This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #392, on the subject of Characters Resting.
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 eighteenth mark Joseph “young” web log post covering this book, covering chapters 103 through 108. 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.
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 realized that I had only so many kinds of encounters and couldn’t run too many of them, but I had to keep some kind of tension in the story. Lauren might fight my capybaras (or whatever they are) at some point, but I just had the truck accident (and have not ruled out another) and I don’t know how many chapters it’s going to take for me to bring these two groups together–and there will still be travels after that–so I have to go slowly on the encounters.
I was thinking I needed something besides apartments and retail outlets, and since no one had to work there would be no offices, and since everything was shipped directly from the surface to the distribution points there would be no warehouses. I thought that if you got far enough away from the built up areas you might come to a more rural setting, country houses of a sort, but I struggled to figure out how they would be different. Ultimately I decided they would be more like single apartments, and decided to make them multi-story more like houses. I modeled the entry after my mother’s house.
I debated for quite a while whether someone lived here, and in my debates had envisioned what the initial encounter would look like. I was so settled on that that I decided to go with it.
I ran into trouble on the snacks, because I wanted something consistent with what John, on whom Beam is based, might eat. I was trying to avoid cheesecake, which several of my characters have eaten, and I actually typed baklava before I remembered that John doesn’t eat nuts. I remembered that he often posts photos of his meals on his Facebook page so I spent half an hour rummaging through and finding dozens of breakfasts (apparently he is in friendly competition with a friend or two who also post photos and descriptions of their breakfasts) until I found myself seriously considering frying a couple eggs. I came upon a picture of the first time he ever made fudge, but I think it was also the last, and fudge didn’t seem to be the kind of thing he would order. Then he mentioned cookies, and I remembered that he made a lot of cookies. Of course, cookies that you buy never measure up to cookies that you make, but I wasn’t likely to find anything else, so I went with those.
This was a tense situation, but a fight would have been so one-sided as to be ridiculous. Indeed, the tension really was how Lauren could get out of this without a fight.
I really was stymied by the breakfast question. I settled on something which I hope I remember long enough to write.
This entire section was unexpected, springing from the encounter with the homeowner.
In my puzzling over breakfast, I remembered that McDonald’s did a breakfast with pancakes, sausage, eggs, and maybe a hashbrown or a biscuit or something, and I decided I could configure something like that which would be to his liking. I also decided he would order coffee, but enough of the orange juice and milk that no one had to drink it.
Having ordered the coffee and needing something to do, I came up with a reason why Bron and Sophie would have the coffee, and played with their reactions.
The chapter didn’t get me anywhere, which was a problem I seemed to be having, but then repeated chapters of climbing to another level weren’t going to be more interesting than experimenting with cream and sugar in coffee.
This has been the eighteenth 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.