If you’ll notice, I haven’t been posting new installments of Spanner Book 2 lately. The reason is that my muse can’t multitask. Book 1 so demands to be edited that it even hijacked my muse. Thus my “SpaNoWriYe” – the year and a half during which I was completely obsessed with writing Spanner – is now over, and my latest futile attempt to win NaNoFiMo along with it.
One idea changed everything. While I was still trying to write Chapter 27, I procrastinated by playing Persona 3 on my PlayStation 2. It uses something called “Social Links” as a game mechanic. The strength of your connections with other characters in the game increases the power of your “Personas” during the dungeon battles. Suddenly, during one game session, it suddenly hit me that social links were the idea I omitted from Spanner Book 1. Without social links, the Student Union plotline and the protest and revolution sequences and story arcs are conventionalized and sentimentalized to the point of meaninglessness, and the inevitable failure of individual terrorism to cause meaningful social change except in a reactionary direction cannot be understood. “Substitutionism” is the belief, underlying government and terrorism alike, that command and control hierarchies can do what is possible only through social links among equals. Sociopaths, technocrats, fanatics, and Corporates are incapable of forming social links; conversely, when enough people are idealistic enough to build large enough social links, they can bring down tyrants, as demonstrated in Tunisia and Egypt early in 2011.
Once this idea popped into my head, Book 2 became unwriteable, because Book 1 remains incomplete without it. So now I find myself working on the Fourth Revision of Book 1, starting with the Intro and the first eight chapters. My plan for ebook publication involves releasing Book 1 in three parts, each one the equivalent of a Japanese “light novel”.
And now “SpaNoEdYe” – my year of editing Spanner – begins tonight.