…and interdimensional ninjas on the front lawn.

In case you wanted to see (again) a bit of What Goes on in Their Brains When They’re Writing:

Having reached around 80K words in one WIP and around 50K in another, my dear clone-sibling suddenly decided that he didn’t know quite enough about the backstory for some of the characters in the first of those WIPs, so he’s now working on… prequels.

Technically, those weren’t ninjas on the front lawn; we only say that because of an old Robin Williams joke. Assassins, though, certainly.

I like the opening line of this story, and I really hope my dear clone-sibling never decides to change it: Geoffrey Meeks was tired of dying.

(I swear I’ll throw a metaphorical chair at anyone who insists that sentence is “passive voice,” and I will not miss.)

I am also pleased to say that one character who’d been shoehorned into added to the story a while back (’cause the author needed an explanation for how he and another of the characters first met, and this was apparently a reasonable time for it to happen, or something) will not be appearing here after all. I like this character — he doesn’t get much screen time in any of Paul’s novels so far, compared to others, but he’s always been one of my favorites (much to his dismay at times, I’m sure) — but it never felt right for him to have been in this part of the overall story.

[Relevant tangent: Topics suggested by WordPress today: Batman, woodworking, and motivation.]

Sometime later…

Arrrgh! I’m the one who remembers stuff, so why won’t he listen to me when I tell him what I remember of all those “trivial” details that he suddenly needs for what he’s writing? (No guns, dammit! For one thing, that’s not what I remember from back when I was making this stuff up on my own, years before I even met my twin.)

And the thing is, he doesn’t need all those details. How Klaus Gerhardt got involved in this mess? Sure, that’s relevant. It’s probably relevant for what Paul is typing at this very moment. Whether or not anyone besides the “ninjas” also ended up at Pemberton? *sigh* Other than the basic yes-or-no of it, we don’t need to know that right now, do we? (I hope not. I’m descaling the coffee machine today, so I can’t even drink a lot of coffee and pretend no one can see me, which is my preferred way of dealing with this sort of stress. And this is a really bad time of year for some of this to be discussed anyway. *half expects the neighbor’s dog to start barking*) How often the Andover Gate has reopened? Um… It hasn’t. (No, really, there’s no way anyone could have kept JG from trying to get across if there had been any way to do so. And if the gate reopened periodically, he wouldn’t ever have ventured so far away from it; he’d never have gone as far away as Boston, much less Tennessee. Or somewhere on the other side of the Mississippi, as Paul has suggested.) What happened the last time someone got through the Andover Gate? Well, since none of the viewpoint characters in this story even know that happened, we don’t need to look at the details too closely yet. Save it for Changing Magic, please, and even then, only as something that happened a long time ago. (I suppose Paul could use this information in Stormriders instead — all it would take is something to get Raven actually talking about his past — but since Paul has set the Stormriders manuscript aside to work on this new/old thing instead… *shrug*)

*grumbles* Paul wanted to know how Gerhardt got involved. He thinks it has to do with people; I think it has to do with tech. ‘But there wasn’t any tech,’ says Paul. ‘Yes, there was,’ I say. ‘Jon didn’t get his replaced until he met Hephaestus.’ (Is it weird that I kinda miss the original version of that? Both what happened when Jon met Hephaestus, and the tech that was replaced. I mean, I understand why my dear clone-sibling wanted to “fix” it, but dammit, sometimes a story needs the situation to be inconvenient for the characters.) I suppose this particular detail doesn’t matter much… except in how readers will possibly perceive Gerhardt as a result. (Paul’s interpretation may streamline explanations later in the timeline of this story sequence.)

In case this ever becomes relevant: I’m not the one who suggested that the people Xia was staying with out West have been working with the local government to track down “travelers” and such. (…And just like that, I had a worse opinion of those people.  *shakes head*) I’m not the one who suggested that the setting for this story may have its own version of Project Brimstone. (Obviously they never got it to work, beyond perhaps being able to detect incursions, or they’d have evacuated some people during the war, right?) I’m not the one who’s trying to find ways to tie everything from other stories into this one. (*suddenly realizes why Pinterest was showing SiL pictures of borage flowers earlier today*) I’m hoping I can talk my dear clone-sibling out of most if not all of that. Don’t we have enough problems without finding new ones?

Don’t worry, this is just the usual panicked run-in-circles (ha!) that I go through at the beginning of a new(ish) writing project, especially one that’s important to me. I’m sure we’ll be fine. Maybe I should focus on how much fun it’ll be for readers who don’t know anything about this part of the overall story yet. (Speaking of certain characters dying… 🙂 Yeah, this is before all that. Trust me, you’ll love it.)

The novel my twin is working on now is about how Jon and Geoffrey and Drake first met, and what happened as a result. “Interdimensional ninjas on the front lawn” is how I recall the opening scene, as much as “wings and lightning” has always been how I recall the original opening scene for Hrothgar Tebrey’s story. (That scene ended up halfway through the second book of the series. So much for ‘Literally every author always starts the story too early and has to cut the first three chapters,’ right? Maybe that only applies to humans… 🙂 Not that I’m admitting to anything.) 

And hey, I’ve now managed to talk write my way back into being excited about this project again, instead of frustrated and mildly scared out of my mind. So there’s that.


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 eight cats. 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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