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Stellar

Hidden Sunlight refined

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I have a PSA for any readers who follow my science fiction series.

So, as a part of the preparation for Lucid Truth, I want the first two books of the trilogy to be presented at a standard of the highest quality. My readership, on seeing such a statement, might very well pose the question: are these books not already of sufficient excellence for your liking, Stellar?

Well, yes, but also ... no.

Though Veil of Shadow is, generally speaking, a book that I am mostly satisfied with, the same cannot be said of the first.  In a nutshell, my style had matured a lot by the time I started writing the sequel, and as a result, Veil was a much more consistently polished work. By contrast, Hidden Sunlight is particularly amateur, moreso the further back one goes, and this is something that has bothered me. To be clear, I am not talking about the plot nor the characters. The difference comes down to a swathe of little things; grammatical redundancies, spelling errors, formatting blips, and a number of very weird phrasings and badly expressed segments.

I love my works and I am proud of them, but I am a perfectionist and leaving my original book in such a state has weighed on my mind for long time.

In 2017, right after I completed Veil, I wanted to return to Hidden Sunlight to address the problems in the text. The thing was, in order to do so, I would have to edit the already-existing copy on GA chapter by chapter, which would send out a wave of notifications to everybody following the book. Therefore, I decided not to do it, because I didn't want to be the guy spamming his subscribers like that. My hope was that with the site upgrades, there would be, in the future, a safe way to make that happen without bothering everybody.

Now, in mid 2020, I am at a place where I am strongly motivated to act on it because the trilogy ending will be coming soon(ish), and I want the first and second books to be the best versions of what they are, for new readers and old ones revisiting. Recently, I approached Myr to ask if there was a solution for what I wanted to do. Unfortunately, there isn't, but he advised me to go ahead anyhow, and simply let followers know what is going on, publicly.

Therefore, here I am.

Now, what exactly does this mean?

Well, a couple of things.

  1. The entirety of Hidden Sunlight will be re-uploaded to GA chapter by chapter, so if you have notifications switched on for author edits, you will receive one every time I do this. I don't want to annoy my readers but there is no other way around this. I am *SORRY* for any inconvenience and irritation caused, but I assure you all I will only be doing this once -- after it's done, it will stay done, and won't need to be repeated!
     
  2. The book should be a cleaner and more seamless read when it is finished, and up to the standard I desire it to be.
     
  3. I'm just going to repeat the first point down here, so people can't say they weren't warned. Once more, for the record: IF YOU'RE SUBBED TO HIDDEN SUNLIGHT, YOU'RE GOING TO GET A LOT OF NOTIFICATIONS WHEN I UPDATE IT. I APOLOGISE IN ADVANCE FOR ANY IRRITATION THIS MAY CAUSE.

Another question you might have is: how major are the changes going to be?

The answer is 'not very' for the greatest part, but the effect of all of this will be cumulative, and not individually significant.

In fact, the 'change-log' in a summary form would look something like this:

  • overuse and misuse of ellipses; fixed or removed many of these instances
  • misuse of hyphens/dashes; fixed where applicable
  • a smattering of spelling errors, duplicate words, and grammatical mistakes that had eluded repeated revisions were fixed
  • removal of asterisks used for emphasis and replaced with boldface and italics, a particularly grievous sin present in just a couple of the earliest chapters
  • fixed a variety of sentence fragments scattered throughout the text, though these were concentrated earlier on; mostly representing poorly curated 'stream of consciousness' perceptions of the protagonist.
  • chapter 12: the largest single rework. A significant chunk of it was rephrased and reworded. From the author's perspective, the stylistic choice of the language in this chapter had aged badly and needed the awkward pretentiousness cut away and Mira's elegance reinforced, without losing what made his character unique
  • smaller but similar changes around other scenes in which Mira's perspective was used, specifically in chapters 9 and 16
  • changed the dead map links in chapter 17 to active ones; the images of Aurum and the Capital Arm will now be properly hosted and (hopefully) permanently accessible
  • added mention of Prasada to the epilogue; a lore omission meant that only twelve of the thirteen colonies were described, with Prasada's fate being left out completely. Ironic, given that it is one of the few colonies that is mentioned multiple times in the sequel.

To be clear, the plot of the book has not changed and the vast majority of the text will remain the same -- but as a whole, it will be better when I'm done! If you were thinking of re-reading Hidden Sunlight before the trilogy ending gets underway in earnest, I'd recommend you try it right after I'm done with this.

It's also possible I may do a smaller round of editing on Veil of Shadow too, but as mentioned earlier, it barely needs it, outside of some minor housekeeping issues that might not be enough to merit the same treatment. Watch this space; I'll post something here before I go any further with that idea, if I decide to at all.

So, finally, out of fairness, I will leave this post up for a little while before I start actually getting into it, and doing the above. For the moment it will stand as nothing more than a notice, but ... you have now been warned! I'll also post again in this topic when the refined version of Hidden Sunlight is fully done, so make sure to follow here if you are interested.

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Thank you very much for the warning, and it will be good for me too. I had decided to reread the first two books, and this way, I can read the first one again as you post the revisions.

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I'm so glad: Hidden sunlight was really sub-par in terms of style...  NOT !! What on Lucere  do you expect to improve?? I know, I know... the author is always right but is this just a ploy to make us re-read HS again ? 😉

And really don't worry about the notifications :)

Keep up the good work. Happy to hear that you have it all planned out.

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7 hours ago, Bleu said:

I'm so glad: Hidden sunlight was really sub-par in terms of style...  NOT !! What on Lucere  do you expect to improve?? I know, I know... the author is always right but is this just a ploy to make us re-read HS again ? 😉

And really don't worry about the notifications :)

Keep up the good work. Happy to hear that you have it all planned out.

You might be surprised how small changes can alter the impact and tone of a scene, and the additive effect of a lot of such small things is where the difference in quality comes from. While it may not be obvious to some, from the author's standpoint, there are parts early on in Hidden Sunlight that make me cringe because of how I wrote them. Any time I went back to review the text for whatever reason I'd notice it, and immediately think 'I need to do something about this.'

But really, do I need a ploy to make you get into it again?

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36 minutes ago, Stellar said:

But really, do I need a ploy to make you get into it again?

No, not for me. I had planned to reread the series when I saw you were working on book 3. This is just a good way to get reacquainted with the characters. :D

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It is done!

Hidden Sunlight has been refined and given a fresh coat of quantum paint, and with this fairly time-consuming task completed -- subtle though the changes may be to some -- the author can rest easy without the nagging perfectionist impulses occupying his brain.

On 5/17/2020 at 11:50 PM, Stellar said:

It's also possible I may do a smaller round of editing on Veil of Shadow too, but as mentioned earlier, it barely needs it, outside of some minor housekeeping issues that might not be enough to merit the same treatment. Watch this space; I'll post something here before I go any further with that idea, if I decide to at all.

With regard to the above quote, I'll make a decision on the sequel in the next day or two.

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