Sometimes an early reader will say something that has more consequences than they intended. When I was told that Maggie didn't seem upset in my original opening, it came with advice to cut the bit where she claims she's alarmed as she clearly wasn't acting that way. That would have been easy enough to do. But instead, I altered things so that she did act upset. Not only that, but now I'm doing a rewrite with one of my objectives being to do that to the entire book, to turn Maggie's anxiety disorder from something she mentions a few times into one of the main characters of the book.

Similarly, it was established in my previous drafts that the two types of faerie are light and dark, and that they tend to be either pale or dark-skinned depending on which they are. One of my betas has made several comments along the lines of "How often has Maggie met a pale faerie?" that got me thinking more about this. One of the things that came up during this pondering was that I had taken Earth racism and reversed it (the dark faeries consider themselves above the light ones, who are politically disenfranchised), but that I wasn't sure that's really what I wanted to do. Might it be more interesting to base faerie racism on something that doesn't have a physical tell?

After some consideration, I realized I only went with light and dark in the first place because of the concept of seelie versus unseelie, which tend to be referred to as light and dark. (In fact, in the original rendition of this story, I actually used the words seelie and unseelie.) But.... Those courts aren't defined by skin tone in most approaches. It has more to do with culture or heritage or some other thing that humans don't always grasp easily.

I've decided that my faeries are still from two races, but in most cases it's not obvious from appearance which they are. You need to feel their magic to know. One race's magic is warm, the other cold. This is seen in some faerie literature, summer and winter courts being used rather than light and dark. I've decided I prefer it here because it allows the faeries to continue to be racist themselves but act confused by human varieties of racism.

I went through Chapter One again today and made appropriate alterations. I'm hoping to get through the first six chapters this week, but will be reminding myself that right is better than quick, so won't be too upset with myself if I don't get that far.