I did sort of
warn promise, right after Christmas, that I would eventually be sharing some of my thoughts and feelings concerning one of my twin’s current WIPs: “I have so much to tell you, O readers of my blog, about things that have happened in the last few days, and only limited and too-linear words in sentences on a page with which to tell you… This is your early warning, then: I’m gonna be ‘talkative’ for a while. Hopefully most of it will make sense.”
So here is it: what was in Weaver’s brain during a few days in late December of last year:
December 19-21, 2018
Well, that scene is written now. It’s real.
When I first heard the scene Paul wrote to introduce Jon Livingston and integrate him as an active part of the story, I really liked it (*pauses to do yet another happy dance*) — I mean, I’ve kinda been waiting for half my life for this — but there was one small detail that seemed… off, somehow. Or at least contrary to what I’d understood about that character and his recent backstory. “That’s what he told me,” explained the author, however, and since we generally have a policy of trusting the characters when we write… *shrug*
Short, spoiler-free explanation (and ‘sides, you won’t see this story until next year, so I’m sure you’ll have forgotten by then): Jon is vehemently disinclined even to listen to what the people who’ve come seeking him have to say… until one of them mentions a name, and then he suddenly changes his mind and is quite willing to assist them in whatever it is they’re doing. To the best of my knowledge, Jon had never met nor spoken with anyone who could have mentioned that name to him before, and yet, in the scene Paul wrote, he seemed to know it.
Because my brain wasn’t working right, I assumed that someone had been talking to Jon but had neglected to tell me about it. (I assumed that person was Deegan. Said so to Paul, who said that made the most sense. Not that Paul knows everything about why I thought Deegan would have been talking to Jon… *mutters something about tachyons* And Paul thought it was Deegan, too.) I admit that I was somewhat annoyed… at Deegan. If authors are supposed to trust their imaginary friends, fictional people should trust their authors, right? Why had he allowed me to believe this was still in the future? Anyway, ever since I heard that scene, I’d been trying to figure out exactly what had happened before that: why someone had given him that information, etc.
I had a migraine headache a couple of nights ago, accompanied by pain throughout my whole body (because of course the migraine needed a fibromylagia flare-up to keep it company *sigh*). Didn’t sleep. Sometime in the small hours of the morning, while several different songs were running through my head simultaneously, a thought occurred to me: We had forgotten something important about Jon Livingston. The necessary change to/ clarification of his intro scene isn’t a matter of the author(s) explaining who mentioned that name to him; it’s a matter of explaining how he knew it without having heard it from anyone. We know how it could happen that way, y’see, but it needs to be explained to our readers, because they don’t know. (Actually, anyone who’s been paying close attention does know, whether they know it or not — and I apologize for whatever echo that phrase brings to your mind, O reader of my blog — because I mention it sometimes.)
… Talked with Paul about this yesterday. (Yes, friends, there’s a reason why I’m not referring to him as my clone-sibling right now.) Told him about my thoughts concerning that scene, and why I felt embarrassed for forgetting, however briefly, that Jon Livingston is a precog. (In my defense, I sometimes forget that about myself, too. And I am much too tired this morning to pretend that’s a joke.)
Anyway. Paul said something about that other story he’s been writing lately, and he implied that he may have plans to get Jon involved in that part of the overall story arc, too. (Yes, I know what happened in the original version — apparently one of my many titles is He Who Tracks Changes in Others’ Backstory — but I wasn’t going to assume we were keeping all of it, or even most of it.) But then he started having second thoughts about interlacing story threads so early… He said he’d have to think about it more, and I pointed out that, since neither of these WIPs need to be published before autumn of 2019, he’s got plenty of time to decide how he wants to handle that particular detail. (If he does cross the threads in “Riders” — as some threads were crossed in Project Brimstone — he has to decide that before finishing the fifth book of The Awakening… because some characters have poor tolerance for Backstory Revision Syndrome.)
There’s more where that came from, because I kept a “journal” (eep! argh! dammit!) of how the writing process looked/felt/sounded from the outside — or at least, from the part of the “hivemind” not actively involved in putting story words on pages — for several more days. Next in this series of posts, December 22-26, during which time Weaver is practically in a state of bliss despite (because of? could be: information overload and all that…) reading depressing short stories and having a not-happy song stuck in his head on endless repeat.