Tuesday, December 30, 2008

... Ghost plays an FM

After 12 and 13 went so smoothly, it was a little jarring to have to go back into revisions mode for Chapter 14. It wasn't because I suddenly devolved (well, maybe I did) or had plot points to change, but because I made a bad decision while writing it.

When I first wrote it, I decided that COT needed to get back to its roots, so I wanted a character to go on an actual mission, and do the things that we taffers do on missions, and see the things we see, and have the same basic kind of experience. At the time, I figured I had pulled it off nicely. Stacking crates. Stealing loot. Twacking guards. Listening to servants babble. Reading diaries. Getting confused by samey level design. It had it all. Looking back at it, I found it a convoluted mess of asides, in-jokes, fourth-wall snickering, and outright nonsensical rubbish that gummed up a perfectly good humorous suspense sequence. I wasn't happy about it, since I thought that some of the things I had put in were clever, but I realised that they would only be clever to Thief players, and so the deal was off. I removed everything from the section that was unneeded, which basically amounted to everything which acknowledged the fact that Ghost was playing a game of Thief. I could keep a copy of the unedited scene on archive somewhere as a curious outtake, but I seriously think that all of the gamey stuff detracted from the storytelling. Close to 600 words were removed in all - the section itself around 4 ,000 words total.

14 marks a complete break from the original COT. Not a bit of it is based on the original story, because it deals with events in The City during the time when James, Jyre, and Nightfall are all away, and with Ghost and Lytha now a full day after their adventure in the original had already concluded. (None of it is borrowed COT2 material either.)

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