Reading a story is a delight. But when you get to know about how it was written, it becomes even more delightful.
So, I’d like to highlight some of the most interesting parts of our writing process along with some lesser known facts and easter eggs!
So, how did we start on this one?
Abhishek pitched this story to me in December last year during the end sem exams. Exams are the time when we come up with most of our plots, and it was not different this time around. It was decided that we’ll go ahead with this one whenever we get time.
Work on the second season of ‘the collab projekt’ had already begun the moment the first one ended. The plan was to collab with four writers on short stories just like the inaugural season.
One of them was Abhishek. Our first collab was voted the favourite one, and so it did make sense that we made a comeback. When he pitched me this plot, it was mutually decided that it’d be unfair to write this as a short story. If we do so, it’ll be a pain to ignore all the nuances of the script and will eventually result in a short story spanning over10k words. We were at the same crossroad during the scripting of page no. 250 as well. The story had the potential of being expanded into a five chapter short novel, but we were short on time, so we decided to go ahead with a short story.
But this time we were sure that we’d go ahead with a short novel and not a short story. So the second season of TCP was supposed to have three short stories and one short novel.
So what happened to the three short stories?
Unfortunately, due to time constraints and creative differences, we couldn’t settle on a final story. But I’m looking forward to collaborating with them in the near future and release them one by one whenever possible. As I’m writing this, I’ve already fixed a plot with one of these three collaborators, and it’s a short novel. And guess what? The genre is Romance. Stay tuned for further updates!
So eventually, as you see it now, the second season of TCP went ahead with a 7 chapter short novel.
Time for some facts!
Warning: Spoilers ahead.
The first thing I said after Abhishek told me the story is: “This seems to be inspired by The Flash!”. And indirectly, it is for sure. The story is similar to the Flash-Reverse Flash arc in the comics and the CW show. So we’ve paid homage to them by keeping some of their dialogues in the finale.
“Now who’s the villain? Who’s the villain?”
“You’re just an empty threat to a living paradox. There is no future. No past. Until I decide to put it back together.”
“I’ve controlled your life for so long. How will you get along without me?”
So Flash fans are in for a sure treat.
Almost everyone knows Irene Adler – the famous Sherlock Holmes character Irene Adler. All this while I’ve been thinking Irene Adler is the original name we thought according to the script. On the day I first mentioned the character in the story, I searched for the name since I felt I’ve heard it somewhere, and that’s when I got reminded of the iconic character. We decided to go ahead with the name. Two days ago before the finale release, I had a look at the script and saw that the intended original name was Irene Rohmer and not Irene Adler! No regrets though.
All the dates, location, the distance between cities and any other mention of historical figures are true and accurate.
The character of Hannah Paul was the most modified one during the entire writing. We had to add an air of mystery surrounding her so that the suspicion goes towards her and Irene and not Raymond because the number of lead characters in the story is few. Reminds me of my collab with Aravind wherein we played with just 3 characters and all of them were on the positive side. But it was a murder mystery and it slowly became evident who is the villain before the big reveal. I had to make sure that the same issue doesn’t repeat here.
One option was to throw in more characters to the scene, but we felt that it’s too late and adding in more characters would only result in a mess. So what should we do then?
That’s when I stumble upon this video song on YouTube:
I was instantly smitten by Lindsey Stirling and her talent. So I gifted Irene the skill of being a violinist and from there added a connection with Hannah being her student, although for a small period of time which made sure the suspicion was not set on just one character.
This one was tough and we were unsure what to title it. The story had a few tentative titles and one of them was ‘The First Time Traveller’.
After somehow fixing a title, the next challenge was zeroing in on the book cover. I made a few versions and was confused about which one to choose.
The first one was nice, but it felt a bit overcrowded. The second one is plain simple and looks like the cover of a business yearbook report. So it was a clear no-no. The third version had more of a clean look. I tried modifying the first one so that it resembles the third one, but it still felt too dark and cluttered. So the third one made the final cut.
About the design process, there’s a reason why I chose five lines over any other number. These five lines represent the five timelines – the red representing the original timeline which was never shown in the story as such. The rest of the colours are shades of black and grey, indicating the similarity between the timelines. The second and the fifth lines have almost similar shades. Now you know why.
For the chapter posters, I had two concepts.
One poster had ‘the jungle’ theme with animals representing the character trait and the tone of the chapter. I liked it so much that I decided to go ahead with these as the final chapter posters.
But not giving the second concept at least a chance would be unfair.
So I tried out the second concept which was ‘abstract’ and all of a sudden I felt: “Okay, this is nice too.”
After some suggestions from friends, we decided to go ahead with the abstract theme. The jungle-themed posters will be used for promotional activities.
I’ve a lot more to say but that’d only make this post look like another long chapter from the story. So that’s all for now.
Next up: Acknowledgements!