Friday, June 29, 2012

Spanner R4 Update: Skipping Forward Through the Chapters

Sometimes the muse likes to lead me on a wild goose chase. Now I find myself redoing the Chapter 14 into a semi-"recap episode" with an extra dose of "wham!", and tweaking the already replotted Chapters 7 and 15, and turning Chapter 18 into the direct sequel to Chapter 15 involving the Corporatist state government's revenge against Team Spanner and the Cascadia Populists generally, which proceeds to backfire for Governor Brinkman, the Fearsome Foursome, and CPMC in Chapters 19 and 20, culminating in their ultimate blunder: somehow turning a district-wide high-school student walkout into a great big soccer fan riot. And I was supposed to be plotting the weakest scenes of Chapter 4...

The Chapter 14 idea began as the intersection of two ideas. The first is the structure of the last half of Chapter 9, which I built around a pair of flashback sequences, one after the other, involving first Shira then Leila, as two male characters try to convince each that the other is bad news (they fail: Shira and Leila love each other because they're bad news). The second is the anime tradition of the midseason recap episode, and specifically the second one in Revolutionary Girl Utena which doubles as a Wham Episode rivalling any in Babylon 5.

Chapter 15: I flipped through my notes again and found the one where I'd written the chapter's final six-part structure, then divided the scenes the way I did Chapter 7 back during NaNoEdMo, with the section numbers added to the scene names. As for Chapter 7, I added a few elements to a new scene in Section 4 ("The Birthday Party") to tie it in to a few more plot threads, including one very long one that starts in that scene.

That takes care of those three chapters for now. Now back to the problem I'm working on in Chapter 4: how to make a meeting with about a dozen characters more dramatic. Maybe I should have Shira drop one of her customary wham lines, causing a "Why didn't I think of that?" reaction in the others?

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