first section synopsis
Posted by jeanne
i hit a milestone this weekend. i finally finished sorting and distributing all the research, and all the notes, and all the comments, and all the character traits and arcs. that was a gargantuan task, with about 500 pages all told. and now all of that is junking up my chapter structure. at this point i have 6 primary documents, called the union documents. each of these documents has 7 chapters, so it’s 1-7, 8-14, etc. the first 7 chapters is 60 pages long.
right now i’m going thru the first 7 chapters, which i guess is section 1, and i’m beginning to make sense of what i’ve done. when i can identify that a particular quote or piece of research has to go in some other chapter, i move it, but basically i’m tagging each piece with a keyword – brain, consciousness, quantum – and shuffling them all together with like articles in the same chapter.
my main trouble with this first section are two chapters where kurt does a lot of work. the first chapter is 3, where the boy and girl ask kurt if he can make a quantum computer that can run a videogame that simulates a quantum world, in order to teach quantum thought so people can use the force luke. the second is chapter 5 where kurt makes a quantum computer and then hacks a quantum tablet, and builds a videogame engine to simulate a quantum world.
in these two chapters is a lot of research. my categories are quantum, qubit, theory, time, computer, hardware, software, peripherals, brain, consciousness, training. some of these things need to be moved either to chapter 4, designing the game, or chapter 6, creating the game. for example, the peripherals get built in chapter 6 but all the research was stuck in the bowels of chapter 5.
i’m still deciding where things go. i removed all the research from chapters 3 and 5 to an empty document, and sorted them all according to topic, and right now i’m going thru the list putting numbers on each entry. then of course it’ll be divided up and reinserted into the union document. i suspect this is going to go on for some time.
when i’m done with this, and ready to write, i will separate the first section into individual chapter documents, because i need the room to completely tear each chapter apart and build the story from the rubble.
i was lying in bed trying to meditate myself to sleep (oh so easy except those nights when my head won’t stop spinning and it’s useless to try to concentrate on anything, or to expect my mind to shut up, and if that’s not bad enough my legs twitch until i just get up and come down here), and running over the first 7 chapters in my head. i wanted to go on, but drew back and started over again on the first 7 chapters. but that got boring so i thought i’d write down what i’d been figuring out in my head. because of course by tomorrow it’ll be gone.
chapter 1 the vision, fine – i’ve done that too much lately. the boy and girl drop acid and become gods.
chapter 2 they tell everybody at dragoncon about it, cause a stir using their new powers, find out what people would like to see in a quantum videogame, and discuss what exactly quantum training would look like.
chapter 3 the boy and girl go to kurt, a genius programmer, to find out if he can make a videogame to simulate a quantum world and train people in quantum consciousness. they talk about quantum computers, quantum mind, quantum videogames.
chapter 4 the team design their quantum game using all the tools at their disposal, and the result is well meant but amateur.
chapter 5 kurt works late into the night inventing a quantum computer, then creating a quantum programming kernel, and then writing a quantum game engine. then he quickly hacks a tablet computer to run as a game editor, and presents it to the team.
chapter 6 the team uses the quantum tablet to quickly create a videogame generations ahead of anything they’d ever seen, and they build everything they want into their game. kurt invents cool new peripherals and everybody feels better.
chapter 7 the girl and boy test the game, and are disappointed at how cobbled together and weak it is, more the product of their squabbles and ego battles than a faithful attempt to make the game they were shown in their vision. but it’s the eve of the game’s debut, and there’s no time to change course now.
i’m not sure about when exactly kurt invents the peripherals. they’re the highpoint of the debut, and whenever they are introduced they will attract all the attention. so do i get kurt to invent them while the team is busy designing the game, or do i have them invent them while the team is busy using the quantum tablets to create the game? the 6th chapter is much more high energy and upbeat, and to bring them out while the team is doing such a crappy job of designing would just demoralize them, damping their enthusiasm for the tablet.
besides, does kurt invent the tablet first? or the peripherals? the tablet, of course. even tho that’s the hardest thing. and he’s exhausted when he’s done, but busy hands etc, and while he’s got nothing to do while they’re creating the game, and has to be there to instruct them on / figure out the finer points of quantum game editing, so he tinkers with game controllers and remotes. that’s chapter 6. fine.
at this stage of writing the plot i can make these adjustments following only the logic of what happens next. but by the time i’m at the end of the story i won’t have that luxury. i will have to do enormous things to get myself out of holes and corners. i count myself lucky at this point.