… Reversioning’s a pain in my hind end.
Perhaps I should explain… The Mysterious Co-Writer and I have been working on a series of stories featuring a cast of characters we affectionately dub “The Kids”. We started working with these characters some three years ago and have been fairly consistently trying to hammer their story together ever since then. We got some… 80 or 100k words into a rough draft through email that first year (and that wasn’t exactly easy, let me tell you) and then the first of the reversions started.
I’m not entirely certain how many variations we’ve been through, but the shipping charts alone would cover a wall. (That’s “shipping” as is “I’m shipping these characters as a couple” not “I’d like to ship this package to Taiwan”) We have literally explored just about every single pairing option possible with a primary cast of three girls and three boys plus assorted other hangers-on. The main cast has had some changes over time as characters were moved in and then moved out again and the setting has never wanted to settle down either.
To say that both of us get intense delight out of the idea of “Alternaverse” wouldn’t be overstating the matter, but this is getting friggin’ ridiculous. We both have issues with “busy minds” (and someday I really need to explain that) and we’ve got Real Life matters and relationships on both sides of the equation. The longer this goes on the more difficult it gets.
It started out as a potential Young Adult/Teen series, and I still very much want to write one of those. I read the Twilight books (please don’t kill me) and I just know that I can do better than that. Heck, I could write *those* books better than they were written, in part because I actually know enough of the old stories and the old legends to make something believable. Tolkien didn’t come up with Middle Earth just out of the top of his head, it was founded and grounded in the cultural heritage of the Anglo-Saxons and assorted other ancient peoples. You can’t really go far wrong if you’re looking at doing right by a heritage that strong and that rich. And I took up researching old stories just for the fun of it in elementary school or junior high when I knew the subject matter of my mother’s Mythology class better than she did.
So yeah, we tried and we tried and we tried like you wouldn’t believe to get a solid plot pieced together and then keep the characters from wandering off to explore other options… which they kept doing again, and again, and again, and friggin again!
So the decision has been made, reluctantly I might add, to reversion just one more time and age the characters out of the Teen category to aim for an older audience, simply because of some of what they face and the fact that most of them are like Destiny and Aleister from “The Firebird’s Daughter”, that is, far older than they look and they will not keep from acting like it.
This is more complicated than just saying “Okay, they’re not fifteen, they’re 18 or 20 and older…” because the setting has to change and the plot has to shift and just give some of them the idea of another reversion and they’re off and running with new options for abilities and skill sets… I swear, they’re trying to drive the authors crazy.
It doesn’t help that I still don’t have any idea what I’m going to do for November, either. I do this every year, I swear. I have so many really good ideas that I simply can’t settle on one to focus on and see through to completion. Every time I log in to the NaNoWriMo site I see that little tag at the top that reminds me that I haven’t settled on my book subject for this year and I just feel this crushing panic of not enough time and too much to do. And November hasn’t even started yet!
So please have patience with me. I’ve got 500 some odd words written for Chapter Eleven of “The Firebird’s Daughter” and I’m trying to settle on something for November and I’m reversioning The Kids, who will need a new working title because they aren’t kids anymore… so yeah… I’m more than a little frantic these days. Sorry.