I've said before that my muse has a hard time multitasking. This time around, writer's block hit me hard. I couldn't even write until after Thanksgiving. So my NaNoWriMo this year started late. I'm starting during Panic Time.
So what novel did I finally decide on? I couldn't keep my mind or my muse away from Spanner at all, thus the writer's block. My first choice was a comic spy thriller called "Chance's Chance". My second was called "Magical Girl Revolution" and is about what magical girls do when superheroes go berserk; some parts are quite dark, since one of the inspirations is Sailor Nothing. Of this, I've written the first and last scenes. That barely got me up to 2,000 words.
So the muse and I agreed to do an end run around Spanner. It's called "Cascadia Rising", and it deals with events that take place or are at least mentioned in the last third of Spanner Book 1 without any of the major Spanner characters. That's right: no Shira, no Leila for her to romance, and no guerrilla hackers and Spannerbots. The non-cyberpunk side of the story, if you will.
Meanwhile, I've finally wrestled Spanner Chapter 12 to a finish. That turned out to be the toughest chapter I've ever edited, since I had no three-quarters-finished Third Revision to work from. And as a side effect of working on "Cascadia Rising" (specifically, the thread involving "Rejectionists", people who abandon their public lives and identities to serve the revolution while it's happening), Chapter 10 now has that one missing chapter which takes it within the target word count. This being Spanner and Shira being Shira, it starts a new thread involving an underground subculture known as the "anonymous beauties" or "nameless beauties" (the terms are interchangeable), women who abandon their former lives and names to live for sexual fulfillment without names. In the complete 10.1, three of these anonymous beauties have just moved in next door to Shira, and one knocks on her door to request some help. Chapter 12 makes it a prominent thread building up like a tropical storm until, in the wake of Chapter 15, it merges with the main plot like a superstorm as Amanda, her career now ruined, makes a fateful choice. The Final Revision version of Chapter 17 will give the thread its true name: "Anonymity Is Freedom" (the name of 17.1 R4, with special guest stars Anonymous, courtesy of the pirate broadcasters at KCUF).
The completion of Chapter 12 now makes possible the return of Spanner Revision 4 to its three-times-a-week schedule, starting with 12.1. Be there to catch it!