#338: Verser Missteps

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #338, on the subject of Verser Missteps.

With permission of Valdron Inc I have previously completed publishing my first five novels, Verse Three, Chapter One:  The First Multiverser Novel, Old Verses New, For Better or Verse, Spy Verses, and Garden of 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 have posted the sixth, Versers Versus Versers,  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 fifth mark Joseph “young” web log post covering this book, covering chapters 45 through 55.  Previous entries in this series include:

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.

Chapter 45, Slade 161

Once again I wasn’t sure what was going to happen here–I had even thought it should be a Hastings chapter–but as I thought about it, I decided it might be fun to suggest that Slade was worried about worrying, and I went with it.

Of course, we had already decided that Sch’hery wasn’t interested in an alliance against the Caliph, and the reader had undoubtedly understood that as well, but Slade can’t know that, so it’s a real possibility in his mind.

Prior to the incorporation of the Takano chapters this was chapter 38.


Chapter 46, Brown 187

I walked away from the previous chapter and somehow was locked into the idea of Shella contacting Lauren, and so when I came back I was all ready to start a Hastings chapter–only to realize that I had marked this as for Derek, and that I needed to keep Derek’s story moving if it was to get anywhere.  I had the additional long-term problem that Derek had been in every book since I launched him in the second so he would be top of the list to drop for the next book–but he was also the only character for whom I could clearly see a viable story coming out of this one.  I was more struggling with the short term.

This was chapter 39 before the Takano chapters were added.


Chapter 47, Hastings 177

I had previously thought through the opening of this chapter a couple times, because I had forgotten I would be writing a Derek chapter first, but it still took some thought to get through the whole thing.  I’ve also set up a problem for Joe, which I figured I would tackle in the next chapter.

This had been chapter 40 before the Takano chapters were inserted.


Chapter 48, Kondor 162

I had set up Joe for the language barrier problem, but had not decided how to resolve it until I had him discuss it with Lauren.

I’m delaying the Beam story because I want the emissary to return to him before he makes the next move.  It’s also giving me the opportunity to move the Brown story forward, and I keep thinking of complications for that.

This was chapter 41 before the Takano chapters were inserted.


Chapter 49, Takano 8

When I finished Takano chapter 7, I had vague notions of dropping Tomiko in modern Tokyo.  The notions, though, were too vague–I knew too little about modern Tokyo, and had no notion of the resources or the dangers.  I changed it to pre-bombing Nagasaki, mostly for character reasons.

There was a clear challenge here, because the reader, having followed the other characters, knows exactly what is happening to Tomiko, but she herself does not, and I needed to convey to the reader that this would be frightening to her.

When I was doing the first edit and inserting the Takano chapters again I felt that a character’s chapters were too close together–this time Derek’s–so again I pushed the Takano chapter sooner than I would have otherwise.

Originally the buildings she saw were made of “stone or cement or something like that”, because I had looked at some photos of pre-war Nagasaki and it looked rather modern.  Further research, though, said most of the buildings were wood, so I changed it.


Chapter 50, Brown 188

I had been going to do what I’m calling the door trick next, but realized that Derek could get in trouble if he got separated from his computer, and that he had an easy fix for that, so I did this chapter instead.

This was originally chapter 42 before the Takano chapters were included.


Chapter 51, Slade 162

I wasn’t sure what to do with this chapter other than to hold the next Beam chapter off a bit longer, but I realized that there were fragments to the situation that had not yet been mentioned, and that there was something else Lauren and Joe ought to do while the emissary was there.

This was chapter 43 before we added the Takano chapters.


Chapter 52, Hastings 180

This was a late decision, and it was tricky to negotiate, but I had decided to have Lauren turn the tables on the emissary and learn something about Beam.  What was more complicated was figuring out what the emissary might actually know.

Before the Takano chapters were inserted this was chapter 44.

I had double-numbered this Hastings 179, which I discovered on the final edit, and had to renumber all the Hastings chapters from here forward.


Chapter 53, Brown 189

I had been musing on this door trick for a while.  It was partly inspired by the elevator trick he did in Spy Verses, but it was so different, really, that I decided not to mention that.  I haven’t reached a firm conclusion regarding what the indigs are going to do, but for the moment they’re stymied.

This was chapter 45 before the Takano chapters were included.


Chapter 54, Kondor 163

I had noticed that it was the right time for a Kondor chapter, and that he could be the last person to see the emissary.  It developed in my mind that he would try to read the mind of the man over breakfast, but wouldn’t learn much.  Then it struck me that I have far too few botches in the stories, and it would be a good time for one, and that I could then involve Lauren in trying to heal the mental damage, which I confirmed from checking her character sheet was something she had never done.

This had been chapter 46 before the Takano chapters were included.


Chapter 55, Takano 9

I had to get to a place where someone would speak to her in English, but not too quickly, and so this chapter is mostly there to give the impression of waiting and to delay the arrival of the English-speaking interrogator.

It is also in this position because I needed to delay both Bob and Derek, and it had been half a dozen chapters since Tommy’s last, so it was a good spot.


This has been the fifth behind the writings look at Versers Versus Versers.  If there is interest and continued support from readers we will endeavor to continue with more behind the writings posts for it.

#337: The Song “Selfish Love”

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #337, on the subject of The Song “Selfish Love”.

This song, like Time Bomb, was inspired by the people I worked with when I got into the secular work world after being cloistered in Christian colleges and radio ministry.  The attitudes they had toward going out with each other caused me to recognize that for them physical love was a way of getting something, not giving something.  The concept gave me this song.

This was my number thirteen song, and I put the recording and performance quality at twenty-five.  That low ranking was partly because this is another that I recorded using midi instruments and I’m not entirely happy with that aspect particularly with the percussion, and also because although the four voices here are pretty good they’re not great, and when we did this with TerraNova we had a soprano that I recognized was outside my range, so I feel like the song is missing something in spots.  On the other hand, I think this recording is better than the one on Collision Of Worlds.  That one is rushed a bit, Kyle forgot what he was going to play on the instrumental and played something very disappointing, there were only two voices, there were problems with the rhythm in spots, and overall I was rather disappointed with it but didn’t see an easy repair within the time constraints.  Tristan, meanwhile, put this as tied for number one on his list, one of his undisputed favorites, which kicked it up quite a few steps to place as number eleven overall.

This version has the bass guitar duet on the instrumental (and behind the last chorus) which I particularly like.  The Andrews-Sisters-like vocals on the second verse came into existence because in TerraNova I wanted to have each verse sung by a different vocalist but my wife, our contralto, refused to sing a solo verse so I had to innovate by creating the trio there.  I like it, so I’ve kept it.  I think my wife didn’t like this song, at least then.  She and Barbara used to call it Shellfish Love and do the little clam things with their hands that I remember as the Clam Cheer from scouts.  It was another attempt to do the rock guitar thing (of which Passing Through the Portal was the success, Walkin’ In the Woods and Convinced appearing as other good songs that failed in that), but it came out more pop than rock, I think–but I still like it.

The recording is here

Selfish Love.

So here are the words:

Lookin’ for a love, for a love that’s true.
Lovin’ isn’t lovin’ if there’s more than two.
Askin’ what a lover’s gonna do for you.
That isn’t love, that isn’t love,
That isn’t what lovers are s’posed to do.

You’ve got a selfish love,
That’s not what love is made of.
You’ve got a selfish love,
What will you do with your selfish

Love is still the answer to your achin’ heart.
When it comes to lovin’ you just play the part.
Lovin’ ’em and leavin’, you think you’re so smart.
That isn’t love, that isn’t love,
That’s the kind of lovin’ that tears apart.

You’ve got a selfish love,
That’s not what love is made of.
You’ve got a selfish love,
What will you do with your selfish, selfish love?

Love is never measured by the things your heart can feel.
Love is never anything unless it’s something real.
Love is not a miser seeing how much he can take.
Love is a commitment you will never ever break.

When you fall in love, you never fall too deep,
Makin’ all those promises you never keep.
What you sow today you’re gonna surely reap.
That isn’t love, that isn’t love,
That’s the kind of love that will make you weep.

You’ve got a selfish love,
That’s not what love is made of.
You’ve got a selfish love,
What will you do with your selfish

Selfish love,
That’s not what love is made of.
You’ve got a selfish love,
What will you do with your selfish love?

I can only hope you benefit from the song in some way.  I will continue with additional songs in the future.

*****

Previous web log song posts:

#301:  The Song “Holocaust” | #307:  The Song “Time Bomb” | #311:  The Song “Passing Through the Portal” | #314:  The Song “Walkin’ In the Woods” | #317:  The Song “That’s When I’ll Believe” | #320:  The Song “Free” | #322:  The Song “Voices” | #326:  The Song “Mountain, Mountain” | #328:  The Song “Still Small Voice” | #334:  The Song “Convinced”