Friday, April 10, 2015

Spanner R5 #amediting Update: Mid-Book Part 2: Later Additions Force Early Revisions

This seems to happen to me a lot: something I add to a later chapter requires that I retcon earlier chapters to fit the newly changed continuity. In this case, newly revised events in the final two flashback chapters (13 and 15) have just put events taking place in earlier chapters later in the timeline (Chapters 2-4) out of continuity. Specifically, the scenes involving two new villains added to Chapters 2 and 3 are now out of order, and one thread in Chapter 3 now takes place in the present rather than the past (earlier the day of the story i.e. as part of the flashback arc).

There's a bigger reason for this. The flashback chapters include a thread involving the COPCO agents starting in Chapter 7 and another which starts each flashback chapter, and both have tight plots. In its current state, the main thread is just a mess of expository dialogue interrupted by a few major events. The way the sideplots turned out made me realize that I need to give the flashback arc the tight plot it currently lacks. The mess is a carryover from Chapter 1 R4, in which the flashback arc was just a series of quick flashback scenes, each dedicated to a single reveal. But when I expanded Chapter 1 into an entire book, this no longer worked. Hence, the new plot.

It's the events of this new "earlier today" plot that are making me rewrite scenes in the earlier chapters. This is all for the better because it'll make for a stronger plot.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Spanner R5 #amediting Update: Halfway Through the Final Draft, With Ebook

Remember that plot spreadsheet I said I'd make?
Well, I made it, but it ended up taking too long for me to map the plot threads and character arcs with it, so I deleted it. However, thanks to Sigil, I am now building up the ebook chapter by chapter. With 10 chapters (counting the Intro) out of 21 (including Interlude 1) now complete, I'm halfway through the final draft at last. And it took me like forever?

Karen, the sweet Buddhist cousin, is now one of the flyers surfing the raging storm over New York on her hoverboard and laying Spanner tags. Amanda, the pretty TV reporter, now has a plot thread of her own, complete with character arc. Two of the characters I created around the time I came up with the final series name (in 1999) or the five-volume series plan (2000), the Treece brothers I based loosely on the Bogard brothers of the Fatal Fury videogame series (while I was in the middle of watching the anime at Cliff's Comic World, in fact; Adam = Andy roughly, and Kevin = Terry) finally got a reason to exist as independent characters in their own right — as hoverboard racers, Kevin laying his own Spanner tags from LA to Pittsburgh and leaving the "Climinal Team" flyers to take over from him in New York.

And yes, they are indeed calling themselves "Climinal Team", after a certain selectable team in what Shira calls simply "an old shmup" (specifically Armed Police Batrider; and yes, it's misspelled that way in the game), to signify in typically facetious Shira fashion that they're technically the villains in an America built on the supremacy of heroes. (Note: Batrider's excuse plot just happens to be set in Manhattan, in 2014, just as the dénouement of Enter the Monkeywrench was before I moved the timeline forward to 2018 last year i.e. in 2014.)

Getting halfway through the final draft is an achievement in itself. But that still leaves the other half of the book incomplete. I can't stop until the draft is finished and ready for my beta readers. There's also the matter of the Enter the Monkeywrench cover and the Chaos Angel Spanner series logo, both of which I'm continuing to procrastinate so far. So back to the edit it is. And the distraction I was hoping to avoid, namely NaPoWriMo, which my capricious muse won't let me avoid anyway. Oh well...