Monday, 10 August 2020

An Update, and a Little Background

So. Still alive, still writing (now and then). I am literally on the last sequence of Chapter 15, and the other night I surprised myself by churning out over a page of copy.

I was contacted recently by the people at Retro Fanfic Retrospective with the news that they intend to discuss SM4200. Incredibly flattering, of course! (Er, whatever they end up saying.) This led me to re-read the Author's Note to chapter 7 (which is their stopping point), and that led me to send them some further author's notes…which, of course, they may or may not use.

I thought I might reproduce them here, with a little editing.

I gave a few hints about the further shape of the story at the end of chapter 7. Quite a lot more has been revealed since then, of course; I hope my hints have been borne out satisfactorily!

I commented back then that my characters’ names didn’t have the double meanings or linguistic wordplay of the original characters.  However, when I did get access to a good Japanese dictionary, I picked kanji spelling for a few of them that does have a hidden significance (though possibly only to someone who doesn’t know much Japanese).  For example:
  • Miyo: 三世
    The individual kanji can be read as “three/generation” which I thought was a nice reflection that she’s in her third lifetime.
  • Ochiyo: 稚代
    Actually her name is just Chiyo, with an “O-” prefix that she picked up as a child (possibly due to bossiness).  The kanji can be read as “younger/generation”—the significance, of course, is a bit obvious.
  • Sadako: 節子
    This can also be pronounced "Setsu-ko"…and is basically just her little joke.
The story is plotted out all the way to the end—though not generally in a great deal of detail, because when I planned it out I didn’t want to put myself in a straitjacket.  Plot points have shifted around a bit since I first planned it out, but not in a really major way.  I wrote the epilogue (“Coda”) back when I was writing chapter 9, or somewhere around then, and it still holds up pretty well in the light of the chapters written since, which is a comfort.

There are some plot points which have crept into the story where I don’t know how they’ll ultimately be resolved, and I’m keeping an eye on those (i.e. I have a file with a list of things I need to work out sometime), but I won’t be too upset if minor points are left hanging in the end: after all, real life is never really very tidy.

Mostly, my motivation for plotting it out in some detail was so that I could let Itsuko/Rei have visions of the future which I knew would come true.  A few of them have already occurred: for example, from her visions in chapter 3, we’ve already had Serenity’s ghost speaking to a kneeling figure, and the man wearing gloves (the Chairman of the Serenity Council, of course; we’ll learn more about those gloves in chapter 16), and Itsuko’s office in ruins.

Of the visions in chapter 11: well, the shadowy figure holding a fire-pot is herself, moving the Sacred Fire. The puppy should be obvious now. And Sailor Moon embraced a naked woman in chapter 14.

Still a few unfulfilled prophecies to go, of course!