Friday, December 13, 2013

Spanner R5 Update: Putting the Axe to Chapter 2 (with 2.2 now complete)

At last, I've begun editing Spanner Chapter 2! 2.2 turned out to be surprisingly easy to edit, so I finished it first, complete with new scenes. The next order of business is 2.1, which follows directly on the events of Chapter 1 and continues its threads, including scenes starring Leila (dating back as far as Revision 2) and Ariel (a new opening for the final version). Like I said, I finished 2.2 first because I found it easy, even to cut down the original scene ("Ghost Hunting" from Revision 1) so I could add the new ones — and "What Shira Knows", the interrogation scene I originally wrote for 2.3 and then moved to 2.1 for R4; and even that scene I made major changes to, echoing the similar scene in 16.1.

I'm editing 2.1 next because the scenes I keep in and the order I put them in will determine the order of scenes from 2.3 to the end of the chapter. These are the new scenes I'm adding:
  1. "Ariel's Vision": Leila's aunt, the hot witch with the white-striped black hair, induces a vision that puts Chapter 1's Spanner Incident in its wider context, subtly foreshadows future events, introduces the theme of fate vs. freedom, and reveals the true reason why she's become archenemy to the Beckets and especially Drusilla — and that just happens to involve the Holy Grail.
  2. "Message from the Evil One": the ghost of Osama bin Laden wimp-shames America. Only his smirking face will be visible.
  3. "Introducing the Beckets": a little three-paragraph exposition that does exactly what the title says: introduce the ruling clan.
  4. "Tender Enemies": the videophone call in which Willa taunts her ex-husband Henry Becket, which I mentioned last post.
  5. "Get Ready for the Bad Endings": a scene removed from Chapter 1 (1.2 in R2, 1.4 in R3 and R4) to become the heroes' own retrospective on the Spanner Incident. It still introduces the "Bad Endings" described in detail in Interlude 10. To fit it in its final place, I'll have to cut it down pretty severely.
  6. "Great Nike Is Not Pleased": the corporation that owns the monopoly on all sports and their arenas (Madison Square Garden during the Spanner Incident) reveals itself as the incarnation of its namesake goddess (the Greek goddess of victory) and tries to attack Shira in her own dreamspace only to discover that in dreamspace, Shira's power is equal to hers. The myth behind this scene, one of the series' two core myths (the Theomachy, or the War of the Gods, with the Olympian generation of gods now under siege from an upstart new generation: humanity itself), will be made explicit in 2.3, by none other than Ariel.
  7. "The Call" and "The Arrival": Shira gets a call on the flight home from her mother's nemesis, Teachers Guild president Dr. Jenna Hunter, and accepts her offer to be a college-student tutor at Metropolitan Seattle's toughest school, Bangor High. Once in Seattle, she and her cousins (and niece and sister) meet Willa and Angela outside the airport terminal only to be interrupted by police agents Sparks and Kowalczyk, leading into "What Shira Knows". In fact, these two scenes are the original reason I decided to move "What Shira Knows" from 2.1 R4 into 2.2.
The appearances of Spanner and Rebel, which I originally built 2.1 around in R2, will remain, along with the villains' post-Incident follow-up meeting, which in their current (post-R4) state consist of three different scenes I need to combine into one. Other than that, just as I mentioned last post, 2.1 will be vastly different from even the R4 version.

Once I've straightened out 2.1, I'll bring back Ariel in 2.3 to give Shira a Tarot card reading (of the story itself, actually, and her role in it) and introduce the first of the nameless women (the beautiful tall barista who used to be an Olympic swimmer and claims to be a psychologist). 2.3, 2.4, and 2.5 should also be easier to edit once I've finalized the scene order of 2.1. The remaining big challenge then will be 2.6: instead of just following the Shira-Sparks sequence with the "Henry Becket and his psychic-seer mother" scene the way I did in R4, I'm going to cinematically intercut them into a single climactic sequence consisting of as many as five threads, one of them introducing major villain Byron Scofield.

The work has begun at last. And I'm beginning to believe I can finish this chapter before Christmas...

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