Sunday, July 20, 2014

Writer's Night July 19

For tonight's Writer's Night I was going to read City of the Monkey Gods, which is the story I picked out to have read during Norwescon in April that didn't get read, and which I have planned to read at a couple of recent Writer's Nights only to switch to something else or, for example, in June there were a lot of people with stories and I did not get the chance to read anything.  Anyway I once again changed my mind and read something else -- one of my recent stories, Startup.  I wrote this at Norwescon in April and had already read to my friends Keith and Juli, and which they liked.  I got some good feedback on it tonight and have already made the minor changes needed to improve it.  It passes the read test though!

(I need to mention these things in my journal because after six months or a year, it becomes hard to remember which stories I read when, or even if I've actually read a given story at Writer's Night or not.  I think I've mentioned most of them in the last year, so that helps.)

Chuck read his own Grandpa Anarchy story -- the first such story not written by me.  He'd read most of it in June, but now it's finished.  It's a fun story!  Chuck has a different writing style from me, more detailed, more descriptive, so it's a longer story than I usually write, but it has a fun villain and a clever sidekick (clever and stupid at the same time really), and a satisfying ending that, to me, demands a sequel someday (or at least, there's the chance for the sidekick to pop up somewhere else in another story).  I have no idea what Chuck plans to do with this story, but Gene has plotted more than one Grandpa Anarchy story himself, so perhaps at some point I can either include them in a book with some of my stories, or we'll have enough stories written by other people for a small book of it's own.  I got no idea -- I still have to publish my own first book (and probably my second as well) before we really get to that.

I'm currently working on a story called The Bookstore Avenger, which unless I'm mistaken is only the second appearance of the villain The Literate Lemur.  This was one of my earliest villains, appearing in one of the first six stories that I wrote back around 2007 - 2008, so it's high time he made a return appearance.  I have a pretty good idea of how this story goes, I should have it finished by tomorrow at the latest.  It's really the only story I've worked on in the last five days, unfortunately -- my Camp NaNoWriMo effort has not been going so well.

I have two new story ideas to toss into the file.  Really, three if I go back to earlier in the week.  No -- it's four.

Mercury In Retrograde  My idea for this story morphed into my next Christmas story actually, but I still want to write a story with this title.  I'm thinking of a sidekick who believes in Astrology and is afraid of bad things happening because Mercury is in retrograde.  It's partly an in-joke about a person I used to work with, but it's also a very common thing for people that believe in Astrology to talk about these days.

Third Christmas Ghost Story  While trying to figure out what would happen in the above story, I imagined the ghost of a former ally of Grandpa's showing up.  This would be someone who was on the hero team he formed in the 1930's -- I suspect they are all dead by now, or most of them.  Still haven't figured out exactly who was on that team, which is why it would be fun to write this.  But the ghost of a former ally showing up isn't a plot in and of itself, and she's not a villain now, so she's come to help or warn Grandpa about something.

And then I got three ideas:  one, a sidekick who knows that ghosts always visit Grandpa around Christmas and is prepared for the worst; two, the former ally showing up and complaining about the waiting list for ghosts to contact Grandpa around Christmas, and three, a possible plot.  In my story Family Tree, we learn of Grandpa Anarchy's long-dead older brother, who was cursed.  What if there's a way to break the curse, but it can only be done on Christmas with the aid of the ghost of his former colleague?  That's a good Christmas ghost story plot!

There's more to it than that, of course, and I don't have the title yet, but I have enough to work with.  I can start writing it at any time -- maybe once I'm done with The Bookstore Avenger.

Nefarious Things  This was a line out of the beginning of Gene's story (the beginning of chapter 25 I think, or maybe it was part of his recap).  It was just a nice-sounding title for a Grandpa Anarchy story.  I don't have a specific idea yet, and in fact even if I never write it, we may have inspired C.D. to write a song to the tune of A Few Of My Favorite Things.  So mission accomplished either way.

Crowdsourced  This was an idea I got while rewriting Startup, which I did as soon as I got home.  This idea would involve a villain who live-broadcasts his fight with Grandpa Anarchy, and uses internet crowdsourcing to determine what method of attack he'll employ next.  His probably beatdown should get a lot of video hits on Youtube, so he'll be happy to lose the fight.  I'm not sure if that's the actual ending, or if there's another twist to it, but I have most of the story in my head already.

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