I have come up with some changes I am considering making to Flag in Flames (aka Black Flag 1). Given their scope I think they must have been simmering in my backbrain for a while, possibly due to the revisions I was doing to Scent of Spring? But the thing that actually triggered the realization that I could “punch up” the climax a bit, was my daughter getting happy feet over a facial expression in a graphic novel she was reading, (Calamity Jack), and squealing joyfully “He’s sooo jealous!” And I, being the obsessed person that I am, immediately thought of Silver and Blood, and wondered if there couldn’t be a moment when a reader could gleefully squeal “he’s sooo jealous!” and the next thing I knew one of the scenes coming up shortly (at least it would be shortly if I were able to be working on Black Flag at all) was rewriting itself. If I do make this change it will involve the addition of an entire new scene, and that new scene will require some earlier set up. But if it makes the story better, it’s worth it. Right?
And, since I’m a bit behind on these, last week (or maybe it was the week before) In My Head Theater was running scenes from the Black Flag story about G’s younger son. (I think he must be a third son, actually.) Mostly it was about him using a religious fesitval as an excuse to check every student in his school for tracking devices or spy bugs, but there was some other stuff too. I also was running scenes from the story I’ve been thinking of as “The Osabine Romance”, with a lot of new material showing up there, and I’ve been doing a scene from a later point in Smoke and Mirrors (the spy story from the Opera Magique historical fantasy world) than I’ve ever gotten to before.
But the one that proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that the inside of my head is a very scarey place is the complete and total rewrite of Black Flag my backbrain has come up with, after having watched a few episodes of an anime series called “Wedding Peach”. (Be warned, that show provides seriously brain warping sugar overdoses as the following plot summary proves).
The new version of Black Flag starts with ordinary first-year high schooler Bonnie Anne heading off to school. She sees a bully harassing a student from the middle school and charges to the rescue (even though the middle school boy is bigger than she is) — coming out of the encounter a little worse for wear, and very late for school. Little does Bonnie Anne know, but she is about to be visited by a phantasm from the distant future — her father, Captain Talon, who placed his infant daughter in this ordinary environment because he didn’t want her growing up in the piratical environment of the Black Flag. But his plans to only have her learn of her futuristic heritage on her eighteenth birthday, when at last she is old enough to inherit command of his pirate ship the Penzance, have been foiled by the discovery that creatures from another layer of space are threatening her world. She must use the dagger earring he is giving her to transform into her true space pirate form so that she can battle these alien invaders. Later Captain Talon admits to the other pirate captains that he’s a bit worried about his daughter taking on the aliens all by herself. Captain Blood, clearly interested in Bonnie Anne, volunteers to help her out — as does Captain Marquis. This just makes Captain Talon look even more worried, and he is vastly relieved when Brand and Hawke, from the Penzance offer their services as well. At this point everyone looks over at the last remaining captain, Captain Silver, and he too agrees to help.
Bonnie Anne now has five mystic pirate warriors that she can summon to her defense. But will she be able to master the (mysteriously skimpy and not apparently vacuum resistant) space armor that materializes out of n-space when she yells the secret key phrase in time to save her world? Will she fall prey to Marquis’ flattery, or Blood’s animal magnetism? Will she be able to uncover the traitor who schemes to destroy the Brotherhood of the Black Flag, and with it, her entire world? Tune in again for the next exciting episode of Pirate Princess of the Black Flag!