22 Oct 2006

The Book, version 1.5


Continued from The Book, version 1

EverQuest consumed my free time from 2001-2004. Well, there were plenty of other things, obsessive and otherwise, but when it came to a choice between thinking through an alternate strategy for The Book and levelling up my bard, Caetherne won every time.

Taking a break from EQ in 2004 didn’t help much. I still didn’t have a fix, and EQ2 was just around the corner. Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2 were in there somewhere. I’d rank FFX alongside the the best emotionally involving animes, so that one kept me hooked for multiple reasons, and I’m sure I’ll come back to it in these notes.

The biggest problem I had with The Book was the way that Andy had taken over. Which was bad for the story I was trying to write, but suggested something more interesting, with Andy as the protagonist. So I contemplated rewriting with her as the lead. That caused me problems with the plot, since Malcolm, as the older, more experienced partner, would be the one who knew what was going on. So a lot of my thinking was about a whole new storyline.

The problem was that whatever plot I conceived ran into a roadblock when I considered the romantic aspect. As the junior partner, I couldn’t see her as the dominant partner in the romantic relationship between them. But even less could I see her being submissive. It just wouldn’t be Andy.

If I stayed with convention, Andy would be the lesser partner, and that wouldn’t be interesting. I could certainly make her the dominant partner – especially with Malcolm, as I envisioned him, being something of a burn-out – but that ran the risk of distracting from the rest of the story. It wouldn’t be a romance, and I couldn’t afford for the romantic subplot to interfere with the story.

I played with the idea of Malcolm not being her love-interest. That had possibilities. I liked the idea of her being more independent of Malcolm. He would lead the investigation-related aspect of the story, but there’s no need for the protagonist to be in charge. In fact, it would give me another source of friction.

But I came back to the same issue. What would Andy’s boyfriend be like, if I added a third main character? If he could act as a foil for a strong-willed sardonic girl, he’d likely start taking over the story. If he couldn’t, I’d be back to the distracting idea of the submissive male. I’d want them to be more balanced than either, for the sake of the narrative, and I just couldn’t see a good way to do it, or a good role for him.

I didn’t feel that I could build a good plot until I understood how the characters related, but whatever I did wouldn’t allow either the two or the three to relate in a way that made for a good story. So again, I put it aside. It would take a new obsession to suggest an alternative to me.

Current obsessions: (anime) Simoun
Elfen Lied

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