Welcome to the commentary. As always, please read the chapter first.
Last week, I had a cryptic note at the end of the short chapter. Chapter 12 was the last one written. I mentioned throughout the commentary that the more I wrote, the more I realized that a novel was the completely wrong format for Beaver Flight. Once I passed the 50 000th word, I ran out of steam. Beaver Flight was a far more visual story in my head than what appeared in text, and would've worked better as a serial. Chapter 11 came about sooner than I wanted, but getting to it would result in a slower pace than I would've liked.
That said, I did have a few events occur. With the Beavers down to half strength - Tori missing and Darcy's mecha Swiss-cheesed - the other flights took up the slack. India's Tiger Flight finally gets shown, albeit briefly. Very underused, Tiger Flight. Lt. Barb Finnegan makes another appearance. Finnegan turned out to be the diametric opposite of Tori without me planning. Barb needs structure in her life; Tori creates chaos.
Dr. Kayla Asselin provides Darkside One with the first real knowledge of the invaders. Note that the aliens didn't understand her, or, at least, communicate with her. Tori managed to badger one into talking. Again, I never planned the difference, but it works out here. Kayla went missing before Yulya's team did, so in between when they had her and when they returned her, the aliens did learn English. They probably learned Russian. How long was Kayla in suspended animation?
I'll go through the ideas I had for the rest of the story tomorrow. The lessons I learned, though, are far more useful than I expected. The first was to trust my instinct about what sort of format a story needs. Beaver Flight should have been a serial, possibly even a webcomic*. NaNoWriMo 2014's project, Unruly, went through a few permutations, from webcomic to series of short stories. before I started writing it as a serial. The result, which will appear here soon enough, worked out far better than expected and let me focus on individual elements without worrying about a novel-length story that could lose some of the ideas I had. The second lesson was that I should have done more work with the core cast before starting. While By the Numbers taught me that writing a pre-story bit helped discover the characters, not doing so meant that I really didn't know the Beavers. Renée and Dom didn't shine as much as I wanted.
Thank you for reading the shortened Beaver Flight. Tomorrow, what I post the story arcs I had in mind, and a week later, the first chapter of Unruly should appear. Also tomorrow, over at Psycho Drive-In, fixing Battleship. Saturday, over at MuseHack, the January remake news round up . Also Saturday, check out Comics Bulletin for comics-related reposts of Lost in Translation.
* Too bad I can't draw.