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The Isle of Gold



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Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:55 pm
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mellifera says...



YES THE HORSE QUESTIONS @soundofmind lol my time has come

I mean, Carter loves all the horses, but Reese is the horse he rides most of the beginning and the first one who is introduced. Reese and Villa (the horse Gideon will end up riding) are both Mérens, so they're both black (Villa has a star on her face though).

Carter has grown up around horses, and his life is very horsey. He's very good at taming them, slightly less so at training only because Bazzoli has a professional who always comes in, but Carter has been able to train several of them both on his own and ones the professional is working with. Bazzoli often makes Carter take care of any unruly horses because he gets so mad, whereas Carter could spend days working with one horse just to calm them down because he's very patient. The horses at Bazzoli's farm all respond excellently to Carter, with only a few of them refusing to let go of their inherent stubbornness or aggression (which Carter doesn't mind handling anyway).

He's great at riding horses! He gets on whenever he can and works them, especially if nobody else is at the time. He has never done any sort of showing though, because Bazzoli won't let him (not that he really wants to either though haha. He doesn't really like how stressed shows make the horses). He has alllllll the knowledge (jkjk he has a lot though). And horse books!! That's a good question, I hadn't thought of that :p he probably used a lot of horse books to when he was learning how to read and stuff (probably demanded Shiloh get horse books for him because she taught him a lot. lil' Carter demanding horse books is now my favourite so that's A Thing now).

You're helping me flesh out Carter and his horses so much xD he's probably helped! I don't think too many would have been born, Bazzoli isn't much of a breeder but he has bred his horses before, so I have no doubt Carter would have helped a vet! He'd probably be SUPER anxious about his pregnant horses and had some parental moments aha. He's probably taken care of some injuries too? Maybe not quite lacerations or Big Bad wounds, but that's a good point! He probably knows some little medical tricks.

you can live your horse phase through Carter! lol, don't worry, I've been stuck in a horse phase my whole life and I don't think it's going anywhere anytime soon ;D
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Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:59 am
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soundofmind says...



I'm loving Carter all the more now that I am armed with this knowledge - that being his knowledge of horses. And also yes I demand more child Carter demanding horse books. That sounds ADORABLE. 100%

Carter being patient with horses is gonna win my heart HHHh. Is he that patient with people?

And yes I will live thru Carter. My horse lovin' boy fave
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Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:39 pm
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mellifera says...



this is tempting me to write some lil shorts of baby Carter demanding horse books.

IS HE? I mean, humans make him more panicky than patient, but yeah, I suppose he is pretty patient with people o:

wow this took me a long time to respond to oops
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Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:44 pm
soundofmind says...



lololol it’s all good

IF YOU MAKE THAT SHORT THO TAG MEEEEEE I WANNA SEE
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263 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 13000
Reviews: 263
Mon Jul 29, 2019 4:10 am
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mellifera says...



⚔️ R E V I S I O N & S E C O N D D R A F T ⚔️


Me? Updating this thread? It's more likely than you think.

This section is under construction! I'll be adding things periodically, but this is what I have in terms of notes for revision so far.

Spoilers abound below for the story as it is all the notes I'm accumulating for the second draft (also warning it's very cluttered and messy right now). Yes, this includes that parts I haven't even posted yet in the publishing centre (but they've been up since I finished them in my LMS Blizzard Thread!)

Main Notes:
Spoiler! :
🐈First and foremost: stop forgetting koshar holy jeez

🐴Condense beginning/part one, or as I've called it, the "finding Shiloh" arc. I planned originally for Shiloh official introduction to the story to be the big event to happen in the middle of the story, but I think the beginning is too slow and the ending is too fast for what I tried to put in.

🐴The beginning is getting cut. I'm a little surprised it never got mentioned, but the beginning isn't very strong at all. It doesn't open with a hook. While I like that Shiloh was introduced before the note was discovered by Carter, as it gave more reason to care about her going missing, I don't think the lead-up to it is compelling enough to warrant its existence. I think Carter's character is strong/emotional enough to pull this off in a way the reader will still be alarmed by Shiloh's sudden disappearance, but we'll see.

❌Resolve the Coterie subplots better, because right now it's terrible and got completely neglected once the "rescue Carter!" plot ended and the Capital section began.

💕Carter/Gideon needs,,,, help.

❌On a similar vein, the "rescue Carter!" plot also needs lots of suturing. After the dissecting and rearranging.

⚔️I'm thinking that Adrienne attacks Carter and Gideon after they've escaped the torture room, rather than having her just appear there alone. They escape, but someone notices they're missing (and probably any bodies Gideon's dropped), and Adrienne heads off a recovery party (of sorts). She doesn't come alone this time, though she can't come with enough to unbelievably overwhelm them because Gideon is not Captain America and cannot drop them all by tossing a shield and then taking off. So, Gideon probably takes one or two out (this is also an opportune moment to display his fighting prowess, as it's been sampled in the past but not? I believe? to full extent in such a extreme situation), but he gets so distracted and channeled on Adrienne (the irrational, emotional side of him takes over because he's never been able to shake it like a trained assassin should. He hates Adrienne, and it rules him), that he becomes unable to protect Carter. Obviously, not horrendously, as they still must make it to safety, but it's enough. Gideon still kills Adrienne (ruthlessly, as in the first draft. I don't think their history allows him to kill her with anything but the kind of scary-coldness a killer displays because that's what she made him), but then slowly builds up guilt because Carter was hurt due to his own fury. Gideon's getting crushed by guilt over Carter, I think right now is a better time for Carter to really exercise how understanding he can be when someone else is in distress (as it's,,,, pretty terrible that Carter goes from thinking Gideon hates him to, two seconds later, kissing him. weird and p unhealthy, idk what I was thinking). This not only softens and dissolves the tension around them, but it strengthens their connection without the repetition of "I thought you hated me!" because Gideon just rescued his lil patootie and he knows better, even with his overthinking. (Maybe tone down on Gideon's guilt somewhat? Accurate, but maybe a little too much? I'm not sure, really. Either way, this is a vulnerable moment for him. He's finally allowing himself to be open with all this junk he's been holding in. Let him open up without having to comfort Carter. Let Carter comfort him without believing he's the cause of his pain, he's perceptive enough to realise the weight of Gideon's trauma and sensitive enough to be sympathetic about it)

🐴Three parts, rather than two? First part is essentially the "finding Shiloh and discovery/release of the magic". Second part is the payoff of all the build up to the coteries and how nasty they can be, essentially the "coterie and group separation" part. Third part is "Grand Verterre" and folding everything nasty there into the plot.

🗡️I'm thinking of twisting Malika and the Okories' role slightly. Is there anyway I can feasibly have Jemima give Isha away to them (as in selling her)? They're brokering an alliance, perhaps, as Jemima is definitely not putting her faith or stock in the fragile alliance with Corin and the Fire Forgers. Isha is too unruly and headstrong to lead the Dragon's Associates, and if she got broken in to try to conform her, she'd probably go too far to recover. Jemima knows with hindsight, by first allowing Gideon to be brought and raised in the coteries, she lost the ability to mold Isha into a more merciless and cunning leader. Anyway, Malika obviously would be able to see Isha's use to her, perhaps Malika plans to kidnap the Comtesse? Though she'd never put Isha on that kind of mission if she didn't trust her. And what about Finn, Shiloh, and Winnie? Are they, too, captured by the coterie? Which one? How do they get reunited with the others?

🐴Carter and Gideon make their way to Grand Verterre on their own, I think, rather than getting assistance from Malika. They escape the cave, maybe run into a kindly farmer and his wife who tend to their injuries? But soon they have to leave, and go to the one place on the island busy enough that they may be safe from the coteries, for a little while (which is, y'know, Grand Verterre).

🐴Please draw out Carter and Isha's magic sickness holy bonkers it's all over the place.

🐈There is so little reason for Whisper not to tell Carter about them having magic. Like,, he's your best friend. why. why everyone gotta lie to him, this sweet, poor baby boy.

🤠Finn makes more comments about weapons and how well made they are. Doesn't know why he knows so much about weapons. Nix the conversation where Isha's like "you can't forget that much of your life!" because jesus Isha, have you ever heard of Trauma or Amnesia?

❌why are there NO prisoners in any prisons shown in this story. is the support group the only trouble makers on the island?

🏹The ending makes very little sense and doesn't tie off well. While I want Gideon's arc to come full circle with his "last assassination", what he did was incredibly politically irrational and bonkers. There were no repercussions. That makes -0 sense. I don't have a solution to this yet. (as for Aelina's fate, cont'd below)

👑Aelina is not killed. Instead, the group makes a bargain with her? Safe passage off the island if Shiloh gives up the magic? There's not reason Aelina can't have some kind of knowledge that nobody else had about releasing the magic from the sphere, subsequently from Shiloh (the host) as well. This isn't a story about saving the island from Aelina's tyranny, it's about the group. None of them have any compelling motivation to attempt to fix the island's problems or coming ones should Aelina be granted full range of her power (except Whisper, but they wouldn't stay on the island if Carter was leaving, since Carter is their best friend and the closest thing to family they had beyond all those who were killed defending their escape from Grand Verterre)

🐴Shiloh released magic, and while she's essentially a conduit after what she did at the Spire by unlocking the sphere, she doesn't hold it all. It still got released. Weird things happen, like the earthquake and the gold threads around everything (are they still gold? Magic is shown for the longest time as gold, but then we see Aelina using her control/healing magic and it's red. Is the magic all trapped in the sphere gold because of how it got trapped (and who trapped it?)? Otherwise, change Aelina's magic to gold like Whisper's and change the rubies on the Memory Wall beneath the Spire to topaz.

🤠Finn's outcome stays the same.

👑Aelina has a familiar, like Whisper? Perhaps a falcon? I can't see her with a cat or dog following her around, though a bird would be pretty messy.

🗡️Really disappointed in myself for never mentioning Isha was a widow even though I've always known it. I never even IMPLIED it. All that exists of it is a meme in my meme folder.

❓One of the consistencies I've noticed for being unhappy with my stories is setting? This happened to me with two novels now that I've tried to write in a historical setting like this. I love the story and the characters, but I'm starting to wonder if a different setting would make me happier/shake up the plot for me to rediscover what I love or dislike so I can really start shaping it into a story I want to tell people. BUT WHAT KIND OF SETTING? Inquiring minds want to know (<-- it's me I want to know). (there are also historical aspects that don't fit into the plot? On the same line, contemporary works EVEN WORSE. like, the horses are non-negotiable. maybe I'll just make up someplace or something? I want this to have bigger fairy tale vibes so maybe I just need to be more vague about setting or come up with something more fantastical.

✨GUESS WHAT NEEDS A BUNCH OF HELP? THE MAGIC SYSTEM! *cries*

🐴the horses 👀


Character-Specific Notes:
Spoiler! :
🏹 Everyone liked Gideon a LOT more than I was expecting. Push him a little further in the beginning, because obviously I didn't make him enough of a bastard boy, but ultimately the fact that everyone who has read it adores him fills me with glee.
(also, his addiction needs to be handled better)

🤠 I love everyone's reaction and their exasperation with Finn so obviously I did something right.

🗡️ I was very unsure of Isha's character when I first started writing, and it showed (as I had so little in terms of her backstory). I definitely made some mistakes, particularly with who was in charge between her and Gideon. While it still has some consistency, it needs more. Isha is in charge and confident in a way that Gideon is completely not. She was raised to lead, and she wears her training like a second skin. She almost becomes a foil to Gideon (he hates the way he's grown up, he was forced into this life but not born into it, he hates what he's been trained as. Isha knows if she had grown up anywhere else, she wouldn't have the skills to protect herself and, by extent, Gideon. She was born into her life and wouldn't change that despite her distaste for her parents. She turns the thing she could have hated and chose to embrace it instead).

🐴The biggest thing I've gotten back is Carter's stuttering, which is 100% accurate and needs to be toned down. Not that it'll disappear completely, nor will his trademark "um"s. However, while I was happy with how his character was portrayed in the beginning, I feel as though I severely neglected his anxiety and it became inconsistent towards the end. The beginning will still be heightened, because Shiloh disappearing, Gideon and Isha appearing, coteries suddenly being a Thing in his life, and having to leave everything familiar he's ever known behind? of course he's going to be freaking out. But he adjusts. I think I executed this poorly though.

🐈I made Whisper a lot less interesting then they deserved in the beginning, which is entirely my fault. I want to give them more motivation for joining the group too, because right now, I can't help but feel the way they follow Carter is a little flat? Or their character needs to be adjusted slightly. They don't exactly live well off in the village, getting openly criticised. Also, it makes very little sense for them to be living alone in the village. Where did they get the money to buy a house? What are they doing to EARN money? While I don't think many men would be lining up to try to make them their bride (because, from a societal standpoint, Whisper doesn't adhere to the norm in any form), does the heteronormative, "women need to land a husband and raise a family" standard ever get brought up against them (since they are afab)? Paranoia should also be deeply ingrained in them as well, based on their own backstory and where they come from.
(I also feel that I kind of ruined their lineage and how it played into the story, but I also don't know how to utilise it better, because they are not trained to be in any position of power and don't want it, and it's not like anybody except the support group will even rally behind them to do so. It exists right now, but it's just sort of floating there without much purpose)

🌿I think Shiloh needs a little more introduction before she's brought back into the plot, but at the same time, I'm trying to shorten that whole section, so we'll see. Since one of the driving motivators behind the story was originally how Carter was the brother of a more traditionally "chosen one" or "heroic" character, I want to expound on that more than I previously did. Shiloh is a healer and has strong opinions, which was already displayed. But she's headstrong, she's kind, she is morally good and has heroic qualities. But it's also her biggest weakness: she's protective of Carter to a fault. She dislikes Gideon because he struggles with addiction even though he was forced into it because using drugs is traditionally "bad" and only done by bad people. Her heroic qualities, that Carter is known to think admirably of early on, are later turned on their head to the point where Carter begins to push her away because she's trying so hard to be the "hero" and doing things for "the greater good" (lying to Carter, because she's "protecting" him, humiliating and scorning Gideon to "get over himself" because he is, in her mind, a killer and addict). I think I still need to shine light on her good qualities, because the first impression (besides her and Gideon's soft reunion scene) of her is anger and seemingly blind fury and disgust. In another story, she would be the protagonist, she would be the Chosen One, she would be the one at the head of all this, but she made so many mistakes and had so little basis for what a hero was beyond stories that she ignored the reality of what she was doing to everyone around her. I believe strongly that, if this story was about Shiloh and not Carter, she would have saved the island from what Aelina means to make of it, and it would have been your traditional "saving the world" and "chosen one" (albeit, with an active character to head it off) story. But since it's not, because she makes those mistakes and she is forced to realise what she's done to the entire situation and people she cares about, she's knocked down several pegs to the point where, by the end, she is more worried about amending what she did wrong and being close to the people she cares about rather than any world saving.
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Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:59 pm
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mellifera says...



⚔️ F U N F A C T S ⚔️


I'm reminiscing because I've started planning the second draft so I'm going to make everyone reminisce with me (or rather, whoever is still reading this after a YEAR lol).

*spoilers obviously*

-Fabella is the only horse in the story that is based off of a horse I work with. the horse's name is Favorita and she's v tall and lithe and she's a chestnut (also she is v hoppy and energetic)

-Carter was supposed to die originally. He was supposed to kiss Gideon and then sacrifice himself (for what? how? who knows I just planned on killing him).
oh also then he really WAS going to die in this draft and Whisper was going to revive him??? just found that lil scratched out fact in my notes.

-Finn was not originally a character and I honestly don't remember how he came into the story but he did. He also was not supposed to have a horse and there was going to be a running joke about it but then I was writing and Napoleon just kinda,,, was there.

-as a follow up Carter was supposed to escape the coterie (???) and then find a horse wandering out in the trees and he was going to tame her (she wasn't WILD as in undomesticated but she also didn't belong to anyone??) and call her Seraphina but it was going to be too much effort with not enough payoff in the actual plot (also unrealistic why would he just find a domesticated horse in the wild). Also, then Finn was supposed to get Reese so he didn't have to ride with Isha and everyone was going to be like "haha the divines sent a horse cause they were tired of watching you ride with isha".

-Isha's name was originally Anna.

-Actually in the early stages, Whisper didn't exist either. It was just Gideon/Carter/Isha looking for Shiloh.

-I wrote down a bunch of dumb pick-up lines for Gideon and then never used them and even though that makes me sad, it doesn't fit his character (which is TRAGIC and I'm kinda mad about it).

-Isha and Gideon were originally brother and sister but then I was like "there's too many siblings!" and instead they're like,,, siblings but by bond not blood.

-Gideon called Carter "duckling" but it was weird because he'd still call him that when he was being Superb Grump so,,,, odd.

-there were FIVE different ideas for what the relic in the Spire did.

-I s2g I wrote a section about Shiloh taking care of Sick Baby Carter when he was like, five or something, but I can't find it, so rip I guess. anyway Carter almost died when he was five (or something) because he got heckin' sick.

-glad nobody questioned Shiloh and Carter's parents not being there because the reason was that I forgot they were supposed to have parents until like, halfway through (actually around chapter 12 cause I think that's when Carter and Gideon have that Moment where Carter reveals his parents died in a shipwreck).

-I don't know if I'll ever be able to work it in but Isha chose her name because she hated Valérie and Isha was the name of a heroine in a story she found! so, she asked Gideon to call her that and he was like "cool".

-on a similar thread Finn chose his name because he heard someone talking about fish fins and he was like "that's neat!" because he's a nerd.

-Gideon was supposed to accidentally hurt Carter and then get really ashamed and scared but I was like "hm that's a Healthy Relationship Dynamic" and nixed it (not that I did much better ANYWAY lol).
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