The Connor Wars Writer’s Room 4 – Getting Into It

A quick update from the currently in-progress fanfic project that picks up where season 2 of Terminator – The Sarah Connor Chronicles left off.

The Bad News

As pretty much everyone in the TTSCC universe must know by now, the show is dead. No shopping around. No reprieve if T4 does massive BO. The chronicles of Sarah Connor are done (except, of course, for the Season 2 DVD and BluRay discs).

I tried hard to keep spirits up. I did all the fan things that you do in an attempt to turn the heads of the suits even knowing their minds were likely decided in March. In fact one of the reasons I started the project (though a minor reason) was to have some material out there so TPTB would have something they could picture for a season 3 (studio people are notorious for “not getting it”) if it got forwarded to them.

I will say that it makes my life easier on a number of levels. First, you can’t imagine the time crunch of putting together a podcast immediately after an episode aired and then immediately write a blog. My Mondays-then-Fridays were very booked (and fun). Second, I don’t have to worry about my vision of season 3 conflicting with Josh & Co.’s vision of season 3. From where I’m sitting, here, now, mine’s it. Honestly, I’m just as excited to see it unfold as the rest of you are.

Mailbag

Oh. My. Word.

I can’t thank you all enough for taking the time to send all of those messages (thank goodness I have a contact form). I’m so happy so many of you have been enjoying the tale so far. I’ll try not to disappoint. I think I’ve managed to reply to everyone who’s sent their thoughts. If not…I’m sorry, it’s not intentional. It may have fallen through the cracks. I do try to answer all of your mail.

I also want to thank you guys for spreading the word, not just in the U.S. but around the world (Grazie, Italia! Vielen Dank, Deutschland! ‘Brigado, Brasil!). Please, feel free to let people know that we’re out there.

I was asked why these aren’t being posted to fanfiction.net. Well, the simple reason is formatting. With screenplay being my favorite writing format, I have a great desire to present that format correctly. Although I’ve managed to coax CSS styles into sort of doing that, you lose some of the flavor. The only option was to use Adobe’s PDF format (that’s what it was made for, after all).

I know some of you have been having problems reading the scripts. Frankly, the first time I tested it, so did I. Most of the time updating Acrobat Reader and Shockwave to their latest versions will fix any problems you have (you should update anyway, security updates don’t you know). However, knowing that even that might fail, there is a link where you can hopefully use your own reader. If you keep having problems, let me know and I’ll do what I can to solve them.

Also, a big reason not to go off-site is that I sort of want y’all to come here. While the fanfic are taking up an enormous amount of my time, they aren’t the only things I post here. I want y’all to come and poke around and read the myriad of things I tend to comment about. If you have ideas of features you’d like me to add or change, don’t be shy about letting me know.

The Stories

In the end, though, this project is about the stories that emerge from my fingers.

I got a comment about how a reader felt that “A Thousand Miles” (ATM) wasn’t as good as “Tempest Tossed” (TT). I’m going to tell you that I sort of agree. ATM was a lot of John talking. I’m never happy about a ton of exposition, but I’m also of the bent that it’s better to get much of it out of the way to begin with so it’s not a burden later.

While the Season 3 reset is very exciting, the fact is that it is a reset. The timeline John is in is different and his allies changed. There were going to be a lot of questions and plot holes that weren’t consequential enough to keep dancing around so I just dealt with them. While John might forget to ask some things of Weaver, I wanted it to be because he forgot and not because I was trying to be clever. I figure that I can always come up with new story so I’m not going to be unnecessarily coy. (I might be Koi…but that still seems fishy to me :-D )

Looking at the site stats, the observation that I might have lost people with the first episode seems to carry some weight. Still, the numbers have held up reasonably well and will hopefully grow as word gets out.

I think TT is a more typical script than ATM for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is practice. I got most of the stumbles out of the way with ATM, both in regards to story writing as well as the mechanics of starting all of this up. I had a lot of stuff to set up.

I’m trying to keep to a schedule that allows me to push scripts out at a reasonable rate while still tending to the requisite life stuff. I figure a new eppie every 10-14 days isn’t unreasonable for me to do. Figure that staff writers only have a handful of eps (plus rewrites of others) to do a season, and they get paid for doing that. So, I don’t think I’m doing too badly.

Deets

So…what’s up for The Connor Wars?

I don’t know what the Chola’s or Aldridge’s full names were in the series. The Chola’s full name that I’ve given her is Alejandra Paquita Larsen Cruz. Yes, every name was researched and has a reason for being there. For Aldridge, I gave him the name Daniel pretty much because it was biblical and it wasn’t going to be confused with any of the other names. (Let me tell ya, “Ellison” and “Allison” can get snarky sometimes if you’re tired and not enunciating.)

La Cazadora’s own legend is going to poke its head up from time-to-time in both timelines.

Many of you have noted that my 2027 is very different than JF’s (or JC’s) 2027. I’m trying to be a little more science-y than fiction-y. Plants tend to recover, especially if you give them 18 years. Skynet will likely deploy more easier-to-build HKs than intricate endos. Fuel will be scarce. Mountain bikes will not be uncommon (human power).

Allison has been a fun character to develop. Having grown up in post-JD, she’s able to just treat it as normal for her. On the other hand, she’s seen a lot of tragedy and this is war. As a result, she is almost two different people. Though not a classic split-personality, she can seem like it at times. She can be really girly and she can be as “efficient” as the KGB, almost like turning a switch. But she’s always in control (I think…maybe she isn’t) and always aware. Both are useful and both can be a pain in the ass. (I can picture Summer having a lot of fun with this role.)

I wanted Allison to provide a bit of a contrast. So many of TTSCC’s characters are PTSD’d, laconic, and generally downers. Not everyone would be like that.  “Allison From Palmdale” showed us a textured and loyal soldier who likely had more going on than was assumed (e.g. not telling about the bracelets). I wanted to build on that while also not forgetting that she’s still just a teen.

How about some spoilers? (If you are spoiler-phobic, you can stop now…nothing non-spoilery following the jump. Thanks for dropping by and come back again.)

Spoilers

I know that a lot of you are like me and like to have hints about what’s going to be coming up. I’m happy to say that I can do that.

F0303 – I’ll See You Around, Connor: I’ve already spoiled that you’ll see someone John was a student with in the past. What else? Well, sex happens.

F0304 – Without a Scorecard: It’s hard to be a leader if no one follows…so John starts becoming a leader.

F0305 – [no title yet]: It’s not always about John, you know.

Coming up: John and La Cazadora team up (I can’t wait to see what happens with this.)

Coming up: Depot 37, Serrano Point, battles, captures, deaths… it’s terminator, what do you expect?

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