Leoshine, Princess Oracle is still in the refining stage. We split Book One into two halves and have been cleaning up the loose ends every since.
One issue that the most recent editor pointed out was Avram’s character. His greatest achievement in the new first book is that he doesn’t rape Leoshine. Seems a bit of a downer, doesn’t it? We want him to be heroic and powerful and instead he mumbles some things that can be taken as a power grab and throws some cups and plates at the wall.
In later books, Avram is given his chance to shine, but by then it might be too late. You, Leoshine’s readers need a stronger first impression to carry you to those later moments when he shows great leadership by restraining himself and giving Leoshine space to reign. You want hints and suggestions that he is worth your effort.
I hope this comes through in the new scenes and conversations written about him and from his perspective. Here’s an example:
From Leoshine, Princess Oracle
He wanted to be alone to sort the overwhelming stimuli. The scurries in the shadows, the angles of twigs and trunks and flower stems cutting and interlacing above and beside him, the colours of the flowers themselves–all intoxicated him.
In man-made Aeolia, scurrying animals, mass plantings where the seeds grew up where they fell, and the unhindered mingling of flower species had been eradicated as the population swelled. Order ruled, and chaos was overcome by intricate design. His home was never plain or uninteresting to look at, neither did lines and shadows dance with such complication as here.
The girl unbound all his previous conceptions of humanness; lines and shadows danced in her soul that he wanted to quantify, as if that would tame her, place her. If he counted the pulses fluttering in her throat, or the times the convulsion of her throat made her eyes close? If he could describe her breathing—shallow and incomplete seemed inadequate to the task. She must be dizzy from hyperventilating.
The way her mouth formed a perfect ‘o’ and her lashes splayed wide when she learned something new. He was impressed how she soaked up his language; at the same time the task seemed daunting. Resham spoke of the unexpected questions she asked; she wanted to know the exact moment they saw Myxolidia from the “giant birds” – the interdomiary vessel.
If I could count and describe and explain … I could know how flexible she is, how far I can take her away from her barbarian ways, and how fast.
The noises she made chasing the juice of the fruit down her arm made the hairs in his ears curl. The high pitched abrupt scream she made when startled froze the nerves at the base of his skull.
Tame her? He laughed at himself. She didn’t need taming. She needed freedom from devastating social constructs that maimed and devalued. As she grew into all she was – Woman as Ao Kevad made her – she would be more and more inexplicable.
What is woman? He had heard that the male soul would be intrigued, fascinated, enthralled, tantalised, and … frustrated. He laughed again. The dancing sprite of woman eluded man in a primeval way. His instinct was to tame but she would remain wild and free. The instant he succeeded, he lost the most precious interaction in Ao Kevad’s palette.
In her presence, everything he counted as strength was weakness. Every talent, wisdom and skill he possessed met a stone wall in her elusiveness. He would run screaming into that wall. Nothing would be left of him except a broken sword – symbolising wasted effort, and crushed ambition – symbolising wasted talent and wisdom and skill. Better to leave her very well provided – and distant!