Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Spanner R5 #amediting Update: Shira's 15th Birthday and the Second Radical New Plot Change

Spanner main character Shira Thomas turns 15 today. The first volume (originally chapter) of the series, dated August 19, has already taken place. Considering how much time I've been taking to write and edit this thing (four years already?), it looks like events have already overtaken the story. Therefore, I must make one more radical change to the series.
  • The first radical change: turn Chapter 1, Chapters 2-4, and the School Arc of the old Book 1 into three separate volumes, the new Books 1-3.
  • The second radical change: Move the series start date forward 4 years, to 2018.
Now that Spanner begins in 2018, I can solve two major problems with the original 2000 plan:
  1. the fact that so many of the major characters were underage, making them overly precocious in intelligence and maturity, and causing a potential legal problem around their sexual libertinism; now they're all 18 or over (or in Elle's case almost 18), which also eliminates the added potential problem of this story potentially being swept into the "YA ghetto";
  2. the fact that the story is no longer "twenty minutes into the future," as I don't intend to write an alternate-universe story set in what is now the past.
It also eliminates the plot complication from the old Chapter 2 of Shira seducing private cop J.T. Sparks and then blackmailing him over her being underage, and reduces what was the major turning point of 12/21/12 nearly two years before the story began into a relatively minor backstory event 6 years in the past. But oh well, sometimes tradeoffs must be made.

In the new Book 3, containing the complete School Arc, the cousins Shira, Jennifer, and Karen are now plausible college students, though Karen can no longer be Bangor High's head cheerleader now that she's being aged up to 21. The Shelley twins likewise make more plausible fallen fashion models at 19 (turning 20 at the beginning of the new Book 4). Team Bremelo now become credible adults for the students to envy or hero-worship. And Shira can get away with an all-nude all-Rocker 19th birthday, though she'll still be agitating to lower the voting age to at least 16.

The new Spanner Book 1 now takes place on 19 August 2018. Book 7 will end in November 2020. Now I have some leeway so I can spend more time editing and formatting Books 1-3 to my liking. But I can't take too long. I want Book 1 over, done, and ready to publish before NaNoWriMo.

So it begins again...