You may remember that, a couple of months ago, during the discussions of What's Past Is Prologue, the following conversation happened.
>>>Have you guys given any
>>>thought to possibly re-naming Symphony 5? (...)
>>>it really seems like at this point,
>>>structurally speaking, you might want to re-brand it, end it either
>>>with Taken by Storm or soon after (what's already there functions at
>>>least as well as a cohesive whole as Symphonies 3 and 4 do) and then
>>>push the Black Rose stuff into a hypothetical Symphony 6.
And then Phil said:
>>Well, on my part, the whole of "Taken By Storm" was going to be one
>>movement, period -- or one movement broken up into 3 parts. Which
>>means we'd have 3 more to go, if we kept with the 7 movement thing...
>>... make of that what you will.
And then I said:
>I actually toyed with the idea of labeling it this way - so that the
>entirety of Taken by Storm was the Fifth Movement, broken into
>three parts - but was persuaded not to do so in order to maintain
>consistency with Knights of the Tenth World. (Conversely, if I
>went and relabeled Knights so that it was all Symphony No. 2's
>Fourth Movement, that Symphony would only be five movements long; but
>then again, if everything in Symphony No. 1 was called a movement that
>really should be, it'd be eight or nine, so... it's not an exact
>science, is all I'm saying.)
>(...) Maybe tomorrow I'll wake up, reread this, and
>think, You know what, that's actually a great idea. We could
>rename No. 5 something like Surely Some Revelation Is at Hand
>and really go to town with it. One can never tell.
In the course of the ensuing development, we tried a couple of different variations in order to sort out the perceived thematic "break" between the planned arc of Symphony No. 5 and the much-expanded storyline that a subset of the Symphony cast have experienced during their visit to Dìqiú. Possibilities have included the aforementioned S5/S6 split, which didn't seem like the right thing to do based on the overall plan for S5; simply omitting big pieces of the Dìqiú storyline, wihch didn't seem like the right thing to do, full stop*; and a couple of other possibilities that never got far beyond the "hmm, well, we could - " phase. Eventually the compromise we reached was that the pieces which had been considered for removal (because they didn't seem to fit the S5 theme and were making the Dìqiú digression take too long), wouldn't be scrapped outright, but would be moved to a completely different, non-Symphony story, to appear... well, whenever.
I never quite cottoned to that plan, but I had agreed to it, ultimately, because I acknowledged that something wasn't quite right about the shape of S5 as it was developing, and it seemed like the least painful compromise. It at least sidestepped the prospect of junking the material entirely. I was never wholly comfortable with it, though, and the other day I reached a point in writing the next installment that was a near-perfect natural break... and nowhere near the planned endpoint.
Now, we've seen things like that before. The first time it happened in the Symphony of the Sword pieces was actually very early, when we realized that Kaitlyn and Utena's first winter school holidays together was actually two movements, not one. (To give credit where it's due, I believe Kris Overstreet was the first to point that out.) Over the years we've learned to listen to cues like that when the story gives them to us. I balked at it at first - we had already worked this all out, the Taken by Storm sub-arc was already two movements too long, there was no non-clumsy alternative, and so forth -
- and then I happened to glance at my iTunes playlist and had a sudden epiphany: there was a bit of common musical nomenclature we haven't used yet in any part of the Symphony naming conventions, and as I thought about it, it seemed to fit what I was trying to work out perfectly.
The American Heritage Cultural Dictionary defines a suite, in a musical context, as:
"A group of related pieces of music or movements played in sequence. In the baroque era, a suite was a succession of different kinds of dances. In more recent times, suites have contained excerpts from longer works, such as ballets, or have simply portrayed a scene, as in Ferde Grofé's Grand Canyon Suite."
Note the part I have bolded. Bam!
Recent bits of Symphony No. 5 are having a bit of a repackage after all. The new layout looks like this. The early part of Symphony No. 5 is unchanged, until we get to:
Symphony No. 5
Fourth Movement: Try, Try Again
Entr'acte: Le Droit du Dragon
|--> Suite for Trinity and Avatar (The Dìqiú Suite)
First Movement: Honeymoon by the Sea (formerly S5M5)
Second Movement: What's Past Is Prologue (formerly S5M6)
Third Movement: Goodbye and Hello, As Always
(possibility of entr'actes)
Fourth Movement: TBA
Fifth Movement: TBA
and so on to the end of the Symphony No. 5 main arc.
The new structure places the Dìqiù storyline ensuing from Try, Try Again (which can now be looked at as a kind of overture to the Dìqiú Suite, though it won't be labeled as such) in a semi-separate context, acknowledging the way it has always stood slightly apart from the main S5 arc - but at the same time keeping it within S5 itself, as the events within it are still connected to that main arc (indeed, it couldn't happen without them). This, I hope, will provide what the marketing people would probably call "cogent branding", making the four-part Dìqiú story's apart-yet-togetherness more official, and permitting us to put some parts we had reluctantly deemed surplus to requirements in a "main S5" context back in their correct chronological places under the new theme.
I'm not renaming the discussion threads, that would be silly, but I will retitle the root posts of the annotation threads for Honeymoon and Prologue.
This is purely a flavor thing and probably not worth the amount of sweat and anguish I've put into it, but I like these things to be pretty, and I think this actually is now that I've got it worked out.
* That "kill your darlings" thing? To use a technical term, that is somewhere between a woeful oversimplification and an outright load of crap.
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.