Redeeming A Villain(ess)

Talyn Penthes is an evil twin, or she was in Blade’s Edge. However, having all her worst fears come true has started a process that will end when she restructures the clone hegemony of the Garnford system and within the Hauptmann multicorp cartel.

Who knew an evil twin was exactly what they needed to pull their heads out and stop treating the non-clones (they call them Uniques) like second-hand citizens? It helps that she has a background in leadership, negotiating from a weak position and that she’s both a Unique and a clone — identical twins, after all, are the original clones.

There’s a lot going on in this story: politics of sex and power; genetics and epigenetics, or why a clone isn’t necessarily identical; innovation vs. repeatability — something about disruptive technology here; when does something cease to be art and become a commodity…okay, my plot is a big, fat mess right now. Surprise! Why don’t you look surprised?

My plan was to have the first draft half written this month, but I currently have…wait for it…5,000 words written, spaced all over the plot. Sigh.

I’m going to have to write this in threads, the way I wrote Blade’s Edge: the romance part, the intrigue/thriller part, the science fiction part. And then I’ll have to weave them together, which is actually easier than it sounds (or at least it was the last time I did it).

It just illustrates how different every book is. The Valmont Contingency (its first working title was the Valois Contingency, but I couldn’t decide how to pronounce “Valois,” which made it a rotten name to foist upon readers) plot threads came together with relative ease. It had other problems — I flopped the protagonist and antagonist roles, which required a rewrite of the second half when I realized the heroine had the most changing to do. Insert big forehead slap here.

In this one, I know the heroine is the protagonist (earning redemption is a biiig arc), but I’m getting lost in the minutiae of fraying telomeres and stem cell body modification, DNA-based glass ceilings, DNA-based predestination, first-runner-up clone nihilism, and — and — and…you get the idea. Time to focus.

Talyn is one bad girl who’s gonna have to save the world to earn her happy ending. Well, technically there are two planets, so she’s going to save both worlds of the Garnford system. Not bad for a big-fat-loser evil twin, huh?

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