Friday, May 13, 2011

Spanner: The Second Draft Revisions, Part 2

Since last entry, I've been writing a lot of notes longhand on scratch paper in a frenzy of inspiration, and I came up with a lot of ideas I'd either neglected entirely or never came up with in the first place. And some of these are not just very interesting, they fit so well that I'll have to find a place to put them in the second draft of Spanner.

First of all, there's the idea of an AI as the mind of the city, called an "urban intelligence". Sure, this may have been a cyberpunk cliché for a while, way back in the 1980s. In the revision I'm planning for Chapters 15 and 16, Shira and JT find themselves talking with the mind of the city of Seattle when she switches the TV to channel 12 (the local community TV station on cable systems) on a sleepless night after the Great Police Robot Riot of 2014. Since one of Seattle's nicknames is "Emerald City", I'm seriously tempted to play around with Wizard of Oz references. While researching The Wizard of Oz on TV Tropes and the Gutenberg Project, I realized that my beautiful teenage witch character Polly Parker's true identity in dream reality is none other than Princess Ozma. Is Mimi Scott her Dorothy? I already have a "Wicked Witch of the West" in the cult-guru villainess Drusilla Becket, a character whom I developed most intensively during the years I worked on my 2007 NaNoWriMo novel now on hiatus, Bad Company.

Another old cyberpunk cliché I'm going to exploit is the private police agency. Considering how those TEA Party corporatists are determined to privatize government while trying to turn America into a new Soviet Union for giant corporations, this may actually happen. The name of the police corporation is, of course, COPCO. It and the Seattle "urban intelligence" will be going at it big time, with the big showdown occurring in the last few chapters of Book 1.

Before that, I decided to reevaluate the "sexcrime" theme. I'm dropping a lot of the "lolicon" stuff because it now strikes me as too "otaky". For this, I'm mostly substituting the idea of pedophilia as the reference crime. Fornication and adultery? Thoughtcrime? They're not just treasonous, they rape children! From what I've seen, it seems like the most rabid corporatists are also the most fanatical prudes. And so Shira, jailbait superslut (if you believe she's not lying about her age), uses the combination of her body and her age as a dangerous and possibly deadly weapon. Ephebophilia (sexual desire for adolescents) replaces homosexuality as the unforgivable sin conflated with pedophilia (as homosexuality itself once was, and to some people still is). Problem is, teenagers have a horrible tendency to be damn sexy.

As for the "lolis", pedophilia turns out to be the crime that marks a Corporate or a mobster as above the law. If a megacorp boss or gang lord has a loli or catamite, it tells you he's got nothing but contempt for a legal system he believes is beneath him. This is why Shira ends up rescuing 10-year-old Ayla from the Yakuza in book 1 and 7-year-old Lucie from the Russian mob in book 2. Oh, and Rebel Styles is still there, destroying men on video.

And before that, I started working out the "Psycho Schoolgirl Lesbian Yandere Love Dodecahedron" story arc in book 2. Basically, Shira's got a bunch of girls after her who are just about completely nuts, and they go to war against each other for the right to be Shira's One And Only. It's not going to be pretty, but it'll sure be entertaining.

Oh, and the actor who plays Damon on The Vampire Diaries? My muse is currently crushing on him. She wants to cast him as J.T. Sparks. Uh, I love you, dear muse, but considering how extreme this story is, I think you should keep it in fantasy. Of course, that won't stop me from wanting to cast Rutger Hauer and Malcolm McDowell as the villains Henry and Richard Becket...

I haven't really fully recovered from Script Frenzy yet. But I'll resume work on the Spanner second draft as soon as I do.

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