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#411: Quest Concludes

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #411, on the subject of Quest Concludes.

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-sixth and final mark Joseph “young” web log post covering this book, covering chapters 150 through 156.  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:

  1. #354:  Versers Reorienting, covering chapters 1 through 6;
  2. #355:  Versers Resettling, for chapters 7 through 12.
  3. #357:  Characters Connect, for chapters 13 through 18.
  4. #359:  Characters Engage, for chapters 19 through 24.
  5. #361:  Characters Explore, for chapters 25 through 30.
  6. #364:  Characters Learn, for chapters 31 through 36.
  7. #365:  Characters Travel, for chapters 37 through 42.
  8. #367:  Versers Encounter, for chapters 43 through 48.
  9. #370:  Characters Confront, for chapters 49 through 54.
  10. #373:  Nervous Characters, for chapters 55 through 60.
  11. #376:  Characters Arrive, for chapters 61 through 66.
  12. #379:  Character Conundrums, for chapters 67 through 72.
  13. #381:  World Complications, for chapters 73 through 78.
  14. #383:  Character Departures, for chapters 79 through 84.
  15. #385:  Characters Ascend, for chapters 85 through 90.
  16. #388:  Versers Climb, for chapters 91 through 96.
  17. #390:  World Facilities, for chapters 97 through 102.
  18. #392:  Characters Resting, for chapters 103 through 108.
  19. #395:  Character Obstacles, for chapters 109 through 114.
  20. #397:  Verser Challenges, for chapters 115 through 120.
  21. #401:  Characters Hiking, for chapters 121 through 126.
  22. #403:  Versers Innovating, for chapters 127 through 132.
  23. #405:  Versers Converge, for chapters 133 through 138.
  24. #407:  Versers Integrate, for chapters 139 through 144.
  25. #409:  Characters Cooperate, for chapters 145 through 150.

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 151, Beam 116

I wanted Beam to be forced into a fight before he reached the surface, and I was running out of time, but this seemed the way to do it.  I realized that just about anything that I could set up Dawn could handle without blinking an eye, but I needed it to be Beam who fought.  Having the Manner charge from across the room made it an easy situation.

I knew that Lauren would pray for the wounded man as soon as she got there, and that the result would be the arrival of the medbot, but by having Beam call for the medbot before she got there no one would be surprised at its arrival.


Chapter 152, Hastings 231

I started with the fact that Lauren wanted to know what happened to the gunshot victim and that Beam wanted all the versers in one apartment but had to squeeze three times the capacity into the space, and followed the thread to the place where Sophia wanted to know about healing magic, which to Lauren meant faith in Jesus.


Chapter 153, Takano 58

When I started this chapter I thought it would be Tommy’s reflections as she walked; then I remembered that I wanted to include a speech by Beam inviting the people who lived there to come with them.  Thus I didn’t get as far as I anticipated.

I have no idea whether none, some, or all of the other group is going to join them, but at this point I don’t have to decide.  Beam will have to know when he tries to do lunch.

I feel like this is dragging.  When I brought Lauren and Tommy together I thought the book was almost finished and that it was going to be short, in terms of chapters.  It is now one of the longer ones, chapter-wise.  That’s good in the sense that it might give me time to write the next one, but I’m hoping these chapters are worth reading.


Chapter 154, Beam 117

I knew that Beam was going to reach the outside, but then get killed; I even knew roughly how he would get killed, but not exactly where or when.  At this point I was putting the final pieces on that, and setting up the fact that Lauren was going to have to take over the part about creating a world outside.


Chapter 155, Hastings 232

I knew for a long time that the top of the ramp would be inside a building.  I had considered a warehouse, but it seemed to me that warehousing would not make sense here–there might be warehouses for some goods on the surface, and there might be warehousing for some goods on the lower levels, but the entrance would have to be a traffic hub, and therefore a huge garage and repair facility.

The idea that it was night and raining was a solution to an unanticipated problem.  Beam had bought dinner and it made sense for him to envision a picnic on the lawn on a sunny day; he was never going to get outside, because he was about to be versed out trying to hotwire a door.  If that happened while the food was still in his carts, they would go with him, and Lauren would be faced with feeding the multitude.  Thus I had to have a reason for Beam to feed the people before they stepped out of the hangar, and a dark rainy night was an effective deterrent.  I’m not sure what day will be like, but I think I don’t need to answer that in this book.


Chapter 156, Takano 59

This was strange, because I felt as if the ending had dragged on for a long time, and then quite abruptly in two chapters it was over.

I already know how Lauren opens the door, and what she begins doing from here, but I’m going to have to write some book nine chapters since I think Lauren and Tommy will skip book eight–but I’m not certain of that, as I’m not sure whether I want book eight to be Kondor, Slade, and Brown.  I’ll have to read over the opening chapters I have for each of them and make a decision, but then, they are all at cliffhangers from book six, and dropping any one of them out of the scene until book nine might be unfair to the readers.

It was always the case that Beam was going to electrocute himself trying to do something with one of the high-voltage boxes on the surface of the planet.  The player on whom he was based was trying to tap power to recharge some kind of robot by breaking into a box intended for something else along an electrified fence.  I couldn’t think of a way to make that work, but electric doors on the garage provided me with a solution.

As I was finishing this final behind-the-writings post, I settled on the name In Verse Proportion for the next.  I had already decided that it would include Bob Slade in an industrial revolution era of the parakeet world, Joe Kondor still in the Twin Rivers Caliphate, and Derek Brown aboard the lost colony spaceship.  I’ve also worked out the gather, which will use The Farmland Beta from Multiverser:  The Second Book of Worlds, probably in Slade’s world, which is a bit higher tech level than the book but should work admirably.

I was just over a week from publishing the last chapter of this book when it struck me that in book nine I expected Lauren to settle the people in a primitive camping community in a meadow by a lake, and that Con Verse Lea would be a good name for it, so I marked some of the preliminary papers with that.  At this point I had not more than some very basic ideas framing the opening of those stories.


This has been the twenty-sixth and final 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.

#399: The Song “Look Around You”

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #399, on the subject of The Song “Look Around You”.

This is one of the early ones.  I am reminded that it’s early, because it has brass parts (lost in the mix, but you can hear them in your left ear faintly if you’re wearing headphones).  The Last Psalm had a brass section in the first half of 1973, which dissolved when my seniors graduated.  I remember John Ford on trumpet, a younger trumpet player whose name I don’t recall, Barbara Unrath on french horn, and a trombone player, I think his name was something like Steve Gruber.

For a song that old, yes, there are a lot of anecdotes.  I remember that the trombone player never made it to a single rehearsal.  The funniest was when he invited us to rehearse at his house and was there while we set up and then said he had to go somewhere and left us rehearsing at his house while he went out.

We did the song with The Last Psalm, much the way I did this recording, with Peggy Lisbona and I trading vocals back and forth on the verses and the others coming in for four-part harmonies on the choruses.  The last year John Miller sang with us, a black student who brought a couple of spirituals to our repertoire, but not on this song; but at one of the rehearsals as I was singing the first line, “all you see is darkness”, I hyperemphasized that last word and looked right at him, and we both cracked up and the song fell apart.  But the song stood us in good stead for the entire run of the band.

I redid it with Collision, transposing the brass to the keyboard.  I also wrote a part for John Mastick to play on a euphonium, at his insistence that he wanted to join the band as our second drummer and sometimes brass player, but I think he realized that a hundred fifty miles was too far to travel for rehearsals, and he never made it even to one.  (What is it with brass players, anyway?)  I remember worrying that Baxter would goof, because there’s one chord in the chorus that’s an A minor the first time through and an A major the second time, but he never once got it wrong, which impressed me.  We only had two voices with Collision, but were adding a third in that final year before the band dissolved.

This recording is one of the four vocals over midi instruments ones I did when Jessie Oldham asked me to get her a recording of Last Psalm music.  As I mentioned, I’m trying to sound like Peggy on some of the lines, but her voice is better than that.  Tristan did not list this song among his choices, and perhaps because it seems dated to me I ranked it number thirty for the song itself–but the recording and performance is pretty good, thirteenth on the list, which pulled it up to number 25 overall.

Look Around You.

So here are the lyrics.

Look around you, all you see is darkness.
Ev’rywhere the world is in despair.
‘Though we try to tackle all our problems,
We can’t find the answers anywhere.

But Jesus died that we might live.
You know He gave His life, ’twas all that He could give.

Many people say there’s no solution
To the problems that we all must face:
Sex and drugs and crime, war and polution,
And the hatred in the human race.

But Jesus died that we (that we) might live.
You know He gave His life, ’twas all that He could give.

He gave His love to me for all time,
So why is it that I can’t give Him mine?
He said He loved me, too,
And all I gotta do
Is ask Him in, believe in Him, and let His love shine through.

So it’s time that you made your selection,
And decide which way you’re gonna go.
Do you want to go your own direction,
Or let Him lead you to this peace I know?

Jesus will give you peace, I know.
Jesus will give you peace, I know.
He’s the Prince of Peace,
The Lord of Love,
He’ll give you peace, I know.

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” | #337:  The Song “Selfish Love” | #340:  The Song “A Man Like Paul” | #341:  The Song “Joined Together” | #346:  The Song “If We Don’t Tell Them” | #349: The Song “I Can’t Resist You’re Love” | #353:  The Song “I Use to Think” | #356:  The Song “God Said It Is Good” | #362:  My Life to You | #366:  The Song “Sometimes” | #372:  The Song “Heavenly Kingdom” | #378:  The Song “A Song of Joy” | #382:  The Song “Not Going to Notice” | #387:  The Song “Our God Is Good” | #393:  The Song “Why”

Next Song:  Love’s the Only Command

#310: Versers Mobilize

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #310, on the subject of Versers Mobilize.

With permission of Valdron Inc I have previously completed publishing my first four novels, Verse Three, Chapter One:  The First Multiverser Novel, Old Verses New, For Better or Verse, and Spy Verses,  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 fifth, Garden of 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 ninth mark Joseph “young” web log post covering this book, covering chapters 97 through 108.  Previous web log posts covering this book include:

History of the series, including the reason it started, the origins of character names and details, and many of the ideas, are in those earlier posts, and won’t be repeated here.

Chapter 97, Hastings 163

I spent a good day trying to wrap my head around this chapter, and then sat down and typed the first line–and the neighborhood power went out for most of an hour.  I didn’t get back to it until early the next morning, when I was squeezing in a few minutes before rushing out the door, so it was a bit rushed in the original draft.


Chapter 98, Kondor 151

I felt this had to be a Kondor chapter, but realized that he wasn’t going to be the inquisitor, and that meant the action would be mostly Slade, some Derek.  It took me a bit of thinking to wrap my head around how to do that.

I had also been thinking at the same time about how Slade would plan to penetrate the manor, and so I was ready with that when it was time.


Chapter 99, Beam 27

I decided on sleep next; I had several things I wanted to accomplish, but I needed the party to sleep while they still felt safe, so that was now.  I’m also trying to figure out how Beam’s relationship with Sophia is going to go.  At the moment she doesn’t much like him and he doesn’t much care, but that has to change because for a future story I need her to be very possessive of him.


Chapter 100, Hastings 164

I had decided on a lot of parts related to Lauren’s martyrdom, but I suddenly realized I had not decided whether there would be a trial, or what it would be like.


Chapter 101, Slade 151

I made an interesting observation while watching something on television (I think it was a movie, but I’m not certain now).  If in the script someone tells you the plan, it’s going to go awry; if the plan is going to work smoothly, the viewer isn’t given the details in advance.  I wasn’t entirely certain of all the details of the plan, and I had already thought that it was going to go wrong, but decided that it was better not to attempt to tell too much of what was supposed to happen.


Chapter 102, Beam 28

I needed the combat, and was looking for where to put it.  This seemed the best spot.  I gave some thought to the infiltrator.  It needed to be small enough to be credible as something that entered through small portals, but large enough to be a credible threat.

I was starting to worry about whether I could rearm the party soon enough at this point, and indeed whether the reader would think Dawn ought to be out of bullets by now.  I never said anything about how many bullets they had for either gun, but figured I have them in a place where they can get more, and that will be my next stop.

I also confess that I had a slight oversight.  When Dawn was introduced it was said that she had three guns visible, and Beam suspected she was also carrying other weapons, and he had his own revolver.  He swapped guns with her, at least briefly, but at some point apparently swapped them back.  However, thereafter the group was treated as if there were only the two guns, Dawn’s .44 pistol and Beam’s .45 revolver.  By the time I recognized the discrepancy I had already written the chapter in which they find the armory and better arm themselves, and in the interim there were few enough encounters that the oversight might be a matter of how scenes were described–that Dawn has extra guns doesn’t matter if she never uses them, and no combat lasted long enough for her to need another gun.


Chapter 103, Hastings 165

I had debated whether to have this trial, but when it struck me that I could make a mockery of their justice system by turning the trial into essentially a rubber stamp on the prosecutor’s case, I went with it.


Chapter 104, Brown 176

I had envisioned this covering considerably more of the rescue, which would have been bad for a climactic scene, but I had decided that the Amir would assign guards to them at the door, and it was a small and abrupt step to decide that he would invite the regular guards to wait there, separating Joe and Zeke from the others.  I needed Joe and Zeke on the rescue, so it gave me more story as Derek and Slade would have to eliminate the guards and then rescue Joe and Zeke before continuing.


Chapter 105, Beam 29

It was important to me that Beam get some high tech weapons for the next world, and that he replenish the ammo for the ones he had.  On the other hand, he wasn’t going to open a door and find it; I needed to make it make sense.  Thus he comes to a locked armored door, and it’s obvious that this must be the armory, but he has to figure out how to get through it.  I already knew the solution, but I needed him to face the problem, and thus I made this a cliffhanger.


Chapter 106, Hastings 166

Originally I was going to continue the scene in this chapter, but I decided I wanted the cliffhanger ending and I wanted more chapters in this part of the story.  I also wrote more at the beginning than I’d anticipated, so I put the break at the tense moment and went to the other story.


Chapter 107, Kondor 152

I kept changing my mind about who told which parts of the story.  Derek was going to be doing most of the work, because his was the only non-lethal attack, but I didn’t really want it to be all from Derek’s perspective, and I didn’t want to keep repeating how he disabled each guard.  There were enough of them, and unless something went wrong it would be pretty much the same.


Chapter 108, Beam 30

I discussed what kind of weapon Sophia might be able to use with Kyler, and he suggested several, of which the taser and the small rail gun seemed the most practical.  I had had a shotgun in mind for Bron for quite some time, and knew that Dawn would go for a military rifle with grenade launcher.

I also wanted to give him a way to carry everything, but decided with all the food he was going to need two.  I have not yet figured out how to get these into the weight limits of the characters, but that’s not yet a problem.


This has been the ninth behind the writings look at Garden of Versers.  If there is interest and continued support from readers we will endeavor to continue publishing the novel and these behind the writings posts for it.