This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #385, on the subject of Characters Ascend.
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 fifteenth mark Joseph “young” web log post covering this book, covering chapters 85 through 90. 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.
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 was creeping forward, wanting to move Tommy and Lauren together without disrupting Beam. They would have different kinds of entrances and use different kinds of skills.
In a game I would have rolled a general effects roll here, since there is no actual map and I need to know whether Beam is moving toward or away from the ramp he seeks. I debated whether to do that here, but instead I think I used a technique I got from E. R. Jones I call “invisible dice”. Often he was asked what he wanted to do, he would reach in a pocket, pretend to draw out a coin, throw nothing in the air, and then catch it and slap it on his wrist. He would look at the nothing on his wrist and give his answer, as if it had been decided by the flip of an invisible coin. It actually had not, of course–he once explained to me that the action had function, that while the invisible coin was in the air he found himself hoping it would come down one way or the other, and that was how he knew what he wanted to do. I realized that I needed to move Beam forward several steps on this chapter, and that to do that I was going to have to get him to the ramp quickly.
I had worked out in my mind that at least once on the climb the people would eat successfully at a restaurant, and given that I was figuring each level was about half a kilometer (about the maximum I could stretch it) and I was starting on level 27, roughly six to seven miles deep, I thought that the first climb would be the toughest for Beam and have the greatest incentive for ordering from the computer. I was considering what could go wrong, but decided to hold off on that.
I was to some degree struggling to produce chapters that were long enough. However, the Hastings/Takano story was requiring me to shift viewpoints more frequently than I anticipated. I’m hoping that the next Takano chapter will let me break out a bit.
I recognized the problems with camping in the halls and restaurant while I was thinking through this chapter–which I did quite a bit, because I was thirteen days hospitalized. I also gave some thought to the next Takano and Hastings chapters.
I needed to get Tommy’s equipment upgraded and give Lauren time to find her, and this seemed to do the trick. After all, Tommy is a bit like Derek, in that her computing skills are her strong suit, and in a world like this I have to make that matter.
This chapter came from nowhere–I had not thought of any of it before I started writing and realized that Beam had a tendency not to sleep when he wasn’t drinking, and had no means of knowing the time. I drifted with him in the silence of the compound, and sent him back to bed.
This has been the fifteenth 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.