he mood-setting scene takes place in a volcanic dome on the moon (which is populated billions of years ago in Tubitz and Mergenstein, my steam-punk fantasy). So this port I’ve mentioned earlier, Kedgewater Deep, is inside this half-dome, the floor smooth as ice, the town built around the inner edge. Overhead through the crater, the stars shimmer. And there stands the Earth, named ‘Tellus’ (a way of concealing the obvious here – it’s Latin).
I wanted my “moon” to contribute to the scene. The first idea was to make it a “Harvest Tellus”, swollen and angry, glowing into the crater and filling the void with blood-light, all that.
Then I thought about it. Harvest moons are ruddy, but the reason that they are is because they are (a) full and (b) low (the light passing through a lot more atmosphere. And that was fine until I thought about it on a reread. If Tellus was low enough to be harvest, it would be too low to peep above the high crater opening.
So that didn’t work.
I wrote something different. Still wanting to reverse moon-terms into a Tellus-perspective, I called it a waning Tellus. That was fine; it could ride the skies, shining through the overhead opening, casting the coin of light across the bay.
But a waning moon, or even a waxing one, isn’t full. It’s a crescent (either building towards full or receding from it). And the less of Tellus there was, the less that coin could shimmer in that bay. This hit me on the drive home a few days later.
This time, I just dropped the moon mental-toggle about Tellus itself. While I liked it, I didn’t want to lose that coin-on-the-bay bit (which help illuminate some coming action). Besides, I could do that harvest trick later when I didn’t need the coin of light so bad.
Writers. We’re crazy, you know?