Thursday, September 24, 2020

Writing Update Sept 24 2020

 I wrote a blog post on August 13.  I never posted it.  It was a bit rambling and incoherent, because I was trying to figure out how to get my story the Return of Sally Stardust off the ground -- to figure out what the central plot of the story was, and how to introduce it at the beginning.  But at the time I hadn't figured this out.

I wrote another blog post around the first week of September.  I also never posted this, but I felt it was a much better explanation of my struggles on my story, and I really felt like I'd solved the key to making the story work.  I liked that blog entry, even though I didn't post it.  I meant to, but then I started working on other stuff and even though I was certain I'd figured out how to write my story, I didn't actually write it.  Just the blog post.

...which I can't find now.  Either I didn't save it, or I  saved it under some weird name in some random folder that I can't remember.  It's not where it ought to be.  I do vaguely remember saving it with whatever default name popped up based on the first line of the text file.  But I can't find it now, it's lost.

Part of my problem is that I tend to write more at work, on my breaks, but I'm no longer able to view or update my blog from work as the company decided to block web access to blogs.  For some reason I have a hard time bringing myself to do these things when I'm at home.  I think I wrote my second blog post at home, late at night, but... can't find the file now.

Anyway, here's everything I've done since July:

For Camp NaNoWriMo in July, I finished X stories:

403  Miss Trinity  finished 7/5
404  Pillar of Light finished 7/8
406  COVID Warrior finished 7/10
407  Robe and Wizard's Hat  finished 7/12  (working title was Balrog)
408  Asylum  finished 7/13
405  Fox Con  finished 7/15
409  It's Complicated  finished 7/16

410  University of Hard Knocks finished 7/18

411 To Punch A Hitler  finished 7/19

From July 20th, through all of August and into the first week of September, I was working on the Return of Sally Stardust.  Along the way I added a lot of background lore in an attempt to understand my characters better.  I did a lot of writing but I don't have a great deal to show for it at present since my story still doesn't have a completed opening scene.

From the first week of September up until this week, I was trying to work on my A Bomb In Heaven cycle of stories.  This is a group of related stories with an overall theme/plot that I started last year.  I have about 20 or so completed stories, but I still haven't finished the cycle and wrapped things up.  In any case, I reworked the first several stories and I wrote a new "interlude" that is not finished, and... that was about it.

This past week I decided to go back and work on regular one-off Grandpa Anarchy stories, which for whatever reason are much easier for me to do.  I've completed two stories this week and I'm working on another titled Micronations.  My two completed stories:

412  Internet Villains  completed 9/21

413  Indestructible  completed 9/23

And... that's what I've done with my writing the past three months.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Camp NaNoWriMo July 16

So far this month for Camp NaNoWriMo I've written approximately 11,000 words and finished 7 stories.  To date:

403  Miss Trinity  finished 7/5
404  Pillar of Light finished 7/8
406  COVID Warrior finished 7/10
407  Robe and Wizard's Hat  finished 7/12  (working title was Balrog)
408  Asylum  finished 7/13
405  Fox Con  finished 7/15
409  It's Complicated  finished 7/16

Currently working on:

University of Hard Knocks:  I wrote about this story in June.  I've added to it, but it's not an actual story just yet.

To Punch a Hitler:  I should be able to turn this into a story, there's a lot already written.

New ideas:

Boy or Magic:  I saw someone on Twitter talking about a trope that strangely does not appear in TV Tropes (yet) -- that of the (most often) female character having to "give up" magic in order to find true love.  Most often found in stories about magical girls who have to give up their magic when they find a boy to have a relationship with, but also encountered in other stories where young women have to give up whatever makes them special in order to enter into a relationship with a man.  Often this is portrayed as a noble sacrifice or a testament to how strong their love is, but the man never has to give up anything.  See:  Arwen in Lord of the Rings, and to a lesser extent also Éowyn.

I don't have a specific story in mind for this but I agree that it's a stupid trope and magical girls should not have to give up their magic for love or as a transition to adulthood, and I wanted to write a story that specifically dealt with this trope.  And why is it not listed in TV Tropes anyway?

Mission Briefing:  An old idea/old story file, built around the idea that you would not brief people on a mission until you're already in the helicopter on the way to the mission.  Because they do that in the movies all the time and it makes no sense whatsoever.

Infinite Dojo:  After I wrote Miss Trinity I decided that there is now a sub-basement below the Anarchy Cavern that Grandpa does not yet know about, set up by Glory Ashes and Annie Two.  This includes the manufacturing facilities where the various Annie robots were built, a base of operations for several magical girls including Little Morphin' Annie, possibly gateways to a magical girl base in space and perhaps the base of operations for F8Wasp and Amelia Bloodraven, possibly a resurrection station run by Glory Ashes for her own use; and of course the Infinite Dojo -- which at first I imagined as a dojo with mirrored walls and ceilings, but then I also imagine robotic sparring partners, and possibly other "danger room" style additions.

I don't have an actual story in mind for this yet, but at some point Grandpa is going to find out about it.  Also, I have plans for Glory Ashes to team up with F8Wasp and Amelia Bloodraven to form some sort of super group of their own.

Micronation:  I want to write a story about how many micro nations run by villainous dictators there are in the Grandpa Anarchy world.  Hundreds of them, I assume.

Indestructible:  Based on an idea that popped into my head while rereading PS238, I want to write a story about an entire superteam of "flying bricks" or as they put it in the PS238 universe, "FISS" heroes (flying, invulnerable, superstrength, superspeed).  At the moment this team is called the Indestructibles of Miami, although nothing is set in stone.  I imagine each gained their powers a different way -- one is a god, one is magically cursed, one is a mutant, one was exposed to cosmic radiation or somesuch.  Because they all have the same powers, they are actually quite easy to game plan against.

All About You:  I'm not sure this even qualifies as a story idea.  It's just the idea that super villains such as Kid Calculus see themselves as superior to everyone else.  Grandpa Anarchy does not think this way.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

June 2020 Writing Update

I haven't updated in several months, and that's because I have written very little in the last several months.

Magical March -- I managed about four stories I think.  I continued to try and write on these stories throughout April and May without much success.  In June I finally decided to switch and write some regular Grandpa Anarchy stories, and also I started posting to my Grandpa Anarchy Blog again.  Things have gone slightly better.

Stories I have written this month:

Disposable - Grandpa must contend with a sidekick whose entire goal is to be the girl whose death motivates Grandpa enough to defeat the villain.  This is a play on the stereotype of a disposable love interest/sidekick/friend who serves no other purpose in the story except to die and advance the plot.  Of course, death is not permanent in Grandpa's universe, but he still objects to having his sidekick die just as a plot device, even if it's been done before.

Loopholes - Grandpa objects to cheap tricks to resolve seemingly impossible situations -- such as "no man of woman born can slay me" and the hero was born by cesarean section so somehow that works.  All the while, Grandpa employs the same sort of cheap tricks when it's convenient.

Stories I've been working on:

Balrog - I got this idea while rewatching Lord of the Rings (obviously).  The idea is that Death Medal summons a Balrog, and then geeks out about it because he's a Tolkien fan and just thinks it's really cool.  I haven't actually got a plot or a joke/twist ending for this one yet, but it was very easy to imagine the scene and the dialog and I'm sure I can come up with a way to make it work at some point.

Fox Con - This is a story about a Chinese security company soliciting to install a security system for Grandpa's mansion.  Of course, there's a Chinese tech villain involved.  This is a story I've had on the back burner for a long time, and I think I could make it work but in a way it feels too similar to Punch 'Em All.

Spanish Restoration - with the recent news of yet another botched art restoration in Spain, I thought, what if there were a villain behind all of these botched restorations?  My first idea was a villain whose entire goal is to deface works of art by "restoring" them.  My second idea was some sort of demon who possesses people and does this, which explains the woman who defaced Ecco Homo for example.  My third idea is maybe it's a villain who can bring these botched painting restorations to life so that Grandpa has to fight Monkey Christ.  Anyway, I don't have a fully-fledged story idea for this yet.

To Punch A Hitler - I've written quite a bit on this one.  The idea is that every May 8 Grandpa Anarchy becomes depressed because it's Victory Day in Europe, and he never got the chance to punch Hitler in the face.  He's punched Hitlers from various other timelines, he's punched Hitler's brain in a shark, he's punched all sorts of alternative Hitlers, but he failed to punch our timeline's Hitler in th face and it's one of his greatest regrets.

My biggest problem with this particular story idea is that it's all setup, and I don't have a satisfying punch line yet.  However it did give me an opportunity to explore more of Grandpa's comic book/film history, including the realization that there was a black Mr. Anarchy in a 1970's Blaxploitation film called Funky Anarchy (black Mr. Anarchy got to punch Hitler, of course).

University of Hard Knocks - This is a dialog between Grandpa Anarchy and the villain Idiot Ball about whether villains are born or made.  Idiot Ball naturally subscribes to the theory that he was forced to be a villain, that he had no choice.

I don't actually know where this story is going at the moment but I liked the idea of including this sort of discussion in the middle of a fight.  I think this stems from some podcasts I listened to which explored the idea a bit.

Pyramid - The idea is that a villain is running a create-a-villain pyramid scheme or "Multi-Level Marketing" company, which is code for it's a pyramid scheme but it hasn't been proven in court yet.  ^_^  Possibly this is a create-a-hero pyramid scheme, I haven't worked out the details yet.

Pillar of Light - Having just watched Suicide Squad, I noticed that they also use the famous "pillar of light" trope that you see so often in fantasy/sci fi/superhero/horror movies.  I need to write at least one Grandpa Anarchy story that involves one of those.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Magical March?

I had a very productive January and February, but March has not been productive at all.  I spent the last part of February and the first part of March trying to work on my Sally Stardust stories, and those went nowhere.  Then I realized it was "Magical March", when artists on the internet are challenged to draw a magical girl for each day of the month, working from a list of themes.

I tried to write a magical girl story for each day of the month of March 2018, using the same themes.  Ultimately I didn not quite finish, but I managed stories for nearly every day of the month, and I planned the last few and then didn't write them.  There was a big event story near the end that combined everyone in one massive adventure, and I wrote that but I knew that it was poorly written, so I never published it and planned to rework it, but never did.

Nevertheless, I decided to try again.  Like last time, I planned to do this late -- around March 4th or 5th, several days into the month.  Then I failed to get anything done right away.

The thing is, I still like the idea, and I really want to include some of the real-life stuff that's been happening lately with the COVID-19 outbreak and world events.  I like the idea of writing a story a day, that is meant to be happening on that specific day.  As an example, today's theme is "Beach" and young people doing spring break at the beaches despite calls for social distancing has been in the news, so that's a subject to insert into a possible Beach-themed magical girl story.

On Sunday I managed to write my first two stories.  I figured if I could continue to write a story a day, or even two stories a day, I'd eventually get to the end.  But I've finished nothing since.

Part of the problem is that we're very busy at work.  I'm one of two people in my department who are still coming to work, which means we handle more phones, and I had already committed to working a couple of extra hours in the evening on Monday and Tuesday each week, and it has either left little time for me to write or get into the mood to write, or at least it's been a convenient excuse to avoid writing.  So... so far I've only written the two stories, and it's already 20 days into the month.  And next month is Camp NaNoWriMo, which I was hoping to use to finish my fanfiction story Nerima All-Stars.

But I'm still positive and think I can get on top of this somehow.  It's just one story at a time, you know.

I also did not post anything to my story blog last week, and haven't done this week either.  I'll probably try to post something by this evening though, I have a lot of stories from this year to post.

Friday, February 28, 2020

End of February

I don't have much of an update this week.  I didn't get a lot of writing done.  I edited my story Sally Stardust Is Dead, and I couldn't decide on the composition of a couple of paragraphs, and I fiddled with it but eventually posted it for better or worse.  Sometimes I think it's the best of my Eve stories, other times I feel like it's one of the most problematic.

My other big accomplishment for the week was to start a story that I eventually decided to call the Return of Sally Stardust, or the Resurrection of Sally Stardust.  I've got a lot of ideas for it but at the moment no completed scenes.  And I sometimes think how I feel about my other story affects my desire to actually sit down and write this one, or the two that follow.  :/

One idea for the story is that I want to progress the relationship between Eve and Amaryllis, and have them conceive a child.  In Amethyst this is done through the use of a plant called a wombflower, so neither of them will be pregnant.  Then I decided that, at the same time, Eve's partner Muriel would become pregnant -- which is a thing that her species does asexually, through parthenogenesis I think the term would be.  I want Eve to finally read a bit about Muriel's race and realize how little she knew about her partner -- they are not actually very human-like normally.

I also want to explore other divisions of the 5E government wing of the Eieio Empire.  It makes sense to me that there is at least one alien military division similar to the space babes, but where the members are not humanoid at all.  Maybe like sentient rock creatures or floating psychic wooden monuments, something very abnormal to earth life.  Something as strange as a sea cucumber, you know.

My second idea for this story is that the company which produces the Girls of Two-Fisted Justice cartoon want to do an episode with Eve and Muriel in it, and they've hit upon an idea where, since Eve looks like an old cartoon character named Sally Stardust, they went out and bought the rights to that character and even want to talk Eve into maybe changing her name legally to Sally Stardust.  Which is a weird idea but I did write up a background history of the character and where she came from, and I want to include some of it in the story somewhere.

Since neither of these ideas presents a lot of drama I thought I should manufacture some sort of fight or conflict to actually drive the story.  When I thought about what kind of villain might show up, I thought of the Space Thralls.

I wrote a story called the Ring of Hanubatum a couple of years ago, and this involved Grandpa Anarchy's two great granddaughters, on an adventure through space and to the fairyland of Amethyst.  Along the way I established some things that had happened in the past but which I'd never written into a story -- Elsie McDaniel is a princess of Amethyst, so she's been there more than once (she was there when she was about six in my story Return to Amethyst) and Kelli Nova is a junior member of the Space Babes.  Both girls are descended not only from Grandpa Anarchy, but also from the Nova family which founded the Space Babes -- and also from the heroine Hellfire Lass, who was Grandpa's wife and their great grandmother.

In order to explain some of this, I created a backstory of a dramatic event that was unwritten which involved an invasion of Amethyst from Space Thralls -- trolls from space -- which were repelled by members of Grandpa's supergroup along with the Space Babes and with the help of at least Kelli Nova.  Afterwards a space station was set up over Amethyst, which I've used in several other stories including Sally Stardust is Dead.  I presume the steampunk Space Babes space station over Amethyst is heavily defended against any new Space Thrall attack, and so I thought, what if the Space Thralls try to attack through our universe first?  They'd encounter Eve and Muriel.

I had an idea that maybe the king of the Space Thralls would fall in love with Eve on sight and try to make her his bride.  I dunno how far I want to go with that -- I don't really want to make Eve a damsel in need of rescue, although having Muriel and/or Amaryllis rescue her might be fun.

Anyway, as I said, I have a lot of ideas and it sometimes seems that I have an entire story if I assemble everything in the right order, and I suspect that maybe the heart of the story should be about whether Eve want to marry Amaryllis, which may mean Eve wants to remain as she is after her tour as a Space Babe.  Also, perhaps part of the conflict is Muriel deciding to remain humanoid because her child is born as a humanoid child?  I dunno.  They could retire to a farm in Amethyst or something.

All of this caused me to reread the Ring of Hanubatum, which has some problems because I figured out the backstory mentioned above as I was writing the story, and Kelli acts completely oblivious about Amethyst despite the back story saying she's been there before.  Also Elsie's stuffed dragon talks to her in the first scene, and never again. There are a lot of inconsistencies.  I need to rewrite it a bit, which I always knew.  I want to revisit these characters who are young heroes but whose parents are against heroes and adventures in general.  I have to figure out how they come to terms with being heroes despite their parents wishes.

All of which made me think that I should really go back and write the unwritten story of the Space Thrall invasion.

So basically, I want to work on Space Babes Are Easy and You Can Be Sally Stardust, but I came up with a prequel to work on first called the Return of Sally Stardust, and then I came up with another prequel to this and the Ring of Hanubatum called... well, Space Thrall Invasion for now.  And then assuming I can write all of these stories, I may also write a sequel to Ring of Hanubatum.  I think I already have one partially plotted actually -- The Devil and Miss Elsie.

I didn't write much this week, but I plotted a lot I guess.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Third Week of February 2020

Friday I finished my story Them Rats.  On Thursday I only had a vague idea of how this story would go -- it involved the villain Holy Terror, and I wanted to include a lot of the background on Glory Ashes, Grandpa's current sidekick.  I had no plot.  But by Friday morning, I'd figured out how the story should go, and it came together pretty well.  In fact, I finished it so quickly that I thought to myself, "I have time to work on my other story idea, The Strangulator."

Of course, this didn't happen.  Even when I think I have plenty of time to write more than one story in the same day, I get that one story done and then I'm simply not in the right mood or frame of mind to write more.

I did not write much of anything on Saturday or Sunday, but Saturday was Writer's Night at Gene and Michael's in North Seattle.  I read Them Rats and people liked it quite a bit.  I got some suggestions for minor tweaks, which I immediately incorporated.

Sunday I planned to work on The Strangulator, but instead I watched two movies.  One was Snow White, the other was Frozen.  I have a plan to watch all of the Disney princess movies, and to that end I've also recently purchased Cinderella and the Little Mermaid.  I think I am still lacking Sleeping Beauty, Alladin, and... Mulan?

Anyway, inspired by Snow White, I suddenly imagined Grandpa Anarchy with a similar magic mirror.  He stands before it in the morning and says, "Mirror, mirror above the bureau, Who's the greatest superhero?"  A few sarcastic replies occurred to me.  I really liked this, and envisioned it as a short joke scene in some other story, with no real explanation of where he got the mirror or what he planned to do with it.  But since I had no particular story to put it in, I wrote it down and saved it as its own file called Magic Mirror.

Monday I woke up, and I knew exactly how the entire Magic Mirror story should go.  I wrote the story that day.

Tuesday I woke up and I knew how to transform The Strangulator into a complete story.  This one I struggled with for most of the day, but in the end it pretty much came together the way I'd imagined it in the morning.

Wednesday I woke up and I knew how my story about the robotic butler Wilfred 2.0 should go.  I wrote most of this on Wednesday, and then finished it up Thursday morning.

I have to say, complete stories don't just spring into my head.  I have to be actively thinking about these things beforehand.  But I'll have some setting or scenario and I'm trying to imagine how I can transform it into a story, and then at night my subconscious steps in and says, "This is how you should do it!"  So it's a byproduct of me trying to figure these things out in the back of my head already, but it still feels magical when I just wake up and the solution to my problem just presents itself to me.  ^_^

I wrote 13 stories in January, and so far in February I've written 11 more:

2/2 A Clown in a Clown Store
2/2 Death By Clown
2/7 The Tutu of Lully
2/9 Banavatar
2/11 The Emancipation of Philip Dos
2/12 The Seeker
2/13 The Luckiest Human
2/14  Them Rats
2/17  Magic Mirror
2/18  The Strangulator
2/20  WIlfred 2.0

Also, WIlfred 2.0 is story # 400.  This numbered list includes 17 unfinished stories or skipped numbers, so technically I have not written 400 stories.  My numbered unfinished stories/skipped numbers are:

037-040  World of Hero (novella -- book 2)
103  Second Class (novella -- book 3)
161  Oz on the Half-Shell (novella -- book 5)
173  Patron of the Arts (book 5)
174  ?
177  (non-existent Christmas story)  (book 5)
190  Meanwhile in Zendeth Sector  (book 6)
370  Girls Will Be Girls  (book 12)
371  Tsundere  (book 12)
372  A Bomb In Heaven  (book 12)
373  Ancient Cosmic Evil  (book 12)
375  Space Babes Are Easy  (book 11)
376  You Can Be Sally Stardust  (book 11)

By this point I think I've written enough stories to make a complete book 11.  What I want to work on now is finishing some of these unfinished stories.  I think that's my next goal -- but it's a big goal, because three of these are novella-length and the stories in book 12 might as well be one giant novel, so the ending is particularly hard to get right.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

February 13 Update

On Sunday I completed my Banana Split story.  I retitled this Banavatar.  I am also considering Bananavatar and Avabanana (suggested by Chuck).

Tuesday I completed my Android Head of Philip K. Dick story.  I retitled this the Emancipation of Philip Dos.

At this point I was feeling several things.  I had introduced a new sidekick named Glory Ashes, but had revealed none of her backstory -- it didn't really fit into what I was writing.  I really wanted to write one or two more stories with her in it so I could get the chance to explore her backstory which is far more elaborate than my typical sidekick.

I was also feeling a little burned out on the gender bender tropes that were a part of both stories, because I know I've written too many stories like that and I kind of feel like that's not meant to be the focus of my Grandpa Anarchy stories and I've been overdoing it.  So I felt a little depressed, like I was writing stories that most people wouldn't want to read, and I should try something different.  I began work on an old story called Fox Con, which I had decided to transform into one of my stories with Glory Ashes in it.

But then Tuesday I went back to Book 1 and finished a "fill in" story that I had "plotted" quite a while ago.  I say "plotted" in quotes because my entire plot consisted of "John Haggard shows up for some reason".  2-3 years ago I'd planned out these stories involving Circuit Girl -- who I'd built up as one of Grandpa Anarchy's best sidekicks ever, but she had never actually appeared in any story.  So I created three stories to slip into my first book that would give her some background.  Two of these I wrote right away, but the third one, called Jack really was only the idea of a story.

However I managed to come up with an idea and flesh out the full story.  I retitled it The Seeker.

So at this point (yesterday) I was feeling much better.  I'd written an old story I'd planned to write a couple of years ago; it was meant to be for Book 1 and was the only incomplete story in that book, and now I began to think I should concentrate on finishing up other unfinished stories.  I have a few which are numbered and placed in books as if they're complete stories, but they aren't.  Usually I know what major event is supposed to happen in that story, and so it needs to be there, for reasons.

So naturally Wednesday night I came up with two completely unrelated story ideas -- although both involve Glory Ashes, and one sort of takes the place of what I was trying to do with Fox Con.  I was watching some music videos before bed and in the back of my mind was this bit of dialog about heavy metal bands that are strongly visual, and because of this I had to watch some Babymetal, some Band-Maid, and then some Ghost.  And while watching Ghost videos I realized that I really needed to write another story involving the Holy Terror, a villain who kind of looks like Papa Emeritus in his evil pope getup.  I really like this villain a lot, and I've only used him twice.  Before I knew it, I'd plotted half of the story in my head.  I titled it Them Rats.

I've also had another song stuck in my head recently -- Let Me In by MC Chris, the nerd rapper known best for his Star Wars rap Fett's Vette, but I like Let Me In better.  It's the story of they Ghostbusters character Louis Tully (Rick Moranis) and opens with his prophecy about Gozer the Traveler:

Gozer the Traveler. He will come in one of the pre-chosen forms. During the rectification of the Vuldrini, the traveler came as a large and moving Torg! Then, during the third reconciliation of the last of the McKetrick supplicants, they chose a new form for him: that of a giant Slor! Many Shuvs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Slor that day, I can tell you!

So that's been stuck in my head for a couple of days, and this led me to create another story file initially titled Gozer the Traveler, but this morning I renamed it The Strangulator.  My idea is to have a Ghostbusters-like invasion, because I'm not sure I've done that yet.  This story also includes Glory Ashes of course.

So -- naturally after deciding to work on old stories, and then creating two brand new story files... I completed a different story today.  I've been working on a story called Manineko or Lucky Neko, and this is one of those stories that I'd been very down on Tuesday evening.  I came up with a very complicated backstory for how the regeneration vats that Grandpa and Dark Dr. Dark and the New League of Two-Fisted Justice use work, and it was far too complex to fit into a story, and I was trying to build a joke based on something that could not be quickly explained or understood.  So I wrote down all of my ideas and set them aside, and in the morning I realized that I didn't need to explain things much at all and I also came up with an entirely different ending that made more sense for where the story had been going originally.  So I finished it today and retitled it The Luckiest Human.

But I numbered Them Rats and The Strangulator first, because I want stories involving Glory Ashes to come before my next story involving a different sidekick.  So once again I've numbered two stories that aren't finished yet.  But I think I can finish these two fairly quickly.

Stories for February:

2/2 A Clown in a Clown Store
2/2 Death By Clown
2/7 The Tutu of Lully
2/9 Banavatar
2/11 The Emancipation of Philip Dos
2/12 The Seeker
2/13 The Luckiest Human

Working on:  Them Rats and The Strangulator.