Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

Hello, bitches, I thought I’d drop by to tell you I’m 3,000 words behind on my NaNo project, so I should really be doing that instead of this, and yet here I am. Since 518 seems to be a hit with my readers, I wanted to bring you more of it, yet it has occurred to me that I can’t just keep posting excerpts for your entertainment, or you won’t want to buy the bloody thing when it’s done because you’ll already have read half of it on this blog.

So I have decided to turn it into a little exercise exploring how I make revisions. The first excerpt of 518 I posted was here, back in October, https://racheliliffe.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/the-first-people-of-rachelloon/ and featured this small excerpt exploring my MC’s first look at the internet in five years. Actually it featured an even smaller excerpt, but this is all I had written of the ‘internet scene’ before yesterday,

*~*~*~*

“Now that I had my limited access to the internet I was hard-pressed to decide what news I should look for first.

It had been over four years since I’d left Earth. Four years since I’d heard anything but the same status updates everyone else on Theory had access to on the Ark, and the occasional snippets of information in my communiqués with Leo and a few others. Four years was a long time on an Earth now all but completely under the control of terrifying space aliens.

But eventually I remembered—I had an ego to satisfy. The first port of call would be to Google my own name. This was more nerve-wracking than I’d have thought. People had to have survived the Miami Drop, of course. Paula, Karl, Mickey…

… Shirou. There was no way Shirou had been killed before I left, I’d as much as made sure of it. One of them would have told the world what I’d done. Anyone who’d known would have told the world what I’d done. The world in turn would have exploded, figuratively speaking.

Anyway, I found Google and stared at the screen for a while. The logo had been modernised since I’d last seen it, but I thought it was roughly the same layout as it had had in the past, and I felt a wave of nostalgia. Then I took a deep breath and pecked at the letter ‘i’. The very first thing to be suggested in the search-bar was ‘ira mckentish’.

Wow. I was famous.

That was when I could feel my pulse getting quicker, which was stupid, because what was the worst that could happen? I was thousands of light-years away from Earth and humanity. Taking a deep breath, I continued to type the rest of my name so I could get the whole terrible ordeal that I was choosing to put myself through of my own free will over with.

What was suggested after that was illuminating.

‘ira mckentish traitor
ira mckentish is evil
ira mckentish irascariot
ira mckentish nazi
ira mckentish fans should die
ira mckentish facebook
ira mckentish man who sold the world’

I liked that last one. They could make it my theme song, I supposed, I wouldn’t mind. It was a pretty cool song. I was also amused by the fact that I apparently had fans. I hadn’t considered that one.

The fact that the word ‘Nazi’ appeared next to my name probably shouldn’t have surprised me. It was going on ten years since I’d had regular access to the internet, but I remembered how it worked, and sooner or later, someone was going to call you a Nazi. It was the rulz. What did momentarily confuse me was the word ‘irascariot’, but when I sounded it out loud I couldn’t help but think ‘surely not? Surely no one could come up with a nickname that lame?’

Stupid of me really; of course people could come up with a nickname that lame. I was probably lucky they hadn’t found a way to stick ‘Hitler’ into my name somewhere.

I scrolled down and clicked on ‘man who sold the world’, and I was surprised by what came up. It seemed ‘Ira McKentish: The Man Who Sold The World’ was the title of a documentary that had been released about me around five months ago. I had my very own documentary, how thrilling.”

*~*~*~*

But things have changed. Orginally, Ira was going to be given access to the internet as a present from an alien captain, and retire to his room to look over it at his leisure. The structure of the story has evolved since then in order for this scene (which I wanted to put in somehow) to actually flow with the plot, rather than making it an out-of-place break. In the new context, Ira hasn’t had the chance to make use of his gift because of the exam mission he’s been sent on, and is only looking at it now because he needs to show his classmates what a certain person he used to know looks like by searching for their image online.

For that reason, his thoughts about who may or may not have survived the ‘Miami Drop’ incident, and the description of the Google logo came a few thousand words earlier. This is what the excerpt looks like now:

*~*~*

“So there I was with a kind of access to the internet, an almost painful kind of curiosity, and enough time on my hands to do much more than I was supposed to. For one thing, I hadn’t watched porn in five years…

Just kidding.

(Maybe later.)

No, what I was most interested in was me, and how I was now seen on my home planet. I mean I doubted I was being worshipped by the masses, but I did wonder what was generally known about my story. Leo hadn’t been very clear about it in the past.

I returned to the regular search engine and pecked at the letter ‘i’. To my surprise, the first suggestion in the drop-down box was indeed ‘ira mckentish’, just as Damien Lake was now the most popular ‘d’. Once I’d typed in my whole name though, that was where the fun began. The top four suggestions included,

‘ira mckentish traitor
ira mckentish irascariot
ira mckentish nazi
ira mckentish man who sold the world’

The fact that the word ‘Nazi’ appeared next to my name probably shouldn’t have surprised me. It may have been the better part of ten years since I’d had regular access to the internet, but I remembered how it worked, and sooner or later someone was going to call you a Nazi. It was the rulz. What did momentarily confuse me was the word ‘irascariot’, but when I sounded it out loud I couldn’t help but think ‘surely not? Surely no one actually came up with a nickname that lame?’

Stupid of me really; of course people could come up with a nickname that lame. I was probably lucky they hadn’t found a way to stick ‘Hitler’ into my name somewhere.

I decided to click on ‘man who sold the world’; apparently the world had decided it was my theme song—and why not? It wasn’t my favourite of Bowie’s, but I suppose it was fitting enough. I was surprised by what that title was really referring to though. It seemed ‘Ira McKentish: The Man Who Sold The World’ was the title of a documentary that had been released about me around five months ago.

Just how did someone make a documentary about me, I wondered. How would they have known enough about me? No one knew about what had happened with Josh outside Charleston for one thing, I knew that for a fact. Well, I was pretty sure at least, I mean, Leo and his inner circle knew, so maybe he’d given the documentary-makers an interview.

The thought made me chuckle. It was chuckles like that that were going to get me through this, like they’d always done in the past.”

*~*~*

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