AN ACCIDENTAL INTERCEPTION OF FATE: afterward (author notes)
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AN ACCIDENTAL INTERCEPTION OF FATE
(or Min Goes Literary and Discursive)
1) HOW MUCH OF THIS DID YOU HAVE PLOTTED IN JANUARY OF 2001?
Actually, a surprising amount was plotted at the outset -- though I
don't think I had any real idea of the final *length*. Still, I had
a sneaking suspicion it would be big, which is why it sat on a
back-burner for about a year before I took it up again in January of
2002. One reason the background for many of my movieverse stories
seems fairly consistent is because I'd already planned Scott and
Jean's history for this novel. Those early parts mostly involved
their first date, the Bruce-Banner arc and Jean's breakdown -- i.e.,
the first couple chapters and about the second half of the novel.
Scott's college years were a fuzzy blur with a few specific events
sketched in, and the general parameters. Thus, that's the part that
expanded the most in the writing.
EJ Haight and Frank Placido were first "born" when I plotted the
HEYOKA series (yes, the large arc for that series is loosely planned
out, too). It was obvious and natural to use them in AIoF. It's
somewhat ironic then that they made their public debut in CLIMB THE
WIND, by which point, they were actually fairly well fixed in my
The plot element that fell into place last was the inclusion of 9/11
events. I debated whether to deal with them, but as the timing of
the story would automatically span it (since Scott proposes on New
Year's Eve, 2001/2), it could hardly be ignored, and it fit very well
into the themes of the story. So when I returned to the novel in
2002, the ending was adjusted to include it and the rest of the plot
arc was filled out. Very little tweaking was done to account for X2
-- mostly what's seen in the epilogue. I had real fears that the
details of X2 would torpedo AIoF, but there turned out to be
surprisingly little conflict. The origin story of Bobby is the
biggest clash. This story might still "survive" X3 -- much depends
on how much (if any) background details are given for Scott and Jean
-- but I don't really expect it to.
It was between my plotting of the HEYOKA arc, and that of AIoF that
one of the biggest shifts in my movieverse "background" occurred . .
. the aging of Warren.
2) BUT IF THEY'RE ALL ONE BASIC BACKGROUND, WHY ARE THERE CONFLICTS
BETWEEN AIoF AND SOME OTHER STORIES YOU'VE DONE?
Well, first, there are *two* "background" threads that I use. One of
them (Thread I) is based on Scott's comic origin. A couple stories
fit into this (the X-Files cross, "Five Pounds," and most
prominently, SPECIAL: The Genesis of Cyclops). But by far and away,
the majority of my movieverse fiction presupposes AIoF.
For an idea of how the AIoF-based stories interconnect, see
Fieldguide, Thread II (
http://www.themedicinewheel.net/fieldguide.html#AIOF ). There are a
couple stories that have some small differences from AIoF, but the
biggest difference occurs between AIoF and HEYOKA, the latter of
which places Warren among the *students* while in AIoF, he's Scott's
age. This difference with Warren is the one most people notice and
What's the reason for it? Well . . . I changed my mind. :-) It's
that simple. When I first conceived of HEYOKA -- and yes, I did
conceive of the entire large plot arc at once -- I needed Warren to
be a student for a particular reason. Those of you who've made it to
the end of CHILDREN OF THE MIDDLE WATERS know what that reason is.
But later, it was convenient to make Warren older. So I did. In all
AIoF-based stories *except* the HEYOKA series, Warren is an adult.
3) WHY DID YOU CALL AIoF A "ROMANTIC COMEDY" WHEN THERE'S SO MUCH
OTHER 'STUFF' GOING ON, SOME OF IT VERY SERIOUS AND UNFUNNY?
First, let me explain "comedy," since it's easier. I'm using that
term in its traditional definition -- a story with a happy ending --
though certainly I did try to give AIoF some comic moments and a
certain whimsical tone at times. But it's not humor, by any means.
As for "Romance" -- that's a bit of a game, in truth. I deliberately
designed the novel both to adhere to and to break the conventions of
The usual pattern for a Romance (dating all the way back to
Greco-Roman antiquity) is to follow the courtship of a Hero and
Heroine (capitals intentional) from their first meeting (or
significant interaction) until their eventual marriage (or other
public confirmation), with the to-be-assumed tag, "And they lived
happily ever after." The story should *not* extend beyond these
points, nor follow (significantly) the story of anyone else. The
Hero and Heroine are the main protagonists.
During their courtship, the couple should experience challenges, and
may be parted for a portion of the story. Common challenges include
opposition from family and friends; some kind of real or perceived
social inequality; the interference of a femme fatale or male rogue
figure who woos (or just kidnaps/attacks/rapes) the Hero/Heroine;
plus actual physical danger to one or both protags. But True Love
will see them through all these things until they're permanently
reunited at the story's close. This is the traditional Romance
It should be evident how AioF fits that pattern. It follows Scott
and Jean precisely from their first significant meeting until their
marriage ten years later. They're the main protagonists and the
story has few scenes that don't include one or the other (or are
about one or the other). They're parted for a portion of the story
(by Scott's college years), and face opposition from family and
friends (largely due to their age difference and, to a lesser degree,
social status). They both have fairly significant romances with
another characters that distract them temporarily from each other,
and the Hammer Building Incident places Jean's sanity at great risk
(plus other adventures).
So AIoF has everything a good romance should. (Hey, it's a long
book.) The fun came in taking the conventions and *playing* with
First, the Hero is a 'status inferior' to the Heroine in not just one
or two, but three ways: he's significantly younger, he's from a
lower socio-economic class, *and* he has a lower educational degree.
Three strikes, you're out.
Second, the external love-interests of the Hero and Heroine are real,
rather likeable people, and those romances fail for mundane reasons.
Clarice is not a femme fatale and Ted is not a bastard. In fact,
poor Ted is rather tragic. And even the antipathy between Scott and
Warren is more Scott's fault than Warren's.
Last, and most importantly, the novel itself may be centered on Scott
and Jean, but their romance is really just the backbone that supports
the real plot: the evolution of the X-Men, and the coming of age of
Scott and Jean (individually). Thus the novel has two interwoven
plots, and they intersect at the explosion in the Hammer Building.
So is AIoF a Romance? Yes, and no. It might best be described as a
coming-of-age story in Romance clothing.
Feedback is always welcome.
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