Friday, September 17, 2010
Spinward Fringe Broadcast 7: The End Of Season 1
I write for my enjoyment first. I also love entertaining people, and I've had the opportunity to do so as a metal drummer, black jack / poker dealer, the lead story teller for a vampire live action role playing game, and I even did a stint on the mic during poetry nights for about a year. All those experiences pale in comparison to the opportunity I've had thanks to the Spinward Fringe series. Yes, it pays the bills, but there are several other occupations I could engage in that would make me a lot more, so I really don't do it for the money. Very few writers do.
So, after a run of books starting with Broadcast 0: Origins (known to many of you as the First Light Chronicles Trilogy), and extending to Broadcast 6: Fragments, I'm writing the season finale. For some readers this will be the last Spinward Fringe book they read, because you're looking for an ending and you'll find one. For others, it'll be an exciting way to deliver answers and to wrap up some old plot lines before Broadcast 8 begins a new era in the Spinward Fringe series. An era with more self contained books and trilogies.
Now that I've glanced at the elephant in the room, I'd like to talk about what Broadcast 7 means in terms of how it's being written.
I really do write this series like an on going television series, and some of the most legendary television I've seen has come in the form of finales and premieres. One of the most important differences between a novel and an episode of television is that you can expand a lot more in a book, and as I work my way deeper into the mysteries that stand between me and the writing of a good conclusion I realize that there is so much story in this finale that I find myself economizing as though I were editing a forty two minute episode of television. Even though few people would mind a massive Spinward Fringe novel, I still want this story to run lean so it is as intriguing and as exciting as possible. Besides, even without a number of ideas that could have gone into this book, it'll still be at least as long as Broadcast 6.
Pulling the trigger is critical to any season finale. In a good series there are events that the audience waits for all year, and in that last episode someone has to deliver. That's where all those pent up, unspoken answers and ideas come in. Questions are abound, and the answers are coming. What they are, and how each of those secrets are unearthed are incredibly important.
Along side the answers will come changes that some readers have been hoping for since The First Light Chronicles: Starfree Port, which will set the tone for part or all of Broadcast 8. These changes will also add a great deal of excitement and drama to Broadcast 7 while delivering on something several readers have been waiting for.
Reaching for extra depth and drama can offset a finale, often in a bad way unless it's used as the foundation for the plot. In Broadcast 7 that depth is important, since our beloved characters need to have something to fight for. The more despised personalities need extra drama to motivate them in the right direction, and thanks to the foundation set in the books preceding Broadcast 7, I don't have to dig too deep for drama or depth. It's as though a pot has been set to simmer and I'm just turning it up to a nice dangerous boil.
There are other aspects of a season finale that heavily influence Broadcast 7, but I'm sure I've gone on enough about how I think the extended ending of a plot tree should conclude. That, and if I went into some of those other, finer points, I'd be giving a few things away. I hate spoilers, so that's not going to happen.
My point with this post is that I've been seeing the story more visually than ever, to the point where I wrote an entire chapter so visually I had to return to the beginning of that scene and novelize it. I had to adapt it as though I were reading an act in a teleplay, the damn thing even had a good soundtrack. That brings me to the other spectre that has been haunting emails recently.
The television series. None is planned yet.
So I'm going to start planning. I've already taken the first step, in fact. I've hired a professional editor to work on Broadcast 0: Origins. His job is to help me polish the existing text with line editing so it's more presentable to future readers and so it will be taken more seriously. The rest of the Spinward Fringe series will follow, budget willing. Future books are going to be subjected to even more proof reading before release, to everyone's benefit.
Other steps are being taken to get Spinward Fringe to move into another medium, but I can't talk about them yet. You'll hear about them soon. It's slow, and there are a lot of things to consider but I'll keep you in the loop as much as I can.
That brings me back to Broadcast 7. If a network or production company were interested in doing work on a Spinward Fringe project, there would be a massive benefit to having many of the answers that will come in that book. Imagine how much better certain series would be if the show runners knew exactly where they were going with the story? That's part of Broadcast 7's importance.
Where would I prefer Spinward Fringe be shown? To be honest, I'd love it if Spinward Fringe were the first science fiction web series to have over five million bi-weekly viewers. Yes, if I had my way I'd have a new episode ready for the web every two weeks for forty weeks out of the year. Why go straight to the Internet? The SyFy channel has become polluted with wrestling, ghost hunting and even a cooking show, and I doubt the Space channel (Canadian version of SyFy), could afford to finance a Spinward Fringe television series. They could always pick up the episodes after they premiere online.
This is the twenty first century. We should have the option of either watching 6-12 commercials per episode or paying $0.99 to watch them commercial free. Episodes of Spinward Fringe should be streamable or downloadable in 3D or at least 1080p at our convenience and every single one of them should have a commentary available as a podcast as well as an online, live after show four hours after the episode becomes available that invites the viewers to discuss the series. I'd like people from production and members of the cast to be a part of it.
Our entertainment should be engaging, and greater minds than mine should have more direct control of their content. They should also be able to cut out the middle men - cable companies and networks - whenever it suits them. Felicia Day has the right idea with The Guild.
Sadly, the Spinward Fringe series is still no where near being a reality. All we have are these books, and all those books have behind them are you, dear reader. That's nothing to scoff at however, since there are more of you every day, and that's mighty impressive.
Now that I've already said too much, it's time to get back to work on Broadcast 7. Then I can start work on my other favourite television staple: the season premiere, in the form of Broadcast 8.
[Pipe dream? Please discuss!]