‘Apex Predator’ marks the big finale for the first ‘story arc’ of A Day of Faces. If this was a book, it’d be the end of part one. If it were a comic, this’d be volume one’s conclusion. If it were a TV show, this would be the final episode of the season.
Instead, it’s an online serial, so I’m not entirely sure of the terminology. Bear with me on that one.
There’s two things I want to reference here. The first is the computer game Deus Ex – the original, from way back in 2000 (or thereabouts). It was a sprawling epic, traversing multiple continents through a very twisty-turny plot. Crucially, though, by the time you got to the end of the game you could look back and see the incredible path you’ve been on, and marvel at just how much had changed. The journey itself made you catch your breath.
Deus Ex isn’t unique in that, obviously, but it’s a particularly acute example that’s always stuck with me. All good stories have a plot that goes somewhere or characters which change during the story. If you get to the end of something and everything feels very status quo still, it feels like you’ve been wasting your time.
Thus, hopefully by the time you get to the end of ‘Apex Predator’, and think back to what was happening in ‘Generation’ at the start of the series, it’ll feel like you and the characters have gone on a legit and unexpected adventure. That’s one feeling I wanted to invoke.
The other one is exemplified by the conclusion to season 1 of the 90s TV show Babylon 5. In that episode, ‘Chrysalis’, the show completely pulls out the rug, redefining itself in the process. It’s not just an exciting finale, with everything back to normal by the start of season 2. It has proper ramifications, and things are never the same again. You have a sense that things will be different from now onwards.
‘Apex Predator’ should have that feeling in spades, if I’ve done my job right.
If you’ve been reading A Day of Faces and have made it this far, or have just been reading these blog posts, then many thanks. This experiment of writing a weekly serial has been really thrilling, and I hope the results are worth your reading time.
I’m going to take a short break before returning with the second story arc. I still intend to post behind-the-scenes stuff, though, so keep an eye on the blog.