After a few weeks of voting over on Patreon and my forum, the next novel selected is Second-Hand Dresses. This is a much different piece than Sand and Blood and its sequels in that it is a romance and drama piece with little violence and a good and proper Happily Ever After.
The first three chapters can already be read so we are starting the serialization with chapter four. As usual, you can read all the preceeding chapters either on the above link or Wattpad. These will be the only two places I'll submit the actual chapters, everywhere else will have this blog cross-posted. (If you've been following me, "nothing is changing").
I read a lot of genres. Like my efforts to expand my technical knowledge of the world, I also try to expand the different stories that I read. I find it interesting how different authors put together stories in unique ways, crafting a story that reflects their personality and desires in written form.
Romance isn't any different. I've read them on and off, both in their purest distilled form (romance novels) and integrated into other stories as either a primary or secondary plot. I can "feel" the difference between a romance ("Small R") and Romance (the books that fill half a bookstore or "Big R") but I don't always know how to write Big R. I'm not sure if I could, mainly because I have a quirky personality that doesn't always fit a mold very well.
Like fantasy, I have ideas of what I think I want in a story. It doesn't matter if it is off the beaten trail or not, I have a craving for stories that fit me and I think others will enjoy it. So, Second-Hand Dresses is my first attempt at writing a romance.
This also means I'm pretty nervous about it.
The novel has already gone through a couple starts from it's original place in the Journals of Fedran. The "simple" plot of a young seamstress's love being fought over by two guys has changed somewhat drastically. Along the way, it picked up some quirks. In specific, it has morphed into a bisexual polyamory piece.
Why? Because I want to. It isn't for representation or to fit a niche, it was just a story that interest me. I hope it interests you, we'll find out over the next month or so.
When I first wrote Second-Hand Dresses, I considered writing it with a romance-only byline. I spent a few weeks thinking about it. If I broke out the romance, I'd probably have the do the same with the mysteries and the military pieces that I want to write. It seemed like a lot of work because creating a byline is expensive for time.
It takes an effort to maintain bylines. Even if I copy everything, I have to maintain at least two websites, mailing lists, separate the forums, and the like. My attention is already stretched thin, so I think maintaining public identities for my novels would be cumbersome or force me to stall. I'm already dreading working on the website to document the Sands series.
This means I'm going to write under "D. Moonfire" for this novel also. I figured readers can Google for the genres and I'll do my best to identify the pieces as I write them.
When I wrote Sand and Blood and the rest of the series, I didn't have any sex scenes. Most of the time, I just "faded to black." Sex wasn't the point of the novel and it didn't advance the plot itself so I skipped writing them.
Second-Hand Dresses is different in this regard. Like many romances (that I enjoy reading), sex is more integral to the plot. I hope that there aren't any pointless scenes (e.g., ones that are just for titillation) but there are definitively more graphic elements in this novel.
This will make things a bit more difficult to post. The blog posts (and Patreon here will not be NSFW. They will warn if the chapter linked is more mature, just to mark it correctly but no clips or quotes from naughty chapters.
I'm also planning on putting a little age filter on the chapters on Fedran. This will be just a simple question with a "yes" answer but it covers my basic need to put a barrier between the public and anything inappropriate.
This is also a point to say I don't write Young Adult. I just happen to write stories with teenagers. There are none of them in this novel.
I'll also put a banner over all the chapters to warn readers.
In the end, I'll have something figured out but I need to fumble with this first. If it doesn't work, then I'll find a different way of showing these stories but I want to maintain my pattern of releasing chapters weekly.
Second-Hand Dresses 4: Manor Rose
Dejected by the mess that Kendrick made to the front of her store, Lily returns to her mother's home. However, as soon as she arrives, her presence is requested by her mother who needs a serious discussion for the young woman about to formally become a spinster.
Read the chapter at https://fedran.com/second-hand-dresses/chapter-04/.
If you like it, please review my books or even become a patron. My first three novels are free on my website. Reviews, conversation, and subscriptions are what pays for the next book. Two of those only require time and not a single dollar but help me immensely.
I do have my books properly edited. By the time I finish serializing them, they have gone through at least two editors and a number of beta readers. The patronage is what pays for that, the more I get, the faster I can finish a book and move to the next one.