“Fine, you win.” I might as well be saying that out loud as I type this. I never intended to cause controversy with Victim’s third chapter. What caused that controversy isn’t even the focus of the plot. In the original version, Rina and Mica do some world-building and express almost word-for-word some opinions they inherited. That was never intended to be political (in a real-world sense), cause controversy, or come across as clichéd. It was actually meant to be confronted in chapters 13 and 17. But the controversy has come to overshadow the story itself.
I’ve done too many blog posts on the subject. This will be yet another (and the new afterword once the book is republished under my new pen name). But, it is worth repeating that I wrote Victim during my senior year of college. Looking back, I can see why I included the scene in question. I actually went back-and-forth on it for a while beforehand. If I were to write this story today, I would do it differently. I’d probably scratch that scene and incorporate the murderscreens with the history of the Day of Remembrance better at other points in the book. But, overall, I’m not sure it’d be the same story. And I don’t want to dwell on it from that perspective. I’d rather pacify the situation, rerelease my book, and move on to conquer future projects.
There are certain creative decisions I will vehemently defend. An unintended controversy in my first book that I almost didn’t include, don’t really have a pressing desire to keep, and that enrages gun rights activists? In this case, I’m finally opting to edit chapter three. When this book is rereleased under my new pen name, it will have a (hopefully) controversy-free third chapter. Yes, it will still have the murderscreens and the Day of Remembrance. Rina’s motivations might make a bit less sense later, but so be it.
Now, as an author, I get to finally close this chapter. It’s no secret that something in Victim hasn’t sat right for me for the past few years. After its rerelease, the story can breathe. Anyone interested can find the original third chapter on my website (renjdorian.com), along with some reflections on it. The overall story is still intact. I hope you enjoy it.
-Ren J Dorian, September 29, 2020