This is Aorii. It's been a while.
I have several updates to push out. I've actually been sitting on all of them for over a month now; but several of the beta-readers had been busy due to personal reasons and I haven't been able to meet my minimum 'beta-passes' quota until now. This seems to be a consistent trend every winter ^^;
A few of you may have read my Dev Diary last December on both Flowers and my plans for the future of Daybreak. The TL;DR version is that after some conversations (special thanks to the artist Hachi and beta-readers Jorge and Ahmsab), I finally came to the realization that the entire Flowers exposition was far from satisfactory and that I was rushing too fast into the story to do it justice. I was trying out a different storytelling style that I've seen in many other fictions -- where the main events are introduced first and the character details/reactions are filled in later from flashbacks to slowly piece together a full picture -- but eventually came to the realization that this did not work well with my writing and, if anything, it undermined some of my better qualities.
An ineffectual general edit finally helped me to pin down the flaws, and I decided to do a complete rewrite of Flowers from scratch. Hence after much rework, the prologue of Flowers is re-posted, as two separate chapters this time. Everything from this point is being rewritten as well.
That Dev Diary also finally discussed the main issues I have with Daybreak, especially ones pertaining to its casting. Because I originally wrote it as a fun joke, Daybreak never had the initial planning to be written as a long serialization, and the more I write the more I seem to hit my head against a wall that refuses to go away. The stress really became too much after vol3, and at this stage I'm growing weary of forcing it to stay as a series, especially when -- due to its silly genderbender start -- I have trouble even recommending it to many friends who'd normally like this sort of story. Thus I decided that since my detailed planning for Daybreak only went as far as volume 4, I will be discontinuing its main story at the end of this volume.
That being said -- a month after announcing that -- I realized that I'm not entirely okay with just dropping Daybreak either. I can't afford to keep pouring the same amount of time in; a political-military series is extremely time consuming to plan, research, and simply check all the dots to make sure its actors remain intelligent and internally consistent. I persist that I won't continue the main plotline, but I plan to convert the story into... something else. A short stories series mostly focused on its main characters while giving hints about the accomplishments they achieved? A time-skipped slice-of-life story far into the future when the continent has settled into peace? I don't know yet. But I still have Volume 4 to finish so I have plenty of time to figure out.
For the time being I plan to divide my time between Daybreak and Flowers. But in the long run I plan to have Flowers take over my obsession with writing stories focused on more complicated societal issues. Thus, Flowers is meant to be Daybreak's successor in everything except the genderbender tag, and I intend to pour in every bit as much effort to make it as interesting. I hope Daybreak's readers will give it (another) chance and offer me feedback with their thoughts.
If nothing else, the rewritten prologue of Flowers delves very heavily into Samaran psychology and social views -- something I've never quite had a chance for Kaede to properly explore and will certainly answer questions about her behavior.
P.S. I'm pretty busy this season due to taking a management course, but I'll try to make periodic chapter updates.