Thanks to super-fast feedback from some of my beta readers, I’m already working on the revisions to the Perihelix.
Naturally I saved a copy of the last file I was working on as a new version to make these changes. About halfway I noticed something. I thought I’d changed that, I thought. Oh, darn, don’t tell me I saved it into the beta version with new edits…. I haven’t found a way of comparing versions on the iMac, so I’ll convert it to Word and compare it with the beta I sent out from the PC laptop.
Well, in response to the feedback I’d put in a new section giving the girls some more background – not their life history, of course, just a bit more to show who they really were under their working image. It’s a discussion point, really. These women are escorts, so of course they are going to do what pleases the men. However, since they get to do things on their own, I can give them full rein to develop in their own personalities rather than their work personas as the story progresses. What? You haven’t got a work persona? I certainly had. I’m not sure whether I have now or not.
There was also desire for more background on the Imperium and the Federation. Part of that fits with the girls’ backgrounds, but I hit on an idea which I hope you’ll like, by giving a snippet from the ‘Universal Word Usage, 2822 edition’ at the start of each chapter. My aim is to make that reference book wholly biased towards the Imperium, and very sanitised (so reading between the lines is useful), and then let the characters flesh it out in their own sweet way, sometimes in the same chapter.
I’m also examining the role of women (and other sexes) in the book. Farsight is the best place to promote gender equality, since it’s an academic planet. Unfortunately the Imperium is very much alpha male territory, and Viridian itself is Wild West, not that there’s any barrier to women asteroid miners, they just don’t tend to get that far; I already have women visitors and inter-sex and non-sexual aliens there, though! The Federation is interesting, since it definitely has reptoids as well as humanoids in its personnel profile.
I hope the beta2 version will be ready at the end of the week, if anyone’s ready to give it a reading for me. Should that be beta2 or gamma?