being the least subtle reference to a search.
Continuing the trend of psychic abilities are just like networking, a "search" is basically an nmap. Most network administrators aren't aware of port scanning, so they don't notice it. This is the same as most people not realizing that physic search is going on.
Kanéko, on the other hand, is rather aware of her own thoughts. She noticed the first few attempts because it intruded on her thoughts, breaking her train of thought. This isn't unlike a administrator noticing a slowdown on their computer and investigating it.
Of course, the biggest question is who is searching for her. It happens to be one of my favorite secondary characters in another novel.
Read Flight of the Scions 36: Regret https://fedran.com/flight-of-the-scions/chapter-36/ (subscribers)
I give away my books for free downloads. You can get them as EPUB, MOBI, and PDF versions on the website links above. If you like it, consider commenting on social networks or becoming a patron. The money I get goes directly into producing more books.
Reviewing my existing books, Sand and Blood or Sand and Ash would also help me greatly. I suffer from being obscure, very few people know about me but I can't toot my own horn constantly. If you like it, tell others. Thank you.