Thursday, June 19, 2014

Spanner Update: A Completely New Publishing Plan in Not 5 (or 6) Volumes, but 7

In a flash of inspiration while waiting for my mother at the dentist's office, I realized that I've been doing this Spanner thing all wrong. Not the writing, actually; most of it's at least good enough. Mostly it's the editing, for this reason: the five-volume plan I came up with back in 2000, to which I later added a Book 0, has proved inadequate for what I've written so far.

And so, while Mom and I were eating lunch, the new plan began to emerge in my mind. The chapters, threads, and arcs scattered like the cards in a game of "52 Pickup", and here's how they settled:
  1. Enter the Monkeywrench: the Intro, the new Interlude 0 ("Foregone Conclusions", with the "two Jennifers" sequence from Interlude 6 now framing a sequence of flash-forwards), Chapter 1, and Interlude 1. As it's already a complete novella, it's fitting that this should serve as the "pilot episode".
  2. Banned in Japan: (temporary working title) The Japan arc originally planned for Book 0, now a flashback thread; the first four chapters from the original Book 1 including the complete uncut Rebel Styles thread and representing the "present time" following from the new Book 1; a few later scenes as "flash-forwards"; and the relevant Interludes (by their current numbering): 2 ("The Brown Note"), 3 ("One Nation Under Copyright, All Rights Reserved"), 5 ("Approaching Solstice, December 2012"), 8 ("Rebel, Rebel"), 9 ("City on the Edge of a Dream"), and 15 ("Six Degrees of Keenan Sasser"). All flashbacks related to the Shira/Leila relationship line will be moved here.
  3. Love Terrorists: the complete School Arc from Chapters 5-21, plus Interludes 6 (as the new opening, to be renamed "Previously On..." and rewritten), 4 ("The Rules of Tournament"), 7 ("Pop Will Eat Itself"), 10 ("You Have Lost the Game"), and 16 ("The Ego and His Own"). I may want to merge the events of Chapter 15 into Chapters 22 and 23.
  4. Rock City Blues: Chapters 22 and 23 from Book 1, all of Book 2 except for the Pretty City Arc, and Interludes 13 ("This Is Not America") and 14 ("The Crisis") as a frame.
  5. Mad Frontier: the original Book 3 plan, now condensed, centering on the pivotal Phoenix Arc.
  6. Business Is War: the original Book 4 plan with the Pretty City Arc from the Book 2 plan now added.
  7. Revolution Rock: the original Book 5 as planned, beginning with the final Interlude and ending with the Outro.
The new vision for the series is as a novelized 6-season TV series with a pilot movie. The chapters will be shorter and (from the new Book 2 onward) be renumbered by volume/season (e.g. the original Chapter 5 is now 3-1). Each volume will have its own plot in addition to the series continuity. And I'm going to make each book much more coherent, though just as head-spinning as ever.

So what's my new plan for the new Books 1 and 2?
  • Work out the complete Book 2 and transplant various scenes from the old Book 1.
  • Edit the original Chapter 1 (now unnumbered) accordingly.
In fact, I've already started doing it. I've started editing this blog's Spanner series page to add the new series plan; when I'm done with it, I'll tell you here.

And thus does it begin again...