The maybe-bad news: COI is being massively rewritten. And I mean MASSIVELY.
One of the main reasons that I stopped working on COI was because as result of my admittedly agonizingly slow writing speed, I've been quite thoroughly Jossed by the release of Advent Children Complete and Crisis Core.
So I faced a dilemma with three possible options.
(1) Do I plow on with COI as it was originally plotted, which was based only on the original game and ignore some very interesting plot points and characterizations from Advent Children and Crisis Core?
(2) Do I leave what was already written alone and try to fit in the interesting AC and CC aspects as I continue?
(3) Do I just bite the damn bullet and just do a massive rewrite?
Well, my decision is pretty clear from the beginning of this post. When I re-read the earlier chapters of COI, I occasionally ended up asking myself, "What the hell were you thinking?" and "Whoa, being a bit over-melodramatic there." You get the picture. So there's another benefit of a rewrite.
So I'm here to tell you guys that I'm now working on "Conflicts of Interest: Redux", which is set after Advent Children and incorporating material from Crisis Core. In some ways, it's much the same story as COI. But in others, it's very different beast indeed.
To be honest, I'm still working out some of the changes in my head, but the main ones are this:
(1) Cloud's character is more like his Advent Children depiction (i.e., quieter, more pensive). He's definitely not emo. I don't do emo.
(2) Tifa's character is also much more like her AC depiction, in that she's much nicer and more perceptive.
(3) Zack's going by his canonic last name (i.e., Zack Fair).
(4) Rufus and the Turks have an even bigger role in the story.
(5) I'm removing some unnecessary side plots, in hopes of producing a leaner, meaner story.
(6) I'm incorporating some information from the FF7 webnovels and other sources.
I don't know if you guys like this version or not, but I'll be honest -- I don't think I can continue to work on COI as it is. Aside from all the information from the new games, I can't help feeling that there are things about COI that HAVE to be fixed.
Don't worry. The existing chapters of COI will always be around, if that's the version you prefer.
The rough draft of first chapter of COI Redux should be ready in the next few days.
::donning flameproof suit and grabbing riot shield::
Okay, tell me what you think.