Friday, August 23, 2013

Reviewing Woes

Going through the ms for OF DESOLATION AND OMENS, I realized something of a glaring oversight regarding one of my two protagonists.  Tori’i Soki is the daughter of the Emperor, and from her introduction, the sole heir after a nasty assassination of her older brother, Tori’i Hakata.  I had never intended to be coy about her particular age, so I simply pegged her at 16 to 18 years old.  Trying to develop the voice of a girl of this age isn’t so much a problem as a kick to the teeth sometimes; one of the primary purposes of this revision. 

One of the elements of a young woman of this age and in her position would be the continuation of the dynasty.  A quick and simple solution would have been to concentrate on the Hakata elements of primogeniture and simply say this was where the Emperor was hedging his bets.  Unfortunately this still ignores Soki as a viable match to someone in the J’in Empire.  This courting process would likely include complex and motivated pieces of political manoeuvring, particularly from the families of the potential suitors as they vie to make their ‘candidate’ the most desired match.

As an added element to the social structure to the story, it also adds a layer of complexity to the character I realized is lacking.  This isn’t an over-arching problem that forces a re-write.  I have the solution which will limit the impact, but the fact that such a glaring issue could have gone unseen simply underscores the need for new eyes on an a project, be it a beta or looking at your own ms after a sufficient period of time.

Ho hum.  Time to review my research notes for Japanese and Chinese courting rituals.

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