Recap Worm Discussion

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OneManJusticeLeague
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10:23:19 AM Feb 4th 2016
So now I've added high-level summaries/blurbs all the way through to the end- a short paragraph describing the conflict in each arc, one sentence identifying the narrator and key development in each interlude.

I did make a slightly opaque design decision toward the end, so in case anyone is ever curious I'm going to explain. Teneral is an arc with a different narrator for each chapter, like Sentinel, and as I reread it I started writing interlude-summaries in the usual format: "[narrator's name] [does a thing]." But naming the narrators got complicated quickly: in Teneral 1 the narrator is a character the reader recognizes almost immediately, but she's rejected the only name used for her in the story so far and hasn't yet replaced it; in Teneral 2, the narrator isn't even mentioned until more than a third of the way into the text; in Teneral 3, the viewpoint character remains unidentified for half the chapter *and* her very existence is a major spoiler for the central conflict, and the same applies to E.x. So I started writing less straightforward summary sentences, ones that didn't exactly identify the viewpoint characters... and then I had the idea to deliberately mess with them a little, to define the narrators by descriptions they shared with Taylor and thus turn the summaries into teases about whether Taylor is really dead. It's not a terribly informative approach, but I think it succeeded in the teasing, at least, and I decided to compromise by adding positive identifiers in spoiler tags.

I don't think I would change the E.x summary, though, even if I went a more informative route. All of my summaries have been blurbs to some extent- they describe the central conflict or threat, but leave the details and the resolution for the full story. And I think that limiting the description to a popular euphemism for death works particularly well for E.x, where a character previously thought dead has instead *literally* gone to another world (never to return or communicate with the ones she left behind), and has a meeting with a lost loved one who still exists there.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/remarks.php?trope=Recap.Worm