Lady Arceptra, a witch, and Miss Rohondyl, her companion

characters © @isabelpsaroslunnen; art © me

This is really magnificent. It fuses the robe and gown influences pretty much just like I imagined, and I love that–well, you can see they’re getting their clothes from the same place while having completely polarized tastes, haha. Also Giva’s side-eye and Arceptra’s tiny sparkliness! And I really like Arceptra’s coiffure–extravagant but not ridiculous 😀

I never really thought of how Giva’s sleeves would work, but … while I initially was mostly “!!!!!!” at Arceptra’s gorgeousness, I really love what you did with Giva’s. Both prim and down-to-earth, which is exactly her 🙂

@heckofabecca asked:

What would Giva wear in Cedeira when she’s 13 and reading in the garden? I mean, a dress, but are there any particulars about Cedeiran day dress that you’ve got in your head?

This is obviously belated now, but just to answer anyway–

Cedeira is basically Theme Park Medieval Land, skewing to late medieval (late 14th/15th century). The Cedeiran women at the last state dinner are wearing houpelande-like gowns with hennins. As a child, Giva is spared the worst extremes of late medieval fashion, though.

She’d have to be wearing a chemise, of course (and hose up to her knees). Over that, she’d have some sort of kirtle, and over that, a gown– likely high-waisted with a V-neck, with a belt/sash/girdle just beneath her bust (like this or this). Alternately, going a bit earlier, she might wear a simple surcoat over the kirtle, which could be sideless (another), or just the standard gown. Considering that she’s a child, outside, and the Poldans are relatively minor aristocracy apart from their geographical significance, whatever she wore would be simpler than those–I don’t imagine fur or velvet or fancy embroidery or whatnot. Even for the dinner she wears a relatively simple overgown and headdress. 

Hair-wise, it might be loose, given her age, but more likely it’d be braided up in some way, or even coiled at the sides of her head (though that seems a bit fancy for just sitting in the garden). Likely she’d be wearing a little cap or even a small veil–again, all things considered, that seems like much. I don’t imagine a hennin or that nasty plucked forehead thing at all. It might also be caught up in a net of some kind. Given her habitual single plait later on, I imagine she was used to wearing braids of some kind, though probably more complex than what she can manage on her own. Possibly something like this, though it’s later (and her hair is a much darker red!).

Chapter 7, update #4: I triumph!

Every god in the universe be praised, I finally finished Ch 7 (aka “the bath of mutual hatred”).

I’m going to have to pare it down–right now it’s 30 pages, about 20 of them a sort of unbroken take of 1) the leads walking to a public bath, and 2) the leads bathing. It’s certainly the longest chapter yet.

That said, it’s the first chapter of the novel where my outline for the chapter actually all ended up fitting into the planned chapter. I think it might be my first in anything, actually.

Also, the end is super schmaltzy too, even cut down, but I don’t care. The POV is a sweet if very tightly-wound thirteen-year-old girl. Occasionally she’s going to be schmaltzy.

I’m particularly gleeful about finishing this one because it marks the halfway point in the novel. PROGRESS.

Chapter 7, update #2

Ugh, the current scene feels very … and lo, in a shocking twist, the other teenage girls turn out to be catty and/or self-absorbed!

I mean, there’s a reason–their bullying of the most vulnerable of the major characters sets off significant character/plot issues.

There’s even a justification, of sorts. They’re a group of aristocratic girls in a matriarchal society, shut up together in an enclosed underground sanctuary for years on end. It’s not some Lord of the Flies scenario–it’s part of a highly structured academy, with plenty of teachers and masters regulating it all. But nevertheless, it’s an intense and stifling environment drenched in privilege. Most of them aren’t malicious and will turn out fine. (In fact, it’s setting up some relationships that are currently indifferent/adversarial but will become important friendships later on.)

But still, it’s the sort of stereotypical dynamic I’ve been trying to avoid. :