Monday, 27 September 2004

Sometimes the easiest scenes are the hardest...

Sometimes the easiest scenes are the hardest scenes to write.

Take the closing scene in chapter 11, for example. It's not posted publicly yet, so I'll avoid actual story details; but for now suffice it to say that it's a fairly pivotal moment in the SM4200 storyline, one that I've been building toward for some time. Going in, I had a bundle of notes on the scene, but more importantly it was long ago played out in my head, repeatedly. I knew exactly what was going to happen.

Naturally, it didn't work out that way.

There were little things. The scene in my mind took place in late twilight, but when I came to write it, other story details meant that it had to happen in the morning. But that's trivial stuff. More importantly, when I came to actually write it, I had to look at it in much more logical detail than I'd ever done before. And the scene in my head just didn't work right.

There were details like: dammit, just how is the Olympus building laid out? Suddenly it became important. I spent two or three days coming up with a floor chart. At least I know how it all fits together now. (But it turns out that Itsuko's office isn't at the back of the building, the way I've had it in early chapters. Sorry; I'll do the necessary revisions.)

In the end, it came out...fairly similar to the way I'd originally pictured it. Working a bit better. And full of details I'd never pictured.

That's nothing compared to the opening of chapter 12, though. I have a lot of notes for that, too; but as I was pounding merrily away, it suddenly occurred to me: if the characters do something perfectly logical which they have good reason to do, all my carefully-plotted scenes go to hell in a handbasket. As it were.

So, I'm on my third rewrite of the opening of chapter 12. The good news is that this time I think it's working...

[Current progress report: 2776 words, and counting.]


Pre-reader progress report for chapter 11: I've had 4 responses so far, of 13 pre-read requests I sent out. Two of these were actual commentary; two were promises to comment later. That's fine; a 215K chapter takes time to review, I know. (Chapter 9 took two or three months to finish pre-reading, mostly due to one particular pre-reader; but boy, was the chapter improved when it was done.) But I do seem to have lost a lot more names than I'd hoped.

Sunday, 19 September 2004

Pre-readers ... *mumble*mutter*gripe*

Chapter 11 is off to the pre-readers. Updated draft is 36,892 words. And…sigh.

I sent it to 13 addresses. (Didn't think anything of it at the time.) These were the people who gave me useful commentary back last time. And so far, I've had four "bounces". Dammit, can't anyone keep an email address for a respectable length of time any more...?

So, I've lost Steve "Komodo" T, LaShawn Wanak, Marcus Fong, and Ran-neko. If anyone out there happens to have current email addresses for them, I'd like to hear from you ...

By the way. Chapter 12 now stands at 1,271 words. :)

Saturday, 18 September 2004

And ... it's done

Chapter 11 was completed about half an hour ago.

The first draft weighs in at 36,822 words, or about 208K.

I'll give it another read-over today or tomorrow, and then it's off to the pre-readers ...

Monday, 13 September 2004

Historic Note

The Disguise Pen

The Lunar Disguise Pen vanished in 3166, under highly suspicious circumstances, and was never seen again. The Senshi later suspected that Serenity and Endymion had been using it to play some kind of adult game, one that had gone embarassingly wrong; but Serenity refused point-blank to discuss it.

As Ami commented, somewhat wistfully, "It must have been some game."

Wednesday, 8 September 2004

Not so finished

Did I say the combat sequence was finished?

* hollow laugh *

When I looked at it again the next day I was amazed at how bad it was. Spent the last week or so wrestling with it, trying to solve the problems. It's better now, though still not perfect. In the meatime I'm pressing onward with the following scenes while I think it over some more.

31391 words now. I wrote a fair bit late last night and deleted it all today. Not even worth saving for the omake file.

Little by little, I progress...