I began writing Mad World on a whim in early November of 2004, and its title is simply the song I used in the first chapter. On General Hospital, Jason, Sonny, and Sam were mourning the death of Sam’s daughter, while Elizabeth was embarking on her career as a nurse at General Hospital, giving us a few glimpses of their old friendship. Kristina’s paternity was in the air, and I remember watching the scene of Alexis and Ric getting married in the hospital chapel and wondering what would happen if Elizabeth walked in.
The original version of Mad World ended up being twenty-three chapters, with two more planned. You can read that version online at Crimson Glass in the Fiction Graveyard. The more I wrote, the less I liked the storylines I had created. I kind of liked what I had done with the teens and the Kristina story, but I was really unhappy with the Jason and Elizabeth material. The story grew unwieldy as I kept adding characters and subplots until I hated the thought of opening it.
When I returned to writing fanfiction in 2014, I wasn’t really sure what to do with Mad World. I didn’t want to leave it unfinished, but like Poisonous Dreams, I was convinced I could do a better job writing the story. I put the first version in the Graveyard and started planning new versions of the story.
I changed the time period of the story to 2003 for a few reasons, but mostly because this satisfies my need to rewrite the fallout of the panic room storyline and other aspects of 2003 that I didn’t particularly nail in I Shall Believe, and saves me from rewriting that story. When I wrote the first draft last year, I did not rewrite the panic room storyline, only the fallout and did not include several pieces of the original Mad World storyline. I didn’t feel like that draft was quite right, so I decided to try again this summer.
As I planned the story, I realized that the story was now huge — it would basically rewrite the second half of 2003 and include a massive ensemble story in the second half that required better set up in the first half. I also wasn’t able to quite figure out how to really tie up the entire thing in less than 35 chapters — which is my upper limit for one story.
I decided to split the story I wanted to tell into three books. Book 1 will cover a shorter period of time and last nineteen chapters. Book 2 is–at the moment–31 chapters. Book 3 is undetermined because while I’m going to use it to tie up stories, I want to see what everyone responds to really plan the ending.
Mad World begins in late June 2003 at the wedding of Jason Morgan and Courtney Matthews. I’ve changed pieces of 2003 to better fit with the storyline I wanted to tell.
- Emily does not return to Port Charles in March 2003 and does not suffer from breast cancer.
- There was no Summer storyline, and Lucky’s post-Laura storyline is very different. It will be detailed in the first few chapters.
- Nikolas and Lesley went to London with Laura to help her in her recovery, leaving Lulu with Bobbie and Lucas.
- Jason and Courtney’s relationship happened pretty much as it did on the show, leading up to their engagement and almost wedding. This is the same for Sonny and Carly.
- Elizabeth and Ric’s relationship is different. They grow closer after Audrey’s death in January, and Ric is not shot in March. Everything else will be explained in the story.
- The teens (Lucas, Dillon, Georgie, Maxie, Lulu, Brooke) have been aged slightly. Lucas, Dillon, Maxie, and Brooke are about 19 and starting sophomore year at PCU. Georgie and Lulu just graduated high school.
I think that’s most of the changes I’ve established.