sf02 final (finally)

2 03 2012

And about freaking time.

I’ve been amazingly lazy on this. It’s the same problem that plagued the end days of Unreal Estate — when I finish a story, it feels FINISHED in my head, even if it’s still in “draft.” I have a lot of trouble getting back into the mindset to dig into a work and do an editorial pass, which is an involved process of re-reading and tweaking the text. But, it’s a thing that needs doing… and I’m intent on doing as much of it as I can before next week’s video game extravaganza hits (Mass Effect 3 and COH I22, notably).

And it’s a good thing I did, too. Because I made some serious bungles in sf02, and put in some changes to better reflect what came after. Here’s a rundown on what you need to know. Click the More link for a complete rundown (spoilery if you haven’t finished Stars Fall).


PRESIDENT WALLER’S SHADOW PROTOCOLS

This comes into play later on, but I never actually set it up. I SORT of set it up, I hinted at it, but a stronger hint was needed. So I added the paragraph in bold.

He almost wished he’d never won the election. Almost. This was the best position to be in, for whatever was going to come. And maybe he could play it a little, before that end arrived.

After all… he had his own gambit, one as old as the building he sat in. One which couldn’t fail. Or rather, could succeed and make him come out smelling like roses, or could fail silently and he could safely disavow it. But… it would have to wait. This wasn’t the right moment, when Lar was riding high on terrifying the world into submission. Let him play, let him bungle, let him get the American people itching for a fight. And then, by God, they would give him one.

NO, WE AREN’T ABANDONING CARRIE, THX

It never sat well with me how easily Una and Nel picked up and left Carrie behind, especially when I chose to make it a major character point for her. We do find out after the fact that they HAD reached out to Carrie, she just didn’t realize it at the time. But I wanted more emphasis on that here. So, while talking to Gwen…

“I see. Would Kas’s memory palace be of any help?” Una asked. “Emily should have it in her possession…”

“It might, but right now it’s back at her palace. Which is crawling with Summerlions and Ascendancy types, staring each other down like alleycats,” Gwen interjected. “It’s a no-fly zone. Man, the kids at the witching school are in a sucky situation… I think I got a message to Susie Moonthistle to let her know her folks are okay, and I’ve got ideas for how you can contact Carrie, but we can’t get a reply back safely from anyone there. We didn’t even know if you two saw my message, for that matter…”

Nelliwyn nodded, appreciative of that side note. “We couldn’t leave a note for Carrie without the Ascendancy catching on. Anything you can do to reach her would be helpful, even if it’s a one way message.”

“I wouldn’t leave her high and dry, nope, nope. But point is, New Orleans is bat country right now, totally dangerous. Can’t keep digging for resources there. Only way we’re gonna figure out these new batteries is to go right to the source and get hands-on time with them.”

…and in doing so, I spotted a big ‘ol plot hole.

Because originally, I had this:

“We’re ready,” she repeated, from earlier. “Difficult or not, this is too important for us to back away from. It’s not only the salvation of Earth… but of my people, as well. I cannot allow Lar and those like him to continue perverting our society. …but if it’s not too much to ask… can you please contact Carrie? She should be home by now, and I want to make sure she knows we are well and may not be back for awhile…”

Gwen didn’t glance up from the holographic keyboard she was tapping away on. “Already handled. Forged a message through the municipal grid she uses to watch for police reports.”

Wait, what? Police reports? The municipal grid? I’d completely forgotten I threw this in there when sf04 rolled around. And since sf04 hinges on the inability for them to reach Carrie in a timely manner, I had to remove it. Now this reads:

“We’re ready,” she repeated, from earlier. “Difficult or not, this is too important for us to back away from. It’s not only the salvation of Earth… but of my people, as well. I cannot allow Lar and those like him to continue perverting our society. …I don’t like leaving our daughter alone and vanishing into the night on a mission, but I trust you to find a means to contact her.”

Gwen didn’t glance up from the holographic keyboard she was tapping away on. “Already on it. Got a few good ideas; don’t want to repeat the same tricks twice, the Ascendancy are sharp cookies…”

Better. Further emphasizes that plans are underway to reach her, and that they have to be careful HOW they reach her.

There were a few other bungles in this chapter, notably the arcology over Atlantis being named Hippocrates in this chapter and Socrates in sf05. I’ve universally changed it to Hippocrates and that change will appear when I finalize sf05.

Editing. It’s hard work but clearly it’s work that needs to be done, to avoid problems like these.

My goal is to have all five chapters edited within the month, and the gears turning on the retail book. I am not going to start a new writing project until I’ve completely finished with the anachronauts universe. And for future projects, I’ll do the editing passes immediately after finishing each chapter. Only sensible approach.

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2 responses

2 03 2012
Lirazel

I wouldn’t have spotted either of these!

And the whole thing reminds me of Tolkien re-re-re-re-writing whole swaths of LoTR as he checked to make sure that the moon’s phases were correct each time the moon was sighted by someone in the story. At least you’re catching big things!

2 03 2012
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

Re-reading and sweeping this far after the fact is a pain, but it is useful. I wouldn’t have caught the problem with them notifying Carrie if I was editing chapter by chapter. I also had this problem with Scout’s supposed feral Winterhound nature — after I finished the First Age series, on re-reading, he wasn’t nearly as dangerous as I’d wanted him to be in hindsight.

I suspect even if I do an editing pass immediately before starting a new chapter, I’d have to do an overall pass regardless once a series is done.

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