September 30, 2011
Or “Things I would rewrite if I started Remember now”
It’s certainly very easy for me to go back through the archive and bemoan all the things I did wrong with the artwork, but rarely have I ever actually considered how I would write things differently if I ever decided to re-do Remember from start to finish.
So, in summary Book 1 to Book 4, here’s a brief list of things I would change:
I introduced the conflict way too early, meaning the city and the consequence of its destruction was basically amounted to “destroyed home town”. I should have spent more time in peace-time with Igon and his friends, perhaps with vague references to the political situation before diving into it.
Likewise I should have drawn out the siege longer, not necessarily in time but certainly in attention, to better detail what was actually going on and what the council was actually doing. Since I flashed over most of these details, its difficult to cover them in the present time since it looks like I’m either just retconning stuff or out-right deus ex machina’ing it.
For example, I should have explained that the shield stops teleportation and such from outside-in and vice versa, not inside it, because the shield itself is laced with the dimensional anchor. If you know where the holes in the shield are, you can teleport in/out.
Similar problems with how I presented battles occurs in the latter half of Book 1 with the Fall of Elwind. I didn’t cover the Dwarves or Karazi nearly as much as I should have, I introduced Bedelia with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer, and the characters just sort of move on from their home town being ostensibly-captured without much worry about their families or anything. Oscar’s capture and subsequent “rescue” by Lorna should have been more drawn out as well.
For all the mystery of Azul’s origins and motives, I don’t really touch it at all in the process of Book 2, which is a huge failing in my opinion. If I ever wanted to sell him as an important and strange person, I should have paid him a lot more attention that I did.
Similarly to Bedelia, the Grisgol are introduced with none of the grace they should have been given. I introduce an entire people with very detailed customs and beliefs in the space of twelve pages and most of that is debating with them for aid.
The actual battle in the middle of Book 2 is fairly appropriate, though I probably should have showed the Imperial reactions to events and such more. That said, I think Igon should have had a lot more trouble fighting Sildyu, being woefully unprepared for it and emotionally compromised to boot.
Igon’s subsequent trip through hell is also something I could have done better. I focused too much on getting from layer to layer and too little on current affairs in the Hells, which would have given a much better view of things from the Infernal perspective if I had. The odd couple of pages on Rain and the rest of the world following the battle would have been good too, we sort of just land right back completely oblivious to what’s been going on.
First thing I would do if I redid Book 3 is scrap that opening gag spoofing Charlie’s Angels. I don’t recall why I did it but I certainly wouldn’t do it again.
Otherwise, I think I did Book 3 pretty well. I could have done with less of a gigantic time leap and more stories of Maeter and Tala growing up, as well as of Rain & Igon as parents and what’s going on in Avbaroy in the meantime, but other than choreographing the fight scenes a bit better I don’t think there’s much I’d actually change.
Certainly I’d pay more attention to Enko & Anthur in the added childhood scenes and such, to preserve their importance to future events, but I’m pretty happy with how I wrote Book 3.
I like how Book 4 went, though I could have paid more attention to Igon & Rain actually being on holiday rather than continually dragged into dungeon crawls and the like.
In all the pattern seems to be that I’m definitely getting better through the Books, though an alternative view could be that I’m simply getting happier with my recent work and more distraught over my previous work…I suppose that’s for my dear Forgetfuls to decide.