Friday, September 6, 2013

Spanner R5 Update: Chipping Away at Chapter 1, plus Those Women with No Name

One by one I've been chipping away at the remaining unedited scenes in Spanner Chapter 1. Most of them need only a few edits to put them in line with the final continuity, or bring out something more in a character, or just to fix up the language. I even changed the name of the new character in the flashback sequence (from Oscar Ribeiro a.k.a. Blackflag to the cooler-sounding Rico X). I still haven't taken on those difficult large scenes at the beginning and end, but I'm getting ever closer.

Also, I'm skipping back and forth among the chapters to edit here and there. Some scenes need just a little tweak to bring them fully into continuity. Others I'm putting into other chapters entirely, including nearly everything featuring Revision 4 newcomer Dr. Mina Tatsumi. I'm even inserting scenes I left out of previous versions, including one or two I intended to put in the incomplete Revision 1 but never got far enough to write.

One major revision surprised me. I came up with the thread about women with no name while I was in the middle of rewriting Chapter 12 for the Fourth Revision. Three major characters (love interest Leila, reporter Amanda, and Desiree's long-lost daughter Lucie) abandoned their names (in Chapters 12-13, 16, and 19 respectively) after that. Turns out my muse had bigger plans for R5. Now the nameless Asian woman who first appears in Chapter 12 of R4 makes her R5 debut in Chapter 2 as the new manager of the apartment building Shira lives in, the FEMEN scenes I threw into Chapters 22 and 23 now feature the master nudefighters who emerged out of the suppression of the topless-feminist group by Eastern European governments during the Conservative Revolution (and their first local recruit when they get to Seattle is none other than the now nameless Amanda), and the tall brown-haired woman I retconned into the Chapter 10 opening introduce the nameless women is the direct connection between them. The nameless-women thread has become a major thread in the series, precisely because Leila decided to erase her name — the original idea the whole thread grew from.

One thing I never really got around to in my haste to finish R4 was create full profiles for the nameless women. The "contextual list of descriptive tags" they replace their names with are in fact a significant subset of their character profiles, the part that conforms to rules now explained by the nameless Asian woman in Chapter 3. So, thesaurus in hand, I set out to compile the "name" lists for several characters: the aforementioned nameless woman (whose former name is now completely unknown, something she took great pains to ensure), her brown-haired and blond roommates, Shira (who never truly loses her name(s) but has a complex and fascinating profile), Leila, her twin brother Rob and younger sister Fiona, Lucie, and others. In fact, I'm going to do the same for major characters who keep their names throughout the entire series, precisely because I'll be developing their profiles to make them better characters.

One character I threw in late in Revision 4 I decided to throw back out of Revision 5: Shira's long-lost twin sister Kira, who's now back to the R3 plan in which I was going to save her for a major plot point of the Pretty City Arc in the middle of Book 2.

And so the editing continues. Now back to editing those two tough scenes in Chapter 1...

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