I think I can understand George R.R. Martin a little more today.
There are rumours and leaked Alpha scrips of the original Hanako path. If you’ve heard or read them, then basically there were three endings:
- Hanako Kills Hisao
- Hisao dies accidentally (after wronging Hanako)
- Hanako commits suicide.
That’s it. After being yelled at too much, there were a few more endings added in; the “Bad End” (which survives today and was based on a rejection of mine) and a “True” path (which was only accessible from the Lilly path).
And I had totally forgotten why I had done that until now. I’m maybe 85-90% through Arctic Gale. If you haven’t read it then please do, and then go on Reddit and repost it as “A Runner’s Afternoon 3”. Trolling for effect…
Anyway, I know pretty much what will happen in the remaining 3-5 chapters, but as I was writing today, that voice in the back of my head popped up again.
“I’ll let you write the ending you planned if you tell me why it can’t be a really bad ending.”
And, you know, that voice is write. There are so many things that can go wrong in the story now. I know that writers like Aura and Suriko like making sure that every loose end and story arc is completed by the end of the story, but… why? I know that obviously you need a conclusion, but dying in a hail of fire without achieving your mission is also a perfectly valid conclusion. Sometimes, the bad guys win.
It can be, in some ways, fun to write endings like “Hanako Punch”. One of the appeals of Game of Thrones is that main characters regularly do get killed, so you have to kind of accept that. You can’t be watching that show and thinking “Meh, it’s fine, the good guys will win and we’ll have a happily every after” story.
So, I’m at that point right now. I could really make it so that the whole story up until now was just a buildup to a massive anti-climax. Unfortunately for me though, I only really have one story thread and one set of characters to play with, so if I killed them off, that is the end. But, I guess that is also the point as well; when you write something, you want to know that these characters that you have grown up with actually achieve the goals that you set for them. Or maybe that’s just my Western view of the world.
Anyway, please look out for chapter 33 of Arctic Gale later tonight. (Edit – or now. Only a short one this time though, for dramatic effect).
PS: another Easter-egg, albeit tenuous – Tweedledee is the hot girl part of the Tweedledee and Tweedledum pair from Kiddy Grade. I couldn’t resist another KG reference…!