Saturday, June 2, 2012

Spanner R4 Update: Done With That Chapter? The Characters Beg To Differ

So you think you're through editing Spanner Chapter 3? Wrong! Now Karen and Polly want in the boardwalk fight scene, Willa wants a more cyberpunk videophone, and Talia's yelling at you for omitting her from the Patriot-versus-terrorist mass Mexican standoff at the end. Your characters are the real authors of this story, so you're going to have to give them what they want. Fortunately, what they want is just what you need to make "Rock Is Dead" more, well, rockin'.

Sure enough, this is precisely what happened to me the previous two chapters: I thought I was done, I patted myself on the back, and then here come the characters demanding revisions. This is how I ended up cramming more good stuff into Chapter 2 than I ever thought possible while going only 50-60 words over my 15,750-word chapter limit. Now I'm about to do the same to Chapter 3.

Meanwhile, I'm about to build the ebook of Chapter 2 and Interlude 2. Chapter 4 is also followed by an Interlude, this time a completely new one. (The old Interlude 3, "The Law of Social Darwinism", is now part of Interlude 4, "The Rules of Tournament", which follows Chapter 5; the new Interlude 3, "One Nation Under Copyright, All Rights Reserved", is currently half-written, but I already have great ideas for its second draft.) Chapter 3 doesn't have an Interlude after it. What to do? I know. Reach back into my list of Spanner Side Stories, some complete and some still unwritten, and stick one in the Chapter 3 ebook as a bonus story.

Which story to use? I've got a few science fiction ones written or planned, but I don't want to use any of those yet. I'm saving the "Satan Claus" story for the Series 2 Christmas episode (likely Chapter 29 or 30). So I decided I'll write a completely new story. Step 1: swipe a title from some New Wave song, say, "Senses Working Overtime". Step 2: what's it about? How about the effect Shira's Tracker training has on her love life? Trackers, in learning how to see animal and human tracks that are completely unnoticeable to normal humans, learn to amplify their perception to almost superhuman levels. It takes discipline for a Tracker to keep themself from following any interesting trail. What would a highly trained Tracker with such high-keyed perception do in bed? How would she romance somebody?

Now I'll plot that story, finish Chapter 3, finish Interlude 3, and then get back to Chapter 4. Come to think of it, I'm actually starting to see some parallels between the new story and the new Interlude 3...

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