Thursday, October 27, 2011

Third Revision Update: Thickening the Plot

Now that Spanner is finally complete, at least in its Second Revision (the first stopped two chapters short), it's time to shift my attention to editing. Editing the main plot in, in fact. This is the reason for the Third Revision. So far, it's up to Chapter 10. I'll be editing some things into those first 10 chapters so I can have that part finished at last, then I'll turn to the all-important central section, Chapters 11 to 15.

First of all, there's the escalating sexual relationship between Shira and Leila which directly causes the disasters beginning in Chapter 15. The links between Chapter 8, in which Shira saves Leila from suicide and finally takes her to bed, and Chapter 15, in which the Conservative Revolutionaries come to Seattle in order to wreck it, are:
  1. Leila openly defying the marriage arrangement her grandfather the governor forced on her, to a whiny serial killer from a rich Corporate family, thus defying the marriage laws that mandate arranged marriage and ban personal love.
  2. Leila breaking the anti-miscegenation laws enacted by the Party and the Eugenics Institute to restore the purity of the "American Race".
  3. Leila breaking the anti-sodomy laws by openly carrying out a passionate sexual relationship with another woman.
  4. Oh, and both Shira and Leila are underage.
The result? The rage of the conservative ruling class. The Corporates go full-tilt terrorist on the hated liberal city of Seattle. The link between the forbidden love of two pretty schoolgirls and the attempted conservative destruction of a city is the heart of Book 1 at least: l'amour fou, mad love: a love so out of control that it can lead to personal liberation and the destruction of society. Consider that, despite the continuing vogue of Surrealist painting among the Corporate caste, the Surrealists themselves were political radicals who longed for revolution. Movement leader André Breton even coauthored a manifesto, called the Manifesto for an Independent Revolutionary Art.

Spanner is about the fall of empire. The empire refuses to fall. Starting in Book 2, the divine-right imperial oligarchy will go to any terrorist extremes to make sure the empire remains in control of the world for all eternity. Thus, the fall of empire involves revolution. Now that the Third Revision has reached the heart of book 1, it's time to make this perfectly clear.

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