Friday blog, October 15, 2021: more Helicon news

So, more Helicon news!

I have completed the first draft of Strawberry Fields Forever (more on the titling conventions of these books later) and I have also finished my very light fix-the-cringe rewrite of the books, so you can read them now, if you want.

The first book, Dancing Days, is free.

And I’ve made the Omnibus of the first four books only $5.99.

So, the light rewrite could not fix all the cringe, and I had to just leave some of it. One thing to note is that they are kids, and they are on a journey, and so even if you’re like, “Argh,” remember they might grow out of it.

Big changes if you’re a fan and not planning on rereading the series:

-I swapped the term non-binary for androgyne, since that’s where we seem to have settled as a society. Genderqueer is also out there as a possibility, but I went for non-binary.

-In the first book, Sawyer originally made a comment about not being transgender and he also ruefully says something about his opinion of his gender not mattering because they do not have “sex-change operations” in Helicon. I did away with all of this. Obviously, Sawyer *is* transgender, but he’s non-binary. I also cut any mentions of Sawyer and surgery, because he typically experiences no physical dysphoria with his genitalia and doesn’t necessarily want it, but if I do mention surgery, I say surgery, not that gross term. *shudder*

-In general, Sawyer’s journey remains intact, but I do want to note that I mostly made Sawyer deny his bisexuality because I felt like, if I were a boy reading the book and I identified with Sawyer, that I might not feel represented, especially when Sawyer is in a relationship with a girl for a large chunk of the series. So when Sawyer was in a relationship with a guy, I made him all with the gay affirmations. Anyway, don’t expect more bisexual erasure in book six, because I’m done with that. So, again, it’s a journey.

-Agler effing Thorn…. Okay, so when Agler and Maddie hook up in Come Together, it was one of those things that routinely happens to me as a writer, where I put it on the outline, and then I’m writing it, and I’m like, “Feck, this is really visceral and intense and WTF, Agler??” Like, maybe it’s not rape, but it’s… Anyway, if I were writing this book now, I would have pivoted and dealt better with it, but I did not, and I could not in my rewrites either, because it would have required rewriting not only Come Together but Over the Hills and Echoes. So, all I did do was to stop making Maddie chirp up with how consenting she was to that travesty ALL the time. (Like, I just want to acknowledge that whole clusterf*ck is way more complicated than what it is and … Agler, seriously, WTF?) I’m not saying that Maddie was *not* consenting, because she very vocally asks him to do it, but! She’s clearly making that choice for terrible reasons, and he is too drunk to notice. Then, it’s happening, and she’s clearly not into it, and he does. not. notice. until too late. So. It’s gross. I just tried to acknowledge that grossness a bit more in the rewrite. Best I could do.

Titling conventions! So, all the titles in this series come from either Led Zeppelin songs, Pink Floyd songs, and Beatles songs. In that order, in fact. There were originally going to be ten books, but I ran out of steam obviously, so six books. The last book was supposed to be called Helter Skelter, but after Echoes being so dark, I figured we’d just go for Strawberry Fields.

Anyway, that’s the news from Helicon.

Also, I’m doing a writing challenge next week, so there will be no blog.

See you guys in two weeks.