Friday, April 11, 2014

Camp NaNo Day 11: Four Weddings and Nine Hundred Funerals

Four Weddings and Nine Hundred Funerals is a title I stole from a Twitter meme.  I like it, and I made it my story of the day -- but aside from some speculation on who the four weddings would be for, I got nothing written on it.  Still, I sense an Eastern hero or two in the mix, with a thousand ninjas attacking the wedding.  I may be able to come up with something tomorrow.

What I did today was to complete Trick of the Trade.  I had an idea for how it could work, and I managed to put together two scenes that read through fairly well, but when I got to the end, I realized it was 1.  Far too long, and 2.  Really didn't have a good ending.  So right now it sucks -- but it sucks with a plot and with substance, at least.  Yesterday it sucked with no plot or substance, and I wasn't sure where I was going with it.

But I think I like what I wrote, for the most part.  Instead of a boring conversation with no point (which is all I had for a story yesterday) I turned it into a battle scene involving the entire League of Two-Fisted Justice, and I do like that:

Sunlight filtered through tall trees to the forest floor below.  Here a battle was being fought, between several costumed humans and a humanoid fox dressed in medieval armor.  An old man in a  rumpled gray suit with a silver anarchy symbol stitched over the left breast charged the fox.  He swung hard, but the creature blocked this easily. 
"You send old men to fight me?" the fox sneered.  He grasped the old man's wrist and threw him fifty feet into brush.  "Where is the Monkey King?  I was expecting to fight the great Sun Wukong and his new legion of heroes!"
"He couldn't make it!" another yelled.  This was a massive human -- seven feet tall and three hundred and fifty pounds -- dressed in blue and black spandex with a form-fitting hood and mask.  He bounded at the fox,  swinging.  Again the fox blocked the punch, but this time he slid twenty feet across  the forest floor, scattering leaves and dirt.
"Ha!" the fox exclaimed.  "At least this fellow knows how to throw a punch!"  He swung, and the big man was launched backwards, crashing into a tree trunk, which shattered.  The towering pine crashed down with a loud swoosh and bang.
"Ha ha!" exclaimed the fox.  "A tree falls in the forest, and Reynard  the Fox hears it!  Foolish humans!  Do you think to oppose me?  I am a god!"
The big man in blue and black got to his feet.  "I'm Unpossible Man," he said.  "We're the League of Two-Fisted Justice."  He grasped the downed tree and broke off a 20-foot length of trunk.  "Think your punches hurt me?  Think again.  That's unpossible." 
Unpossible Man swung the trunk around like a club.  The fox leaped over it.  Moments later, a blast of orange fire enveloped him.  The fox screamed and jumped higher.  "Ow!  Ow!" he yelled.  "That smarts!  What gives?  Nobody said anything about fire...."
A short, balding black man in red and yellow robes of leather studded with rhinestones  held two fireballs above his palms.  "Feel the wrath of the god of fire!" he exclaimed.  "I am the Deep Fat Fryer, and I preach the gospel of the blast furnace!  I bring the heat and light of the very sun itself!  Even gods bow down before the flames of heaven!"
He tossed the fireballs at the fox, who scrambled to avoid them.  Unpossible Man caught him with the back swing of his  tree-trunk club.  The fox went flying, crashing through another tree, which fell.
The woods smelled of pine and wood smoke now.  Small fires burned among the brush.  The old man in the gray suit climbed from the bushes, aided by a much younger man dressed like like a Nashville Cowboy in a white Elvis-style jumpsuit, cowboy boots, hat, and dark shades.  The belt and buckle were Elvis-worthy as well, but what really drew the attention were the dozens upon dozens of tiny abrasive grinding wheels attached to the outfit.
"Thanks," Grindstone Cowboy," said the old man.  He cracked his knuckles.  "My name's Grandpa Anarchy," he said, "and I don't bow down before any earthly gods!"  He charged the fox.
"I'm not asking you to bow down," said the fox.  He blocked a punch, lifted Grandpa into the air, and tossed him a good hundred feet.  "I just want you to stop getting up!"
Grandpa Anarchy rolled over.  He groaned.

I assume my brain will figure out a better ending for this soon, and I'll find a way to cut it down so it's not so long.  The fight scene doesn't feel long, but the second scene does....

I also didn't get any more work done on Reboot, so I'm two stories behind for now.

(Edit)  No sooner had I finished writing this, then a solution presented itself.

My idea for this story was to play on the popularity of villains allowing themselves to get captured to further their plans.  This is a plot point in The Avengers, in Skyfall, in The Dark Knight, and in the recent Star Trek movie.  My first attempt was to write the story after Reynard had been captured, but that was a lot of boring talk and no action.  My second attempt started with the above opening and led to Reynard surrendering, after which I went to a second long scene written after he's been captured.  This was all very long and boring.  I had an idea that it would be funny if he executes his plan, but doesn't know how to escape the jail cell -- he didn't plan far enough ahead.  But once I wrote to that point, it didn't seem very funny.  It was a long ways to go for very little payoff.

And then I realized, if the League is as genre-savvy as they normally are, they know that a trickster god offering to surrender is bad news.  So they can respond appropriately.

Suddenly I have an ending at the end of scene one, and it's much funnier.  I don't even need the long-winded scene two.  So I wrote a lot tonight, but didn't keep most of what I wrote -- but I think it was worth it, I now have a story that I think works, and that I like.

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