Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Red Crisis: The Backstory

The flag of the USSR (United Soviet Socialist's Republic.) That's
what Russia used to be called during the days it was ruled by
the Communists. The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.
Sooo... I know I promised to post a ton on Red Crisis this month... and guess who forgot about editing/posting/working on it?

I kid you not, I actually forgot to work on it. I just remembered today when I picked up Free and was doing some paper editing on it. I realized I hadn't done anything more on Red Crisis. I felt very bad! So, today I am going to give you the backstory of Red Crisis, because I'm on the phone with the medical health insurance people and they take forever to answer and I have a ton of free time on my hands out of the goodness of my heart. I think you may have a bit of fun with the previous little-known-facts about the story.




The original plot of Red Crisis involved Jacob Craig (Look for him in the Hijacked! section) an Australian cowboy that's been in a gazillion of my stories, and an orphaned girl. There was also a very dramatic reunion between those two characters and the orphaned girl got adopted at the end. It's almost embarrassingly dramatized, in a fun way. I have fond memories of the first draft!

The second draft had a totally different outcome- it was the idea of my longtime pen pal in Florida and I. We thought it would be fun to do a story about me coming to visit her in Florida, and how we discovered three evil Communist spies in her school. (This was before we knew a lot about the Cold War, so we had it in modern times.) I think it also included a FBI agent who was my friend and how we ended up becoming hostages or something. Be glad the second draft was pitched out the window as well- the third draft was the best version of the story, believe me.

Lisa's name was first Emilia, then Lilly, and finally Lisa. Cecelia's name stayed the same throughout all the revisions.

Red Crisis was my very first story with Russian bad guys. I had never attempted a story before that with villains with a Russian ethnicity. Before that, all my antagonists had been cowboys, Nazi spies, bank robbers, forgers and thieves. In fact, Red Crisis was the reason I began to research KGB agents and the Soviet government, which later lead me to a full-blown research on Russian history and ultimately made me fall in love with these people from a far away land that have been through so much hardship.

Nicolai Igorovich Dobzhansky. Copyright ©
2015 by Melissa McConnell.
Finally, for a really fun and random fact, there is a scene in Red Crisis that is a nod to one of my other book series. Nicolai Dobzhansky (you can read about him HERE) gets a quick mention in Red Crisis, though it was funny to add that in because technically Nicolai wasn't born until 1969. It was just a fun way for me to let Nicolai cameo in that story.


I hope you had fun reading some of the back story on Red Crisis! I hope to do at least one or two character spotlights on Lisa and Cecelia.








How many times have you changed your story? How drastic were the changes? Do you keep your original versions? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

15 comments:

  1. Yay! A "Red Crisis" post!!!! I was so excited to see it!
    Oh, Nicolai! I like him :) I think he's my favorite bad guy that you've written so far! B-)
    I've changed my stories quite a bit. I've never actually changed the whole plot, but I change individual scenes all the time! Sometimes the changes are hardly noticeable, sometimes they're completely different! :D
    I loved the post! I can't wait for the character spotlights! :)

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    1. Ah yes, I should send you some Nicolai clips I have that you'd really enjoy, Jesseca. I have tons of them. :)

      I think all writers change scenes and sometimes plots. Oftentimes characters change when we're writing them and therefore change the story. Thanks for sharing, Jesseca. :)

      We'll see when I get to those character spotlights. I hope to, but I'm not sure I will. :)

      Thanks for commenting!

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  2. Oh mannn...y'all better hurry up with this story! I really, REALLY want to read it!!! :P I change my stories all the time...in fact, in Alice & Alyssa I just added a completely different ending to the story with one plot twist. You'll read it I'm sure... B-) So now I'm frantically figuring how on earth I'm going to get the book ended! Lol! :D Have you ever felt like your characters act by themselves and write the book while you're asleep? I've had that suspicion a couple of times during these last few weeks. Argh. :P

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    1. I'm glad! I keep getting so nervous everyone won't like it all that much, though. It's really more for an eight to twelve-year-old audience. I don't know how much everyone will like it. I guess I keep getting super excited about it and then super nervous. ;)

      Haha, I have seemed to notice how you change your stories up. I like that about you, you're very open to new ideas. And I know all about those endings where you don't know how to end! Haha, I'm having that problem right now. :) Characters often change a story, that's for sure. They develop and change and make the plot go a totally different direction than we originally expected. :) I love characters! I think yours are probably hijacking the computer while you're asleep. I can attest that they do this. ;)

      Thanks for sharing and commenting!

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  3. I love hearing back stories! From stories, songs, etc.

    I have changed a few scenes and one characters background, but never the entire plot of a story.:)

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    1. Backstories are my favorite things to read, other than a book. B-) I love finding out how the book came into being and the process the author went to get there. So I find backstories fun to write, too. :)

      Ah, a character's background. Now that's fun. You can totally derail your story if you change a character's background. It's so much fun! :D I wonder if that would be from your Big Valley stories... :)

      Thanks for commenting!

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    2. Yep, backstories are awesome!

      Actually...I did change a character's background in a BV story! When I commented I was thinking of a bad-guy character from my Andi story. ; )

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    3. Oh, now I can't wait until that story! AUGH! Especially your Andi story. I'm very excited about that one. WHY DO YOU MAKE US WAIT??? ;) Haha, well, I guess I can wait a little longer...

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    4. Haha, I REALLY want to start posting it, but (sadly:() I haven't had much time to work on it lately.... I know, terrible excuse :P!!

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    5. Heart... is... stopping... because you haven't shown it to me! ;) I need to read this story... Why you so cruel, Faith? ;) Post it soon!

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    6. If my little bro saw this he would tell you I'm 'just mean'. ;)
      I'm going to start posting it soon...that's a promise! Until then there is a post on my blog from May 31 that tells a little about a character from that story. And my Pinterest board "BLS ~info and stuff" is stuff for that story! :)

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    7. YAY! I'll go look at your pinterest board and go take a look at your blog again. :)

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  4. That's cool! Now I want to read your book... :)
    I haven't finished my first draft yet, so I don't know what will happen in draft 2... :P ;)
    But I do have a few ideas that would change the way the story flows. :)

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    1. Yes, those little ideas can totally change what happens in your book. Believe it or not, "Free", my 95,000 word novel I pitched to a publishing company two months ago, was originally a fan fiction story. Originally, the story was about this girl named Lauren and her big brother Nick, and how they argued all the time and how Lauren gets injured and Nick got a second chance to be a better brother. It ended up that Lauren's story went through a gazillion changes- first, her name became Laura, and instead of three brothers she ended up with six, then I changed the time period, then I made a foreign army invade during the story (she even got brainwashed in one version! :P) then I gave her sisters, then I changed the foreign army, then I made it that she was a child when they invaded, then I changed everyone's name... the list goes on. Overall, "Free" went through TWELVE revisions until I got to the version I have now. So don't be surprised if that first draft ends up in a totally different direction by the time you're done- it will happen and it's fun! Enjoy the journey, it's a blast to see where your characters take you!
      :D
      Thanks for commenting!

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    2. It's amazing how much a story can change in just one revision! ;)
      Have a great evening! :)

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