Thursday, May 31, 2012

Spanner R4 Update: Chapter 3 Complete, Starring Shira's New Akio Car

It took me two days to finish the Revision 4 version of Spanner Chapter 3, one to cut its word count down below 15,700, one to rewrite the restaurant scene in Part 6 ("You Don't Know What Is What"). While I was at it, the old yellow Boss Mustang in Part 3 became a brand new Mustang in metallic cherry red, and it's now Shira's. But Shira won't be "legal" (i.e., able to get a driver's license at 15) until Chapter 7, so she has to let Willa and Karen drive "her". What Shira told me while I was out walking to the store changed even the name of Part 3: "Her name is Rio." And yes, Shira is in love with it.

The notional daughter of Utena Tenjou and Akio Ohtori now has her very own Akio Car. Revolutionary Girl Utena fans remember Akio's car, possibly the coolest Cool Car in the history of anime. Now Shira has one of her own, a new cherry Mustang with an ubersexy AI. She's in love with it, and starting in Chapter 7 the kids at Bangor High will be jealous.

The restaurant scene is very near the end of Chapter 3. In Revision 3 it isn't dramatic enough, so I decided to throw in a mass Mexican standoff between Conservative Revolutionary Party militants and Socialist Revolutionary Organization terrorists, demonstrating how little different they really are. The ending part with the investigation is now its own scene and much shorter, but manages to carry the implication that the Toymaker, Spanner's resident mad bomber, may have had something to do with the fiery crash two years earlier that robbed Jim Sparks of his face. I restored the usual restaurant TVs to this one so that I could insert the second token appearance of the virtual character in the form of a creepy logo who inserts herself into the story to become a major player at the end of Chapter 15.

Earlier, I expanded one scene and added another in which the SRO terrorists and an American prison jihadi who first appeared in Chapter 2 and loses to Shira in Part 4 escape from the Bangor Jail. I didn't remember to mention the jailbreak in the restaurant scene, but the SRO's presence implies it.

Meanwhile, I made some final revisions to Chapter 2. I edited the new scene at Game Wars to re-insert that virtual character to make it once again her first appearance. Then I went back and forth through the chapter, looking for stuff I could cut, any remaining continuity errors to correct, and scenes I could improve. I found a surprising number. There was even some dialogue left that wasn't yet up to my standards. Chapter 2 is now fully complete.

Next comes Chapter 4. The challenge is not just all the work necessary to upgrade the Revision 3 version to Revision 4 standards and continuity. I added new scenes to Revision 3. Then during Script Frenzy, I added new scenes to Revision 4. Most of those even newer new scenes are still in script form. I won't just be revising. I'll be novelizing too. I'll get to that eventually. Right now, though, I'm taking the rest of the night off.

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