Commentary I:2

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One Book, Two Book, Red Chapter, Blue Chapter

I’m really not even certain how Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 once fit into a normal(ish?) length chapter for the scale of the rest of the book.  I think it always was a little long, but somewhere along the line it split into two fully formed entities.

The existence (names aside) of the Lycian Order was one of the earliest established elements of the world.  Even the name (though it changed a few times) is one of the very earliest, save “the Sisterhood” which just as in the story stuck, however inaccurate it became.  I did not yet have a full understanding of their place in it, but who they were had formed from the start.  Conventional religious tradition turned gently on its side.  A hippy commune with the air, stability, and aesthetics of a monastery.  A matriarchy in a world of oft harsh patriarchal views.  A bastion of religiously enshrined female sexuality.

Yes.  A controversial element in YA fiction I suppose.  Though I’ve said elsewhere I didn’t really mean to write YA, it just sort of happened.  Yet let me wager, we are living in a world where wherever your morals lay on sexuality, our children are ever more exposed to it.  Call it an analogy.  It honestly barely gets mentioned till somewhere near the end of Book II, but it is a founding idea of the world.  The fundamental divide between puritanical patriarchal ideas and liberal matriarchal ones that define the heart of the contest between Clarion and Lycian.  One a pacifist faith of open sexuality, one an often militaristic religion of near asexuality.  If I dare to be that transparent.  To call it a message is strong.  It is more of an expression.  The feelings that have been evoked by our world.  If it bares any relationship to my actual beliefs, is entirely secondary, an effect of such feelings.  YA literature is (beyond just entertainment) theoretically about providing extra context for kids to deal with their own issues, or just maybe about authors dealing with theirs.

Sasha.  I really never intended her to take on the life of her own she did.  She was a throw away.  An ‘establishing shot’ of sorts, indicating that not all might be as it appears.  Only named absently on a whim as Renae shoos her away, and originally never appeared again.  I should have known she was trouble already, the moment Renae knew immediately by name the girl who had not left as expected.  Because I lie to say she never appeared again, just not clearly.  She had already snuck into my head in the earlier drafts of “Seasons” as ‘someone’ that had observed the wisps and been fascinated.  I never did anything with it in any of the original drafts.  She however got positive reviews from my wife, and that earned her another scene.  Then she ran away, and wove herself into ever more unexpected areas of the established plot through all further stages of editing.

I could go on much more, but then I’d eat into commentary for future chapters, and give away too many allusions to new readers that might look here.  Though yes, we have established we will hear from that pest again.

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