I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned it anywhere, but in the process of writing the series we would often run through a chapter multiple times in editing. I’m particularly a waffler on these things, and a bit of a pack rat when it comes to hoarding rather than deleting.
Before we found gdocs as a main way to write stories, we did most of our editing in Word. Boyd is, obviously, very introspective as a character so especially in Evenfall I had a hard time figuring out which bits to keep and which to remove in his narration– so that the thought process was still explained well enough for readers to get where he was coming from, but so that it wasn’t way too much. (That’s one of the things I want to address the most in Evenfall 3.0 edits)
In addition to that, Boyd didn’t always react the way I expected he would when we first plotted out scenes. Sometimes a small thing in the way Hsin said or did something made Boyd react in a way that was counterproductive for what we’d planned for the scene, but was more realistic to him as a person. This meant there were some scenes we wrote, and rewrote, and REWROTE… (And it wasn’t just Boyd doing this; Hsin would, too. Those little bastards didn’t know how to make writing this series easy on us)
I’m not sure if it sounds strange to anyone to refer to Boyd as someone with his own mind but that’s how he always felt to me. I just knew this or that felt right for him, and sometimes it wasn’t until later that I understood why.
I think intuitively I just felt very strongly that he would do or say certain things. I always knew what drove him at the heart of his character, but the reason we’d had to start ICoS over from the original bits we wrote (before it was ICoS) was precisely because I knew if we wrote this story, Boyd would change as a person. Slowly, awkwardly, and not always efficiently, but I knew he would start as very depressed, closed off, suicidal, and with no hope, to eventually become someone with confidence, hope, dreams, and love. It had to be a growth that made sense. He had to have faults along the way, and make mistakes, but he was never malicious in anything he did because that was never who he was. His flaws always drew back to his deep insecurity coupled with what he felt was his hopeless desire to be loved and wanted.
I think I used to drive Sonny nuts on that, because when we’d have hypothetical conversations in planning scenes far in advance he’d say “If Hsin did ___ what would Boyd do?” and my answer so often was, “Well, it depends…”
Anyway, I changed my mind a lot in editing, but rather than delete the scenes I used to put them in separate documents in case we later decided to reincorporate it. I also like the idea of maintaining history for situations exactly like this. In order to remind myself what each doc was I named them things to jog my memory.
Just now, I found one of my folders that was filled with such excerpts and other bits and pieces, and the file names amused me. In case anyone is interested in a glimpse of the weirdly messy-but-organized contradiction that is my mind, see the screenshot below– and click on it to make it larger if the words can’t be read.
I think my favorite file name is “original whut im a killer convo.” I imagine Hsin sitting there with a D: face saying that to Boyd lol