Thursday, December 6, 2012

Spanner R4 Update: Chapters 12 and 13 Now Complete, or Bye-Bye Editor's Block

For about 2 months I suffered from "editor's block" and couldn't make progress on Chapter 12. Then in the middle of NaNoWriMo the idea came that broke it wide open. Even with a new NaNo novel to write (which I did despite all the obstacles), I still finally managed to get most of Chapter 12 finished and posted. And on Tuesday, I finished the last section, 12.6, by massively revising what in fact was the entire original Chapter 12 in Revision 1 (and 12.5 in R2). As usual, the R4 version is vastly superior to the R1 and R2 versions. For one thing, the originals had a lot of exposition; there's almost none in the final edit. This final version of 12.6 posts tomorrow.

While I was struggling to find a way to finish 12.6, I managed to complete two whole sections of Chapter 13, 13.2 and 13.3, and parts of 13.1, 13.4, and 13.6. Once 12.6 was finally out of my hair, I was ready to turn to 13.1. There were a couple scenes that made up the old R2 section, which of course I had to massively revise for R4. I fleshed it out with new scenes in the far more complex R4 continuity. 13.3 used various scenes from other sections and chapters in R2; it's probably nearly impossible to keep track of all the places they went as I put them together, though the opening scenes are the former 12.6 R2 which got severely condensed. Some R2 holdover scenes will get eliminated altogether; some already have. The tough edit, of course, was the main sequence in 13.6, "The Battle of Evergreen Park" which formerly gave the chapter its name, since by that point in the story so much of the R2 continuity is obsolete that I've had to all but rewrite it. Besides, I'm such a superior writer today that most of my Second Revision writing makes me cringe. I wrote it before I started writing poetry early in the Third Revision edits and got influenced by Surrealism and the Beats. I also did way too much exposition, something I edit out mercilessly today.

Almost as tricky as 13.6 was 13.4 and 13.5, of which I've only kept a few scenes. 13.4 contains something that will no doubt go memetic: the soon to be infamous "Fangirl Death Squee". I had to create a continuity for the single day that makes up the entire second half of the chapter in such a way that it leads up to the dénouement of 13.6.

One surprise I got when I edited Chapter 13 was that Leila all but took it over with her extreme solution for breaking up her unwanted marriage arrangement to Oliver, which gives the R4 chapter its new name: "The Girl with No Name". So many scenes now in Chapter 13, I originally wrote for Chapters 16 and 17 before I moved them here.

One thing I've discovered is that in uploading each section to be posted and checking it for errors, I've found myself making a lot of text revisions that improve the story. Sometimes wording or even names left over from the R2 version no longer fits R4 continuity; sometimes there's errors I'd left in the revised versions and had to find superior wording for; sometimes I simply found better words for what I wanted to say. Unlike when I posted Revision 2 (until late, at least), I check each installment thoroughly, especially for HTML errors, then text errors when those are corrected, and end up simply looking for places to improve the wording. Another reason why Revision 4 is so superior to all previous Spanner editions.

Well, now Chapters 12 and 13 are done at last. With the current post schedule I'm giving myself, I should have enough time to edit the extremely complex structure of Chapter 14. So here goes...

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