January 27, 2008
There are multiple reasons why there are fewer Stark chapters than Melfina chapters.
First and foremost, Melfina is more important to the story. Stark was designed as a counter-point and reactionary character
to Melfina, while she is the catalyst. Stark was designed to add in some of the typical fantasy flavor to the story, while
Melfina inspired the story.
Secondly though, Stark is harder to write. I don't have as clear a path for him to take at all points of the story just yet,
(Which isn't saying that I don't have plans for him, because I definitely do), and when I do know what I want to happen in a
general sense, it's harder to write the specifics. Designing battles and break-ins isn't easy. It's so open ended it's hard
to figure out where to begin.
An example about specifics. In the early Volume Outline, this chapter was to simply listed as "Some break-in or other
crime". Why? Stark is training guards. They need to do something in the volume. That was the event of the chapter. And
that's all I had. I didn't write down the purpose to the overall story.
Originally I was going to have Stark and the guards get a captive, then the guards ask what to do with them, Stark commands
them to kill him, because that's what he knows from working in Luna, and Lord Luna countermands Stark's order. This would
illustrate some philosophical differences between Luna and West Luna. The problem was what to do with the captive
afterwards. Luna doesn't have any prisons. I had some ideas on how to resolve that, but nothing I truely liked.
Something I do when I write, is plant a couple seeds that I don't have any immediate plans for. I don't like to do it a lot,
but an additional scentence or paragraph here, some random ending chapter document there, and I have potential fruit to pluck
when it ripens.
After I decided my original idea for the chapter wasn't going to work, I skimmed the previous chapters to see if I could find
any such fruit. I still needed to have a chapter that could get the guards invovled.
Then I saw the (unfinished/not yet written and scanned) document to Chapter 210 (Volume 2, Chapter X). I had some
misgivings about having such a brief mention of Gamblor in that chapter, but I didn't want him forgotten completely. He's
an important part of Melfina's life. And with that mention there. I had my answer.
Start the chapter off with Gamblor, coming back to collect his pay, with his second appearance similar as his first. As
I began writing the chapter, it soon came to me that this time Melfina should be the one to win, which easily flowed into how
that would happen.
Then came the middle of the chapter, where I had to transition to the actual crime. West Luna was too small for Stark to be
that close to where the action was going to be. So I had to add the lookout to lure him away. When I wrote that paragraph,
it hit me at how perfect the rest of the chapter was going to mirror the first part. We began with Stark using himself as a
distraction against Gamblor, then we have Stark being the one diverted. It couldn't be more perfect.
My only regret is losing the focus from seeing the guards in action. Centering around the dynamic between Gamblor, Stark,
and Melfina is the way to go, but it's still something that was lost.
01/14/2009 - Rewrite to version 1.20. Very minor changes. only two short
paragraphs re-written. A net change of -7 words.