The second version of Gilded Scarab, with a new main PoV character, is finally falling into place. I had a crise de nerfs about it—not unexpected when the entire premise of the book has had to be turned on its head like that. I still regret the loss of my stone crow of the opening of version one, and I still regret downgrading Ned to love interest for the hero. But as writer Sarah Madison said about version one: “I suspect Ned is lovely to look at, but has to be gently guided around potholes, and out of traffic, and so forth. He can be grand fun, but much better from someone else’s POV.” She was so, so right. Never a truer word! Ned’s been isolated from real life because of his position in society, and having him as the narrator actually distanced the reader too much as well. None of it felt real.
The new version is already better from Rafe’s PoV. It starts with a bit of a bang as Rafe crashes his aerofighter—aether and steam powered and with phlogiston acceleration tubes for extra oomph—in the veldt during the Second Boer War. I took great, great delight in having him crash at Koffiefontein. There is nothing I don’t know about flogging a theme to death!
Anyhow, a little more progress means I stand now at just over 13,000 words. And that’s 13,000 words that I am a lot, lot happier with.