The Story of My First Story
Watch me undo death!
(or: “You killed my fucking loverboy, you bastards!”)
If this isn’t from Spidey 2.2, you could’ve fooled me—that stare is pure villain!
This is probably a good time to say I recently read that people are afraid of my beloved.
As in, he said it himself at a movie doubleheader at Plimoth Plantation in January (2020):
“My observation, and what has been told to me many, many times, is that I frighten people.”
WHAT MADNESS IS THIS?!
I mean…I understand that he's kind of intense? (Especially if you've seen American Beauty? Which I can never see, because it would mess up my head to watch it…my therapist has seen it and assures me that's the case.) But I see pictures like that, shiver and think, “Feels so GOOD!”
And I figure he’s a lot like Jamie: great villain, super sweet guy. (And I know that for sure about Jamie, because I’ve talked to people who have met him. ^_^)
But I’m distracted. As per usual.
I haven’t seen any of the Spider-Man movies since Sony kicked Sam Raimi to the curb out of (possibly misplaced) loyalty.
(Well, that and a desire not to mess with my own headcanon, I guess.)
I think about it from time to time, but watching Asher die tends to rub me the wrong way.
I don’t know why. I mean, sure, feelings and all; but I had Big Feelings for Jamie, too, and I learned to put up with it after a while.
Actually, laugh it off may be the more appropriate term, since I was always impressed when his character survived past three minutes onscreen. (Red was officially the worst on that score—at least out of what works of his I saw, anyway.)
This, though? This is not fun.
(It makes me so unhappy, it’s not going to even get a proper showing here.)
When I first developed what would become his role…gods, how long has Dr. Welker been a part of the story? 2008, maybe?…it wasn’t his. Back then, he was just “Mel Gibson’s commanding officer in The Patriot“. I’d mentally cast Jack Coleman in the role, and there he stayed for a good nine years or so. (And I recently killed off the only other storyseed I’d mentally cast him in. Poor Jack!)
At least I’d let him get rid of the dumb glasses!
But when I started writing Sevens, I realized I’d really like to have Asher in the role instead, because Ophelia and Richard Welker were going to be working more closely than in Ophelia.
I feel like I’m going to be saying, “Sorry, Jack!” for the rest of my life.
(Also, Asher is forty-six in that picture, in case you were wondering.)
One big problem with that idea: Asher couldn’t be written into the Raimiverse if he’d already died (as Ophelia’s father, no less!) in the Webbverse.
Except he could if the Webbverse and the Wattsverse were acknowledged in the Raimiverse as alternate dimensions/timelines.
Spoiler for my future book: they were! (Or will be, since I moved the scene from Sevens to the Ophelia rewrite.) Ophelia’s father visits her and says that after he dies, he was allowed to see several alternate timelines, and in one of them, “I looked like your friend Welker.”
Ostara egg: one of my favorite books as a child was The Girl with the Silver Eyes, and the protagonist was named Katie Welker. (The only difference is that Richard isn’t telekinetic. Yet, anyway.)
It is December 14, 2002. Ophelia Osborn is in bed with her fiancé when her bodyguard brings her the news—her father, American science magnate Norman Osborn, was killed in an accident three weeks before. With Dr. Osborn gone, Ophelia must return to America to fulfill her duties as heir to her father’s empire.
Interweaving the Spider-Man movies directed by Sam Raimi, Ophelia tells the hidden story of the Osborn family. When Norman died, the House of Osborn did not end…and the outcome was all a part of his master plan.
(I'd like to elaborate a little more, but I'm not sure what I'd say. Plus, there's always the chance that someone who hasn't read it yet will read this and pick it up, so no spoilers!)
Sidebar: Just found a review (they don’t email the author when any reviews are posted, by the way) that said, “I hope this author learns to write before she puts any more books into the world.”
My response? “I hope you learn to read and realize that not only is this book ten years old, but self-published debut novels generally tend to look like shit.” (Not to mention that a book by a twenty-four year old is usually going to look inferior to the work of a thirty-four year old. And so on.)
(for lack of a better title)
Guess what I just realized?
Leaving Ophelia in print (or the digital version of such) means I can’t reuse the cover on the revision, so I’ll have to find a new one.
(I wasn’t going to, but then I realized that the original might fill in a number of blanks that the format of the new version will probably leave out.)
Can’t use this for the actual cover, but it’s okay for blog filler!
Aaand there goes my second idea: a fanart piece featuring Ophelia's family surrounding her. When you're in a superhero movie (or anything that's expected to sell big, like The Hunger Games), things that feature stylised versions of you (action figures, graphic novels, etcetera), it's considered part of the deal. Anything beyond that scope, though? (Up to and including copyright safe fan novels?) No deal.
Sheesh. Oh well. It's not like I have a title to put on there yet, anyway!
Part of the inspiration for the format of the rewrite was Memoirs of a Geisha. It seems a little weird in retrospect, given that that's what I've dubbed a "through-told story" and the redo is more like a series of short stories tied together in an interview, but Memoirs starts that way. In fact, if you ignore the "Translator's Note", you wouldn't know it was intended that way at all. A scholar from some imaginary university starts off by telling how hard it was to persuade the protagonist to talk about her life as a geisha, and that's the end. Honestly, you could cut that part out and no one would be the wiser…I don’t know why the editor thought it was important to leave in.
(I suppose you could also say it was influenced by A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, in that it focuses on a groundbreaking individual within that world. Except I started the rewrite first, and the columnist there is a facilitator for Ophelia's story; whereas the movie is more about the columnist and less about Mr. Rogers.)
The best way I can describe it (other than an interviewer from the imaginary Scientific New York) is "short stories covering Ophelia's life (with names changed to get it out of the grey area and into Copyright Safeland)—and retconning like hell".
Ophelia the Australian fashion designer? Nope…Ophelia the Spanish marine biologist.
Spanish model for a first husband? Bye bye, Eduardo; David is now her first husband.
Ophelia is just a run-of-the-mill, real life Pagan? Nah…if Peter Parker (swapped to Toby Perell) can crawl walls, why can't our girl manipulate magick like a master?
There is a downside to this format: now that I'm back at my masters, it's difficult to fulfill school assignments that expect you to write like a normal novelist. 🙄
Shortest, simplest version: while cleaning up a secret lab space after Edwin's death, an OsCal employee decides to use one of his special projects to have some fun of her own. Too bad Ophelia and Dr. Welker are the ones that have to deal with the fallout.
I decided to throw the symbiote in before I saw Venom, and then seeing the movie only reinforced that desire. Since the word "symbiote" is mostly scientific, it can't be copyrighted. Plus, it's not going to come from Klyntar (or not directly, anyway), but synthesized from a sample Edwin found out west somewhere. The upside to staying away from copyright in this case? None of that troublesome brain-eating stuff. 😉
I don't remember if I ever posted about it, but I had plans for a novel of the same name featuring seven people born on January 7 and having special powers. It wasn't very good by itself, but it got folded into this one and expanded to everyone born on the seventh of the month. Two of the characters survived the merge:
Koma Dagaerin: (Katie Couric) will probably only get mentioned. She was an average Jane anchor until something upset her…and then she made headlines for setting the news desk on fire with a sweep of her arm. I don't know if I got any more specific than "dead kids"; but for me, that's trigger enough.
The Seven Formerly Known as Graham: at least I think that was his name. I didn't name the new character, because I didn't have anybody important in mind to play him when I conceived of the new version of Sevens. (He can't be Graham in this one because that name has been reassigned to replace Harry for Ophelia's brother.)
Good thing I'm no stranger to saying, "This person no longer exists in the Dayaverse."
(*punts Clint Barton out of the picture*)
Hi, Jeremy Needs a New Name!
(Sorry for the gif, but that's so cute, I had to have it in here.)
So that's the story of my first story, and the (hopefully) copyright safe stories it spawned. If I had a readership, I'd say, "I look forward to hearing your thoughts"; but I don't, so I'm just going to go thank the gods this is finally done.