too many changes, too quickly

Maybe I should stop even attempting to do my job as He Who Tracks Changes in Others’ Backstory…

A few days ago, I was informed of the possibility — likelihood, even — of there having been a fourth person in the small group attacked by the (not literal) inter-dimensional ninjas during one of the Inciting Incidents for our stories. (We are finally dealing with some of the follow-up to that sequence of events… Yay?) Although this additional character seems to make a habit of not telling their author(s) everything, I cannot help but feel that I should have been informed. (Losing track of the differences between the official version of the story and the real version? Not good, Weaver…) And adjusting the backstory for this character is/will be mostly to provide an explanation for a comment made by a different minor character in Paul’s third novel, because the comment implies that these two characters met before that book, and Paul doesn’t know when/how, and he wants to know because he thinks it could be important eventually, and it’s not as if he’s just gonna ask the characters directly… At least this additional character already has some experience with Backstory Revision Syndrome, so I don’t have to feel guilty for messing up their life worse than I intend to anyway. ūüôā

Because of this first meeting happening during an Inciting Incident, it changes the backstory for not just the “new” character but also for the three who’ve always been there… or rather, who have always been there since several minor revisions ago. (There are worse places to live than the outskirts of Cincinnati, Ohio. Remember that, and don’t complain too much.) Suddenly, there’s a new, folded-back-on-itself irony to one of the long-deleted scenes in this part of the story… *shakes head* Anyway. I keep trying to actually visualize the revised scene, and I keep getting hung up on not knowing exactly what the inside of that house looks like. I used to know at least the relevant bits — what’s right inside the front door, mostly — but now I can’t get the images to stabilize, and it’s annoying the hell out of me. I also keep trying to see the scene from the POV of the “new” character (How do I love thee, dramatic irony? Let me count the ways…), except the primary author has implied that this character may not have been conscious for some of that scene, which makes ’em useless for POV, right? (Personally, I think that’s cheating, not to mention that it probably defeats the purpose of having the character in the scene, which is so they meet one of the others before a story that’s already been written and published. Unless the character they arrived with says something about ’em to the other two people. That would sort of work, right? My head hurts now…) And on top of everything else, “new” character is younger than I’d always assumed (and I had very good reason for that assumption), at least according to fragments of story I heard yesterday… I don’t know what that should matter, but it does. Maybe that snarky aside I typed and then deleted yesterday about “respect your elders” came from a minor precognition or “hearing” what my clone-sibling was writing, in which case, Argh! Dammit

I’m blogging about this because some of you seem interested in what my/our “writing process” is like. Well, here’s a bit of my side of it, in all its weirdness and nonlinearity. Also, blogging about it gives me some sort of record, which helps with keeping track of changes to backstory — theirs, if not mine. Memory fades, y’know?


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About Thomas Weaver

For several years, I’ve been putting my uncanny knack for grammar and punctuation, along with an eclectic mental collection of facts, to good use as a Wielder of the Red Pen of Doom (editor). I'm physically disabled, and I currently live with my smugly good-looking twin Paul, who writes military science fiction and refuses to talk about his military service because he can’t. Sometimes Paul and I collaborate on stories, and sometimes I just edit whatever he writes. It's worked out rather well so far. My list of non-writing-related jobs from the past includes librarian, art model, high school teacher, science lab gofer… Although I have no spouse or offspring to tell you about, I do have six cats. (The preferred term is "Insane Cat Gentleman.") I currently spend my time blogging, reading, editing, and fending off cats who like my desk better than my twin’s.
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