This short chapter is there to show the passage of time because I really dislike montages in writing. Actually, I don't like them much of anywhere. However, I wanted to show that she is moving forward with Nirih's dress, which is a "backbone" of the tension in this novel.

Maximum Velocity

Success is hard work. It takes hundreds or thousands of hours to get something working. At times, when I need a breakthrough, I get this horrible feeling that I can't go fast enough. Any faster and I burn out, any slower and I'm not getting it done. Instead, I just have to trudge through the effort knowing it will work out at the same time.

When I wrote some of these chapters, I was going on through the same thing. I had to solve a problem however it didn't matter how many hours I put into it, I couldn't solve the problem any faster. It felt like there was a limiters, a maximum speed that I could create. Every day I could show progress (Lily is working through the dress) and I learned new concepts (Lily using her powers to change the dress to make it easier for her to work) but I kept moving toward the goal with the same, maddening pace.

Using Talents

One of the things I always like to explore is how someone would use their powers. Even something as simple as changing the color of things could be very useful in the right circumstances. For example, Lily constantly changing the fabric colors based on what she is doing. I could easily see her using dark colors for light-colored chalk, marking panels and parts she's happy with in one color and shifting the colors on the frustrating parts to another.

She knows that it the color will be perfect in the end, but that doesn't mean it has to be now. She is still learning that, though, because her teacher couldn't alter fabric colors any more than Lily can bind fabric together using nothing but her fingers.


One of the biggest mistakes I made is not setting the time for these chapters. More so since you're reading the first draft (after some editing). The reason is twofold. The first is I didn't really have a solid calendar when I started, I don't know when the Social Season starts because I'm making it up.

The other is actually to give me the leeway to finish the novel. Depending on the other plots, I can flex Nirih's dress schedule so there is always a looming deadline. However, to do that, I have to finish the novel and go back and fix the times. It's a minor thing but I know I'll have a solid calendar by the time I finish this piece.

Second-Hand Dresses 9: Another Mistake

Working in the few short hours before her lunch date with Hasan and Mindil, Lily struggles to get further along with Nirih's dress.

Read the chapter at


My first three novels and many short stories are available for free on my website. If you like character-driven fantasy, consider checking out some of them. Then, if you like what you read or want to see more, consider supporting me through Patreon or Liberapay. There are other ways to also support me, you can write reviews or help boost a single by talking about my writing.

Any money I get goes into getting the books properly edited (the first three have already been through three rounds) and polishing the results while encouraging me to write more. Thank you.