Author's Notes on
I finally settled on Biker Mice From Mars: Wars Are Won By Those Who Dare: Turbo as my entry into National Novel Writing Month 2008. Happily, I did win by finishing the first draft on November 30th--even if I did cause myself some issues with another deadline: my first attempt at the M.A. Exam Part 2. I neglected to get my reading materials and then tried to cram reading them on November 30th while writing. Needless to say, I flunked my exam on Dec. 2nd. So I ended up sitting on Turbo for a while as I finished both parts of my M.A. Exam. I finished the second draft by November 8, 2009, finished the third draft, and posted the story on July 26, 2010.
You can read about my month-long adventures with writing the first draft, here at Discipline Under Fire. I learned a lot about my writing habits and what I need to change as I work at better integrating writing with my life. I learned that my average hourly word count is 1133. That’s not a bad daily word count to shoot for with everything else I have to do.
I can usually make an hour of writing in the morning if I take care of myself (i.e. go to bed on time and don’t drink too much caffeine). But my best composing comes from longhand writing in notebooks that I worked on all day long. That may just be my perception, but I feel that my hour at the computer is better and I get more done when all the thinking is done in longhand.
Changes to Writing Habits
- When planning out how long a project should take, use the hourly rate of writing.
- Schedule sanely: need an hour for writing with no pressure.
- Taking breaks from the computer helps keeps my body healthy and gets my chores done. But it only works when I obey the timer and get up.
Favorite lines from the metrics I kept while writing the first draft.
- Fave Turbo line: “You know I’m not going to stop coming after you, Throttle. You know I will kill that beautiful bitch of yours.”
- Fave Throttle line: “What does baseball have to do with this?”
- Fave Modo line: “This fight doesn’t have anything to do with us. Me and Vinnie are in for Throttle. ‘Cause bros are one of the three things in the universe you can count on.” (My first draft of this line wasn’t nearly as good. I’m SO glad my brain kicked in the quote that I have only heard a zillion times as I have listened to the fanmix soundtrack when I typed it.)
- Fave Vinnie line: “Yeah, well, I think Mom missed the opportunity to put me in therapy.”
- Fave Charley line: “You threatened my life and Throttle’s, kidnapped me, tied me up on top of a cold-ass building without my jacket, and now you want to make small talk?”
- Fave Sparks line: “Cavalry, much better choice. ‘Cause knowing my Dad and his bros, that’s what we’re going to end up being.”
- Fave Tala line: “Boys, really, check for a pulse before planning the funeral.”
- Fave Limburger line: If those rampaging rodents really wanted to get rid of him, all they had to do was stop blowing up his skyscraper. The Council would replace him with someone else who could meet quotas.
- Fave Roddie line: “I didn’t think the bonehead could be that brave.”
Now, be honest, how many of you readers noticed the detail with Throttle's eyes? That I actually worked in on purpose, where the name of Sparks' bike is pure accident. I swear to all the gods, Sparks’s name for his bike was inspired by his line in Reunions when Throttle grabs him. Which would be why it dawned on me when I checked my spelling that father and son have both equated motorcycles with horses.
Another question I wanted to ask because I didn't have room for in the narrative to expand on the idea; how many of you guys caught that the vindictive asshole is right over parents and Throttle and Charley's relationship? Charley has a lot in common with Tamara that the flashbacks should make pretty clear, but I don't know if the parallels between Throttle and Chuck Davidson are that obvious. Pete is keeping track, though.
Chuck married a woman who got pregnant for a marriage and gave up the life he preferred. He raised his daughter after his wife left them. He was close enough to his biker buddies to name them his daughter's godfathers. He cared about helping others, which resulted in forming the Riders of Mercy. He died trying to stop a crime.
But Charley is so not going to the thought "I ended up with a guy just like my father," especially not after Turbo brought it up.
I love all the flashbacks of proto-Biker Mice. Nearly all the characters have flashbacks to events on Mars in Turbo, but there was one scene that came to me while I was finishing Modo's flashback scene of the first time the Biker Mice have to save the day. Since I couldn't fit it into the story, so you get it here.
Stoker reads the newspaper report about this rescue as he’s waiting to get called up for the Twelve-Mile Crater Jump. He chuckles, “Those kids are going to be the ones to look out for on the circuits in a few years.” He puts the paper aside as the signal for the competition goes off.
Well, the joke’s on Stoker. In two years from that moment, he forms the Freedom Fighters to fight the Plutarkians and a year after that, those kids are taking his orders.
Last but not least, the soundtrack details:
- "Biker Mice From Mars" by Will Anderson Cartoon Theme
- “Remember the Heroes” by Sammy Hagar Wars Are Won By Those Who Dare Theme
- “No More Tears” by Ozzy Osbourne - Turbo is not a happy character and he is not up to happy things. Ozzy channels that.
- “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” by Meat Loaf Mentioned in the story
- “Obsession is Such an Ugly Word” by Alesana Turbo’s Theme - this band makes some of the strangest punk rock I have ever heard (not that I’m very knowledgeable in that genre), but the lyrics and the angry guitar chords make this Turbo’s theme.
- “Nothing Can Come Between Us” by Sade - Charley’s theme in this story. Character’s theme songs do change, namely because I keep finding new songs that apply to them. There will probably be more songs from Sade in the future, cause DAMN she has great love songs!
- “Wayward Son” by Kansas - a song that screamed Throttle. The first series was so influenced by 70s and 80s classic rock songs, you are required to go to that era for influence music.
- “Children of the Sun” by Billy Thorpe - intrigued by the title, I downloaded and it went to BMFM inspirations.
- “Jump” by Van Halen Mentioned in the story - What's really sad is how many of the Billboard number ones I know well enough to sing them just by seeing the title listed and how few of them are actually songs the fuzzy boys would listen to on purpose.
- “This is the Part Where People Scream” by Alesana - the lyrics make it a perfect taunt for Turbo to throw at Throttle.
- “War Pigs” by Black Sabbath Throttle and Turbo's fight music
- “Children of the Grave” by Black Sabbath - more fighting music, though I added it for historic detail. I had just bought their Greatest Hits album to get a copy of “Iron Man.”
- “Leather and Lace” by Don Henley and Stevie Nicks Throttle and Charley’s Theme - I knew this song was their love song and would be quoted in Turbo the first time I heard it.
- “Leader of Men” by Nickelback Throttle’s Theme - One of the first songs I picked for BMFM inspiration too, and it has always reminded me of Throttle.
To download the zip file, click on the album cover images.