I’ve been working on a story. I know what you’re thinking: No! Really? Yeppers. That’s me, Mr. Author, working on a story. What else should I be doing? Cooking?
The story I’ve been thinking about is one I wrote a long time back: Diners at the Memory’s End. I’ve already mentioned that it was a story that came about because I was asked by some of my fellow female co-workers to show them an example of that, you know, writing that I claimed I did. It was written in segments over . . . I think I wrote this in like two weeks. Then I’d print it out–a copy for each person–give it to them, and they would read and come around to my Office Space-like cubical and pat me on the head and say, “Good job, Ray!”
I should wear a sign saying, “I Will Write Novellas For Female Affection”.
Now, one of the issues I’m having with the story–frankly, there are parts of it that really, really, really need changing. When I wrote it I was a far different person than I am now. I’m not saying if it’s good or bad, but . . . it’s there. Also, there were things about my characters I thought then that I don’t think now. So I’ve been thinking real hard about changes to the story . . . yes, that mean I’m rewriting it in my head. It also means, as there are no copies of this story in existence (I’m assuming those printed copies I handed out years ago no longer exist), I’m doing this all from memory. And I do remember this story. You’d be surprised how well I remember all this stuff . . .
So, I thought, I’d show you some of the things I’ve been changing up in my head. I’m not doing this to show off, but rather give you an idea of the things that are constantly going on inside my head–the things that are good, anyway.
Now, a couple of things you should know. One, this takes place inside the same universe as my novel Transporting, and my novella Echoes. In terms of time, this story actually takes place the Fall after the end of Transporting. Or, so you can see just how nutty I can get, Transporting ends in May, 3183; Diners covers a period August to October, 3183. Yes, I know this because I, some time back, I created a time line for the history of my main characters Cytheria and Albert/Audrey, and what stories I’d write about them. Yes, I’ve had this list for a while. Yes, I don’t think it’s crazy . . .
Without further ado, here is my rewrite summary. Hope you find it interesting.
What Was: Albert originally meets with Winfred in her office, and tells her about who and what he was.
What is Now: Cytheria meets with Winfred in her office. She thanks a rather peeved Winfred about letting Albert into her class. There is no mention about where he’s from or what he is.
What Was: Cytheria was a temporary instructor giving guest lectures.
What is Now: Cytheria is teaching a history class as a full instructor.
What Was: Classroom was more like that in a community college; traditional.
What is Now: Classroom is more a modified lecture hall, with individual ”learning centers” that provide audio and holographic projections.
What Was: Meredith Llywelyn runs into Albert at the pub.
What is Now: Meredith Llywelyn is able to track Albert down using their hand tasps.
What Was: Four telescopes are requested.
What is Now: Eight are requested–two each for visual, IR, UV, and X-Rays–and the working time frame is less. Also, the number of data channels is given.
What Was: The ‘scopes were attached while Liberator was on the ground, and placed in protective bubbles. Once in orbit, the two main computers on Liberator–and if you know science fiction, you know their names–positioned the ship so they could be used.
What is Now: The eight ‘scopes are compressed and placed in a storage envelope behind the pilot’s bubble. As Albert and Meredith watch, the ship’s Avatar, Maggie, makes eight copies of herself, all dressed in the uniforms of the Inner and Outer Sailor Senshi from Sailor Moon. They walk around the outside of Liberator, getting everything set into place, and this allows Albert to get off a rude remark about the “lazy, daydreaming, Rabbit of the Moon”, since the character Usagi isn’t represented by the multiple Maggies. Albert tells them all to get the work finished quickly, and all the Maggie avatars turn to the bubble and say, as one, “Tsuki ni kawatte . . . oshioki yo!” which gets Meredith laughing, as she has no idea what’s being said.
What Was: Meredith drugs Albert, then pretty much date rapes him.
What is Now: Meredith begins seducing Albert; because is he so very high–and not more than willing–the seduction works.
What Was: Meredith convinces the computer to bring Liberator back to University, where she abandons ship the moment they’re on the ground. Winston is alerted, and Albert is brought home. While recovering, he admits to having had sex with Meredith. Cytheria doesn’t seen very concerned.
What is Now: Maggie brings the ship back to University. It’s given that Meredith and Albert part and return to their homes. Cytheria asks how things went, and Albert seems bothered by something. She reads his aura, does a quick scan of his mind–and finds out what happens. She shows no outward anger while contacting Meredith.
What Was: Meredith’s planet is named Nova Cymru
What is Now: Meredith’s planet is named Cymru Newydd
What Was: During the lunch meeting, Cytheria is very calm about what happen, and informs her that she is playing a game she can’t win.
What is Now: During the lunch meeting, Cytheria becomes “darker” as the conversation continues, as it appears Meredith is becoming more interested in Albert because Cytheria is interested–the implications here is that Meredith and Albert are “common”, and Cytheria is a Duchess, so if she is interested in him, there must be something about him she wants.
What Was: Nothing.
What is Now: On her way to see Albert, Cytheria stops at the Special Talents Department building, and goes into a “testing chamber”. She completely loses it, and begins destroying everything there, using a combination of telekinesis, cryokinesis, and even biokinesis. It’s implied that if the room was not made of electromagnetic shielding, she might have damaged the walls. In the end she cries, finally letting go of her pent up anger and sadness. It’s indicated that had she not “let herself go” here, she might have done something that could have killed Albert, or someone else. Or many other people.
What Was: Albert meets Tommy at his lab. They talk. Cytheria shows up. Together, they inform Albert about Meredith’s culture, and what she’s trying to do.
What is Now: Albert is at the Magdalen Tower, and Cytheria levitates up and over the railing. They sit and talk, and Albert learns about Meredith’s culture, and what she’s trying to do. It’s also here that Cytheria tells Albert how much she’s been hurt.
What Was: Meredith visits Albert during the evening hours, and discovers Audrey instead. They sit in the ballroom and talk. Audrey is very sullen.
What is Now: Meredith visits Albert during the afternoon, right after class. She discovers Audrey, who doesn’t appear too upset. They go with Cytheria to one of the enclosed parks inside Land’s End–lit artificially and using holograms to give the impression one is outside. Here Audrey and Meredith talk, and discuss “her” return to class.
What Was: Audrey returns to class, and makes a big show of the event, pretty much confirming who she is.
What is Now: Audrey returns to the lecture hall; it’s explained that Cytheria speaks to Winfred about “the change”, and she’s not surprised. Few, if any student, wonder who the girl is with Meredith.
What Was: Audrey entertains people at the local pub, where Cytheria is called in by Winfred.
What is Now: Audrey and Meredith are stopped by other students as they are leaving the Science Building. There are some questions about who Audrey is; she uses auto suggestion to make them believe she’s always been there. They are invited to the pub, and Cytheria is asked by Audrey to stop by after she’s through with her class.
What Was: Audrey sulks at home; Meredith shows up and they, as well as Cytheria, go out. It’s hinted that Cytheria has taken steps to reveal publicly who Audrey really is, and where she’s from.
What is Now: Audrey is at home that Saturday when Meredith shows and invites her to a dance. Audrey is hesitant to go, but Cytheria informs her that, technically, she can’t accompany them, as she is faculty, and Audrey is a student. Audrey is finally convinced to go out with Meredith, who says she only wants to go out with a “girlfriend” and have a good time. Meredith, and Winfred, are the only one who know about Audrey’s true identity, and where she’s from.
Keep in mind, these might not be all the changes, just the main ones I’d do. The meeting at Magdalen Tower, for example, is going to be a long piece, maybe sex, seven thousand words, so my short descriptions are nothing more than thumbnails of what’s going to happen, and I put the words to the scene. This is how I do most of my writing, by the way: give myself a short description of what’s going to happen, and I make it happen. Pretty simple, no?
Most of this won’t make sense, but trust me: when I’m finished with this, it will. And if you have questions about the story, leave me a comment, and I’ll try to answer.
I’m nothing if not eager to please my fans.