Friday January 25, 2008
I Found Some Old Story NotesI'm between books right now. That means I'm laying the groundwork for the next Schlock Mercenary story arc. To celebrate, I went out to the wiki that my buddy Dave has generously hosted for me for the last 4 years and transferred all the data by hand into WikiDPad on my local drive. It's less elegant than a true wiki, but I can back it up all by myself. Anyway, in so doing I found the block-quoted gem below: It's the original set of notes for the time travel storyline found in Book 6. I present it to you so that you can have a peek at my creative process, and see how different the end product is from what I may have been imagining at the outset. Please note that I've not touched these notes up at all. If it looks like there are thoughts missing, or ideas not fully fleshed out, that's because they are missing, and they weren't fully fleshed out. This was basically a scratch-pad for an idea that had a slightly more robust shape in my brain. It's not even an outline.
TIME TRAVEL End of Story X: In the last 7 days before the climactic scene, it is critically important that Kevyn be present to save the day, which he does. Story Y: a ZPE experiment results in a universe being born inside ours. It's growing at lightspeed, destroying all in its path. No biggie (eventual doom, but not in YOUR lifetime, right?). Then they discover it's moving faster than light. The b-universe has different physical laws, and is exponentially accelerating the c-limit as it gains a foothold in ours. Kevyn is called upon because of his contacts in the Physics community. They decide that time-travel should be tried, and should be powered by yet another ZPE system. This will accelerate the death of the universe, and guarantee the death of the time traveler when the loop is closed. Kevyn volunteers. He jumps back into story X just before the D-minus-7 point. During the time-jump he gets a head injury (not bad, just visible) and damages the magic cryokit. He sneaks around looking for a shuttle and some gear. CONTINUITY FLAW: the artist now goes back into the archives, and draws Kevin into some backgrounds where he wasn't before. He bumps into himself at the critical juncture, and derails Story X. At this point in the ARCHIVES of Story X, two strips are aired, and one links you to the same point in Story Y. They save the day by assaulting the ZPE experiment before it can be launched, but they abandon friends trapped in Story X. They come back successful, and Kevyn Tau tells Kevyn how to save his friends in a different way. Then the loop closes (Kevyn Tau reaches the same point in the timeline from which he left) and he dies.So... my original vision of this storyline was to screw around with the archives as a way to say "this is what time travel does." It would have been funny to me, and maybe to my brother Randy and my friend Dave, but you guys would have been screaming bloody murder. I'm sooo glad I thought better of it. You've probably also noticed that the science sounds pretty loosey-goosey, and the plotting feels fairly formulaic. (Hopefully you haven't noticed those problems in the strip itself, where the tight line-art and bright colors distract you from the loosey-goosey science and the formulaic plotting). This story came out SOOO much better when I finally executed it... and I think that's because I really started working on it after I'd quit my day-job, and had more time to nurse the headache that plotting this monstrosity turned out to be. blog comments powered by Disqus