Interlude: If I could do it again

I’m not sure what, if anything, I would change if I could write the entire Final Fall of Man series over again. I think at some point an author has to stop worrying about that stuff, and just carry on with the next thing. The point of TFFoM, after all, was that I finish something, and get it out there instead of picking it apart and re-writing it forever. And I am entirely satisfied with how it all turned out.

A couple of things leap to mind, though.

Obviously, there were some plot points that turned out to lead nowhere or turned out to be extraneous padding, and some other parts that were needlessly complicated and could have been pared down if I’d known exactly how they were going to unfold between book 1 and book 8. This is one of the reasons I tend to think “write a full series, then publish it” is a better idea – but it’s also one of the reasons “picking it apart and re-writing it forever” is in my authorial repertoire. So, all things being balance, I guess I’m fine with all those structural and narrative issues.

I think, although they’re both loosely based on (or at least originated from) the same person, Creepy and Glomulus Cratch are more different than they are similar. They share long blonde hair, scrawniness of stature, a love of tastelessly colourful garments, an axe named Bob, and a certain sanguinity of character that at once aggravates and fatally endangers innocent bystanders. But they’re not the same guy. Glomulus isn’t (as much as the idea may amuse and appeal) the end-state Creepy, deprived of Hatboy’s balancing presence for too long.

In fact, as I wrote the series, I found it increasingly difficult to picture Glomulus as a male character at all. In my mind’s eye, he (she) was always a gaunt, pale, feverish-eyed woman with teeth just a little too long to make her smile reassuring.

This makes, I feel I should stress, absolutely no difference. I could have swapped the pronouns around and changed a couple of scenes, and it would have done nothing to the character at all. The only reason I didn’t was that Eejit was already published – perhaps Drednanth too – and I was locked into the characters more or less as they were. And the gimmick was that they’d started out as a Facebook game based on actual people on my Friends list, so there was that. Glomulus was a male because Lucas Thorn is a male. Simple as that. Doesn’t mean it has to be the case in my head, or (*cough cough*) in a television or movie adaptation…

Just saying.

Would I do it that way, in a reboot of the book series? Sure. Maybe. I don’t know. Director’s Cut hardcover release? Probably too much work. All this revelation might change, I feel, would be the readers’ perceptions of the character. And I can’t control those anyway.

What else would I maybe-possibly change?

I wanted to make General Moral Decay (Alcohol) more prejudiced. I had in mind the ultimately logical human-dislike that Vulcans often showed in Star Trek, although for obvious reasons I downplayed that comparison. He could easily have showed more antipathy towards monkeys, although he probably would have needed to be a Molran for that, instead of a Blaran since Blaren are by nature less uptight. The Molren, after all, have a certain school of thought declaring humans non-sentient altogether.

In the end, however, I had a choice between making Decay an anti-human bigot who the readers would hate, and portraying Molranoids in general as an actually superior species that were nevertheless not grating or prone to making humans feel inadequate (although in this much, I’m fairly content to admit, I probably failed). I like to think I walked that line and, while Decay was annoyingly lofty and condescending at times, and perhaps downright insulting in tense moments, he also balanced his very rational low opinion of humans with an attitude of cultural responsibility. The best way to improve someone’s behaviour is to provide a good example, after all. Ridicule and shaming are practically guaranteed to backfire, and more violent forms of interference – well, those were also tried, weren’t they? Humans proved … resistant to it.

It’s all fun and games until you’re standing in an imperial bedchamber with a mouthful of clone-foetus.

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5 Responses to Interlude: If I could do it again

  1. dreameling says:

    !! SPOILERS !!

    I’m still a little disappointed Glomulus didn’t turn out to be some superhuman vampire-like creature. He definitely has that supernatural predator vibe. It would’ve also better explained his insane physical prowess (to my mind at least). [1]

    My favorite character: Çrom

    [1] Yes, already discussed in editor’s comments, but had to be said out loud.

    • stchucky says:

      Well obviously there’s more to be told about Cratch. He has a history that included research of Damorak(ind) relics from Hapstan’s Tower, as well as involvement in secret government experimentation on aki’Drednanth. His response to the Godfang (without talking about a book that is still technically two weeks from release) also suggests there’s more going on.

      His physical prowess is (prior to his self-augmentation) nothing beyond that of a very well-trained human predator with all impulse control, adrenal limits and other restraining filters removed. Sorry, but you’re going to have to come to terms with the fact that there’s nothing supernatural about it.

      Now, whether he might be the result of older and deeper human breeding and fabrication experiments … that remains to be seen.

    • stchucky says:

      Also, from the Editor who shook his fist in my face and growled about science fantasy polluting his genre expectations every time I brought in anything remotely supernatural, this comment seems out of place. Did I finally wear you down? Don’t get me wrong, abandoning your idea of what genre and narrative traditions you’re about to experience is going to be of benefit as I continue this story … just never expected you to break so hard.

      *grin*

      • dreameling says:

        His physical prowess is (prior to his self-augmentation) nothing beyond that of a very well-trained human predator with all impulse control, adrenal limits and other restraining filters removed. Sorry, but you’re going to have to come to terms with the fact that there’s nothing supernatural about it.

        I smell fan fiction! In a shocking twist, Glomulus Cratch turns out to be the last spawn of an ancient line of space vampires who used to live on Destarion. (But they were so badass Destarion had to evict them.) And his sociopathy is actually the result of a benign brain tumor, which is removed, and he really truly becomes good guy. But like really tormented because of his dark psycho past. It’s all really edgy. And he finds he has feelings for Decay, and they eventually strike up a relationship with a lot of edgy gay sex (‘cause Glomulus is so emotionally torn about what he did to Molranoids; and he’s also literally butt-torn by Decay).

        I’m on fire here!

        Also, from the Editor who shook his fist in my face and growled about science fantasy polluting his genre expectations every time I brought in anything remotely supernatural, this comment seems out of place. Did I finally wear you down? Don’t get me wrong, abandoning your idea of what genre and narrative traditions you’re about to experience is going to be of benefit as I continue this story … just never expected you to break so hard.

        Hey, I think I self-adjusted from “scifi” to “science fantasy” early on, and then kept readjusting my expectations as you threw more and more fantastical stuff into the mix. I never told you to not do it. I maybe growled a little at first, but then went along with it. It’s your fiction. Credit where credit’s due.

      • stchucky says:

        Hey, I think I self-adjusted from “scifi” to “science fantasy” early on, and then kept readjusting my expectations as you threw more and more fantastical stuff into the mix. I never told you to not do it. I maybe growled a little at first, but then went along with it. It’s your fiction. Credit where credit’s due.

        Yeah I know, you did fine. I like to think I’m keeping you limber.

        And speaking of limber…

        I smell fan fiction! In a shocking twist, Glomulus Cratch turns out to be the last spawn of an ancient line of space vampires who used to live on Destarion. (But they were so badass Destarion had to evict them.) And his sociopathy is actually the result of a benign brain tumor, which is removed, and he really truly becomes good guy. But like really tormented because of his dark psycho past. It’s all really edgy. And he finds he has feelings for Decay, and they eventually strike up a relationship with a lot of edgy gay sex (‘cause Glomulus is so emotionally torn about what he did to Molranoids; and he’s also literally butt-torn by Decay).

        Dear God. Maybe the fake bio he made up for himself that time Janus tried to counsel him (where he told a harrowing tale of childhood in a kinky alien-on-human brothel) was actually true!

        It would fit the pattern of Cratch telling people things that are true and nobody believing him because it all sounds so made-up and he’s a known mind-fucker.

        I think the best move would be for the Destarion to remove the tumour and keep it alive as a separate entity. Like a slug. But you know, I don’t want to interfere with the fanfic process.

        I’m on fire here!

        Literarily! And soon, literally.

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