Tag Archives: Multiverser

#443: Versers Acclimate

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #443, on the subject of Versers Acclimate.

With permission of Valdron Inc I have previously completed publishing my first seven novels,

  1. Verse Three, Chapter One:  The First Multiverser Novel,
  2. Old Verses New,
  3. For Better or Verse,
  4. Spy Verses,
  5. Garden of Versers,
  6. Versers Versus Versers, and
  7. Re Verse All,

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 eighth, In Verse Proportion,  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.

It was suggested in connection with Re Verse All that shorter more frequent behind-the-writings posts would work better; they proved to be considerably more work in several ways.  Thus this time I am preferring longer, less frequent posts.  Previous posts for this novel include:

  1. #432:  Whole New Worlds, covering chapters 1 through 21;
  2. #437:  Characters Relate, chapters 22 through 42;
  3. #440:  Changing Worlds, chapters 43 through 63.

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.

Chapter 64, Brown 216

I had thought about Vashti having moved the bicycle, but decided that it wasn’t really anything worth including.

I was hung up on this chapter for maybe a couple weeks, during which time I wrote several Faith in Play articles and formatted a few of the old resurrected Game Ideas Unlimited articles to recycle as RPG-ology, and did a couple of web log posts on different subjects.  My problem was that I knew broadly what I wanted to do, having Derek reconfigure the robot to prepare food for them, but didn’t know whether that meant taking it back to their rooms to work on the computer there or taking it directly to the kitchen to set it up there.  I also knew that my secondary purpose, translating, was not going to be something for which a routine existed, because the indigs all spoke one language.

I used a base ten to base eight converter online at http://www.unitconversion.org/numbers/base-10-to-base-8-conversion.html to get the right digits for the robot identification number.


Chapter 65, Slade 189

I anticipated this, although not when I had the first fight.  Probably when I finished writing that first fight I knew I would have to have a second, and would have to find a way to make the second opponent just as good but in a different way, and when Slade had defeated both of them individually I knew that I could use a comment from him to set up a fight against both together, and that that would lead to the birds asking to be trained.  I could think of no reason why Slade would not agree to that, so it became the plan.


Chapter 66, Kondor 194

I kept writing myself into tough spots.  This was another.  I was not at all certain how to go forward with the Kondor story here.

I cut this short so I could return to some kind of discussion of Leah’s visit to the wise men, even though I wasn’t sure how that would go, either.


Chapter 67, Slade 190

I was actually not quite certain how to move forward with Derek in a way that would be interesting, and as I glanced at Slade’s previous chapter I was immediately having ideas, so I changed the sequence.


Chapter 68, Brown 217

This was mundane, but I wanted the robot to be seen to work but not wonderfully so.  I kind of stumbled into the time problem, because it struck me that Derek should order breakfast for when they awoke, but it would be difficult to say when that would be, and even more so given that it was a day on which he did not have to be at work, so he could sleep in and time would not matter.

I was still feeling my way through what kinds of things Derek could order that would translate to something in the ship’s language.


Chapter 69, Kondor 195

I pondered for a couple days, while working on the other chapters, how this would play.  My original thought was that it would be a conversation between the couple, and then I wondered whether one or more of the wise men would come to engage him in dialogue.  I still had not decided as I put the chapter heading in place.

Ultimately I decided that Leah would continue to hold her beliefs and Kondor would be unaffected.

When I got them back to the room after dinner I genuinely did not know what to do with them, but I remembered that she had asked to continue learning combat technique and that Lauren had taught fighting in a room somewhere in the palace, so I went with that with some ideas about what was going to happen next.


Chapter 70, Slade 191

I threw this together quickly, but had a sudden inspiration for the rubber ball thing, which I figured I could reveal in the next chapter.


Chapter 71, Brown 218

I had been thinking for a day or two about what Derek was going to get from his breakfast order, and the idea of baked eggs kept coming back to me.  Looking them up, I determined that in our world that usually refers to what is also called shirred eggs, like fried eggs but cooked in a shallow pan in an oven, sometimes with toppings.  I still liked the image of a couple of whole eggs in the shell sitting on the plate.  The rest was sort of cobbled together as I went, trying to fit the order literally while making something a bit alien.

I don’t like the fact that Derek and Kondor are both headed for combat practice at the same time, but I’m expecting Kondor’s to be a bit different, so I’m not too worried about it.


Chapter 72, Kondor 196

I anticipated this combat practice going in a honeymoon direction, much as their bath had done, as their brief rift is mended.  But figuring out how they were going to spar together took me longer than I expected, so I delayed the fight itself to the next chapter–which was perhaps good, because I needed to write Kondor chapters, and his story was going to have to stretch the time they were together up to the time I was going to begin the trouble that versed them out.


Chapter 73, Slade 192

At first I was going to begin with the professor, and delay the class testing, but I decided that the testing was not likely to be very interesting so I put it first.  Then I was going to do the fight, but I decided that it was a good cliffhanger to put the fight in the next chapter.  Besides, I’ve had a few swordfights already, and I’ve got several fights coming up all at once, so I’m going to have to give a lot of thought to keeping it interesting.


Chapter 74, Brown 219

Before I got to this chapter I had my second dose Moderna COVID vaccine, and I lost the weekend to the adverse reaction (mostly fevers and exhaustion).  I’d had COVID last year, and it was not nearly as intense as the vaccine reaction, although it’s been suggested that the reaction was bad because I’d had the disease.  It was thus several days before I started it, and a couple more before I finished.

I had three hold-ups.  One was where to put the room.  I knew, and I checked, that I had put the galley two decks below the officers’ quarters; I did not remember if I had a reason for that at the time.  That left me with the question of what I had intended for the deck between, and whether that was a good place for officers’ recreation facilities.  It occurred to me that I could put the gym on the same level as either the living quarters or the galley, but I didn’t want that area to feel like it was sprawling.  I ultimately decided on the deck between, mostly because nothing else really made sense there.  I had considered deck crew quarters, but there was little sense in the enlisteds being between the officers and their galley, and I would have to put the enlisted galley somewhere.

The second hold-up was specifically what to do about combat practice for Derek and Vashti.  They had done this together before, but always with the other princesses, sometimes also with Lauren.  I’d never had them one-on-one, and wasn’t sure how to handle that.  Still, with only rather nebulous ideas and a check of their character sheets for weaponless combat abilities, I decided to tackle it.

The third was trying to get a sense of the gym itself.  There was this imbalance between trying to keep it alien while making it useful for humanoids.  Obviously everything would be smaller–but the ceiling would still be high, because even if their games were different they would have similarities, throwing objects and such.


Chapter 75, Kondor 197

I realized well before I got here that I was going to have three practice combat sessions in a row.  However, I knew this one was going to be different, so I wasn’t too worried about it.


Chapter 76, Slade 193

In the extended time I had since setting up this match, I had given consideration to how to make it more interesting, and in what way the professor would be more talented than the students without being a genuine threat to Slade.  My first thought was what I had heard called Florentine, the use of a cape in the off hand.  (Florentine covers much more than that, but that was sufficient for Slade’s level of understanding.)  I realized when the thought first struck that he could not be proficient in double-blade fighting because then the students wouldn’t be seeking that training from Slade.  I gave some thought to having him use a flex weapon such as a chain in the off hand, noting that Slade had practiced against Lauren, but decided that someone who could use a sword and a chain could certainly use a sword and a dagger.  So I went with my first instinct.


Chapter 77, Brown 220

I was starting to flounder again with Derek.  It wasn’t that he wasn’t doing important and interesting stuff; it was that there wasn’t much way to make it interesting in the story.


Chapter 78, Kondor 198

This was composed of fragments that had come to mind–the idea that they actually were teenagers and newlyweds, the thought that her brother Mohammed would have to return home but Kondor could do as he chose, and the realization that Mohammed was not yet married and I was gradually whittling down my pool of princesses.  My choice of Ketty was based largely on really internalized impressions of the girls and a very few notes–I decided that Sarai had the pretty face because Derek had called her Lashes, and something about Ketty and the scarf made me think she was a bit bubbly and personable.

I have decided that they will be going to Leah’s family home with Mohammed; I think, too, that Zeke will go with them, mostly so he can see where it is and what it looks like for psionic and magical purposes.


Chapter 79, Slade 194

I started this chapter the same day I wrote the previous Kondor chapter, but was wearing out so I left it as I was beginning the third paragraph.

I decided I had been away from the engineering and construction threads long enough that I could return and view the progress.  I also decided to bring up the notion that there was probably going to be a war, because as was observed previously, if Slade arrives, trouble follows.


Chapter 80, Kondor 199

I had marked this chapter for Derek, as a kind of automatic selection, but the next day came back and decided that I could move forward with Joe and let Derek sit a bit.  That would hopefully give the impression of time passing on the spaceship while he worked on the various projects that would not be so interesting in the telling as they are in his experience.

I was, however, faced with the question, that Joe and Leah were going to discuss their plans, and probably include Zeke in the discussion, but should that be in the text or merely mentioned as backstory?  If it were just Joe and Leah I would almost certainly make it something referenced, that this was what they decided, but the fact that their decision impacts Zeke changes that.

The reasons Zeke gives are in fact the reasons I had him go with them.


Chapter 81, Slade 195

I had less idea what to do with Slade at this point, but not as little as I had for Derek, and mostly I needed a chapter to delay Kondor’s trip.  I decided that the development of the telephone was a good next step for the team that had created the telegraph, although I felt very much as if I was probably boring my readers with the technical explanation.  Well, maybe.


Chapter 82, Kondor 200

I had to ask my fans for help coming up with the word “palanquin” when I realized that Leah would travel in one.  Thanks to Bryan Ray for providing the answer.  Also thanks to Chor Kun Chin, who gave me “litter” and “sedan”.

I wanted to capture some of the details of the trip, but this is mostly color.


Chapter 83, Brown 221

Again the impetus for putting this chapter here was mostly to break up the Kondor story and keep it moving.  However, there was much for Derek to do, and learning to fly the smaller ships was one of the essentials.


Chapter 84, Kondor 201

I didn’t expect the journey to last three chapters, but it was giving me some story and some character interaction.


This has been the fourth behind-the-writings look at In Verse Proportion.  If there is interest and continued support from readers we will endeavor to continue with more behind-the-writings posts for it and another novel.

#440: Changing Worlds

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #440, on the subject of Changing Worlds.

With permission of Valdron Inc I have previously completed publishing my first seven novels,

  1. Verse Three, Chapter One:  The First Multiverser Novel,
  2. Old Verses New,
  3. For Better or Verse,
  4. Spy Verses,
  5. Garden of Versers,
  6. Versers Versus Versers, and
  7. Re Verse All,

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 eighth, In Verse Proportion, 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.

It was suggested in connection with Re Verse All that shorter more frequent behind-the-writings posts would work better; they proved to be considerably more work in several ways.  Thus this time I am preferring longer, less frequent posts.  This is the third mark Joseph “young” web log post covering this book, covering chapters 43 through 63.  The first was web log post #432:  Whole New Worlds, covering chapters 1 through 21, and the second was #437:  Characters Relate, chapters 22 through 42.

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.

Chapter 43, Slade 182

I had managed to steal some time to write the Brown and Kondor chapters back to back, and knew roughly what happened next for both of them, but ran headlong into another Slade chapter.  He’s got the engineers finishing up the telegraph and starting on water heaters and hot water heat, and I really have no idea what he does next–that is, there are other things he can invent, but he can’t invent everything at once.

As usual, I had my character think about things.  This time, though, by the time I was writing what he could create I’d already settled on the phonograph.  It was different enough from the telegraph and the hot water systems that it would involve an entirely different group of engineering students, I expected.


Chapter 44, Brown 209

I had concerns about whether I would be able to make this chapter long enough.  I knew that Derek was going to be darted by an animal husbandry robot, who would recognize that Derek was not one of the indigs and therefore, by its programming, an animal.  It would therefore effect the capture of the stray animal and attempt to determine where it ought to be to return it.  Derek of course was darted by the porcuperson dart, and he carries darts of that sort with him, so he knows the feeling.

The tension was between having Derek actually spend time looking for the devices and moving the story forward.  The linguistic conversations with Vashti were partly to pad the story, but they brought some interest at least to me.


Chapter 45, Kondor 187

Again I was afraid this was going to be a very short chapter.  The significant moment in my mind was that Kondor was going to carry Leah across the threshold into the bedroom, but I knew the scene had to end before there was anything, well, X-rated (or is that A-19 now?).  There wasn’t really enough time between crossing the threshold and being in bed to make a chapter.  Ultimately I decided I had to cover the trip from the dining room to the bedroom–which wasn’t easy, because my floorplan was rather sketchy.

Leah had expressed the intention to drink enough to relax herself, deal with her nerves.  Of course, she’s drinking wine–distilled beverages have not yet been invented here.  You have to drink quite a bit of wine to get very drunk, and while she might have done so I decided I didn’t want her three sheets to the wind, only mildly intoxicated.  That gave me something to talk about.

I knew that Kondor would close the door for privacy.  It struck me that this was a good way to tell the reader they were not invited to see what happens next.


Chapter 46, Slade 183

This was an awkward start because what I knew was that Slade wasn’t going to go to engineering, and the engineering professor was going to catch up with him at lunch.  But then, I knew that Shella slept in, and in my mind Slade has been more of an early riser, at least as compared with her, so I figured out how to burn the morning and headed for lunch.

On the between meals cafeteria, I was sort of remembering college–but the snack table (which I was originally thinking of as donuts and coffee, but realized I couldn’t make it that human) was added to provide something to do.  The image of students filtering in in anticipation of food was from my memories.

I reached the point at which I ultimately ended this chapter, thinking that I should have the engineering professor arrive and begin the conversation I’d planned for that, but then three things dissuaded me.  First, as the Slades got their food it was a good point to fast forward to the end of the meal.  Second, I’d written enough text for a moderate chapter.  Third, I wasn’t sure what would happen after that conversation, and at least if I stopped here I would know what I was writing the next time Slade came to the top of the pile.


Chapter 47, Brown 210

Going into this chapter, I knew that Derek awoke in a cage of some sort.  I figured a few things.  One was that the locks would be connected to the central computer, so he could override them, but he still would have to escape the robot.  Concerning the robot, it has decided that Derek is an animal, and that means it’s trying to classify him and figure out where in the artificial ecosystems of the ship he belongs.  It also means that because of its programming, it doesn’t “expect” intelligent speech from him and will automatically ignore any sound he makes as being that of an animal.  Birds might mimic human speech, but we don’t really believe they know what they are saying and so only take what they say seriously in the sense that they must be repeating something they heard.  Complicating it, I want Derek to come out of this adventure with a robot, and it makes sense for that to be this robot.  He’s either going to have to reprogram it or get it to access the computer to be reprogrammed.  That actually might not be so difficult–the robot will have no data on Derek, and the computer data will identify “it” as the ship’s first officer.  So maybe that will work.

One thing I haven’t decided is whether the robot will strip him of his equipment, and to what degree.  On the one hand, not knowing what he is supposed to look like it might not recognize, say, a backpack as not part of the body.  On the other hand, it would certainly think that an animal shouldn’t have a laser rifle.

And where did I leave that bicycle?  O.K., at this point I went back and reread several of the Derek Brown chapters in Versers Versus Versers, and determined that he had picked up the bicycle with his equipment when he arrived, and had brought it with him to the bridge.  I went back and added mention of the device in Brown 196, 199, and 217.

I must credit James Ward’s Metamorphosis Alpha for the idea that robots would not feed sounds made by intelligent animals through their language processing programs, because whatever the noise sounded like the first point was that animals don’t talk.  That world changed such that they do talk, or some of them, but the robots weren’t reprogrammed to recognize this.

I mentally played with how this was going to work, going through a lot of options, but realized that Derek had spoken to the computer before, and that would save me a chapter, probably.  But I didn’t want escape to be too easy, so I set up the next chapter.


Chapter 48, Kondor 188

Maintaining the PG adult fantasy fiction feeling, I jumped to morning.  I had to give some coverage to their wedding night, and I was recalling my own experience decades ago to some degree.


Chapter 49, Slade 184

I had originally intended for this to happen in the previous chapter, but as I noted I hit a good spot for a pause and I needed to keep Slade’s story from snowballing.  Most of this I had already covered, but it works as something for Slade to discuss with the head of engineering.


Chapter 50, Brown 211

I was getting Derek to suggest a plan for me.

The idea that robots have a cutoff comes from Star Frontiers, where our characters faced combat robots and had to remove a cover panel and hit a shutoff switch on the front of the robot.  It was an easily exploited vulnerability.  The idea that the switch was in the rear comes from Commander Data of Star Trek:  The Next Generation, who once revealed this to Commander Riker, only to have Riker in turn reveal it when Data was on trial to determine whether he had his own right of free will.


Chapter 51, Kondor 189

Brainstorming to fellow writer E. B. Slayer, it struck me that I would need to slow down Slade a bit, but that Kondor was also headed into a slow time.  I decided that after I finished this Kondor chapter I would go back to Derek and then Slade, reversing those two in the sequence.

I honestly didn’t expect this chapter.  It formed itself in my mind in fragments, although all the fragments had been placed in sequence before I started typing.


Chapter 52, Brown 212

I brought this forward because Derek’s story was pressing for a resolution and Slade’s just wasn’t.

I had pieced this together several ways in my mind, but the idea that Vashti would arrive and distract the robot was best.  I had considered having her be drugged while Derek was shutting down the system, but decided that I needed her to converse with Derek and bring out his thoughts.


Chapter 53, Slade 185

I was here faced with the problem of what to do with Slade when he wasn’t doing anything, and still have something worth reading.

The fountain was color.  The street wasn’t really new, but I wanted to recall the imagery and talk about the commercial aspect.

I had the birds notice Slade practicing in part because it occurred to me that I could get him involved in training indigs in fighting technique.  He had been here in the past practicing with his sword; they would undoubtedly have developed weapons like it.


Chapter 54, Kondor 190

Pretty much all I had going into this chapter was that Zeke would tease Joe, and a vague question about whether the couple would get any kind of special treatment.  But I had teased the idea of Zeke marrying one of the other princesses before this, and decided to put the idea in the text, whether or not anything might come of it.


Chapter 55, Brown 213

I had left reprogramming the robot to this chapter, so I had to do something with it.
In the gap, it occurred to me that Derek would not know in what sense he had shut off the robot, and it made a difference.


Chapter 56, Slade 186

As I mentioned, I had the idea of having parakeet swordsmen engage Slade in practice.  That always presents me with the challenge of how to make the combat interesting.  That is particularly so this time because I expect to make this a regular feature of his day, and while I won’t describe it in detail every time, I’m going to have to describe a few of them.


Chapter 57, Kondor 191

I will need a way to remove Kondor from this world eventually, and I have been thinking that another war should do the trick.  I’m prefiguring that now, making the reader aware of the potential enemies.  My geography follows the real world only very roughly, but adequately that I can use the real world countries for a sketch.

This is, of course, the same balcony on which Derek and Vashti and the others watched (or didn’t watch) the sunset in the earlier book.


Chapter 58, Brown 214

I debated what the possibilities were, and let Derek do the same thing.  I decided that it would be a good cliffhanger to have Vashti activate the robot and put off what happens to the next chapter.


Chapter 59, Slade 187

I was doing these sparring combats mostly because I needed to keep Slade’s story interesting.  The comment about combining the two fighters into one was intentionally setting up the next fight.


Chapter 60, Kondor 192

I saw this coming.  I didn’t really like it, but it gives me a chance to explain how Kondor, who has actually seen an elemental spirit of fire, can disbelieve in elemental spirits.


Chapter 61, Brown 215

I had to make several snap decisions for this chapter, the first being what the robot would do.  I discussed it briefly with Kyler, who thought that it having been shut down unexpectedly, it would believe it had malfunctioned and would head for maintenance.  I decided against this, because for whatever I was going to do with it, I needed Derek to acquire it.  Thus I went with a reboot-and-upgrade option.

My next complication was whether this was constructed as a zoological bot or as a general service bot with zoological attachments.  The former would be of much less use to me, so I went with the latter.

The unit number was just random digits; I saw that the last number was going to be 9, and remembered that this world used base 8, so there would be a conversion and the 9 would tell us that this was base 10.  I realized after I wrote it that the center two digits were consecutive; one of my sons has a penchant for four-digit numbers (PINs, phone numbers) in which the center two digits are consecutive and the first and fourth are also consecutive, and I almost changed the 9 to an 8 to achieve that while retaining my base 10 conversion, but I wasn’t sure even he would get it (or indeed ever read it or notice it if he did).


Chapter 62, Slade 188

I needed to combine the fighting styles of the two best birds without making it seem either too much like they knew how to fight together or that they were not smart enough to figure out any of that.  I also didn’t want Slade to be untouched entirely, but he should still win, and the touch should be something the reader would believe.


Chapter 63, Kondor 193

I’m sort of being dragged into this.  Kondor told Leah that there was no Mithra, and now she’s challenging his assumptions, trying to figure out if he might be wrong.


This has been the third behind-the-writings look at In Verse Proportion.  If there is interest and continued support from readers we will endeavor to continue with more behind-the-writings posts for it and another novel.

#437: Characters Relate

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #437, on the subject of Characters Relate.

With permission of Valdron Inc I have previously completed publishing my first seven novels,

  1. Verse Three, Chapter One:  The First Multiverser Novel,
  2. Old Verses New,
  3. For Better or Verse,
  4. Spy Verses,
  5. Garden of Versers,
  6. Versers Versus Versers, and
  7. Re Verse All,

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 eighth, In Verse Proportion,  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.

It was suggested in connection with Re Verse All that shorter more frequent behind-the-writings posts would work better; they proved to be considerably more work in several ways.  Thus this time I am preferring longer, less frequent posts.  This is the second mark Joseph “young” web log post covering this book, covering chapters 22 through 42.  The first was web log post #432:  Whole New Worlds, covering chapters 1 through 21.

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.

Chapter 22, Slade 175

This sat for over a week with the label “Brown” on it, and I was struggling with how to fast forward Derek’s story without making it feel like I just jumped over stuff.  Ultimately I made a sort of decision about that aspect, but also decided it would feel more like time had passed if I skipped Derek again and came back to Slade.

I have the solution to Slade’s problem, but they don’t have it yet, so it’s going to be delayed.


Chapter 23, Brown 202

My solution to the problem in the Brown story included setting up the feeling of weeks by talking about the calendar, and creating the Bridge Simulation Room to make it seem as if his training had advanced beyond book learning.

When I created the 8-day week I spent a lot of time thinking about it–I figured one day for each finger, but then I couldn’t decide whether it would be a five-day week in which no fingers was the day off, or a four-day week.  Since I’d made their math system base eight and tied it to their fingers (obviously for them the base eight was built on the number of fingers they had, although for me the number of fingers was decided so that I could give them base eight), I decided to tie their calendar to it.  I puzzled over why we have seven-day weeks, and thought it might be an argument for an original divine revelation of a seven-day creation, but ultimately recognized that seven is as close as you can get to a quarter of a lunar month, so there is some logic to it.  Since I know nothing about their planet of origin, I don’t need to figure out how their original calendar fit their astronomical conditions.  So ultimately I decided on an eight-day week with two days off, which originally would have been a standard weekend but that this would not apply to crewmen on the ship, who would have to work shifts to keep stations manned.


Chapter 24, Kondor 180

This was more a matter of necessary preliminaries to the chapter in which the dinner is actually held, but it also gave me an opportunity to play with cultural marriage expectations.


Chapter 25, Slade 176

I had worked out the solution to the legal problems and knew that they would be building a house for the Slades on the university property, and having the university hold the patents in trust for Bob.  The press problem, though, was something that struck me just as I opened the document to begin writing the chapter.  I’m not entirely sure how it will ultimately be handled, but we’ll get there eventually.


Chapter 26, Brown 203

This was actually the last of the pre-written chapters, that is, parts of the story that I wrote before I started the book, and indeed before I started Re Verse All, but that I also had some pre-written chapters for that while I was deciding which characters would feature in which book.  I honestly don’t know where this thread is going to go, or how it can get there, but it seemed an obvious concern for Derek.


Chapter 27, Kondor 181

I had been anticipating this chapter, and had several times mentally composed the opening section before I had a chance to type it.  Still, I had no idea where it was going, and indeed as I finished it I still did not know whether Leah was going to become Joe’s wife, or even if she might become Zeke’s wife.  Still, when Leah explained why she chose Joe, it struck me as exactly the sort of rational reason that would appeal to him.


Chapter 28, Slade 177

I had been thinking about this chapter for several days, even before I wrote the previous one.  I kept trying to figure out how I would present Slade explaining how to build a diaphragm microphone and a simple speaker, which are essentially the same thing with the use reversed, but I didn’t know exactly what would be used to insulate the wire back then, and I wasn’t sure how he would explain wrapping it in a coil, although I decided that they had electrical generators and motors, so they could do coils somehow.  Then I was just settling into the opening, “What we are inventing is kind of the next step up from the telegraph,” and I suddenly thought, wait, do they have a telegraph?  And if they did, what would they use for a code system?  And that then became the place to start.


Chapter 29, Brown 204

I was pondering how Derek could teach the indigs, and recognized several problems and no really good solutions, but I decided to get started on that and go from there.


Chapter 30, Kondor 182

I had been discussing what was going to happen with Joe and Leah with a couple people, one friend by e-mail, and in that the Fiddler on the Roof story had arisen.  As I was finally writing the chapter I bumped into a place where it was just what was needed, so I included it.  I still don’t know whether Joe and Leah will marry, and I’d better figure it out fast, because three chapters from now they’re going to make that decision.


Chapter 31, Slade 178

I wanted to delay the completion of the telegraph, and the idea that the bird language was something like singing very short songs had occurred to me, and I thought I should bring that into the story.  That would have been a very short chapter, but I had realized that there should be gas lighting already, but that I hadn’t done anything with gas inventions, so I could introduce those thoughts at this point.


Chapter 32, Brown 205

Derek and I are kind of stumbling through how to do this.  Maybe he should fail this time; I’m really not sure how to have him succeed without taking a lot longer than I can.  However, for the moment we’re going to try.

I expected this chapter to be pretty much Derek gets on the computer and finds the units in storage and has them delivered, but I realized that would be too short, and anyway Vashti has to be fed.  Thus I changed gears and wound up stretching enough that I never got to actually finding the things.


Chapter 33, Kondor 183

Obviously I had been thinking about this for a long time, and discussed it with several people.  There was a lot of potential in bringing Leah into Kondor’s life, and it really did make sense, so it happened here.

I also thought it really might offend the Caliph not to be invited to host the wedding.  It would make more sense for others to come to him than for him to travel to others, and he certainly should be invited.  At the same time, I needed to stretch the story without Leah aging too much, so wedding preparations had at least some potential here.


Chapter 34, Slade 179

I was thinking about what to write, but was thinking about Derek’s story, having forgotten that Slade was next.  Thus I came to this chapter with a very sketchy notion of how it should go.

I got as far as Slade asking the question of whether there was anyone at the university who studied language, and realized I did not know the answer but had to give one in order to continue.  So I took a break.  I knocked this question around for a couple weeks, I think, asking a few people their thoughts on it, and ultimately got a couple ideas of how to handle it.


Chapter 35, Brown 206

This chapter had been delayed because I was stuck in the middle of the previous Slade chapter, but in the process I was faced with the issue that the direction I was headed would either work too smoothly or be too complicated.  Then as I considered how to resolve that, I came up with the direction I decided to take.


Chapter 36, Kondor 184

This was the third wedding I was creating for my characters–fourth, if you count Sophia and James Beam–and I wasn’t sure how to keep it interesting, but I was going to push forward with it.  On the other hand, I did not want it to progress too swiftly, because I needed interesting story for Kondor while Slade and Derek moved forward in their worlds.

The Great Wedding Machine was something that my wife and at least one of her girlfriends talked about when they were planning our wedding.  I was hundreds of miles away at college in Massachusetts, so my involvement was pretty much limited to getting fitted for the tux and selecting the best man and ushers, although I worked with my fiancé to write the ceremony.


Chapter 37, Slade 180

Life was in the way of writing, and I was pondering this intermittently over several days.  I realized that Slade now had several irons in the fire, and I should shift to the house.

I had long had it in mind that Slade was going to create hot water on tap plus hot water heat and a gas stove and oven, but the house was going to have to be built with this in view.

It was also important that the house be large, and part of that was that I was expecting the eventual arrival of other versers, for whom Slade was going to have to have space at least initially.


Chapter 38, Brown 207

This had become a significant obstacle.  The problem was how Derek was going to get the handheld computers.  I didn’t want it to be so simple as he told the computer he wanted them and a robot delivered them, as that would be too much like The Industrial Complex that dominated so much of the previous novel.  On the other hand, were I to start him on a trek to go get them I would be caught between a simple uneventful boring trip that didn’t really show the dangers of this world versus a time consuming adventure that would make it difficult to get him accomplishing anything significant in this world before I needed to move him to join Kondor and Slade.  So I was kind of stuck trying to make sense of it.

After probably a week of no progress, I typed the first three paragraphs, in which he announced that he found them (I did not decide how or where) but didn’t know how to get them.  That seemed to be the next step, but didn’t give me where to go from there.

Then I quite abruptly hit a solution, and finished the chapter setting the next steps ahead.  It would be a trek, but limited.


Chapter 39, Kondor 185

I didn’t want this to be too like what I did for Slade and Shella, so I asked for some ideas.  My daughter-in-law Katelyn looked up Persian weddings, and picked up the imagery of an overwhelming decoration of brightly colored fabrics.  A writer I know online looked up Zoroastrian weddings, and came up with the bleached white dress, a candle flame which inspired the thing where they light the central candle together (I’m not sure whether I saw this at a wedding once), and the tying, which I remembered they do in Eastern Orthodox weddings (my artist Jim Denaxas got married in an Eastern Orthodox church).  The rest I invented on the fly.

In my first draft Kondor’s robe was described as “a chocolate color, which nearly matched his skin,” and so on with the embroidery.  One of my wedding advisors said that a brown robe was fine, but that chocolate colored was too cliché, particularly by white writers, so I should find a different word.  I expressed the difficulty that it had to be something Kondor could name–I could say it was burnt sienna, but that’s not a color he would know by that name–and it had to look good on him.  The advice was that he would look good in fire engine red, so I made it red and figured he wasn’t worried about the specific red so it wouldn’t be mentioned.

I considered the vows for several minutes.  I wanted them to be distinct both from those normally used in Christian services and from those I used for Slade and Shella, but to be similar in intent.  For these reasons I avoided “until death do you part” and “as long as you both shall live”, but that gave me “for the rest of your life”–and of course the commitment is not for as long as Kondor lives, but for as long as they both live.  That made it “lives”, and gave me the opportunity to comment on that.

I also hesitated on exactly what would be promised.  In my own wedding the vows were matched, that we promised each other the same things, and although I changed exactly what that was I reflected that in the Slades’ wedding.  Here I thought the disparity of gender would be a factor, and so I made his “love and protect” and hers “love and serve”.  I also replaced “I do” with “I promise”, again so it would be distinct from our weddings.

I decided to include wedding rings, but to do so in a way that suggested they were not part of the traditions in the Caliphate but were added by Kondor.  I also assumed he would have had them made from his own stock of treasure, which means one of his gold diktar and some gems, particularly the emeralds with which he is so well stocked, but some rubies to offset that.


Chapter 40, Slade 181

Having had Slade tell the architect he was going to include hot water and hot water heat in his new home, I figured that he was going to have to get the engineering department working on inventing these things.  Since he had already described part of it to the architect, I could gloss that part and just put in the additional information needed for them.

I hadn’t really planned it, but it struck me that building the house would enable me to keep the story moving without overburdening the invention process or pushing the inventions out too fast.  It gives me something else to cover.


Chapter 41, Brown 208

My writing efforts hit several real world delays, complicated by my uncertainty of exactly how to proceed, but in that time my thoughts on Derek shifted.  My concept of the trek had included that they were going to find a robot that could be programmed to act as translator and/or find the hand-helds for him, and that they would encounter a carnivore, either a lone hunter or a pack, possibly mutant.  I was undecided about the specific function of the robot; I did know that it would have to be reprogrammed to recognize Derek and Vashti as officers.  It then occurred to me that my encounter could be with the robot, or with a robot, which was a husbandry module and which identified them as not a “person” by its standards and therefore an animal, and proceeded to capture them.

The precaution of leaving something near the elevator was a thought I’d had at that instant, and decided to treat it that way for Derek as well.  I also thought he would think that Vashti should also leave something, even though she doesn’t have much, because she can’t sense his belongings if they get separated.


Chapter 42, Kondor 186

I thought this was going to move quickly to Joe carrying Leah over the threshold into their bedroom, but I didn’t want to rush things so I wound up working my way through the reception.


This has been the second behind-the-writings look at In Verse Proportion.  If there is interest and continued support from readers we will endeavor to continue with more behind-the-writings posts for it and another novel.

#432: Whole New Worlds

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #432, on the subject of Whole New Worlds.

With permission of Valdron Inc I have previously completed publishing my first seven novels,

  1. Verse Three, Chapter One:  The First Multiverser Novel,
  2. Old Verses New,
  3. For Better or Verse,
  4. Spy Verses,
  5. Garden of Versers,
  6. Versers Versus Versers, and
  7. Re Verse All,

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 eighth, In Verse Proportion,  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.

It was suggested in connection with Re Verse All that shorter more frequent behind-the-writings posts would work better; they proved to be considerably more work in several ways.  Thus this time I am preferring longer, less frequent posts.  This is the first mark Joseph “young” web log post covering this book, covering chapters 1 through 21.

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.

Chapter 1, Kondor 172

The first decision that had to be made about this book is which characters’ stories it would recount.  That wasn’t that difficult a decision, because Kondor, Slade, and Brown had all been absent from the previous book, the seventh, Re Verse All, and so there would be a strong argument against omitting any of them from this one.  Meanwhile, I had Hastings and Takano together in the same world, and if I carried them over I would have five viewpoint characters, which while I have done that before it makes for shorter stories.  Besides, if at some point I split them I would have more trouble.  I could bring Beam into it, but since on the last page of the previous novel he verses out he is the easiest one to delay.

The second decision was the sequence of the characters.  The argument against Joe was that he was the last chapter of Versers Versus Versers.  On the other hand, there were a lot of chapters since then in the intervening book.  What Joe had in his favor was that his first chapter actually had some action in it.  Further, when I finished writing Versers Versus Versers I tackled a short story continuation for each of the six viewpoint characters, and for him I wrote three consecutive chapters, so there was a strong argument in that for beginning with him.

In the end of the previous book I had had Joe suggest to Zeke that they attempt to sink the boats by shooting holes in them.  After I finished it, I remembered that canoes don’t sink because they’re buoyant, and these wooden boats would swamp but stay afloat.  Thus I had to rethink the strategy, but more significantly I had to think of why Kondor would know this and have him rethink it.

As usual, as I started writing the book it was untitled.  I had received suggestions when I was writing the seventh book, although I used my own idea of Reversal to create Re Verse All, which I liked and ultimately used.  I had also been considering Inverse Proportion.  Then there were the suggestions from readers:  Eric Ashley recommended Chapter and Verse, and Bell, Verse, and Candle, and To Verse is a Verb; Kyler Young put forward Conversation; John Walker suggested Joe Verses Slade (although I felt like there must be something better than “Slade” to make that work, such as Tornado).  As I am reaching the sixth chapter, I am leaning toward Con Versation, or else In Verse Proportions.  While I was working on setting up the HTML pages of Re Verse All I thought of Ner Verse, but am not sure how I would use it.

I am thinking that for the gather I’ll use The Farmland beta, in which aliens invade a primitive world and the verser defends it.  I could put this in Slade’s current world, the parakeet world at the level of the industrial revolution, which is more advanced than the world of the book version but should be workable.  Slade, Derek, and Kondor have all done spaceships by this point, so they’re a good set to put against the aliens.


Chapter 2, Slade 168

The argument for making Slade second was that I had written three consecutive chapters for him as well, so it would be quick and easy to put together a good part of the beginning of the book.

I wanted Bob to be able to communicate with the Parakeet People, but it was not credible that their language would not have changed at all from the time when they wove baskets and lived in wigwam-like nests to the age of the industrial revolution.  Thus I decided that the first bird he encountered would be a scholar of ancient civilization who knew the language.  Bob, though, does not know it well, and it is likely that the scholar would shift to the modern version of it rather easily–for example, someone who knows the early Greek of Homer and also knows modern Greek would probably revert to the modern if he started conversing in Greek, despite the similarities in the two languages.

When I created this world in Verse Three, Chapter One I never really made decisions about the biases.  I decided that some things worked and some didn’t, but I didn’t put numbers on anything.  As I bring the world back into play, that gives me two problems, the one figuring out what was possible then, the other deciding whether that has changed, and to what degree.  When I do Mystery of the Vorgo (which I did in Old Verses New, but it didn’t matter there because Kondor doesn’t believe in magic), I keep the magic curve but drop the level, so everything that was possible is still possible for the verser, but not for the indigs, and it’s all more difficult.  Eventually Shella is going to try to figure out what she can and cannot do, and I have to make it consistent with what is already established about this world.


Chapter 3, Brown 196

The problem with Derek’s story is that not only did I write only two chapters for it, they’re not consecutive.  The first follows immediately from the cliffhanger of Versers Versus Versers, but the second is clearly set later, after Derek and Vashti have become more established.  That means I face more writing when the next Brown chapter is due.

I recognized the Commander Brown problem, and decided to play with it a bit.  The robot does not recognize the problem, and Derek has to find a way to get it to do so.

In the previous book Derek had noticed that the indigs he encountered were left-handed.  I remembered that, and assumed that it would mean that the top assistant would be the left-hand man because of it.


Chapter 4, Kondor 173

This was again one of the chapters I wrote immediately after finishing Versers Versus Versers, and so was continuing the battle there.  I had not yet decided which characters would be in the seventh book and which would be in this one.


Chapter 5, Slade 169

This was another chapter written before the decision had been made concerning which characters would be in which books.  I was beginning to paste the three characters together in this book and so creating the story, while at the same time formatting Re Verse All for publication, and getting the opening of the ninth novel in place (there were aspects of Lauren’s and Tommy’s story that needed to be covered before I forgot them).

Originally I had called the apartments “Married Student Housing” as they were called when I was in college (although my colleges didn’t have any such dorms), but I changed it to “Mated Student Housing” as perhaps better translation for what the birds might have called it.


Chapter 6, Brown 197

This was the first chapter I had to write to continue the story.  I had another Brown chapter, but it was several chapters later, and I needed to bridge from here to there.

I wanted Derek to address Vashti in a language the homonoid did not know, but I had to look up whether he had programmed the computer with Arabic or Farsi.  (It was Arabic.)

I started this and gave it its head, but had to interrupt in the middle without knowing where it was going to go after Derek commented that he didn’t know the native language.  At the time I was trying to set up Re Verse All for online serial publication, so I didn’t get back to this for perhaps a month or so, during which time I had thought of a different direction.  Returning once I’d finished the last behind-the-writings post for that book, I picked up and integrated the two ideas.


Chapter 7, Kondor 174

This was another chapter written shortly after the previous book was finished, so I would know where I was taking Kondor.  There is one more Kondor chapter already drafted, and this one actually sets that one up, but boxes me into I’m not sure what.

The notion that amirates give silver chains like the gold chains given by the caliphate seemed appropriate.


Chapter 8, Slade 170

This was the last of the pre-written Slade chapters, and even a month or so later I am not certain what happens next.

The fact that they appear as gods is significant at this point.

I had originally written that the porter’s name was “unpronounceable”.  In editing, it bothered me, but I didn’t realize the problem and make the change to “untranslatable” until the night before it was published.


Chapter 9, Brown 198

At this point I was struggling with all three stories.  I knew quite a bit of what had to happen with Derek and with Slade, but wasn’t sure how to organize it; I was not at all certain what to do with Kondor.

With Derek, I realized that he did not know for how long he was expected to stay at his post, and in fact he didn’t even know how the ship’s time system worked.  In contemplating this, I decided that there was something rational about dividing the day into twenty-four equal hours, the hours then into sixty minutes each of sixty seconds, but that there was nothing rational about supposing that the day of the originating planet was the same length as that of earth.  I thought perhaps it should be the equivalent of twenty-one hours, with each second correspondingly shorter such that the clocks counted twenty-four shorter hours in each day.  That would give me a bit of math to resolve, but it was manageable.

The next problem, then, was how many of those shorter hours comprised a standard shift, and was it different on the bridge.  I was much inclined toward making the standard work day eight hours, but making the bridge shift shorter, six hours.  But the problem was communicating all of this to Derek.

Beyond that, they had to find their quarters, and it would be separate quarters for each of them because they would be officer’s quarters.  They would of course move in together into Derek’s room and turn Vashti’s into some kind of study area–which was the next problem, that Vashti had a tremendous amount of learning to do, and Derek had to learn some himself, so they had to put that together from the ship’s computer.

All of this had to be done without belaboring the text.

I tackled the time questions first.


Chapter 10, Kondor 175

This was the last pre-written Kondor chapter.  There was one more pre-written Brown chapter, but its content was for later in the book and I had a lot to write before I could insert it.


Chapter 11, Slade 171

Before I started this chapter, I was approached by a publisher who was willing to publish my Why I Believe and wanted me to write a book based on the Temporal Anomalies in Popular Time Travel Movies web site.  These occupied a significant amount of my attention for several weeks, and I realized that I was not moving this book forward, which might be a problem because Re Verse All was a relatively short book and was progressing rather quickly through the online publication process.  Still, I was unsure how to proceed with a lot of this.

I had been struggling with how to move Bob forward, knowing all the things he had to do but not how to get them into the story, and abruptly it occurred to me to do something I’d done before:  have the characters talk about it, and see what ideas they had.  Most of what I was trying to work toward had already occurred to Slade, and was easy enough to put into the story, along with the idea from Shella that he learn the language mind reading trick.


Chapter 12, Brown 199

I pushed forward by moving Derek and Vashti off the bridge to living quarters, and as I was setting them up I realized that they hadn’t eaten in five or six hours, and I was going to have to address that first but had not given it any thought at all.  I wanted to avoid replicators and food dispensers, but knew I didn’t have a kitchen crew and wanted to avoid forcing them to make their own meals.  I’ve got a couple chapters to work it out while I catch up the other two characters.


Chapter 13, Kondor 176

I was concerned that I not wind up putting Kondor back into a situation in which he was introducing modern medicine to a technologically primitive society, and wondering how to avoid it, when it struck me that this is a highly magical world and to this point although there have been a number of people injured, no one has been sick.  I wondered about whether I could credibly create the idea that there is no disease in the world, and floated it on one of my social media pages to get feedback from fans.  Some of it was excellent, and I started piecing together how to make this work.


Chapter 14, Slade 172

I was several weeks stalled on this.  It was only partly because during this time I completed a first and a second draft of the promised time travel book.  It was also because I was stymied on all three stories–on Joe because I really couldn’t think of what to do with him, and on Bob and Derek because even though I had a lot of pieces through which to move them, I couldn’t figure out how to connect them.

I had considered having Bob botch or fail on the language link, but I had some significant problems ahead for him and didn’t want to add this to them.  I might still have a language link failure at some point, but for the moment I just need to push forward.

I’m thinking that Bob can invent the internal combustion engine and the telephone and maybe the light bulb easily enough.  I’ll have to decide whether they have electric generators, but I think they do because I think they have electric motors and batteries, although it is possible their vehicles are all steam powered at this point.  I don’t see him refining petroleum, but he can run a vehicle on alcohol fuel, and if they don’t have distillation that’s easy enough for him to create.


Chapter 15, Brown 200

I was trying to get things organized, and realized that food was the priority, so I sent them to the officers’ galley which, I realized, would probably be stocked much as the other kitchen but would have no staff so Derek would have to cook.  Then I tried to work out where he would think to start Vashti’s education, and moved on from there.  I have to move them forward quickly, and bring in instruction on using their stations, but I couldn’t put more into the time than was credible.

The bathroom kept nagging at me, probably because I had just set up to publish the chapter of Re Verse All in which Beam teaches his lieutenants how to use one and I didn’t want to omit it from Derek’s story.


Chapter 16, Kondor 177

I was stuck with how to keep Joe’s story interesting in the Arabian Nights world, and took it up with several people, one of whom suggested I should just verse him out–but I didn’t have anywhere to send him, and I was going to need to take him to Slade for the gather which would limit how much I could do in any intervening world.  Then it struck me that he was a highly eligible bachelor, obviously a wealthy foreign nobleman, and that it might be time to entangle him in some kind of relationship.  As I considered it, the notion of someone trying to arrange such a thing struck me, and I figured I could launch that and see where it might lead.

This was a short chapter, much shorter than I had intended.  However, when I wrote the last words, “I would like you to marry my sister,” I needed a way to convey the shock of this, and in less than a minute I decided that the best way to do this would be to end the chapter here.


Chapter 17, Slade 173

I couldn’t decide whether to do the engineering discussion or the legal discussion first, but since I saw the problems arising in the latter I decided to move forward with engineering.

I decided that the language link failed mostly because I didn’t want it to succeed constantly, particularly considering that both of them were fairly new at it.

When I was setting up the HTML page for publication for this chapter, I realized that the next chapter, Brown 201, had the wrong number–the digits had been transposed to 210.  What was worse is that the error was copied both to my outline notes of the book and to the behind-the-writings document from which these posts are produced, and then followed, every chapter nine places higher than it should have been.  That was forty-five chapter numbers that had to be corrected individually in three different places.  At least, though, I caught it before I had done images for them.


Chapter 18, Brown 201

I needed Derek and Vashti to learn what they needed to know at a swift but credible pace, and I needed to make it happen without it becoming boring reading.  Eventually I’m going to have to create a problem, probably an intercept course with a comet or other huge ice ball, but I’m going to want Derek and Vashti to be able to handle it when it comes, so I need to get them trained first.


Chapter 19, Kondor 178

I had a number of things to deal with, and decided to stretch the time a bit by having Mohammed try to persuade Kondor to come meet Leah and instead he insists that she must come to him.  I had thought briefly that perhaps he brought her with him, but decided that was not the way he would have done it, so there will be a delay while he goes to get her.

I need to pick an amirate for Mohammed, who will be the recently installed Amir there.  I’m thinking southwest, but that’s terribly convenient; the problem is all the others are north of the Capital, and would take a longer time to reach.  That’s not necessarily bad, but I’m not sure how to stretch it at Kondor’s end.


Chapter 20, Slade 174

I had been trying to construct a conversation here, and it wasn’t working.  At one point I had imagined the professor saying something like “but you’re not parakeet; you’re not even avian”, but I couldn’t make that make sense.  That is, in our world we might say “You’re not human; you’re not even hominid” or maybe “primate”, but we wouldn’t say “mammalian” even if that were the case.  In the end I’m not sure whether I conveyed the “legal nuances”, but I think I got the problem across.


Chapter 21, Kondor 179

This was going to be a Brown chapter, but I wasn’t sure what to write.  Then as I thought about it I decided that I left Derek and Vashti in a routine, and giving them a bit more time before the next chapter would make it feel like they had continued working that way for a while.  Besides, I knew exactly where the Kondor chapter began and a lot of what it contained, and people would be waiting for it, so I decided to go for it.
The idea of telling the prospective in-laws about the verse had occurred to me already, but the idea of having Zeke suggest it was new.


This has been the first behind-the-writings look at In Verse Proportion.  If there is interest and continued support from readers we will endeavor to continue with more behind-the-writings posts for it and another novel.

#431: Mark Joseph Young En Français

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #431, on the subject of Mark Joseph Young En Français.

Over two decades ago, the respected Australian role playing game e-zine Places to Go, People to Be asked if they could translate an article series I had written for them, three parts under the title Law and Enforcement in Imaginary realms, to republish in their then-new French edition.  This was the beginning of a long and continuing relationship during which they continued translating my work into French for release to a wider audience.  Recently I received word that they were releasing the twenty-sixth such article, and I had often realized that I had not been keeping track of what they had published and ought to do that, at least for my own sake, but also for yours.

This is in roughly the sequence in which the articles were originally translated and posted.

  1. La Loi et l’Ordre dans les Mondes Imaginaires – 1re Partie : Les sources de la Loi, written for and still published at the Australian version back in perhaps 1998 and translated shortly thereafter, was entitled Law & Enforcement in Imaginary Realms Part I:  The Source of Law, and dealt with how legal systems develop from primitive tribal structures to modern governmental systems, and how we derive laws from that.
  2. La Loi et l’Ordre dans les Mondes Imaginaires – 2e partie : la procédure judiciaire was the second part, Law & Enforcement in Imaginary Realms:  The Course of Law, presenting the issues of who executes the law and how is it executed, including what rights people might or might not have.
  3. La Loi et l’ordre dans les mondes imaginaires – 3e partie : Les Forces de l’Ordre finishes the series with Law & Enforcement in Imaginary Realms:  The Force of Law, dealing with matters of how and why we punish criminals.
  4. Des pièces de monnaie invisibles was originally a Game Ideas Unlimited article (at Gaming Outpost), more recently republished by the Christian Gamers Guild as RPG-ology #34:  Invisible Coins, about an illusionist technique and referee control of play.
  5. Gauche ou droite ? was again from Game Ideas Unlimited, again republished as RPG-ology #47:  Left or Right?, one of my personal favorites and another illusionist technique.
  6. Dans l’esprit de la radio is an article I wrote for the Winter 2004 edition of the e-zine Daedalus, entitled In the Spirit of Radio, and no longer available in English on the web.  Fortuitously I downloaded that issue, so I have a copy, and although it was not easy to convert PDF into HTML I expect it to post in the RPG-ology series next spring.
  7. La Sagesse dans les jeux de rôles, originally published as Game Ideas Unlimited:  Wisdom about how to play a character said to be wiser than the player, but only partially preserved on the web in English, it is my hope to reconstruct this eventually.
  8. LNS : de la théorie à l’application is a translation of an article originally published at The Forge and still available there as of last look, as Applied Theory, discussing how to apply concepts of gamism, narrativism, and simulationism to game design.
  9. Théorie 101 – 1re partie : le système et l’espace imaginaire commun is a significant piece.  Some years after I had written the Law and Enforcement series for the Australian e-zine, their editors put out a general call for someone to summarize the main features of role playing game theory as it was then being expounded at The Forge.  Being at that time involved in that work, I offered to compose something, and this, Theory 101:  System and the Shared Imagined Space, was the first of three parts.  It explains the concepts system, credibility, authority, and other aspects of how games work “under the hood” as it were that enable the creations of a shared world.  This article was later republished by Gaming Outpost, and the three-article translation was compacted and published in the French print magazine Joie de Role.
  10. Théorie 101 – 2e partie : Le Truc Impossible Avant Le Petit Déj’ is the second of the three parts, Theory 101:  The Impossible Thing Before Breakfast, discussing referee styles and how they resolve the conflict between the statement that the referee controls the story and the fact that the players control all the actions of its main characters.
  11. Théorie 101 – 3e partie : Les propositions créatives is the third part of the series, originally Theory 101:  Creative Agenda, discussing what is popularly called “GNS” or gamism, narrativism, and simulationism, the three primary approaches to player play, and what makes games fun for different people.
  12. Étreintes was originally Game Ideas Unlimited:  Embraces, and is scheduled to be reposted as RPG-ology #48:  Embraces on November 16 (2021); it deals with romance in role playing games.
  13. Valeurs was originally Game Ideas Unlimited:  Value, discussing what makes anything valuable or cheap.  It is on the list to be republished as an RPG-ology piece, but not yet scheduled.
  14. Récompenses was originally Game Ideas Unlimited:  Rewards, dealing with in-game reward systems, no longer available in English but on the list for eventually republication.
  15. Création de perso was originally Game Ideas Unlimited:  Chargen, about different ways of creating characters.  The English version only exists as a partial article, but eventually I hope to reconstruct it from the translation and republish it in RPG-ology.
  16. Du cash was originally Game Ideas Unlimited:  Cash, addressing the development of systems of exchange from barter through the invention of money in various forms to the future of electronic credit.  An English version exists, and will eventually be republished as an RPG-ology piece.
  17. Points négatifs was originally published as Game Ideas Unlimited:  Negative Points, a further discussion of character generation extolling the virtues of stronger and weaker characters.
  18. Maîtriser l’Horreur comes from closer to home, a translation of mark Joseph “young” web log post #132:  Writing Horror, about some of the elements that create a good horror story, whether for a book or for a game session.
  19. Moralité et conséquences : les fondamentaux oubliés. recovers the first article I wrote for someone else’s web site, Morality and Consequences:  Overlooked Roleplay Essentials, originally published among the earliest articles at Gaming Outpost around 1997 and restored as mark Joseph “young” web log post #237:  Morality and Consequences:  Overlooked Roleplay Essentials in 2018.
  20. Les Pactes avec le Diable is a translation of Faith and Gaming:  Deals, from the Christian Gamers Guild, about the Christian value in roleplaying deals with the devil.
  21. Le festin de Javan is again from the Christian Gamers Guild, Faith in Play #3:  Javan’s Feast, about an act of charity that rocked the game and impacted the players at the table.
  22. Histoire des Points de Vie was RPG-ology #3:  History of Hit Points, discussing the origin, development, and value of a fundamental mechanic in many games.
  23. Sentience was another Game Ideas Unlimited article, not spelled differently in English, and dealing with the elements of intelligence as a groundwork for creating alien minds.  It is scheduled for RPG-ology early next year.
  24. Funérailles reproduces another from Game Ideas Unlimited, this one republished recently as RPG-ology #46:  Deceased, asking why we don’t have funerals in our role playing games.
  25. Blessures is translated from Game Ideas Unlimited:  Wounds, addressing how events from adventures should impact character personality thereafter, which eventually should wind up in the RPG-ology series.
  26. Vous avez le droit de garder le silence… was more simply Game Ideas Unlimited:  Silence, about the relatively modern right against self-incrimination and how legal systems were different without it.  It, too, is slated for inclusion in the RPG-ology series.

The original French index on their site is here, for those more facile in French than I.  They expect to continue adding my material to their collection in the future, so I expect there may be a sequel to this article eventually.  My contributions are a drop in the ocean of excellent material they have gathered from a wealth of well-respected writers whom I will not begin to name for fear of omitting someone who ought to be mentioned.

#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.

#409: Characters Cooperate

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #409, on the subject of Characters Cooperate.

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-fifth mark Joseph “young” web log post covering this book, covering chapters 145 through 150.  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.

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 145, Beam 114

I didn’t really have much to write on this but to keep the group moving.  The book Lauren is reading is of course her Bible.


Chapter 146, Hastings 229

I knew Beam was going to have more confrontations, but that these would not be terribly interesting story-wise if they were always from his perspective.  The notion that some other tribe was occupying the buffet made for a good conflict which Lauren could both observe and resolve without being at the front of things.


Chapter 147, Takano 56

I knew that the space would become more crowded as they approached the surface, and decided that level six was a good spot for the real complications to begin.  The maintenance control room seemed a logical spot, as it would be spacious enough.


Chapter 148, Beam 115

I needed Tommy to practice, and Beam to recognize that she was not secretly a powerful ninja, and also to recognize some other things about them.

Having Beam discuss the problems ahead with Bron seemed the best option.


Chapter 149, Hastings 230

Since Tommy would be needed to lead the people back to the ramp, I figured I could put Bron in back and have some exchange of information between him and Lauren.  I also set myself up for her to teach him some magic, but of course we have that issue that the god of this world honors magic but tries to push people toward technology, so magic is wonky.


Chapter 150, Takano 57

I was filling Kyler in on some of what was happening in the story, and he commented that based on the personality of the person on whom the character was based he was pretty sure that Beam would have been flirting with Tommy.  That’s a problem for me, because I have no talent for flirting with younger girls, but apparently he does, so I was going to have to figure out how to work in that he was flirting somewhat effectively without pretending I know how to do that by writing it.  I’m still not sure how that’s going to work, but it starts with Tommy wondering about it.

I wrote part of it, then decided I was out of my depth, printed it for Kyler who was perhaps equally stymied, and then sent a message to friend Cassandra, who had helped with the question of how to get Tommy involved with her peers in the suburban world.

Ultimately I used a lateral break to get out of the flirting question; the discussion of physical training was really there as an escape.  I was still waiting to hear from my friend.  I had not heard from her before I finished the book.


This has been the twenty-fifth 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.

#407: Versers Integrate

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #407, on the subject of Versers Integrate.

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-fourth mark Joseph “young” web log post covering this book, covering chapters 139 through 144.  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.

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 139, Hastings 227

I had debated on what level Lauren and Tommy would encounter Beam, and had shifted in my mind from level four to level eight.  At the last moment I decided that it would be really odd for Lauren and Beam to have adopted the same day/night schedule, so I decided that the girls would be having dinner at the point where Beam was going to stop for lunch.  That meant an odd numbered level, and I went with level nine.  Lauren still has to decide to travel with Beam, which I’ll have to work out in the next chapter.

It was sort of a last minute decision to have Tommy in the hall when Beam arrived.  I had long known that when the confrontation occurred Lauren could easily raise her psionic shield (she doesn’t know absolutely that it would work, but it has been reliable in the past), but by putting Tommy out of sight I prevented her from doing so immediately.


Chapter 140, Beam 112

I needed to bring the two groups together cautiously.  The notion that Tommy’s graffiti distracted Beam giving the girl the chance to get back to Lauren before the confrontation was kind of abrupt.

The idea that Beam suspected Tommy of being a ninja was abrupt but logical.  After all, Beam wouldn’t take someone along who didn’t contribute in some significant way, and he is a bit awed by Lauren’s powers so he assumes that Tommy must offer something significant to that.

The television reference is to a Tom Baker Doctor Who episode, The Ribos Operation in The Key to Time series, in which the Doctor identifies a young man as a thief and Romana (Romana 1) makes the comment about his honest face and gets that response.

I knew the kawanaga was a ninja weapon, but didn’t expect anyone to recognize it as such so soon–but Beam’s gaming experience would have meant that, like Lauren, he was exposed to such weapons, and the more so because he was a more serious gamer than she was.  Of course, he doesn’t really care if she’s a ninja for the reasons that matter in game, but rather because he thinks that if she is that gives her hidden skills of which to be wary.


Chapter 141, Takano 54

I put Lauren and Tommy on rear guard partly so they could talk about their relationship with Beam.  I moved into the concerns about the computer mostly for fill, but it had occurred to me before that Tommy’s computers might be infected by whatever was bringing down the central system, and I wanted that to occur to her.

At this point I thought I should shift to running the three viewpoint characters in turn, but I had already decided that as they approached the surface they were going to encounter more groups of people, and it kind of had to start with level eight and Beam had to be the front man for it.


Chapter 142, Beam 113

I had not intended to get involved in an effort to fix the main computer, and for plot reasons I know it’s going to fail, but once Tommy started asking about the system problems, which really was inevitable, it just naturally led to a consideration of whether they could be repaired.  The notion of obtaining a clean copy of the basic operating system by ordering a new computer was valid, but won’t work because of the auto update feature that’s been incorporated in more recent computers.

This chapter was supposed to be the confrontation with another tribe, and instead turned into the computer discussion.  I’m not sure how the confrontation is going to play, particularly as it looks as if it has to be done from Lauren’s perspective, and she’s in the rear.


Chapter 143, Hastings 228

I struggled with how to convey the population problem, but it actually worked better with Lauren deducing the problem than it would have with me trying to have Beam confront multiple groups of residents.

I sort of stumbled into the mattress store idea.


Chapter 144, Takano 55

Once I had the mattress store idea it was obvious that Tommy would lead the way to get there.  It also gave me more spotlight for her, making her a more significant part of the group, and probably also showing Beam that she contributed something to the team.


This has been the twenty-fourth 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.

#405: Versers Converge

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #405, on the subject of Versers Converge.

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-third mark Joseph “young” web log post covering this book, covering chapters 133 through 138.  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.

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 133, Takano 52

I’m hoping the graffiti will be something different for the reader.  The discussion of attacks and blocks has given me a problem, though, because it’s obvious to me that Tommy would see she could order a weapon from the computer even though it wouldn’t occur to Lauren, and I’m facing the perennial problem that if Lauren teaches Tommy to fight with the same weapon Lauren uses, Tommy will fight like Lauren and my stories will be more the same.


Chapter 134, Beam 109

I had mentally created two disruptions for Beam, and having two trucks going opposite directions was one of them.  I was not certain I wouldn’t lose someone, but I played it out and managed what I think was a moderately tense scene.

It was also a bit of a tricky scenario to envision, and I wound up re-writing because I believed I had the ascending and descending trucks reversed in one paragraph–the descending truck had to pass behind the ascending truck, which had moved out of the lane, and the ascending truck had to return to its left.  I was still making corrections the day I released it.  Anyway, I hope that’s correct.


Chapter 135, Hastings 226

I had been struggling over the question of how to keep Tommy from becoming a Lauren clone, and pulled out my old Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Oriental Adventures book.  I quickly found the kawanaga, and liked it immediately–it was similar enough in name that Tommy could have ordered it by mistake, and it was a flex weapon similar enough to the kau sin ke that Lauren would be able to adapt her techniques to it while different enough that it couldn’t do everything Lauren did but could do quite a few things she couldn’t.  I ran it past Kyler, who agreed that it was exactly the sort of thing he was thinking.

The recollection that Lauren was “into” horses as a girl suggested to me that she probably had handled a lariat at some point, and throwing a grapple is undoubtedly easier, so she could adapt some of those techniques to explain why she was able to use the rope weapon so readily.


Chapter 136, Beam 110

For a while I had in my head that one of the events in the Beam pilgrimage would have to be encountering another large group.  This was that.  I did not know how it would go, but felt my way through it.


Chapter 137, Takano 53

Lauren and Tommy are about to connect with Beam, but I wanted to create the feel of multiple days of travel and practice before they did.


Chapter 138, Beam 111

I had managed to bring Beam up far enough that it was time for him to intersect with Lauren.  The discussion of why he was unaware of her approach but Dawn wasn’t I thought obvious and straightforward.

I intentionally misspelled the name of the other group leader because it would reflect the fact that Beam didn’t care.


This has been the twenty-third 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.

#403: Versers Innovating

This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #403, on the subject of Versers Innovating.

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-second mark Joseph “young” web log post covering this book, covering chapters 127 through 132.  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.

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 127, Hastings 224

I kind of stumbled into most of this because I needed something.  They are actually getting close to the truth about the people, but I don’t think it will ever be confirmed.


Chapter 128, Beam 106

I had set myself up for this speech, although I had not rehearsed it.  Even the opening was spur of the moment.  I have not even decided whether he loses anyone when he continues.

I asked Kyler his thoughts, and he said roll a charisma check and use relative success.  Since I specifically don’t use dice to guide the stories in the books, I’m going to have to think it through a different way.


Chapter 129, Takano 51

For at least two days I pondered what I could write for Tomiko, opening the last Hastings chapter and closing it again several times.

I came to these thoughts by imagining the duo walking in the plain hallways and comparing that to walking in our world.  It struck me that there wasn’t even any artwork.  I had been thinking about what I thought about when I used to walk, as home from school and such or hiking with scouts, and I’m afraid I was very internalized.  However, it struck me that other people on walks notice the world around them (I had been watching the BBC’s Springwatch program, hosted by such people) and that Tommy had nothing to notice.  The chapter developed from there.

I feel like the chapters are too intellectual, because I’m struggling to get Beam to the surface and it’s a long trek which has to be broken up with stories of Tommy and Lauren, who are similarly on a long trek trying to get to him.  I’m pushing to get to the end and start the read-through edit–this past weekend I published the last installment of Versers Versus Versers and started posting the support materials, so I’m going to be done soon and needing the next book.


Chapter 130, Beam 107

I was going to take thirty from Beam’s crew, but got confused about how many were in which groups and which group belonged to Tennan Tamis.  I wound up taking twenty five, mostly from his group, then upped it to thirty; I had never established which group lost the people killed in the accident.

Having Beam climb two levels was a push I knew I could do based on his mood–he’s a bit angry about people turning away from him, even before he knows how many he lost.  The third level was an extra I added because I figured I had a chance to push the story forward a bit faster.

I hate bean soup, but the guy on whom Beam is based loves it and frequently when he visits us he makes a big pot of it and leaves it in our refrigerator until it goes bad and I throw it away–but then, I don’t know whether anyone else likes it because frankly I’m generally the only one who really eats the leftovers.

Again I had to adjust the numbers because I had gotten it in my head that there were about a hundred fifty when it was only just over a hundred.  I had to cut down several of the numbers to make it work.


Chapter 131, Hastings 225

The double T image was the first graffiti idea I had; the sun comes from memories of native American symbols, and the spiral was because I needed at least three that were recognizable.

I had set up the paint delivery in the previous chapter but hadn’t mentioned it to Lauren, so this was all surprise to her.  Tommy is experimenting and will probably improve at graffiti over time.


Chapter 132, Beam 108

I had been complaining to myself that at one level a day it was going to take a long time to get Beam out of the caves.  Each level took at least one chapter, and complications usually caused them to take longer but were needed to keep the story interesting.

I was seriously thinking about packing four levels into this chapter by covering two days, but as I was writing I had two significant events enter my head both of which would probably stretch the chapter–one a problem with two trucks going opposite directions, the other a confrontation with another tribe, probably inhabiting one of the apartments.


This has been the twenty-second behind the writings look at Re Verse All (and the one hundredth look behind the writings of the Multiverser novel series).  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.