Keep in mind that everything I say here regarding writing is, by necessity, me-only. I have no idea if anyone else thinks like I do.
Talix says, comparing Shayara and placesyouhaunt: I was thinking about the differences between the worlds...One thing that struck me was the role of animals. Shayara is all about relating to animals; I don't recall seeing any animals in PYH. That says a lot to me about the humanity of the people that inhabit those worlds.
I think that thought came after musing that there were no pets in Vegas, which followed the recognition that there are no "home teams" in Vegas. The Vegas of PYH is not about roots, loyalty, or commitment (except in rare cases).
Also, separately: Shayara is lush and fragrant; the Vegas of PYH is stark and has sharper edges.
This is one of those things that I didn't do on purpose, but I see where it comes from and it is Right.
All of Shayara is informed by its beginning, even though you don't know much about its early years yet. The entire story is rooted in a grove in a forest where the firstborn child of this world loved to dance. It's walled in by forbidding stone, but that grove still exists in the heart of the city of Shayara - and our main characters are people who, if they track their lives back far enough, have centuries of memories from before the advent of mankind. They are a lot more connected to nature, to animals.
I haven't divested placesyouhaunt of animals intentionally - but it does speak to that difference. The characters in PYH are very isolated - from nature and, really, from each other. It's interesting how things like that display themselves to people - in this case, simply in the lack of animal life.
Another difference that I've become very much aware of is the lack of music in PYH. Music is part of 'most everything I write; there are Julia songs, Kieran songs, Donna songs, Fenris songs; there are songs for scenes and songs for emotions, all over Shayara.
No music in PYH.
Music exists. But it isn't part of these characters.
So in my one world, I have this beginning - this dancing child-goddess, whose people live and breathe music.
And in the other, that's not there at all.
Which probably increases the feeling of isolation.
What's there, instead of music, is art. I'm not kidding about putting out a call for artists. :) I'd like to see all different sorts of work, because so many of my characters' lives revolve around art. Doodle, obviously. Crystal, though you haven't officially met her yet. And then there are those Crystal Jones comics...
The Vegas of PYH is not about roots, loyalty, or commitment (except in rare cases)., she said. I'm intrigued and pleased that that came through without me actually intentionally trying. I don't want to hit people over the head with this stuff. It looks like just having it in my head as I write is working okay for now...