11 January 2004

Well. I think I actually do have a trilogy. I just need to get book #2 adequately started. I may have given myself a bit of a false start with it. Granted, Pei Pei grew up in a rather rual area, and her "home"--actually a place where Sabi'Oji live--wasn't the most up-to-date--they still have gaslights instead of electric and what's called a sluice-tub. Water is brought down by gravity and you get in the tub, stand under the pipe, and pull a chain for a primitive kind of shower--but I spent a whole chapter on her raptures over a "modern" bathroom. She has Kazhehimo's Face, and it's taken a rather unattractive form over the top of her head. What little hair she has, she shaves because it just looks worse if she has hair, and she is a bit simple-headed--she has insatiable cheer and nothing seems to break her spirits for long. Also, the image of her dancing in the tub, with "truly running water," is one that's been immortalized in Akiro's mind. While Imotinans aren't body-shy, Akiro isn't comfortable with his memory of his dignified young Sabi'Oji dancing in the bathtub.

I may just cut the first chapter off. I'm over 4,000 words right now, so it won't put me too far behind. Perhaps half that. No problem to catch up. I may also just restart. I don't know yet, but I think it might be more interesting if I start things off from his POV and change Pei Pei's backstory a bit so she's not aimlessly travelling--nobody travels for no reason in Imotina, particularly Sabi'Oji'ubu, and Pei Pei's always known whom she will serve.

I've also left Akiro's brother mobile and threatening. It'll run better that way, and there really wasn't much reason to incapacitate him to begin with. Akiro's fears are more logical at the beginning if his brother's able to carry out threats. Also, I've decided that the spell that Keiki/Rikiyu died to end didn't lead to a direct confrontation with Akotai--Akiro's brother--and that Keiki/Rikiyu had to die only to stop the spell from destroying the world. It also effectively took away a great deal of Akotai's magical power, but he's got enough political clout he's back to using his magic to protect himself from the threat of death he sees every day.

Now, since he's able to rip the servants' minds apart--though it's illegal--he would dearly love to rip Pei Pei's open. However, despite her lack of obvious influence--her clothing isn't embroidered in the traditional manner--he's even more wary of her. This was a calculated move on Pei Pei's part. She's simple, not stupid. She knows far more about House Odaohanei than either Akotai or Akiro realize, and she knows Akotai's begun to slip into one of the signs of Giyaowaime's Disease--he's paranoid. He wants to "test her for loyalty" but he doesn't dare because he can't predict what will happen. Without embroidery, Akotai doesn't know which Zhiraikaovei Pei Pei serves.

I'm going to have fun with this one, I think. :D