Thursday, August 1, 2013

Behind-the-Scenes, Day Four.

You all know the score by now. If'n you want to get in on the juicy, juicy events of the previous two weeks, click on the word graphic below. Pictures and craziness await.

On today's penultimate Behind-the-Scenes, I draw upon my most invaluable resource: DragOutline.docx. It's in this enormous document (over 40,000 words on its own) that I plot out what will happen from day to day in Dragomir's Diary. The third season has already been completed in DragOutline.docx.

BUT, of course, we're not interested in that. Instead, I'm going to pull out little choice bits of things which I'd apparently PLANNED on doing for season three, but which never came to fruition - or were changed at the last moment. (That happens a lot.)

- When Dragomir was brought back to life via save game, the rats were going to 'kidnap' Diary and present it to him as a sort of peace offering. They would then join the rest of the cast. That didn't happen, because the thought of gleeful little diary flopping onto Dragomir's face of its own accord was just too cute.

- I suppose I hadn't figured out June's angle when she first joined everybody, as I wrote the following: "She needs to stick with the gang from now on, though she won't say why, and you REALLY need to figure out what her motivation is." I have indeed since figured it out. (And it remains a mystery. ooooo)

- I consistently refer to the Non as 'demons' in this thing. Didn't puzzle out a name for 'em for a loooooong time.

- June didn't know Evangelina and Driscol were her kids. In retrospect, I wish I'd stuck with that, as I could've made her seem like an even worse mother. (Though explaining their orange-eyed powers would've taken some doing.)

- Robert was going to have a male bartender who would join the party and act as a source of publy wisdom and info for all of Pubton. He was just gonna be some schmoe. Instead he became Bora, who's MUCH more important to the story than a random dude.

- The golden tree began life as a statue. I like the tree more. It was strictly meant as a landmark, and as a means of keeping the nobles from leaving the town - only later did I conceive it as a weird, magical jail where June could stow Libby and Grayson.

- Dragomir, of all people, was going to challenge Pagan to a duel over ownership of the land where Pubton is built. The duel wasn't going to HAPPEN, mind, but that still seems an oddly-forward thing for Dragomir to commit to. (Or at least it was at that point in the story. His spine hadn't quite been steeled by terrible shit.)

- Philip scaring the animals out of the forest during Barrel's rebellion was just going to be an act of charity by the rats. Having Dragomir and Robert dress up as an elephant and taunt the ghost was SO much better.

- When the Non showed up to besiege Pubton, Kierkegaard had originally come to abduct Grayson. That quickly changed to an assault intended to kill. It was also around this time that I decided Kierkegaard should have a much larger, much more frightening body than he normally lets on, and that he's largely interested in killing and eating people, not taking prisoners.

- Cedric, Driscol and Bernard were going to be full-on thralls of the Non, mind and body. I much prefer that they still have control of their minds, but can't do anything useful with their messed-up corpse body.

- Robert was NOT planned to die during the Non attack. At all. I made the decision to kill him the day I wrote the entry where he dies. There are later references in this document to him doing things, all of which had to be changed to other characters (usually Bora). I'll be frank and admit that he died largely because I had too many characters, and I just couldn't find something meaningful for him to do. His death, by contrast, may ultimately prove to be very meaningful indeed. Poor Robert.

- Grayson was going to be caught creating the sloth illusion that gripped Pubton in a bout of fear for a week. He wasn't caught in the final draft, and I don't think he ever fully admitted to creating the illusion. (I could be wrong. Correct me if I am.)

- Kierkegaard was going to lead another expedition, this one with Doc, Titan Blue and CeDrisArd, to kill Dragomir. It was going to be much smaller than the last, and more secretive. Kierkegaard wound up having other, off-screen things to do, though, and I'm glad of it - I had a lot of fun writing Doc as a trippy desert dude, and he might've been overshadowed if Kierkegaard came along for the ride.

- For the record, the Eve clone was ALWAYS planned. Always always. I just wasn't sure how she would show up, though I knew the perfect moment would, eventually, present itself. Breaking up the vote between Libby and Dragomir's mom was about as perfect as I was gonna get.

- Grayson's early motivation for fucking up his parents' marriage was to protect Libby. That motivation remains intact in the story, but Grayson's creepy desire to have his mom all for himself tainted whatever nobility his actions might've contained. Weird, weird kid.

- The epic kiss between Bora and Dragomir was supposed to happen well after the Matriarch appeared in Pubton. I moved the kiss back for two reasons: a) I wanted to sever all of Dragomir's perceived ties with Pubton, thus giving him a reason to REALLY want to leave town; and b) I wanted to write that scene, and it was taking too long to get there. I sometimes have a bad habit of sacrificing pacing for getting cool stuff in the open, though in this case I think the kiss worked a hell of a lot better here.

- Speaking of the kiss, DRAGOMIR was going to initiate it, not Bora.

- Doc was going to approach the jailed Jeffrey and offer him a chance to escape and get back at his captors. Jeffrey would've refused, the first sign of his overall repentance. I didn't mind this idea, but it would've forced me to draw up a webcomic, and at the time I was too busy to commit myself to that much drawing.

- Grayson and Libby were going to live with June after Grayson was bitten by Antonia. Given Grayson's dislike of June, as well as his eventual desire to have mommy for his own, I had them cloistered in her emptied hut instead.

- Julius' POV week was going to be written by Eve. Given that she wasn't REALLY Eve, I eventually figured the spider would be a better candidate. (I honestly haven't decided if Eve will ever get a stab at writing in Diary.)

- Dragomir was going to personally appoint Oswald as the new captain of the guards of Pubton, and reveal some of his spine at the same time. I changed this to Evangelina telling off the previous captain and whipping his butt out of Pubton with Oswald's help. I prefer the new version - Evangelina's a fun character. (To think, she was originally just Driscol's female consort.)

- Dragomir was going to correctly conclude that 'Lord B.T.' is, in fact, The Baron. I find it much funnier that he still hasn't figured it out, even though it should be blatantly obvious who his pen pal is.

- Dragomir was going to out The Baron as the villain behind the fall of the castle during the trial of King Jeffrey. This was changed to Dragomir's inspirational speech during the fall of Pubton.

- Celine was not going to be on the jury. Instead, she and Grylock were going to be on scouting duty during the trial, and she was going to burst into the courtroom, supporting an injured Grylock and revealing that the Non were on their way for the final assault. By the end, Grylock was stuck in Pubtwon, and Celine was part of the jury, so this couldn't happen. A system of bells heralded the Non's arrival instead.

- Dragomir was going to discover Libby and Grayson stuck into the golden tree as he was leaving Pubton, just before the massive cannonfire volley that would carve him a path. I cut this out for dramatic purposes.

Webcomic week proved quite problematic, and for several months I couldn't figure out exactly how I wanted the season to end. You can tell by the various versions I have written in DragOutline.docx that it was one hell of a puzzle for me. The various ideas include:

- A faceoff in the mine where the lock was found. Dragomir would've wandered in, had a bit of a standoff with Kierkegaard, been zipped back to Pubton when Kierkegaard and his forces teleported, and discovered a full-blown assault underway. This was nixed, as it seemed like Kierkegaard could have Dragomir killed too easily.

- A faceoff in the mine which did NOT end in teleportation. Nixed for the same reason as the previous idea. Even worse, Grayson wouldn't have been around. What's the point of building the little brat up all season if he's not there for the finale?

- A confused melee that would've leveled much of Pubton. During this attack, Dragomir looks frantically for his daughter - only to see her impaled by the real Eve, undisguised. This scene was stuck in my head for a LONG time, but I think I like the execution more.

- A faceoff between Evangelina, Driscol, and June. This was cut for pacing purposes, as I had too much stuff going on at once already.

- Kierkegaard was going to be the one to snuff the lock, and he would've done so without bothering to offer an explanation. Having Grayson accidentally destroy it by leeching too much of its power ultimately worked better. (Grayson has a history of 'accidentally' doing terrible things.)

- And, in a version that sounded cool but ultimately wouldn't have worked, I was going to turn Plato into one of June's zombies. I wanted to get him into the story, and originally he was going to be abducted by June during his travels, put under her control, and used to defend the lock. After her defeat, Plato would've woken up, realized what he was standing by, and destroyed the lock on his own. I still like this idea, but I didn't want people who hadn't read Mindless Walkabout to be suddenly blindsided by the appearance of a new character doing crazy important things.

That's all for today. Tomorrow: a brief look to the future!


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