Monday, September 30, 2013


I think I should have a furry story of some sort written and published by next year's Rainfurrest.

But I still need to work on my anime fanfiction story Girl's School (which I'll probably do for November NaNoWriMo), and I want to get my Grandpa Anarchy book published by the end of the year / early next year.  And maybe start assembling the second book.

Too much stuff to do!

(I do have some 50+ Grandpa Anarchy stories written this year!)

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Rainfurrest: Final Writing Tally

I wrote five stories this weekend, one more than I planned to do.

Deep House of Horror  I began this story Thursday with a bunch of one-liners and ideas from Anthony and Sky and Chuck.  I did some research on House music overnight (and the ballet Giselle as well -- though that turned out to not have any bearing on the story), and Friday morning I set out to write it all up.

For a sidekick, I had Cranky Knuckles, an aging former boxing champion and House DJ turned crimefighter.  I had a  team-up with Nina Ballerina, and a dance villain named The Beat Breaker.  I wrote one scene where Nina meets Grandpa's new sidekick and expresses doubts about him, and warns them about what they're about to face, and then a scene where they're in the club and confront the villain, and then fight him and his cronies.

The story needs a lot of help.  The first scene probably doesn't need to exist, and there's nothing surprising about the fight or the ending.  Sometimes I try to throw things together and nothing interesting suggests itself to me.  I like the characters and I've been wanting to write a Nina team-up, so I'll have to go back and rework this one later.

Crystal Weenie  Death Medal has stolen the Crystal Weenie.  Grandpa and his sidekick Sixteen Tons are out to get it back.

This one works pretty well.  I start in the middle of the action, and I have a conceit that drives the plot, such as it is -- Grandpa's insistence that the Crystal Weenie is merely a plot device to drive the story and not important or powerful in and of itself.

Arbor of Pain  A few weeks ago I came up with a group of new villains to work with, and for this story I introduced one of them, Douglas Fear, a tree-man who controls plants.  Grandpa's sidekick in this is Aquakinetic Lad, whose powers are pretty cool but fairly useless against this particular villain.  I started writing a fight scene and came up with a villainous plot on the fly, and ended it in a way that made sense but has zero tension or humor... so this one probably needs help too.

A Good Start  Based on comments from Sky and Mike at dinner Friday Night, I wrote the first scene of this story on Saturday.  Mike was describing Old Man Henderson and I forget if this story was part of it or something Sky said, but the story was of a character who killed off an entire cult at the beginning of a Call of Chthulhu game, ending the game, because all of the cultists were dead.  Bad GMing aside, I liked the vision of someone going in guns blazing and killing every cultist they see -- because you can't be too careful with cultists.  Grandpa usually fights with his fists, but I wrote this opening scene in which he and a sidekick named Whiskey Tango Foxtrot slaughter an entire cult.

And then... I wasn't sure where to go with it.  Sky thought it was a finished story, but it didn't really have much of a point or punchline.  Later that night Gene suggested that, since I'd named the cult "The Cult of the Golden Apophenia" (which is a word meaning humanity's tendency to find meaning and pattern where none actually exists -- a perfect name for a cult if you ask me), then it would turn out that the leader of the cult had engineered the entire slaughter himself in order to "read the entrails" of those slaughtered and unlock the ultimate secrets that he sought.

So that gave me my ending.  Of course, Dark Dr. Dark is there to clean up Grandpa's mess.  ^_^

Hero's Sacrifice  I've had this story idea for a while in which Grandpa enters a situation in which he's certain to die -- running into a volcano, whatever -- because it's the only way to save people.  It's Spock in the radiation chamber -- the heroic sacrifice.  Grandpa knows as a hero that it's his job to make that sacrifice.  So today I picked this idea up and fleshed it out.  The villain is Baron Climate Change, the threat is that his Flying Fortress has been trashed and is about to crash into the heart of Detroit (some might argue that's not really a big threat -- it might even save them money by demolishing things that need it).  Grandpa stays on board to try and steer it away from the most populated portion of the city.

For this one I have a good idea of how I want to end it, but the specific ending proved difficult to get exactly right.  I'm going to work on it again tomorrow I think.

But all in all, a pretty successful weekend as far as writing went!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Rainfurrest Update

My goal for the weekend is to write one Grandpa Anarchy story a day.

Thursday, however, I wrote nothing, so Friday my goal was to write two stories.  What little I managed to do on Thursday involved deciding I wanted to create a "raver" villain, and writing down many one-liners, ideas, names and whatnot that Chuck, Sky, Anthony and I came up with (many ideas and one-liners from Ant and Sky).  So I had a file named Deep House of Horror, but no real plot or even defined villain/sidekick.  But I wanted to make it a team-up story with Nina Ballerina.

Friday morning I worked on this idea.  I created a sidekick who was an ancient former boxer turned House DJ and crimefighter named Cranky Knuckles (a pun on Frankie Knuckles, one of the founders of House music I think).  For a villain I created the Beat Breaker, a white guy in a wife beater and black leather pants.  I wrote pretty much the entire story, but I don't think it works.  It clearly doesn't have a good ending, no punch or twist or anything surprising, and I'm not convinced that the starting scene really accomplishes anything either.

Anyway I grew frustrated with trying to make it work and went looking for another story idea to write.  I settled on The Crystal Weenie.  This is another term for "MacGuffin", a device that drives a plot, but serves no other real purpose.  The MacGuffin is the thing everyone wants to get their hands on -- the magic coin, the rare diamond, the map or list of names or whatever it is.  "Weenie" is what the actress Pearl White (star of the early Perils of Pauline films) called these plot devices, so I had created a file with the name Crystal Weenie which involved a literal crystal statue (of a hot dog, apparently) of immense power.  Grandpa keeps calling it by other names -- he views it as a plot device and not an actual item of power.

This story came together very quickly.  I used Sixteen Tons as my sidekick (he has one fist of iron, the other of steel, although they're really just gauntlets).  I think this one works pretty well.

I started working on another story involving one of the new villains I created, Douglas Fear, but I wasn't feeling very inspired so that was it for Friday.

This morning I finished Arbor of Pain.  Ant supplied the new title, as I was calling it Bark Is Worse previously.  For this story I introduced Aquakinetic Lad, a boy who flies and shoots water (not very effective against a plant based villain).  Although I managed to finish the story, I have my doubts about how well it worked.  I think I need to work on something different, but we'll see, it's already past 2:30 PM.

I think I was working on another story idea at some point yesterday... oh yes, an idea suggested by something Sky said at dinner.  I want to use Whiskey Tango Foxtrot as my sidekick for that one, but I don't have much written on it yet.

Friday, September 20, 2013

20 Days Into September...

I think we have a Writer's Night tomorrow.  I know that Rainfurrest is next week.  I haven't completed a story since the 2nd of the month.

It's not that I've been doing nothing, I just haven't been doing a lot.  I've started or worked on several different projects without finishing them.  To begin with, I want to work up detailed information on the more prominent characters in my stories to try and nail down their personalities and voices better.  I've been rewatching Venture Brothers, and watching some Shezow, and it really strikes me that a great many of my characters do not have distinguishable voices or interesting personalities... or the sort of quirks and background details that help make them three dimensional.  It's hard to work that kind of detail into the short stories that I write, but it's even harder if I don't know any of these details in the first place.

One of the big benefits of working with the Tai-Pan Project is the process we went through when developing our characters, which gave us very solid ideas about what each character was like and what was in their background.  So I set out to do something similar for my Anarchy Universe... and then kind of failed to continue with it.  But it's still one of my projects that I intend to work on.

A second project was to develop some new and better villains.  Honestly, many famous superheroes are defined by the villains they face as much as by themselves.  What would Batman be without the Joker, Scarface, etc.?  But with Grandpa Anarchy, most of my villains have been created by accident -- whatever I needed for the story.  Some have developed as I went along, but nearly all of them are street fighters or mad scientist types... I have very few villains who are super-powered or who are something other than strictly human.  So I set out to create a bunch of new villains with more dynamic powers, and this project was a little more successful.  My favorites are Douglass Fear, Brain Bomb, Aquakinetic, Radiation Charlie, Death Medal, and the No More Heroes villain group.  I also borrowed a few of my old City of Heroes characters...  Pharaoh O'Malley, Monkey's Uncle, The Quantum Butterfly, Mia Nevermore, Machine Spirit, Huntress Midnight (renamed Twilight Huntress).

But simply having the villains does me no good if I can't come up with stories to put them in, so I started a few more story files.  Bark Is Worse for a story involving Douglas Fear, Bombs Away for a Brain Bomb story; A River In Egypt for a Twilight Huntress story.

Of course, I haven't worked on these stories.  Instead I've worked a bit on Unpossible (the last letter of my "every letter of the alphabet" stories) and I've worked quite a bit on Miles To Go Before I Sleep.  I've actually transformed this into a trilogy similar to my earlier Amethyst Road trilogy, of which this is a sequel.  I've titled the first Return to Amethyst 1:  Miles to Go Before I Sleep, and the second Return to Amethyst 2:  China Town.  I didn't have a title for the third one so right now it's called Return to Amethyst 3:  Title Goes Here.  Which could be its actual title when I'm done, who knows?

I've written quite a bit on the first story but it's kind of meandering.  I need to go back and figure out how to focus the story more, how to give it a central driving force, how to find the plot that drives the story forward and tells me what parts are needed for the story and which parts aren't.  I mean, I've got a quest going on, but that by itself doesn't seem to be driving the early part of the story.

Anyway... that's what I've accomplished in 20 days.  Not really a whole lot.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Writing Update for August

Saturday was a Tai-Pan workshop day, so I set aside my Grandpa Anarchy stuff and attempted to assemble a Tai-Pan short.  Earlier in the year I had written Banker's Blues and Space Miner's Blues, and I wanted to try and assemble a third story along these lines as a sort of trilogy.  These are very simple stories without any real plot, just Musachin and Bottles the Bartender trading jokes, with Bottles usually telling a longer shaggy dog story as if it were true.

I set about with the idea of telling a story involving janitors and perhaps including the janitor I'd created a while back for the Quantum Lady -- I think his name is Cornelius Webster.  But finding a good shaggy dog story to rewrite wasn't easy.  I was not able to find a good one about janitors, but I found something I liked about ballerinas, so I created a niece of Musachin's (he has a lot of relatives on the QL at this point) and after a while I had a short bit of fluff titled Ballerina Blues.

I didn't write anything on Sunday -- at least, I didn't complete anything.  I created a new story file titled Girl Power Play, about the revenge of Princess Paulina on Grandpa Anarchy.  This is set three years after X Chromosome, so it's meant to be a sequel that takes place long after that story, but I had the idea -- it just seemed obvious that Princess Paulina would seek revenge -- so I started it immediately.  And Monday morning I had worked out much of what I wanted it to be, and managed to completely finish it.  I retitled it Fate of a Maid

Although I don't have any ideas for a further sequel, there probably needs to be one.  This is a fantasy world, so the rule of trilogies applies.  (Which is also true of my Amethyst world stories -- I have a sequel planned called Miles to Go Before I Sleep, but there probably will need to be a trilogy.)

 Anyway, that makes 28 stories written for the month of August (27 of them Grandpa Anarchy stories) and 29 stories total written through Sept 2nd.

2013 Goals:

Goal 1 - Write a Grandpa Anarchy Story a Week:

January 2013

Jan 19:  DarkFireDragonNinja  (begun several years ago)
Jan 24:  OmniGen Again  (begun Jan 23)
Jan 25:  Veteran of the Bone Wars  (begun Dec 30)
Jan 29:  Nemesis  (begun Dec 10)

February 2013

Jan 31:  Turncoats (begun Dec 8)
Feb 3:  There Ain't No Justice  (begun Nov 29)
Feb 5:  City of the Monkey God  (begun Nov 26)
Feb 7:  Future Me  (begun Jan 31)

March 2013

Feb 10:  Roll of the Die  (begun Feb 10)
Feb 11:  Trouble Focusing  (begun, Nov 21, in theory)
Feb 19:  Dead Again  (begun Feb 18)
Apr 24:  Most Dangerous  (begun Feb 09)

April 2013

Apr 27:  The Thing in the Suitcase  (begun Feb 16)
June 24:  An Inconvenient Airship
June 25:  Continuity Error
June 27:  The Devil in the Details

May 2013

June 30:  Dark Anarchy
July 1:  Ruse
July 1:  The R Word
Aug 3:  Space Kraken

June 2013

Aug 3:  Triple Aaar!
Aug 4:  Take Me Back to Constantinople
Aug 4:  The Chef that Time Forgot
Aug 5:  The Time of Your Life

July 2013

Aug 6:  Endangered Species
Aug 7:  Anarchy Is Forever
Aug 8:  Brothers and Sisters
Aug 12:  Self-Made Man

Aug 2013

Aug 13:  Hackernaut
Aug 15:  Gutbucket Magic
Aug 17:  Questionable Judgment
Aug 17:  Zero Hour

Sept 2013

Aug 18:  Your Stupid, Stupid Minds
Aug 20:  The Statue Got Me High
Aug 22:  Black Moon Rising
Aug 24:  Pick of the Litter

Oct 2013

Aug 24:  Pandora's Closet
Aug 25:  Magic is a Bitch
Aug 26:  Transformation Station
Aug 26:  Youth is Wasted on the Young

Nov 2013

Aug 27:  Historically Accurate
Aug 28:  Curse of the Teenager
Aug 28:  I Was a Teenage Ballerina
Aug 29:  Vows

Dec 2013

Aug 29:  Damsel in Distress
Aug 30:  X Chromosome
Sept 2:  Fate of a Maid

As you can see I'm now well ahead of my goal.  One more story will complete this goal.

Goal 2 - Write a Tai-Pan Story a Month:

Feb 16  The Pilgrimage of Ian St. Ritz  (January Tai-Pan story, 10,000 words)
Feb 23:  Space Miner Blues
Feb 23:  Banker Blues
Mar 07:  Hair of the Throug that Bit Me
Mar 17:  Cursed Be Ye Who Moves These Bones
Aug 31:  Ballerina Blues

Still 2 stories behind my goal, but at least I wrote something this month.

Goals 3 & 4

I did not draw anything or work on non-Tai-Pan non-Grandpa Anarchy stories.