Monday, January 21, 2013

Direction chapter three notes

When I originally conceived the first scene, it was decidedly more negative in overall tenor. Rin would’ve found Hisao’s story in the last chapter to be discouraging, knowing that he went through hardship on account of her. I ultimately decided against that path because it felt a bit predictable. Having Rin be encouraged, as Hisao intended, yet still be beyond his understanding—that felt appropriate.

Adachi is really quite attached to Rin, and she’s going out on a limb here to bring Hisao and keep Rin in school. Adachi is without her husband, and her children have long since left home. Rin is like a granddaughter to her—a granddaughter who may seldom have the presence of mind to show her affection, but Adachi’s seen that, too. The piece Rin created for her after her husband’s death is a testament to that.

Like with the first scene, I toned down some of the more overt negative overtones in this scene with Ryou. Given that this is really the first opportunity for Ryou to be characterized at all, I felt having him be unreasonable would not come off well. Ryou is a smart, dedicated guy. He is, in many ways, intended to be a reflection of Hisao, finding himself in a similar predicament that Hisao did back at Yamaku. The difference between them is that Ryou has a significant sense of pride, too much to admit faults in front of Sumi. Still, Hisao is able to find some traction with him, even though Sumi’s arrival spoils things.

The alternative that I originally had in mind would’ve been much worse. Ryou would’ve punched Hisao in the chest, a deliberate and vile act that would’ve had Sumi throw him out and Hisao, in a moment of despair over Rin, would’ve considered trying to get together with Sumi, only for her to refuse. Still, this proved to be a major turning point in the direction (so to speak) of the story, as after this, some time would’ve been spent with Sumi going through with a divorce, feeling prepared to make a new life for herself. The overall idea of Sumi finding a new path still lives, but it doesn’t get quite that dire or extreme.

In retrospect, I would’ve liked to do more with the novel Kokoro, but given the length of the story, there really wasn’t more time to deal with it.

Rick Ankiel last played for the Washington Nationals. He hit a game-winning playoff homerun in 2010 for Atlanta, also. It was nice to have Mitsuru overcome his comic relief status for a moment to give Hisao some encouragement as he was sliding downward. Mitsuru’s a good kid.

As with Hisao’s prior experience in the lab, many of the details in this scene come from my own undergraduate work in solid state physics, particularly with graphene. I’m glad to say I never blew up a high pressure fan, however, but the sequence of events needed to operate an apparatus such as the vacuum chamber used for LEED and Auger spectroscopy is indeed quite complex.

To this point, everything has been doing wrong for Hisao. I wonder if that’s too much the case. Still, the trajectory of this story is pretty straightforward. This is his lowest point. Nothing is going well, and the only solution is to get away. I knew right away the inspiration for him to get off the mat should come from Mutou. I actually had to fix this last scene to make the sequencing of events clear: Sumi goes to class, sees Hisao isn’t around, tries to reach him with no answer, goes to his lab and hears about the accident, and she calls up Mutou hoping Hisao will listen to him instead.

In many ways, the nature of science—to try to understand things—forces the issue with Rin. Hisao has to either truly understand her or accept that he doesn’t understand some things yet. Thus, I could think of nothing more appropriate. This gets to the very core of Hisao’s identity. His professional and personal futures both ride on this decision, and when Hisao gets off the bus, he takes the first step along a new direction, a change in mentality—or in some ways, a reinvigoration of himself.

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