Questions about a character or place??
for all the answers.
or those die-hard FTWWTK fans who read this
section first above and beyond anything else, and for those methodical readers
who do it simply because it is the first item that appears in the book, well,
don't do it this time. There's all kinds of important stuff included
herein, and I wouldn't want any of my devoted fans (one of these days I'm gonna
list names) spoiling their literary dinner by consuming the dessert first.
Okay, maybe there's not all that much special stuff crammed in here; but there
are still surprises, and you shouldn't proceed beyond this point if you don't
want to ruin them for yourself. Fine! There's only one really big
one, but it could be anywhere, so turn back now, before it's too late!
Still reading, huh? Suit yourself, but you've been forewarned.
You may (or may
not) recall, a few issues back, my harping on and on about the necessary
division of the original parts four and five of "The Culmination" into
the current parts four through seven. Well, brace yourself, dear reader,
because "Requiem for a Friend" is the first part of the second half of
that quintology, and, you guessed it, I'm going to harp some more.
part five was supposed to be entitled simply: "Culmination" and was to
have taken the companions from their dungeon cells right straight through to the
spellbinding climax of the whole story, but the entire thing was about
twenty-four or five pages long, considerably too much in one shot. This
created the need, as did the original part four, for a little creative surgery
to produce (hopefully) two, healthy fraternal twins, and this time, I was lucky
toward that end for two different reasons. First, the most obvious
dividing line occurred smack in the middle of the twenty-odd pages, and, second,
the final scene of the resultant half needed desperately to be rewritten anyway
( I usually have to reset all the frames when I pull idiotic stunts like this).
The scene to
which I refer is, as I'm sure you all know, not having read this first despite
all the warnings, Grimshaw's death scene. Originally, Eric,
Maldren, and Valerian make their daring escape (yes, they do) from
the headsman's block during the titanic fight between the valorous Bugbear
and Cabal Rote, and then they just stand there doing nothing while his
Evilness grows big and finishes his opponent (I'd like to take a moment to
tender my sincerest apologies for killing him and not Valerian).
Very un-heroic to say the least, especially regarding someone who had just
helped rescue them and was giving his life to protect the Princess.
So, this offered double opportunity to rewrite the ungratifying mess into its
current state, which, I'm happy to say, keeps the characters in character, but
did leave us with another (dare I say it) cliffhanger.
Yes, the nasty
"C" word (twice fold if you include the end of the Historia Parveriae-sorry
again), just to force you to part with another handful of shekels and buy the
next action-packed issue (as if you wouldn't anyway). Seriously though, at
the close of part six, with the boys and the Princess in dire peril, the
question I've been asked most is: "Where's Faraniar?"
Everyone seems more concerned about our loveable turncoat's whereabouts than the
impending welfare of the primary players, particularly after that teaser in the
dungeon. They say: "Is he really a bad guy?" "How could he
stand idly by and let all this happen?" "Has he gone for help?" "I
hope he's okay." Sheesh! All I'm going to reply is that Faraniar
is a big boy and can take care of himself, and all of these questions (and many
more) will be answered in issue seven. So, you'd better start saving box
tops and those dog food coupons right away.
So until next time,
PS. For those
really die-hard FTWWTK fans, people often ask me how I maintain the
insane number of angles I usually incorporate into each scene, and get them
right (most of the time). There's no real trick to it, really. For
the more difficult sets, I usually build 3-D scale models, and to do this, I've
collected, over the last seven or eight years, a considerable wealth of LEGO
building blocks. About twenty or thirty thousand, I'd estimate. I've
got them sorted into separate wooden boxes, which look like giant LEGOs,
and these boxes, when stacked in a reasonable pile, are taller than me (I passed
six and a half feet way back in high school); and there are several containers
(bags, boxes, etc.) that have yet to be sorted into them. Oddly enough,
the actual castle pieces don't help me nearly as much as one might think. so I
stick pretty much to the basics. There now, aren't you glad you asked?