Yes, as the title suggests, the eve of the Cybermancer is upon us. I mean, it’s more like five eves away if you really want to get technical, but in the spiritual sense, we are just moments away from the start of the new ATL story arc, Trials of the Cybermancer! Whoo-hoo!
I want to bring this up to talk about how the writing process here has been a little tough when it comes to Cybermancer, and how its evolution over time has marked my change in approach when it comes to the entire series as a whole.
You probably didn’t know this and couldn’t have even conceived of this before, but way back in the beginning, before ATL was even the title of the story, I had actually planned on writing it as a single novel divided into several short stories and multi-chapter novelettes that told independent, but connected stories all like one “season” of television. I was thinking something around 50-60 chapters, a 300ish page novel in paperback, and introducing the whole world and all its characters with some decent sequel hooks. The first story was going to be a 15-20 chapter-long Social Media Killer and that would take up about a third of the entire novel while also telling the most important story for the rest of the bunch to work. Back then, the story that would become Trials of the Cybermancer! was called “Four Dollars,” a silly filler arc intentionally designed to be a comedown from the larger-scale first story that works mostly to develop the world.
And then… well, the scope got bigger. ATL turned into a web serial instead of a novel, and stuff got more detailed. You know how it is; it was probably inevitable that it would happen anyway. So what was once a one-chapter filler story is now Trials of the Cybermancer!, which you’ll be seeing on your computer screen real soon.
As time passes and my idea of the story shifts, I really like reflecting on what ATL used to look like to me versus what it looks like now. It’s sometimes really funny to think of what has changed and what hasn’t!
For reference, here were the titles of the stories that were supposed to make up the novel that would become ATL:
- The Social Media Killer
- Four Dollars
- The New Knights
- An Election and a Duel
Maybe you’ll see some of these titles come up again in the future, or maybe they’ll all fall into obscurity, never to resurface except in this blog post. Still, it’s nice to think about what might have been in a slightly-altered timeline.
Just don’t forget– Trials of the Cybermancer! starts on January 29th! It won’t just be a silly filler arc, I promise!