This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #484, on the subject of Characters Maneuver.
With permission of Valdron Inc I have previously completed publishing my first nine Multiverser novels,
- Verse Three, Chapter One: The First Multiverser Novel,
- Old Verses New,
- For Better or Verse,
- Spy Verses,
- Garden of Versers,
- Versers Versus Versers,
- Re Verse All,
- In Verse Proportion, and
- Con Verse Lea,
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 tenth, In Version, written in collaboration with Eric R. Ashley, 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.
This is the fifth post for this novel, covering chapters 49 through 60. Previous posts were:
- #476: Versers Deduce, covering chapters 1 through 12;
- #478: Character Conflicts, covering 13 through 24;
- #480: Versers Think, 25 through 36; and
- #482: Versers Engage, 37 through 48.
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.
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.
Quick links to discussions in this page:
Chapter 49, Beam 173
Chapter 50, Slade 226
Chapter 51, Kondor 233
Chapter 52, Beam 174
Chapter 53, Brown 257
Chapter 54, Slade 227
Chapter 55, Kondor 234
Chapter 56, Beam 175
Chapter 57, Slade 228
Chapter 58, Brown 258
Chapter 59, Kondor 235
Chapter 60, Brown 259
The idea that Beam would move to the master bedroom and Ashleigh would join him while Sophia vented her anger may have been one reason I delayed the completion of the body removal until the next day–although in truth it was too big a job to be completed at one go. Having her light up the night with fire spells seemed an appropriate way for her to vent, and also would give a reason why in the short-term future more zombies would arrive.
I had a lot of problems with Eric’s original draft of this, including that he had Slade smashing a delicate advanced electronic device with a hammer on the excuse that part of it was broken, and that he wanted Derek to fly the saucer to a distant location to bring back just parts essentially broken off another saucer. I felt that Kondor would want to preserve everything salvageable, including any undamaged circuits in the engine. That impacted the upcoming battle. Also, Eric had originally made Slade the divine spokesperson who had to communicate to the world via shortwave, and had the others teasing him about being a god, which didn’t really work because Slade almost thinks himself one and wouldn’t be upset by it, and Kondor would find the idea so offensive he wouldn’t even tease about it. Besides, Slade is the one verser who actually whistles the Parakeet language, everyone else singing it, so he would not be entirely recognizable as an alien voice on the radio. So Eric managed to reverse it.
Some of the problems with Eric’s first draft stemmed from the idea that Derek and Slade would be gone and would have left Vashti and Shella behind, and I had nixed the flight largely because Derek’s saucer would immediately be a target if he overflew parakeet defenses any distance at all from the university. Also, I thought the hangar at least a quarter of a mile from the houses and Eric thought it was fairly close. That led to the suggestion that the battle be split, that there be a second attacking force over by the hangar repelled by Derek and Slade. After I made a bunch of suggestions, Eric did substantial rewriting to make it work.
After we had moved the bodies to the yard–and we never contemplated moving them anywhere other than the yard, it was just a long debate about how to do that–I realized that Sophia probably wouldn’t be less unhappy with a pile of corpses in the back yard than she was with them in the basement, but there really wasn’t another option. Further, it satisfied her requirement, so she was going to have to acquiesce to joining Beam and Ashleigh in the same bed.
Eric surprised me with the funeral, but it was well done and was kept with only minor style and grammar fixes.
Again Eric surprised with this. I had a few objections and changes, but in the main it went as written. We had some discussion of how many people were on campus after it was evacuated, and so had to reduce the number of casualties some.
Eric started this, with the rest up through the suggestion that the rain was making it possible to move the saucer from the train to the hangar. I then took over, suggesting what repairs and adjustments had to be made, and that Joe would be needed for some of that. Then I interrupted, and in essence drafted a suggested section in which Derek prays for Joe to be healed, and it works. Eric agreed that it worked, but pointed out that I had accidentally changed the location, so that had to be shifted to make it work.
I put this together. Several of the ideas had been discussed previously, and it was time to do something with Beam and more living zombies. Although the chapter could easily have continued to cover more, it seemed a good place to break and go back to the others.
I drafted this mostly to move forward on getting the spaceships flight ready. I wrote enough to give the impression that everything was being done, and decided to sleep on whatever else might happen next.
This was Eric’s work, although I had suggested there would be another Gatling gun, probably a prototype, in engineering, and so Eric was figuring out where to put it.
More of Eric’s work, setting up for a ground battle.
Eric had gone directly into Slade 229 with the launching of the shuttles, but I thought it vital that there be a place where Shella teaches Derek the teleport spell, and probably important that there be something about Derek teaching Bob and Shella to fly the ship, so I inserted this chapter, and then the next Beam chapter to shift the focus.
This has been the fifth behind-the-writings look at In Version. If there is interest and continued support from readers we will endeavor to continue with more behind-the-writings posts and another novel.