This whole scene was nowhere in my original outline. I had planned for it to begin with Braggadocio visiting Bert, then move into the founding of Fightopian society, and only then escalate into a situation the Peacemakers would have to deal with.

Phil felt the story needed a more dramatic lead-in and expressed that feeling as less of a suggestion, more of a demand. This represented a breakdown in the “I get a chapter, then you get a chapter” division of labor we’d set up. The angry struggle for control we’d been trying to rise above was resurfacing.

But I have to admit that in this case, Phil’s storytelling instincts were sound. Even though none of our protagonists are in this scene, it creates a situation that will more immediately demand their attention. We’d just done a story that completely ignored the existence of our protagonists for its entire length; I don’t think we could have done that for another 16 pages without drifting too far from the idea of whom our series was supposed to be about.