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The Sands of Time Club is a place for readers of Star Harbor Nights and related stories to (relatively) freely post their thoughts on characters, plotlines, and so on. I reserve the right to moderate the content of this community... keep it clean and friendly, and I'll keep posting unrestricted.
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Oct. 23rd, 2004 @ 06:09 am Final episodes... regrets.
I'm extremely proud of my work of the last two weeks, but I also see things I could have done better (as I did with most of the series.) I'm still mulling whether or not to go through and make wholesale (but not continuity-altering) revisions to the first volume or just leave it there, warts and all... after all, this was in many way an experiment, and a learning experience. :P I guess I could make an original version and an author's preferred text version.

Anyway, these are the things that bug me... for spoiler reasons, I'm placing the info behind a cut.


Hollywood. Like many motor mouths, he thinks refusing to speak to someone is the height of expressing dissatisfaction with them... but I didn't really sell that from him. I was going for a sullen anger, but instead I think it came across more like I forgot he was there.

Jessica. In retrospect, I'd like to have put foreshadowing of symptoms for her "opening up" starting earlier. Also, I'd put more of her state of mind in the final story, so it's more obvious she's not just wussing out. Not that I think anybody who had just read the previous episode would think that... I'm more picturing people who drift through and read the last one on its own, or people who come back and read it again after several months and don't have the ordeal fresh in their heads.

Alcheman. I cut some excess exposition by him, which seemed cludgy and broke the emotional flow of the scene, but in the process, I ended up leaving out the explanation of why he wasn't at the battle at first, and left it to readers to infer that his late arrival was because he was studying up on the ritual some more. If I were to re-write it, I would specifically tie Hollywood and Raven up chasing down the most evasive of the creatures, which would be why neither one of them would be available to get to Dani (which either of them really logically could do quite easily... although it would be more in character for Raven to do it. While Hollywood would make the ultimate sacrifice, he lacks the depth that enabled both Pamela and Perfect to see what the situation called for.)

The actual battle. Especially after Alcheman revealed the goal of the creatures was to link up with the churches to make a permanent gateway, I could have done more to reinforce the urgency of holding them back.

If not for my sense of needing to bring things to a close, I probably would've had another chapter worth of pure detective work. In a sense, it didn't matter if things seemed to follow inevitably one after another for the heroes, in that they were being manipulated... but I think the story would be better if they worked out more things for themselves, instead of Dani gets the hard drive, Perfect and Alcheman get all the info from it.

In the end, I think this shows one of the reasons I felt the need to split the series... the cast was just too big, and there were too many threads in the air go give them all the time they deserved.
Discussion
starharbor:
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From:xooxer
Date:October 23rd, 2004 12:29 pm (UTC)
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Hollywood. Like many motor mouths, he thinks refusing to speak to someone is the height of expressing dissatisfaction with them...

I can personally connect with that. I value myself as an individual and feel the most damaging thing I can do to someone is remove myself from their company. I'm no motor-mouth, though I can be very opinionated, stubborn and arrogant. I don't think you failed him in not disclosing his weaker aspects.

The tie-in with amythestknights brought quite a bit of him out, and you shouldn't dismiss that. You have ample time yet to hammer out his character. It takes time to reveal a person's true nature, especially someone who thinks so highly of himself.

I won't say no to more material in your chapters, and I know you would have gotten into the finer details if you hadn't pushed so hard to make these deadlines. If it came down to more descriptive narration and deeper looks into the characters or having the episodes by midnight, I would have definitely said screw the clock and take your time.

We're not paying for your work, yet, so we have no room for complaints. The new schedule should be a step in the right direction, though I do wonder if you're not still pushing yourself. Please, don't suffer the story in favor of self-imposed restrictions.

I don't know if splitting the stories is going to make it any easier. You said yourself that the new schedule would actually mean more material. 4 chapters twice a week as opposed to one 3 times a week. You might want to consider 4 once a week to start, and see how it fares. Thats still more material than you've produced thus far.

I had a thought that I think might improve the stories. It was something I noticed about nearly every T.V. series out there, the dramas, supe operas and such. They not only had far-reaching plots, twisted weaving threads and character developing dramatics, but almost every episode also encapsulated a single story, which usually brought some deeper meaning to the episode. Have you considered playing with single-shot subplots like this?
From:arpiby
Date:October 23rd, 2004 05:59 pm (UTC)
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This story did suffer somewhat from the lack of encapsulation: there are the individual story segments offering bite-size sub-plots, and then there is the single major plotline through the entire story, with no real self-contained story arcs in-between. I would be wary of getting too episodic, however; even the most innovative TV series eventually ends up falling into a formula, at least to some extent.

I didn't really see any problems with the portrayal of any of the characters; but then, I tend to prefer ensemble casts. I did notice Hollywood's lack of mention, but the only thing that disappointed me even a little was that there weren't a few more extras thrown in with the "war council"--it's just cool to get to see some new faces on the sidelines, and nothing adds to the intensity of a selfless sacrifice like a heroine choosing to sacrifice herself in front of a bunch of expendables.
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From:starharbor
Date:October 23rd, 2004 08:21 pm (UTC)
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Um... I'm not going to be doing four stories twice a week, I'm doing four stories twice a month, or two stories a week. And yes, part of the plan in splitting it and doing less installments over all is to make more of them self-contained.
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From:xooxer
Date:October 25th, 2004 01:04 am (UTC)
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Oh, I must have misread that, then. Good to know,
From:chuk_g
Date:October 25th, 2004 04:42 pm (UTC)

Perfect

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Perfect died way too soon! I'll miss her.