Heretic’s Reward — A pretty consistent problem with dividing what was planned as one chapter into two is then finding that, whereas before you might have had one incredibly, stupidly long chapter, now the resulting two chapters are a little too short.
However, I think it’s better to say, “Fuck the chapter standard,” than either to whittle away at desired content or add needless filler in an attempt to reach it. Therefore, chapter 20 is kinda short. And it has an important point about Sano’s relationship with Hajime, so yay!
The Test — I’m not completely sure I like this title anymore. It does fit, however, and it’s been the title of this story literally for years, so I don’t know how likely it is to change XD All I can really do is keep my eyes open for something I like better, knowing I’ll stick with what’s already in place if nothing occurs to me.
Did I mention I think I’m about at the halfway point? I’m predicting about 30,000 words here. Oh, and when I say I’m at the halfway point, I don’t mean I’ve written half the story, because I’ve written more than that… there are these scenes that alternate with the ones I’m working on, and those are all already written. With the scenes I have yet to write I’m about at the halfway point; I’m probably 3/4 of the way done with the story as a whole. Does that make sense? My current plan is to press on at least until linear completion before I switch to a different GW fic for Sundays, but we’ll see how that actually goes.
Aku Soku Zan(za) — SPOILERS HERE if you haven’t read the original. It’s even a bit spoilery if you have, though it’s nothing big.
So in the original, Saitou and Tokio were already familiar with the true history of the Sekihoutai when they discovered that Zanza had once been (more or less) a member. And not just familiar — Tokio recognized the Sekihoutai instantly by description, and Saitou didn’t have to ponder for a moment to remember Sagara Souzou and his history. As I’ve reached that part of the story again, it’s occurred to me that this doesn’t entirely make sense.
I am 100% certain that the reason I wrote it thus originally is that I was still seeing Saitou as more than a bit of a demigod at that point, and assuming without even thinking about it that of course he knows everything about everything. Not that I love him any less or am any less fascinated by him now, but I prefer to acknowledge and explore a more human Saitou these days (unless I ever manage a Riordanverse crossover, and don’t think I haven’t thought seriously about it) XD
Anyway, I feel like, though the information would be available to them, the truth about the Sekihoutai isn’t something those two would just have in their heads. Why should it be? It isn’t exactly common knowledge, or something the government likes to talk about (hah!), and what reason would Saitou or Tokio have had, prior to this, to look into it?
It also occurred to me that I could set up a really fun parallel if Saitou didn’t know right away — since Zanza did some research about Saitou before their first fight, and now Saitou can do some research about Zanza before their second. That kind of thing tickles me.
The story — such a moment, for example, as when Sano later marvels that Saitou and Tokio knew the truth about the Sekihoutai, and this raises them in his esteem — plays out exactly the same whether Saitou knows from the beginning or finds out through research, so this change won’t really make any difference except to make more sense and create that lovely parallel I just mentioned.