On the Verge – The Arrow of Time – Page 304

Let’s not waste time! Here’s the page and some thoughts will follow…

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I remember reading a comment from Neil Gaiman where he said something along the lines of, “I just bring the characters out on the stage and they tell me what they should do in the story.” I’ve always thought that was a strange comment to make from such a good author – until I started writing my own stuff.

Ok, so here’s the thing, what happens from here on out in the story was not really my decision – it was Hannah’s. The story I wanted to tell, I’ve told up to this point. But at some point in the creation process, I realized that Hannah was not happy with the ending I had planned and so she changed it. Again, if you refer back to Gaiman above, that sounds like an odd statement, but it really isn’t. The thing is, Hannah has spent the majority of the story really pushing herself forwards to FIND Jeremy. So to have him shot (and to be frank, in my mind he dies at the end of Chapter 8 when he collapses on the machine) just didn’t seem to fit with her whole arc as a character. And if you take a look at what she goes through in Chapter 9 alone, she’s quite honest about finding a way back to Jeremy.

So to have her come back AND NOT ACTUALLY SAVE JEREMY, just wasn’t going to fly.

Now the main issue with this (from a writing point of view) was how to make this happen. I’d already developed everything in this story up to the very last chapter and now I was considering changing course. I’m sure as you’re reading all of this, it seems like a very simple solution, but it honestly took me awhile to really figure out. In fact, I remember exactly when it happened. I was walking to my car after work and realized that if I altered the flow of the action in Chapter 8. Originally, La Fleur missed Hannah when she shot at her and she hit Jeremy. But if I changed that and had Hannah duck, it gave her a way to alter what happens. So when she  comes back into the time-stream, she would know NOT to duck and *presto* we have a way to alter the story. Like I said above, it seems like a super simple solution, but it took some work to figure it out and if it wasn’t for Hannah actually making me change the ending, this story would be different.

So where do we go from here? Is Hannah hurt? Is she dead? Well you’ll have to come back next week and find out.

*****

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Source: On the Verge

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