Insights from the Author was a bi-weekly feature on our Facebook fan page, during the webseries era. It was provided to give the page exclusive content, as well as make the story more interactive for the readers. The first installment was posted on January 14, 2010, the day after I first created the page, and the last was posted on October 16, 2010, after the conclusion of arc two (now known as book two).
Insights from the Author, Chapter 7a (originally posted on January 14, 2010):
I had long planned for Carol's funeral to take place in Chapter 7, but what I didn't plan on was depression and apathy getting the better of me. I didn't want to touch this chapter, or anything pertaining to it, for a few months. Thus, with the pre-planned AP Writer Swap upon us, I was forced to divide what I originally conceived to be one really, really long chapter in half, with myself doing the first part & the very talented Jay Edwards doing the second half. I began writing my part somewhere in October, and finished it around mid-November sometime.
I wanted to dedicate the first scene to Brett, because up until this point, we've really only seen him in a supporting role. Supporting Shane, supporting Terri - and all these things are well within his character, but I did want to take a moment to focus on the person he was, and what being the pastor of First Baptist of Haven Park really meant to him. I envision Brett as a sort of Joel Osteen type, 40 years before his time. He wasn't about screaming at people and trying to scare them into believing by threatening them with hell every five seconds. He instead had a more radical viewpoint, that love really won the day. The passage about this not setting well with the conservative congregation of FBHPK was drawn from personal experiences I had in a church not unlike it. The older people had sort of taken over, and there wasn't room for change, revolution or a more contemporary way of thinking. It was stifling for me, as a member, so I tried to imagine how hard it must've been for a pastor trying to implement these changes. I felt this was a fairly good representation of who Brett really is, and where he's coming from.
Many questions have been asked about Julia's strange entrance, and it's also been pointed out how closely the timing of her arrival and Jeff's coincided. You may remember that chapter 6 ended with Julia showing up on Jeff's doorstep and announcing they needed to talk. The nature of this talk will be explored more in the coming chapters, as will the nature of Julia's relationship with Jeff.
Astute webseries fans will pick up on the reference to The Blackthornes and Heart & Soul early in the chapter as well. This stemmed from a challenge during WeSeWriMo (of which I failed miserably). I think the challenge was to sneak in the titles of at least three other webseries into your own text. I planned on putting Footprints and Wonderland in it too, but I couldn't find a way to work that in without it just looking contrived. (Interesting note: This isn't the last we see of The Haven Park Blackthornes...)
This marks the debut of both Mayor Clayton Pierce and Police Chief Elton Frazier, both of whom will play a prominent role in the upcoming chapters.
This is the first chapter in which Terri wasn't featured or even mentioned. This wasn't intentional, but I'm sort of glad of it. I worry about overplaying her, though many have said she's one of their favorites. Look for her to return with a vengeance soon.
That's it for Insights this time. Thanks for reading, and if you have any questions or comments, please do let me know! -bex
Insights from the Author, Chapter 7c (originally posted on January 31, 2010):
It’s long been my intention to shop this work around, as soon as it was finished. I always thought this might be my shot at actually becoming a published author, and as such, I couldn’t submit something that was not my work. I didn’t intend to write my own conclusion of this chapter right away, but after reading Jay’s, I was very inspired to try my own hand at it. I actually started writing it two weeks ago (January 17) and it was finished by that Tuesday (the 19th), so I was actually a little Speedy Gonzalez when it came to this…I don’t usually write that quickly, but this was something that just poured out of me.
In the first scene, I really wanted Jeff and Shane to face off. I think it was more than time. I was torn whether or not to keep it just verbal, or let it escalate into something physical…but I think my method of handling it (with Jeff actually having the balls to spit in Shane’s face) really conveyed the moment well. I also thought the ending of the scene (added, in that Jay’s version didn’t touch on what happened outside of the church) was a nice touch, and a nice way to really reestablish the connection that Jeff and Marnie share.
The rest of this chapter was actually a breeze to write, mainly because I myself am such a dark person most of the time. It’s not hard for me to get into the mindset of someone giving a eulogy…having lost a few that were close to me (especially in the past year), I had a pretty good idea of the way things went. Still, some of the things that were said at the podium were difficult to convey. I wanted to have people share their hearts, but not necessarily go overboard in it. I think if you go all crazy with the melodrama, especially since the majority of the audience really didn’t know Carol as such, it just comes across as fake. I wanted to do it in a relatable way…one that wasn’t out of character for these people.
The scene with Stanley and Mona (the final scene) was probably the hardest one to write. Jay already did such a damn good job on it (in Chapter 7b), and I didn’t want to be too influenced by his version, nor did I want to take anything away from his version. I chose to incorporate the same elements (as were in the original outline) but delve a little more into Stanley’s wondering about whether or not his daughter’s killer was actually in attendance. I thought this was a nice touch.
This is the only chapter that will actually have three separate parts (or, as I like to call it, a trifecta of awesomeness!) I plan to have other two part chapters in the future (including at least one two part interlude), but this is the only one to have three.
Jay's guest written version, left up until the conclusion of the first arc, can be now accessed here, for those curious: http://haven-park.110mb.com/chapter7b.html -- LINK NO LONGER ACTIVE.
That's all for this edition of Insights. Peace. -bex
Insights from the Author, Chapter 8 (originally posted on February 10, 2010):
Chapter 8 was written before I got Chapter 7b from Jay. I didn't know whether I should wait on him or not, but I really wanted to get ahead on the writing while I was feeling it. I began writing this in December (my twitter could give you an exact date, but I do not feel like searching for it) and many, many edits later, I completed it before Christmas.
In the first scene, I didn't originally plan for Terri's decision to be so...final. I just sort of envisioned it as another Lance and Terri battle. The addition of Lucas to the mix brought a whole new level to the story, and I sort of ran with it. As I've said, the whole knife incident was even sort of surprising to me...but I think it gives us a fairly good glimpse at what this guy is really capable of. I also think it sets the stage nicely for the upcoming chapters.
As for Shane and Brett, I especially liked that Shane was showing a little humanity here. A lot of people don't like Shane for the way he's been acting, and I think this was sort of my effort to give him a little more humanity and reason behind his witch hunt. The revelation that he had very strong feelings for Carol was a long time coming, I thought - and hopefully, it will put his actions more into context.
As for Jeff...this was also a long time coming, I thought. The life he's grown quite used to is over now, and this was his way of venting it out. It also was a good way to kick up the Shane/Jeff rivalry a notch.
There are two VERY subtle clues in this chapter...See if you can find them! :)
That's all for Insights this time. Short and sweet, but to the point...that's me! Thanks for reading and stay tuned for Chapter 9!
Insights from the Author, Chapter 9 (originally posted on February 25, 2010):
The first thing I wanted to do with this chapter was separate it from the previous one, by putting a few days between them. However, this proved to be a challenge, because I had to accurately sum up what happened in those few days without resorting to excessive narration. I’m still not sure how well it came across, but I did my best to bridge the gap without beating the reader over the head with lengthy blocks of summary, which is a mistake I made far too often in BCD (I admit it).
I began writing this chapter sometime around the new year, and I had one hell of a time on the first scene. I wrote the version that appears here first, then decided it was just not working and wrote something else entirely. I have to say, the second version was probably a little better, but I soon ran into a wall with it too. I pulled out the first version, read it over and decided that it could work for the chapter after all, deleting the second version. I wish I hadn’t done that, because it really wasn’t so bad…and it might have been nice to release it as bonus material, or maybe work it in later on down the line, but it was not meant to be, I guess.
After laboring over the first scene, the second was actually quite easy for me to write. I seemed to breeze right through it, maybe because to me, it was just the only natural direction to take with the storyline.
This chapter took me (roughly) two weeks to fully complete, and it was a major celebration for me once it was done.
So far, the Lance/Terri storyline has really been all about Terri, so I really wanted to make this first scene about Lance. However, as I noted earlier, that proved to be somewhat of a challenge. He’s got an entirely different vibe than she does, and it was difficult to really tap into what he was feeling. However, I think the first scene in this chapter really showcases how deeply this has all affected him, yet how much he still loves her despite it all. The fact he had the chance to let loose on her - especially knowing how valuable Brett’s opinion is to her - and refused to take it speaks volumes about how much he truly cares for her, even after everything.
I also have to say that I think the interaction between Lance and Brett was priceless. It is so obvious that Lance loathes the very sight of his brother-in-law, and I’ve already been asked just what the history is there. All I can really reveal at this point is that it will all make more sense in time…but it goes a whole lot deeper than Terri’s constantly crying on Brett’s shoulder!
As for the second scene, I really wrote this scene as a sort of payback for Shane being such a jerk for the first few chapters. He has been going at Jeff like a madman, forsaking so many protocols and god only knows what else, and that had to catch up with him somehow. However, I can promise this is not the end of the line…I wouldn’t slap the guy up on my front page then write him out after ten chapters! ;) Stay tuned, because this is far from over, and it will be taking a few rather unexpected turns before it’s all over with!
This marks the first real appearance of Elton Frazier (aside from a brief cameo in Chapter 7a), and judging by how much fun I had writing it, it will not be the last.
No deliberate clues were included in this chapter and scanning over it, I can’t really find any that I might have subconsciously slipped in there either. However, you can expect the clue count to be going up quite a bit in the next few chapters. See if you can piece it together!
That’s it for Insights this time. Stay tuned for Chapter 10, which I’ll be posting this weekend.
Insights from the Author, Chapter 10 (originally posted on February 27, 2010):
My dates and times on when I start and finish these chapters are always fuzzy at best. I seem to remember this chapter being written sometime after the new year, but the directory on my flash drive indicates otherwise. It says that the file was last modified on 12/19, which is news to me, but I guess it’s fairly accurate. This would place my writing of Chapter 10 just a little before Christmas. I’m not sure exactly how long it took me to complete, but I don’t think it was more than a few days. I know what you’re thinking: why do you even include this information if you can’t even be sure it’s right? Well, because I think it’s interesting. That’s why. So there.
The first scene was actually due to go on the end of chapter nine, but I found it a little too long and opted to break it up into different chapters. I think this chain of events is going to spark a different side of Shane coming out. In these first few chapters, we haven't really seen Shane do much more than chase after Jeff, his fist in the air, so it will be nice to experience some of his more human side in the next few chapters. I also think it will raise his approval rating, just a bit (I hope so, anyway).
As for Jeff/Marnie, oh I loved this scene. I will admit right now, I really don't see Jeff's appeal as such...he doesn't even have a job, yet he's got chicks hanging all over him. But scenes like this one kind of show me what they see. He is endearing, in his own little way. It's also notable the amount of humility it took for him to ask Marnie for a loan, especially given his reputation as a two-bit con artist in Haven Park. Marnie remains one of few that he hasn't tried to fleece at some point or another. He holds her in a very high regard, so for him to ask her at all showed his desperation. Watch for her refusal to set off a whole new chain of events that will significantly impact the next few chapters.
As for the conclusion, all I really have to say is just poor Brett. I guess now's as good a time as ever to admit this: I love Brett. I mean, I L-O-V-E Brett. It didn't start out this way...moreso developed over time. I found that the more I wrote the guy, the more I liked the guy and I wasn't originally intending to leave the chapter on that note, but he sort of took over and demanded it, so I gave in. I thought it was one hell of a way to end the first arc, though - something that will be very difficult for Julia to explain her way out of, for sure!
Hmmm...I really can't think of any at this point, except that I wrote this chapter before I decided to divide ID into arcs. Like I said earlier, I didn't intend to leave this one on such a cliffhanger, but it's pretty neat now that I'm going to place the interlude in between this and chapter 11. Gotta make 'em sweat, y'know!
Okay, well that's it for this time. The 2nd interlude, showcasing the events of July 4, 1966, should be up this week sometime. Thanks for reading & have a good week!
Insights from the Author, Interlude: Fireworks (part one) (originally posted on March 11, 2010):
Plans for this interlude were initially conceived after the completion of Chapter 10. I was a little stuck and wondering if I should place an interlude in the middle of 10 & 11 to break the story into arcs. However, I did not start writing this interlude until much later. All told, it took about a month to finish, mainly because I would write a little, work on a chapter and then come back to it. I literally just finished the interlude about 3 days before it was to be posted...making it somewhat of a lengthy process.
I love these interludes, as they give a glimpse of who Carol was. So often in a series, when a character dies early on, there's a general sense of apathy toward them. The audience has never gotten to meet them. They didn't really know them as such. I enjoy bringing Carol to life and showing more sides of her via the flashbacks and the interludes. As this first scene proves, Carol was incredibly perceptive. Her conversation with Marnie was a complete blast to write. Carol was just such a raging bitch, and I had a ball writing that. Marnie's reaction to all of this was quite true to her character, I thought. She would view Carol's talk as nothing but attention-seeking nonsense...though the promise at the end to tell Jeff about it does open up a few doors of possibility.
I absolutely adored the scene with Shane and Brett. I really love the rapport these two have. It reminds me a lot of Phoenix & TJ, from BCD (a series I wrote for almost ten years). They play off each other so well, and I really thought this was a great example of the relationship they have. Lance, as usual, wasn't very kind to Brett...the reasons for which will become more clear later.
As for Carol and Lucas, this scene actually gets a lot more interesting in the 2nd part of this interlude, which I am writing now. All I can say is it's not going where you think it is...and it's going to explain a whole lot about these characters in the end.
This interlude marks the first concrete confirmation of a Jeff/Julia affair. Before now, it's been largely innuendo and awkward moments between the two.
There is an incredibly interesting clue hidden in this interlude. See if you can spot it!
That's it for Insights this time. Thanks for reading. Arc 2: Tangled Webs premieres next Wednesday with Chapter 11.
Insights from the Author, Chapter 11 (originally posted on March 24, 2010):
I took my sweet time getting started on this chapter. I was a little burned out after Chapter 10's conclusion, so I decided to focus on the interlude for a while before returning to the regular flow of the story. Per my flash drive, this chapter was last edited on January 2, which would place its incubation period somewhere around the last week of December.
I like seeing Julia sweat. There, I said it. I know a lot of people are like, "My God, Brett is an idiot!" but the storyline will twist before it's all over, trust me.
People have picked up a potentially abusive side to Lucas in the second scene...I must agree. It definitely has that vibe. I think Terri was a complete idiot to tell him about the counseling session, especially since she knew he'd get mad about it. I think this scene will set the stage for a lot more trouble, though.
Okay, Jeff and Lance was my very favorite scene in this whole chapter. We all know that Lance has a tough time restraining that temper of his and I really loved that he just let Jeff have it. I really view that as Lance's finest hour...and the funniest part of that is he sounds a lot like me! I would totally say something like that, which is just hilarious. I also liked this scene because it revealed a bit of the history between Lance and Jeff. In the Christmas interlude, Lance is shown bringing presents by for Carol's children...this chapter explains that he did this not out of the kindess of his heart, but out of Jeff begging him to do so. I view it as a good reminder that while Jeff is doing the best he can to clean up his act, he's still got a lot to atone for...even more of which will come up later.
As for the last scene, the only thing I can say is it's not going where you think it's going. This is going to be a night that changes everything for Evan and Marnie.
This is the final appearance for one character.
No intentional clues placed here, though I can say that the stage is set for another heinous crime to hit Haven Park.
That's it for Insights this time. Stay tuned for Chapter 12, which will premiere next Wednesday, 3/31!
Insights from the Author, Chapter 12 (originally posted on April 7, 2010):
I believe I began this chapter sometime after Christmas. In fact, I remember writing the Jeff/Julia scene at work, while dismantling the Christmas decorations. I spent a while on the first scene (as I always do with any Evan scene), while the other two were fairly easy to breeze through. I would estimate that I spent about a week and a half on this chapter, putting its completion date at January 12.
Many questions have been raised about whether or not Francine was pregnant when she died, due to Evan's ramblings. The short answer is yes. The long answer is that more and more will come out as the story progresses. Francine was a deeply disturbed woman, more so than any one could have really realized...and the events leading up to her death will explain much more about Evan's longstanding guilt and grief over her premature death.
I absolutely loved the Jeff/Julia scene. As I've said, at first, I didn't get that guy's appeal. I know that if I knew someone like him, I probably wouldn't give him the time of day...but scenes like this one do kind of exhibit some of his more endearing qualities. I also really enjoyed this glimpse into the connection he shares with Julia. This is something that's not quite over yet...in fact, it continues to slowly unfold over the next ten chapters, culminating in something nobody was expecting!
As for the final scene, this is going to set the stage for the meat of the second arc. Lucas is definitely up to something, the true nature of which we won't know for some time. But tonight, as he predicts, is going to be the night that changes everything.
This is one of very few chapters that didn't require excessive editing. Once I got the first scene the way I wanted it, the rest of it flowed quite nicely. In fact, the second and third scenes (despite very slight modification) are as they originally were written, in the first draft.
This is the first chapter that did not directly reference poor, dead Carol Mathison.
That's it for Insights this time. Chapter 13 will be up next Wednesday. If you have not already, take a look at the discussions tab & offer your opinions so I don't feel like a complete loser for starting a topic no one but myself replies to! As always, your patronage is appreciated. Have a great week!
Insights from the Author, Chapter 13 (originally posted on April 23, 2010):
I seem to remember the process of writing this one to be a somewhat laborsome one. I'm not really sure which scenes I had issues with (it's been a while since I wrote this), but I remember I had to take more than one step back whilst writing it to reevaluate. Thus, it took a little while to complete. My flash drive indicates the file was last modified on 2/7.
Oh my gosh, how much did I love writing that first scene? Oh my gosh! Poor crazy Evan. I absolutely loved this glimpse into his devotion for Francine. Not that it's not been touched on before, but this time was really coming out of his own mouth, and the fact he was one hundred percent sober in this flashback makes it all the more unsettling.
As for Julia's late night lamentations, I feel very little sympathy for her. I know, I'm the author and I'm supposed to be able to rationalize her choices and I can...I just choose not to. Scenes like this one are hard for me to write (and later read) because I just wanna slap her upside the head. Still, I thought it was a nice glimpse into her mindset. The revelation at the end that Brett knows was something I tacked on during the editing process, because I realized it was time to take this story to the next level. This will play out over the next few chapters, culminating in something nobody was expecting in the third arc.
In the Terri/Lucas scene, I was trying to convey that he's more than a little edgy (and with good reason), but someone pointed out to me that even in the midst of this chaos, he really does care about her. It was an angle I didn't intend on (I really meant for it to be a cut and dried look at the frenzy of that evening), but it does tell a lot about the relationship they have. We all know that Lucas is probably not the most stable guy around, nor is he really conventional in a lot of ways, but he does care deeply for Terri...as much as he can actually care for anybody.
And as for the last scene...what can I say? It's going to be an interesting next few chapters.
This is the first chapter to be part of The Lyrical Challenge, originally posted here: http://www.facebook.com/notes/independence-day/the-lyrical-challenge-and-how-you-can-help/287885787639 -- LINK NO LONGER ACTIVE. The lyric used was "This is what it's like to finally come alive," from the song Feels Like Real Life, by the exceptional Out of the Grey.
This is also an official notice of my brief hiatus. I need some time to gain some perspective, as well as get a little more writing done. I don't forsee this lasting more than a month, and I hope to be back in the game very soon! But...look on the bright side, here's your chance to catch up if you haven't yet! :)
That's all for Insights this time. Thanks for reading & have a good day.
Insights from the Author, Chapter 14 (originally posted on May 19, 2010):
This chapter was initially written in February of 2010. It went through a great many rewrites before I finally reached what I considered satisfaction with it. The directory on my flash drive indicates that it was last modified on the 26th of February, which would mean the writing process took a little over two weeks to complete.
I struggled a lot with this chapter. The first scene in particular, I really wasn't sure how far to go with it. Obviously, from the revelation in chapter 13, Brett knows about his wife's indiscretion, but I wasn't sure exactly how blatant that knowledge needed to be. Many, many drafts of that scene were written, each with varying levels of intensity, before I settled on a more subtle approach. Brett is a fairly subtle guy, after all, and I felt this reaction best suited his character.
As for the second scene, Marnie's reaction also underwent an evolution of sorts. The original drafts of this scene were actually more emotional (if you can believe that), before I opted to bring that down a little too. Her reaction was completely justified, but for Marnie to lose her temper completely would be horrifying to her. I opted in the end to have her hold back and resolve to handle the situation later, with a much clearer head.
And my crime scene...oh I hate writing those. I'm not very good at it, I don't think. I always struggle with how much is too much. I wanted to convey that Lance really put up a pretty good fight and, unfortunately, ended up one really beat up corpse. I wrote at least 10 different version of just the crime scene, because I was worried that I was being entirely too graphic. I think the final version told you just enough without being completely gratuitous. The introduction of Michael worked for me too. I really think this guy's gonna make for an interesting character...especially when he meets up with another Haven Park resident!
This chapter, as part of the Lyrical Challenge, contained the lyric "It goes on and on and on" from the song Once and for All, by Whiteheart. The line comes in the first scene and is spoken by Brett.
This is, as I said earlier, the debut of Michael Goldman, who will figure prominently into the next few chapters.
That's it for Insights this time! Thanks for hanging in there with me! :)
Insights from the Author, Chapter 15 (originally posted on June 3, 2010):
I wrote this chapter in February-ish...maybe early March. The first scene was completed far before anything else was. The second and third scenes I struggled on, due to their intensity. The process took about a week, all told...and it's the last chapter I considered "okay" before "The Great Rewrirte of '10."
This first scene just seemed to flow right out of me...the relationship between Terri & Lucas appears to get more twisted with every single chapter, but I can promise there's a whole lot more to this than meets the eye.
The second scene probably accomplished something no other has: it cemented Jeff's place in my heart. I've said it so many times it's almost trite, but he was never one of my favorites. But going to this emotional place with him...the guy really showed me who he was in this scene, and I couldn't be more pleased with the way it turned out.
The last scene gave me fits. It was always intended to be Shane's scene, but after the arrival of Brett, the focus sort of shifted. I had to do some editing to shift it back. Again, though, I always enjoy the interaction between Shane and Brett. I really like that Shane picked up on the fact somethng's really off with Brett, but he was too focused on the matter at hand to really give it much thought.
This chapter includes the Lyrical Challenge lyric "You will never lose my heart," from the song "Here" by Kim Boyce. It's in the second scene, and it's spoken by Jeff.
There's clues galore in this chapter. See if you can piece them together.
That's it for Insights this time. Sorry it's late. It's been one hell of a crazy week, but I appreciate you guys hanging in there with me. :)
Insights from the Author, Chapter 16 (originally posted on June 16, 2010):
I originally finished this chapter in Februaryish/maybe Marchish? Not really certain, but it was a little while back. Unfortunately, though, the stalemate I hit when working on Chapter Nineteen necessitated that I take a step back and rework this chapter. I reworked a few things, and added a new conclusion scene, a process that took a few days at the most. The directory on my flash drive indicates the “final” version was last modified on 4/13.
I initially wrote the Brett/Michael scene a few months before actually writing the chapter. It was in the time when I was writing out of sequence, stuck on how to proceed with the second arc. I always loved the chemistry that these two had in this scene. I actually think that Brett is one of those really rare characters, because it seems that it doesn’t matter whom I put opposite him – there’s always chemistry. People have told me they like Michael, and I’m very glad about that. Michael was basically born out of people’s complete hatred for Shane...and as will soon become very apparent, this out of towner is almost the complete antithesis of Shane. This could prove to be a very good thing for some Haven Park residents and a very, very bad thing for others!
When originally writing the second scene, I remember that it just flowed out like water. It was one of those things I didn’t even really have to think about (save for looking up what heroin withdrawal does to a person). Someone noted after reading it that Lucas was entirely too calm and that he might have been hiding something from Terri...but honestly, I didn’t try to necessarily write that in. I guess I left it up for interpretation. He could have been hiding something from Terri, or he could have just steeled himself to the harsh reality of life on the run...something he’s no doubt experienced before. Anyway...I thought this was another very telling Terri/Lucas scene. It’s become quite obvious now that while she loves him in her own little misguided way, she fears him quite a bit as well.
The final scene was something I threw together in the rewrite. I wanted the community reaction to Lance’s murder, because let’s face it – as small as Haven Park is, they bound to be having a complete shit fit about all of this. I really enjoy the character of Helen. She’s just such a busy body gossip queen. I also liked the fact that she’s cautioning Marnie to be careful because there are crazy people running around...and then Evan walks in. Yeah, so I don’t win any points for my subtlety...but I just loved that moment.
This chapter is part of the Lyrical Challenge (obligatory link here: ) and contains the lyric, “What’s love good for” from the song Next, by Buck. The line comes in the second scene.
That’s all for Insights this time. Thanks for reading & stay tuned. Chapter 17 premieres Wednesday, June 23!
Insights from the Author, Chapter 17 (originally posted on June 30, 2010):
This chapter was another victim of The Great Rewrite '10. I originally wrote it sometime in April (or maybe March?) and then went on, but by the time that Chapter 19 rolled around, I hit a major brick wall and that caused me to go back and reevaluate the shape of things. The original version of events did not vary too much from this version, but I felt that with the rewrites, the action became a bit more tight and cohesive with the vibe that had been created with the chapters before.
The edit/rewrite only took a few days, at the most, and my flash drive indicates the file was last modified on May 3.
As I've said before, it is high time that Marnie grew a pair and really said what was on her heart to Evan. He is so oblivious to anything other than himself and Francine, so he really needed to hear this. I thought it took a lot of courage for her to let it out like that...and it took a lot of courage for Evan to agree to three of the four stipulations. This is major progress for him, and it will impact the future chapters in a major way.
As for the second scene, I really like that Michael noticed something off about Brett - and I liked that Shane was so defensive about it all even more. It would make perfect sense that Shane hasn't picked up on these strange little things; he's known the guy all his life. However, much remains to be revealed about the good reverend...including many things he'd rather not look back on.
In the original version of the final scene, the attraction was more on Julia's side than Jeff's, but as I redid it, I found that it made more sense for him to still be carrying the torch. It was a very painful moment for him to be told no...and it left one hell of a cliffhanger with Brett walking in at the end of the scene!
This chapter was part of the Lyrical Challenge that I devised. The lyric chosen was, "The winds of north and south are colliding, right outside your door", from the song Doer of the Word by Dan Peek. It was used in the second scene and spoken by Michael.
That's it for Insights this time. Chapter 18 will be up on Wednesday, July 7!
Insights from the Author, Chapter 18 (originally posted on July 14, 2010):
This chapter has a rather long history. I originally wrote it in April sometime, then it got somewhat of a makeover during "The Great Rewrite of '10." It took, all told, two months or so to get from original sketchings to the final version that appears here.
I know that I'm not going to be telling you guys anything you didn't already know, but I adore Brett. I just love that guy. I thought this chapter was really his tour-de-force. So far, we've seen him play a totally different role and I thought it was great for him to finally show us who he really is. There's so much about him that we don't know, that so many don't know, and it was great for him to unleash in this episode.
I felt very little sympathy for Julia in the first scene, but then...I rarely feel any sympathy for Julia. She should have been honest with Brett when she had the chance, especially when she realized that he knew. It was about time that he really lost it with her and honestly, he probably should have gone further. He should have called her a whore. But...I do understand his restraint.
This was one Evan scene that wasn't really hard to do. He seemed to want this one, so there wasn't a whole lot of revising involved. Still, it's been pointed out that it seemed far too easy for Marnie...and I must agree. That was a really, really easy one for her, which makes us wonder if the worst is in fact over or if it's only just begun.
And once again, for the cheap seats, I just love the Shane/Brett dynamic. I adore those two. I just love them. It was very nice to just see Shane as a person, not a disgruntled cop. That guy has so many layers, and it's really a shame that he's not better received, because I feel he's one of the strongest characters on the canvas. Anyway, I thought Brett revealed quite a bit about himself in this final scene, through his words and actions. The guy's got quite a story, and it's only just begun to unravel.
This chapter was yet another that was a part of The Lyrical Challenge. It contained the lyric "somewhere between the madness and mundane" from the song Diamond Days by Out of the Grey. It was used in the third scene and, per Danielle's suggestion, was spoken by Brett, to Shane.
I'm taking the rest of this month off to evaluate where the story is headed and gear myself up for writing more. I'm running out of stockpiled material again, and you know I can't have that! I hope to be back by August. :)
That's it for Insights this time. Thanks for your time.
Insights from the Author, Chapter 19 (originally posted on August 25, 2010):
This was a chapter I originally wrote a few months ago. I found in the end that I didn't like it much and ended up giving it a makeover in July.
I adored the banter between Michael and Marnie in the first scene. I really like Michael. He's not like any of the other characters on the canvas, in that he is rather brash and abrasive at times, but I think that's all part of his charm. This is a guy who's a seasoned pro, he's seen just about everything, and he views it for what it is - a means to an end. Still, I thought that Marnie's reaction to him was priceless. Keep an eye out for these two, because there will be plenty more fireworks before it's all over.
The revelation that Lucas isn't really Lucas was a long time coming, I thought. The groundwork for this goes as far back as Chapter 15, where he so effortlessly slipped into the Paul Robinson role...and Terri called him "Caleb." Still, I thought it was aweseome that Shane was the one to uncover this. It's about time Shane had his moment. Loves me some Shane.
The third scene really showcased how screwed up Terri really is, and how twisted her relationship with Lucas is. What she does now that she suspects him of her husband's murder should be rather interesting.
In the last scene, I really felt for Brett. He's such a strong character, but everyone has their breaking points. He and Julia are long overdue a talk about all of this, and those wishing for it will be happy to find it in the next chapter!
This was the last chapter to be involved in the original Lyrical Challenge. The lyric used was, "Like a baby comes into this world, I've been born again" (from the song Miracle, by Joanna Carlson). It was used in the second scene and spoken by Frazier (as a quote from Lucas Miller, as a quote from Caleb Hennessy - did I lose you yet?)
Long ago, when formulating this story, I solicited my friend Jay (of South Beach and Pacifca Heights fame) to help me by picking a name. Any male name would do, I said. He chose the name Caden. I said, "Okay, how about a name that existed in 1966?" His second choice? Caleb. I told him he'd shit when he found out who he'd named, and he did! :)
On a personal note, I am sorry for my sluggishness in updating and writing lately. I've been busy with outside distactions and I haven't had a lot of time to focus on this. I'm trying to do better and get back in the game.
Also, please, please, PLEASE note that the site has moved. It can now be found at http://bcd.sitesled.com/haven-park -- LINK NO LONGER ACTIVE. Please update your bookmarks and any links you might have made to my site!
Insights from the Author, Chapter 20 (originally posted on October 16, 2010):
This was a chapter I wrote in one day. It was like one of those "one take" sort of things. I wrote it at work in May and I felt it just flowed so naturally that editing was unnecessary...until around July, when I decided it needed some fine tuning. The first scene was heightened just a little (it remained basically the same from the first draft to the finished version), while the second scene was written to round out the chapter (it initially just had two scenes) and the third got a bit of a facelift as well.
Okay, so Brett and Julia's confrontation was a long time coming. We all know that. I really wanted to convey the tension of the moment without getting too carried away with melodrama. Brett is a largely subdued guy, and his reaction to his wife's indiscretion was well within his character. I felt horrible for him throughout the entire scene. Julia, meanwhile, evokes little sympathy from me and has for many chapters now. I felt she really had this coming, and if nothing else, that Brett probably should have gone a bit further. Given his nature, though, it's completely understandable why he did not.
Oh wow, Jeff came close to being cornered, didn't he? It will be very, very interesting to see how this one plays out - especially in light of Terri's sudden reappearance. What does this mean for Lucas - and the investigation?
This chapter concludes the second arc, and I was pleasantly surprised how it seemed to wrap up a few little self-contained stories that played out this arc: Julia's affair and the tension of Brett knowing about it; Terri running off to Casper with Lucas. It really wasn't planned that way, but two of the major stories in this arc came to an end in this chapter, which I found was a fitting way to close the book on Tangled Webs.
That's it for Insights this time. Thanks for waiting so patiently for this (I know you were just beside yourselves with anticipation - c'mon, just tell me you were...I'm having a bad week...it'll make me feel better). Arc Three is supposed to (knock on wood) premiere Halloween with Chapter 21. Hope to see you guys then.