17 Dec 2015

Crossover Chapter 17 - Commentary

The tide keeps shifting and the fight's still going.  Please read the chapter before continuing.

When I wrote Crossover, I was never expecting to turn it into a serial.  If I had, the fight would not be going on this long.  The round robin approach helped with writing, but turning the fight into chapters really does need a shorter fight.  That said, I have no idea what to cut.  Each heroine has her own battle, and each villain has a goal.  Neither side wants to give up just yet.

To show that the villains are dangerous, I needed someone to get smacked around.  Nasty became the target of choice.  First, of the three heroines, she's the only one getting up close and personal with her counterpart.  Meredith is keeping her distance from Omega and Vicki knows better than to let the giant version of her smash her like a gnat.  Nasty, though, took the fight to Natasha.  Second, Nasty has been roughed up in Subject 13.  She just doesn't stay down.  Even in the lost issue, she takes a beating.  Thus, Nasty is elected to get tossed through a window.

Meredith's fight gets interrupted.  Omega is still, nominally, under contract to Natasha and should follow her orders.  His armour has dimensional breeching hardware built in, specifically for his current mission.  Keith really needs to create a user's manual for the BIKINI, and Meredith needs to read it.  With all the little adjustments he makes, Keith makes it difficult for Meredith to learn how the BIKINI works.  However, the idea behind Prototype Alpha is that the two of them are the hero, with Meredith taking the credit as Alpha while Keith works behind the scenes.

Turns out, the dangling plot thread about Tori and her father did come back.  Vicki's father makes the perfect stand-in and hostage.  Stopping Tori was the problem.  There's a size difference, to say the least.  Giant Tori is stronger than Tiny Vicki, as Vicki found out.  Vicki has to out-think her counterpart.  Not that hard to do, admittedly, but she had to come up with something to keep her father safe.  While her Pixie Dust doesn't put either Vicki or Tori to sleep, it is still dust.  The trick might not work on someone normal-sized, but against someone over ten feet tall?  That's a big enough nose to irritate.  It's also a one-time only trick; Tori does learn from her mistakes.  Vicki also learns that Nasty's approach to fighting isn't easy on the hands.

There are two more chapters of fight to come.  I was tempted to compress them into one, but that would throw off the size, and the Internet has the "tl; dr" - "too long, didn't read" - factor.  Would a double-sized issue work?  Maybe, but part of the goal in posting Crossover is to place the story into proper chapters.  It's a process that takes time, and I do need to learn how chapters work.

Tomorrow, Crossover Chapter 18.
Also tomorrow, over at Psycho Drive-In, a deeper look at adapting tabletop RPGs.
Saturday, over at Seventh Sanctum, A Charlie Brown Christmas.
Also Saturday, check out Comics Bulletin for comics-related reposts of Lost in Translation.


  1. I don't know about the "shorter fight" thing. There are some serials I've read where a fight can go on for weeks. (Heck, it's practically a requirement for certain anime like "Dragonball Z".) What you might need is more variety - something aside from punch and punch back, circle around, repeat. Which actually Meredith and Vicki are doing pretty well at managing, in terms of incorporating bystanders and the dimensional breach. Nasty going through the window wasn't a bad plan either.

    Part of the issue might be having the three in the same location. There isn't the time to get wholly invested in one fight, because oh yeah there's another one over there happening at the same time, potentially affecting this one. For instance, when one incarnation of "Pretty Cure" had to fight their evil selves, one of the first things done was each member got separated into different dimensions or whatever. The side benefit to that is sometimes team members fight better against DIFFERENT team members... for instance, Vicki is fighting against the ONE adversary here immune to her dust. Granted, she found another use, but when it could take down Natasha (or hell, the approaching army), it makes her seem less than intelligent for not considering that (or at least more ineffectual).

    Double sized issues feel like they'd need to come at the end, rather than the climax. (Even then, my "Time & Tied" will likely finish with more of a shorter "Epilogue" chapter, rather than a longer last entry.) In brief, your chapter fragmenting seems to work, it's the individual cutting back and forth that's a bit more of an issue for me.

  2. Keeping the fight fresh over these "chapters" was in my mind while writing. I didn't want to be bored, either, while writing. Meredith talked at her opponent a lot. Nasty got to be abused. ("Dragonball Z" is just one long fight, no? ^.-)

    They should have traded off more often, yes. Or interfered with each other sooner. And I saw something similar in the "Teen Titans" cartoon; with Cyborg, Beast Boy, and Starfire taking on evil versions of themselves. Vicki should've taken on Natasha, but she didn't want to get in Nasty's way. Nasty needed to get some anger out. And Natasha is the one villain Vicki could take on with her own power. It'd be a shorter fight, though, and Nasty would still have pent up frustration.

    I wasn't sure how to split up the fight. "Crossover" was the first time I had a battle like this. It got easier, but what I did was reduce the number of protagonists in the fight, such as in "The Elf's Prisoner". The cutting made sense at the time, but I don't think I'd use the technique with everyone in the same spot again.