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Friday, February 13, 2015

Writing, Again: Part XII - Retcon Me

You've already read some parts of Book Five.  No, not from the chapters I've posted.  I'm talking about sections in the trilogy that you've already read.

You have already read them, right?

Did I just copy & paste those flashbacks into the new book?  Did I radically change things around?  Did I totally rewrite all of Zeus' back history, meaning I'll need to do another rewrite on the trilogy?

Minor spoilers and answers after the JUMP.

So you're making a prequel or a sequel and the original had already laid out some basics as far as either the backstory or the future plans.  But then that sequel or prequel arrives and something has changed.

From a certain point of view.

The reasons for such a thing are myriad.  In many cases, what seemed like a good idea at the time of the original writing doesn't work out so well when you're doing the follow-up.  Or maybe you had a better idea in the time between the two.  At any rate, this can leave problems and inconsistencies with the original.

No, that's something else entirely.

So.  The question you're asking now is, "Oh, crap.  What did he do?"

Short answer is "nothing."  Long answer is "Not much."

Throughout the trilogy, Book Five-era things were teased or flashbacked to.  Ares captured by the Caesar's men.  Zeus watching TV with Cronus.  Cronus shooting Zeus in the face.  Captain Anaxo getting his mission from Attica's president.  The "sock chapter" (fending off Cylons with a homemade EMP).  Stuff like that.

Simply put, I opened up Books One, Two, Three, highlighted those portions, pressed "ctrl+C", went to the Book Five file and then pressed "ctrl+V."  Seriously.

The "fun" part was finding a way to make them fit within the narrative I was creating for Larsa that was.  It worked out pretty damn well.

The ONLY retcon, of sorts, comes from a flashback to when Hera confronted Zeus about Leto, who was pregnant.  In that scene, Hera says something like, "Oh, I'm sure you got a place for her on one of your ships," and Zeus says something like, "I secured a place for you on the Olympus."  Of course, there were two ships for them to get on.  In my head at the time of the original writing, there were going to be far more than just twenty-something Olympians running around.  Hundreds, maybe.  I didn't really think I'd be writing a prequel to it.  Once I got around to doing so, having hundreds of Psilons (as they're called) seemed impractical and didn't fit the story.

Well, the retcon here comes without really changing that scene at all.  Immediately after Hera storms out into the rain (which is where the flashback ended in the trilogy), I had Zeus sit down, all dejected-like, and think, "I should have said, 'I secured a place for you on the Olympus ... with me.'"  It fits with his character as being a dude who can totally love two women at once and actually mean it.

I'm pleased to say that's it, really.  I didn't have to change anything else.  I was pleasantly surprised that all of those little vignettes I wrote four years ago just to give some flavor and depth-of-history to my characters could have a place in a full-blown prequel novel.  Sure, all of the flashbacks from the trilogy are from places close to the end of the story (typically in the heat of things with the Titans or the Cylons) and that added some length ...

But I'll save length for a whole 'nother post some other time.

Next post, however, is all about myth.

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