I'm starting to have doubts about my project here, but I want to finish it anyway. I just don't think it's helping me get any real writing done -- but it should be very valuable when I get around to attempting to write some of these starter stories.
Anyway, Friday I decided to up the ante on my Unfinished Story Ideas writing exercise. Instead of just writing a few lines of dialog or figuring out a direction for the story to go, I've decided that I really need to introduce a villain and a sidekick for the story and provide descriptions for each. That gives me a more firm foundation for what the story entails, helps me nail down my ideas better. Of course, after making that decision I did no work on the project all weekend. ^_^ Anyway, with my new goal in mind, I've attacked my list again:
Death By Clown
This is a brand new file that I created last night. Because I needed another clown-related story title, I guess. Right now I have this pegged as the female version of Carnival Act unleashing a plague of flying carnivorous clownfish on a town. Sidekick is The Mighty Sea Turtle!
Grandpa Anarchy The Musical
Although I still don't know what the plot of this story is, I've added two songs based on very popular songs from musicals:
Face punches, fist fights and smashing of villains,
Last-second rescues that stops men from killin'
Bad guys entrapped in a wiretap sting
These are a few of my favorite things
(To be sung by Grandpa Anarchy I think, although I think I will alternate verses from each of the members of the League of Two-Fisted Justice.)
If I were a villain,
Yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum.
All day long I'd biddy biddy bum.
If I were a nasty man.
I wouldn't have to work hard.
Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum.
If I were a biddy biddy thief,
I'd build a deep vast lair with rooms by the dozen,
Right in the midst of a volcano.
A fine death ray to reign terror from above.
There would be one long staircase just going up,
And one even longer coming down,
A shark tank and a ledge from which to shove.
I'd fill my moat with spikes and gators and poison frogs
For the heroes all to fear.
Growling just as noisily as they can.
With each loud "snap" "chomp" "grrr" "grind"
Would land like a trumpet on the ear,
As if to say "Here lives a villanous man."
(Probably to be sung by a hero who wants to become a villain -- or who does become a villain. Very likely one of the members of the League of Former Sidekicks, who probably don't view themselves as villains after all.)
So my villains for this story would be one or more members of the League of Former Sidekicks. My sidekick? I dunno, Exit Stage Right Kid. Co-starring the League of Two-Fisted Justice.
Hundred Perfumes Of The Wind
I added more to this one: a bit about the Fleurs du Mal, the "flower of evil" by Charles Baudelaire, which came up on a search for "evil poetry". My poetry-spouting villain for this one is Graveheart, the villainous Warrior Poet, and my sidekick is Can O' Worms, whose greatest attacks are all based on things a five year old would do.
There's no real villain in this, unless you count the killer asteroid. Jenny Nova and friends will be guest stars of the story. Grandpa's sidekick will be a young woman who is talked into joining the space babes... other than that I don't have it nailed down yet. Possible other Babes: Sally Starship, Nina Nitrogen, Kitty Quasar, Stella Galaxy.
The villain is a so-far unnamed giant octopus or other such monstrosity in the center of the city. Unpossible Man and one other member of the League of Two-Fisted Justice are helping Grandpa fight it, probably their new female member -- Daisy, Warrior Princess, and the sidekick is... Money Ball, who wears a three-piece suit and uses a baseball as a weapon.
My villain is Baron Barnstar, the villain of luck. All of his attacks are based on luck. Probably he always succeeds until he fights a real hero, but then he's lucky enough to always escape. Or something. The sidekick for this one is going to be The Silver Spoon, a kid from a wealthy family who is only biding his time as a sidekick until Daddy builds him a Bat Cave.
I have so many files like this where I'm not even sure what the plot is, I just had a title that sounded cool. It's like when you have a great idea for a story title or band name, but you never write them down. I write them down, and then I have to figure out what they're supposed to be about. My villain for this one is The Mercilous Montebank, a black-hearted scurvy scalawag if ever there was one. I imagine the look of a sewer carney or a ringmaster for a diseased rat circus.
Come to think of it, I need a story about a ghost ship inhabited by carniverous zombie rats.
Anyway my sidekick this time around would be Kid Leotard, a high-flying trapeze artist in the style of the original Jules Léotard. A boy who wants to make the wearing of leotards for men cool again.
The idea for this story is that Grandpa gets a new look -- a makeover. These are common in comics all the time of course, and I imagine this is being done in concert with the Grandpa Anarchy comic to boost lagging sales -- but also because his current sidekick is The Sartorial Sultan, a young fashion-conscious man who very much wants to reinvent Grandpa and make him cooler. Think leather biker boots, black duster (full-length coat like a cowboy might wear), the return of the diamond mask, leather gloves, black outback hat, and nice black slacks with a pinstriped shirt and black tie with the anarchy logo.
Grandpa only has to dress like this once. Just like the comics, he will eventually (or swiftly) go back to his old look.
I thought for a villain it would be fun to give an old villain a new makeover as well, so I picked The Literate Lemur, who will of course wax poetic about renewal and rebirth and the great circle of life, with many quotes.
"Why the eyepatch?"
"Because it signifies that you're a scrapper, a down-and-dirty fighter. It shows that you've been in fights and are a tough customer who keeps coming back for more."
"Folks already know that about me."
"But the eyepatch is more frightening. It puts fear in the hearts of your adversaries."
"Yeah, if it all the same to you, I'll go without it. I don't know why I gotta do all of this stuff anyway."
Maps Of Vampires That No Longer Exist
I've decided that the title of this story suggests a yet-to-be-named vampire that is no longer a vampire -- something like Vampire Doll, where the spirit or essence of the vampire has been placed inside a doll, only the results are more like Chucky than my favorite goofy vampire manga. So you've got a magic-using evil Raggedy Anne or Andy who is really a 500 or 1,000 year old vampire nobody remembers, and Grandpa has to stop it. And the solution involves locating the vampire's grave (that's where the map comes in).
And the sidekick? Sleeping Beauty, Vampire Hunter. I could be talked into Little Miss Muffet, Vampire Hunter, or any number of other nursery-school and fairy-tale characters, as long as it's dumb sounding. Jack Sprat Vampire Hunter possibly.
This originally wasn't a story idea, it was just the name of a possible sidekick suggested by my friends Dave and Kristin. I used Mechanical Advantage (a giant mecha sidekick) in Zero Hour. The problem is that he shows up as kind of the punch line of the story (not a very successful one I'm afraid) and then he doesn't appear again. A story exploring who he is, where he came from and who built him is not a bad idea. Also I like the image of a giant mecha that was once Grandpa's sidekick gathering dust in the Anarchy Cave. I think there's at least three people who could have built Mechanical Advantage: Geothermal Jenny (who is a villain, thus not very likely); Mia Nevermore (who starts out as a villain then turns hero later -- building robots is her specialty); or possibly Micro Bat, who is himself a robot built by Geothermal Jenny but is self-aware and capable (in theory) of building his own robots.
Right now I'm working from a theory that Mechanical Advantage was an early Mia prototype that she threw out as inferior. That's why it broke down, and that's why Electric Bluejay and company (including Micro Bat) haven't been able to fix him. But Geothermal Jenny (the villain of the story) builds her own giant mecha, and sudddenly fixing Mechanical Advantage sounds like a great idea. And Grandpa's sidekick is Paul the Plumber, a guy with plumber's crack who thinks he can fix anything but only makes things worse. Probably Mia will need to get involved in order to fix Mechanical Advantage.
That's my idea anyway.
Mister Buffalo is the villain. I think the sidekick is Comic Book Larry, unless I come up with a better name, a guy who reads a lot of comics (but never pays for them) and who is very disappointed that Mister Buffalo isn't who you think he'd be.
Murder Is Painless
This is one of those story ideas that probably sounded better when I came up with it, but the basic idea is that killing non-human enemies is perfectly okay, and Grandpa can go to town versus things like vampires. (Not that he necessarily stops at murder in any case, but in theory a hero code makes killing human enemies something that is, at the very least, frowned upon. Vampires are just fine.)
So... my villain is a vampire, hopefully with lotsof skeletons, zombies, and supernatural mooks to plow through. I'm working on a name of Vlad Horowitz, Viscount of Shelby Island in the New Jersey river (or something like that -- some small island that sank 100 years ago). And for a sidekick, Damsel Daphne who wears a white nightgown and is convinced that being bitten by a handsome vampire would be cool.
This is a story about Sun Wukong and Ravella the Traveller working together as a duo. They're married, and Sun Wukong is basically a god so... I don't know, the story idea was about how much Ravella is amazed by Sun Wukong and that he loves her. Not sure if that's even a plot idea per se... but I envision them going up against a Chinese triad or something similar.
Never Give Up Never Surrender
For this plot-free idea, I imagined Grandpa Anarchy getting beaten down by a villain over and over. I need someone big and tough for such an encounter. Who? Someone like Mister Buffalo is supposed to be, but isn't. I considered a "Mr. Buffalo, unrelated to Mister Buffalo" but then I realized Buffalo Gal would work. And maybe Comic Book Larry (or Comic Book Kid) is still his sidekick.
Still don't really have a plot or any idea how to resolve this though.
This story sort of got told with The R Word, or at least the part of it that might involve Grandpa being forced into retirement. But I still thought a government board inquiry into Grandpa's remarkably bad track record with sidekicks could be fun, and I think I just came up with a good ending... the latest sidekick-turned-villain shows up to fight Grandpa. I just have to figure out who it is... the joke should be that he has good excuses for why all of the other sidekicks were likely to turn villainous, but the latest failure is a very happy peaches and creme care bear sidekick turned villain because of Grandpa.