This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #407, on the subject of Versers Integrate.
With permission of Valdron Inc I have previously completed publishing my first six novels, Verse Three, Chapter One: The First Multiverser Novel, Old Verses New, For Better or Verse, Spy Verses, Garden of Versers, and Versers Versus Versers, in serialized form on the web (those links will take you to the table of contents for each book). Along with each book there was also a series of web log posts looking at the writing process, the decisions and choices that delivered the final product; those posts are indexed with the chapters in the tables of contents pages. Now as I am posting the seventh, Re Verse All, I am again offering a set of “behind the writings” insights. This “behind the writings” look may contain spoilers because it sometimes talks about my expectations for the futures of the characters and stories–although it sometimes raises ideas that were never pursued, as being written partially concurrently with the story it sometimes discusses where I thought it was headed. You might want to read the referenced chapters before reading this look at them. Links below (the section headings) will take you to the specific individual chapters being discussed, and there are (or will soon be) links on those pages to bring you back hopefully to the same point here.
There is also a section of the site, Multiverser Novel Support Pages, in which I have begun to place materials related to the novels beginning with character papers for the major characters, giving them at different stages as they move through the books.
This is the twenty-fourth mark Joseph “young” web log post covering this book, covering chapters 139 through 144. It was suggested that more shorter posts were a better choice than fewer longer ones, so there will be posts every six chapters, that is, every other week, for this book. Previous entries were:
- #354: Versers Reorienting, covering chapters 1 through 6;
- #355: Versers Resettling, for chapters 7 through 12.
- #357: Characters Connect, for chapters 13 through 18.
- #359: Characters Engage, for chapters 19 through 24.
- #361: Characters Explore, for chapters 25 through 30.
- #364: Characters Learn, for chapters 31 through 36.
- #365: Characters Travel, for chapters 37 through 42.
- #367: Versers Encounter, for chapters 43 through 48.
- #370: Characters Confront, for chapters 49 through 54.
- #373: Nervous Characters, for chapters 55 through 60.
- #376: Characters Arrive, for chapters 61 through 66.
- #379: Character Conundrums, for chapters 67 through 72.
- #381: World Complications, for chapters 73 through 78.
- #383: Character Departures, for chapters 79 through 84.
- #385: Characters Ascend, for chapters 85 through 90.
- #388: Versers Climb, for chapters 91 through 96.
- #390: World Facilities, for chapters 97 through 102.
- #392: Characters Resting, for chapters 103 through 108.
- #395: Character Obstacles, for chapters 109 through 114.
- #397: Verser Challenges, for chapters 115 through 120.
- #401: Characters Hiking, for chapters 121 through 126.
- #403: Versers Innovating, for chapters 127 through 132.
- #405: Versers Converge, for chapters 133 through 138.
History of the series, including the reason it started, the origins of character names and details, and many of the ideas, are in earlier posts, and won’t be repeated here.
I had debated on what level Lauren and Tommy would encounter Beam, and had shifted in my mind from level four to level eight. At the last moment I decided that it would be really odd for Lauren and Beam to have adopted the same day/night schedule, so I decided that the girls would be having dinner at the point where Beam was going to stop for lunch. That meant an odd numbered level, and I went with level nine. Lauren still has to decide to travel with Beam, which I’ll have to work out in the next chapter.
It was sort of a last minute decision to have Tommy in the hall when Beam arrived. I had long known that when the confrontation occurred Lauren could easily raise her psionic shield (she doesn’t know absolutely that it would work, but it has been reliable in the past), but by putting Tommy out of sight I prevented her from doing so immediately.
I needed to bring the two groups together cautiously. The notion that Tommy’s graffiti distracted Beam giving the girl the chance to get back to Lauren before the confrontation was kind of abrupt.
The idea that Beam suspected Tommy of being a ninja was abrupt but logical. After all, Beam wouldn’t take someone along who didn’t contribute in some significant way, and he is a bit awed by Lauren’s powers so he assumes that Tommy must offer something significant to that.
The television reference is to a Tom Baker Doctor Who episode, The Ribos Operation in The Key to Time series, in which the Doctor identifies a young man as a thief and Romana (Romana 1) makes the comment about his honest face and gets that response.
I knew the kawanaga was a ninja weapon, but didn’t expect anyone to recognize it as such so soon–but Beam’s gaming experience would have meant that, like Lauren, he was exposed to such weapons, and the more so because he was a more serious gamer than she was. Of course, he doesn’t really care if she’s a ninja for the reasons that matter in game, but rather because he thinks that if she is that gives her hidden skills of which to be wary.
I put Lauren and Tommy on rear guard partly so they could talk about their relationship with Beam. I moved into the concerns about the computer mostly for fill, but it had occurred to me before that Tommy’s computers might be infected by whatever was bringing down the central system, and I wanted that to occur to her.
At this point I thought I should shift to running the three viewpoint characters in turn, but I had already decided that as they approached the surface they were going to encounter more groups of people, and it kind of had to start with level eight and Beam had to be the front man for it.
I had not intended to get involved in an effort to fix the main computer, and for plot reasons I know it’s going to fail, but once Tommy started asking about the system problems, which really was inevitable, it just naturally led to a consideration of whether they could be repaired. The notion of obtaining a clean copy of the basic operating system by ordering a new computer was valid, but won’t work because of the auto update feature that’s been incorporated in more recent computers.
This chapter was supposed to be the confrontation with another tribe, and instead turned into the computer discussion. I’m not sure how the confrontation is going to play, particularly as it looks as if it has to be done from Lauren’s perspective, and she’s in the rear.
I struggled with how to convey the population problem, but it actually worked better with Lauren deducing the problem than it would have with me trying to have Beam confront multiple groups of residents.
I sort of stumbled into the mattress store idea.
Once I had the mattress store idea it was obvious that Tommy would lead the way to get there. It also gave me more spotlight for her, making her a more significant part of the group, and probably also showing Beam that she contributed something to the team.
This has been the twenty-fourth behind the writings look at Re Verse All. If there is interest and continued support from readers we will endeavor to continue with another novel and more behind the writings posts for it.