Through heroic effort, we got this one done before Worldcon.
One of the interesting things about our method of collaborating is, it’s making me much more aware of my own writing process. For example, it isn’t uncommon for me to drop in a detail or a bit of exposition, write onward, realize it would fit in much better three paragraphs later, and move it. But when that detail or exposition is something Alyc wrote, I’m much more self-conscious about relocating it. Or what I used to not think about at all, and now think about enough that I’ve borrowed the poetic term “enjambment” for it: not always having a paragraph break when the narrative focus shifts between characters, but sometimes having Character A’s thought or reaction at the start of a graf and then shift to B’s response for the rest. Because we are each more or less taking on certain characters in any given scene, there’s a tendency for us to always paragraph break when we hand it off, so now I’m watching for that and looking for ways to smooth it out with occasional enjambment. Which is a thing I do normally — but now it’s conscious, rather than reflex.
In other news, we — and by “we” I mostly mean “Alyc” — have now figured out the astrological system built out of the numerical magic system, and have fallen down the rabbit hole of calculating the charts for the various major characters. With the added complication that one of them is lying about their age and when they were born, so then we needed to figure out what that chart looks like and how to make the discrepancy narratively interesting. We managed to massively confuse ourselves for a while, but it turns out this exists, which is AWESOME — we were able to program it to the calendar we’ve made up, complete with 20-hour clock and two separate lunar cycles. So that has made our lives infinitely easier, and means we can be consistent to a degree no reader will ever notice anyway, i.e. if our protagonist R— was born on the equivalent of a Saturday, then the novel begins on the equivalent of a Wednesday. (These things matter, when you start assigning metaphysical significance to them in the narrative.)
Word count: ~81,000
Authorial sadism: One of the characters just sold another out. Complete with lots of rationalizations for how it isn’t really selling them out . . .
Authorial amusement: All the horoscope stuff. And some fun banter between two characters whose previous meeting was kind of fraught. And my god, some of the shipfic for this story writes itself.
BLR quotient: Rhetoric wins the crown this week, with a whole lot of manipulation and political horse-trading going on.