Monday, May 11, 2015

Got Something Written

My plan for May was to keep writing and finish off all of the stories I began in April.  Then on the 2nd I went with friends to see The Avengers:  Age of Ultron, and afterwards they helped give me three new story ideas:  Murderbot 146, Old Boy's Club, and Secret Crisis Wars.

During the week I managed to actually finish one story:  All the Trauma You've Been Craving.  But I came up with three new story ideas:  Sisterly Love (about a sister city to Frosthaven, NJ), Number One (a tribute of sorts to Kim Jong Il -- and a story about who is really Grandpa's #1 fan) and Pharmacopia (about a villain whose name was, at first, Big Pharma).

Over the weekend I came up with yet another story idea:  Doom, about a super group in the Grandpa Anarchy universe that is a bit like the Doom Patrol (ie very weird).  I can't help myself, and I'm kind of going backwards as far as completing stories that I've started since April.  I complained on Twitter late Saturday night that I'd failed to get anything written, then I stayed up hours past Midnight finishing a story that I retitled Lesson, and working hard on Number One, which I finished the next morning.  I did a lot of work on Murderbot 146 later Sunday and hope to get it finished today.  So that's progress!

Murderbot 146 comes from Ultron.  After the movie we were discussing the origin of Ultron -- I didn't know he (or Vision) were from the comics for sure, never having followed any Avenger-related titles.  Chuck explained that Ultron was created pretty much as in the movie (and Vision also, created by Ultron).  In the comics, every time Ultron reappeared he had upgraded himself and was given a new number, so "Ultron 2", "Ultron 3" and so on.  Eventually they dropped that numbering system, but the idea of a robot nemesis who had upgraded himself dozens and maybe hundreds of times and still couldn't manage to defeat his creator appealed to me.  Also, we thought it would be funny if his attempts at upgrading were lagging behind the pace of technological innovation, so that he was actually falling further and further behind the curve.

I worked on this Sunday night, but I don't really have a punchline for it yet.  After I went to bed I got back up twice to add more lines to the story -- so it's kind of percolating in the back of my mind.  Maybe I'll come up with a good ending for it, we'll see.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Post-Camp NaNo Goals

I feel like I've got multiple spinning plates on poles at the moment.  I finished Camp NaNoWriMo with several stories started but unfinished -- and then, while working on Sharp Dressed Man, I realized that the ending wasn't working, at least in part, because I had two different things happening and I only needed one -- and the other thing could easily work as its own story.  I even already had a good ending for it.  So I split that story into two, with some rewriting needed on one and the other needing to be completely written.

Then I counted how many students I had named in Substitute, and I had named ten out of twelve.  The story was pretty long already and it  wasn't going to be easy to squeeze in the names of two more students -- but then I realized, I could milk the whole substitute teacher idea a bit more with a second story that fleshed out the other students a bit more.  The setting is a field trip, and one of the students is the main villain.

So within two days of the end of Camp NaNo, I'd already added two more stories to my list of stuff I needed to finish.  Then, after watching the Avengers movie on Saturday, my friends handed me three more story ideas.

Most of these are not simply "ideas" but complete stories in my head -- so I've got a lot to write at the moment.  I spent Sunday reworking the first Sartorial Scoundrel story ( the one I broke off from Sharp Dressed Man -- I'm calling this one Asphalt Cemetery, for reasons that probably will mean nothing to most readers.)  I finished that (again) and then later I was able to write All the Trauma You've Been Craving, which is short and maybe not that good, but anyway it's done.

I also decided to add two unfinished story ideas to my plate, and potentially 2-3 more.  All of these stories are more or less planned for a fifth Grandpa Anarchy book if I ever get that far, and with one of the stories built around a potential "reboot" of the universe, I thought it would be time to work in my origin stories for the other memebers of the League of Two-Fisted Justice.  I have one, Unpossible, partially written for Unpossible Man, and another, Patron of the Arts, at least sketched out for Nina Ballerina.  I don't have origin stories planned yet for Dark Dr. Dark, Deep Fat Fryer, or Daisy, Warrior Princess, but I know Deep Fat Fryer's background and having a story for each would be nice.

I also jotted down yet another story idea that occurred to me.  I'd want to work that in, too.

My  goal for the week is to finish some of these other stories -- Field Trip, Sharp Dressed Man, Gorgon Gun, Oz On The Half Shell, Murderbot 346, and Secret Crisis Wars.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Camp NaNoWriMo Post-Update and April Writing Goals Report

Here's what I accomplished for the month of April (Camp NaNoWriMo):  I wrote about 36,000 words, so that met my goal of 35,000 words.  I did not write a story a day, so in theory that missed my goal.  But I wrote a lot more than I had for the last 10 months, so that was good.

I wrote/completed ten stories and am close to completing two more, and started six others.  So here's my rundown for my goal of two stories a month for the year:


March 5:  Permit
March 7:  Abjure the Realm of No Return


March 25:  Superdrone
March 31:  Dream A Little Dream


April 1:  The Shadow Out of Joe's Mouth
April 2:  Elementary


April 3:  Whom the Mad Would Destroy
April 3:  Consuming Passion


April 4:  Substitute
April 5:  Godzilla Was An Artist


April 19:  Avatar Bazaar
April 19:  Old


April 28:  Girls of Two-Fisted Justice
April 29:  Walpurgisnacth


April 30:  Asphalt Cemetary

So as you can see, I'm well on my way to completing my goal for this year.  It was a simple goal.  ^_^

I keep shuffling stories around and inserting new stories, so I thought I'd do a rundown of the stories I've written and what they're about.

Substitute  This is story 148.  My stories are numbered in roughly chronological order, so this is in theory the 148th Grandpa Anarchy story I've written -- but there are a few stories that have numbers which are still not written or finished yet.  World of Hero is stories 37 - 40, but desperately needs another rewrite.  Conspiracy Claus is not completely written, but will probably be story 148 when I write it (I'll have to renumber everything).  Second Class is a novel-length story about the Black Moon Maidens which is largely unwritten, and Gate Into Danger is story 141 and is not actually written yet.

This is a story about Grandpa Anarchy as a substitute teacher at a school for gifted delinquents.  I had started this idea at least a year ago, but added it to my Camp NaNoWriMo list and then finished it.  I bumped it back in the story list for two reasons -- one, it made sense given that I'd started it much earlier than my other recent stories, but mainly two, by bumping it back I didn't have to invent a dozen new teenage superheroes -- I could use some of the sidekicks in my recent stories, so that many of the characters introduced briefly in this story go on to make appearances in later Grandpa Anarchy stories.

I read this at April writer's night, it got a good reception and I reworked a couple of bits to make it better.

Field Trip  This story is unwritten, but basically is a continuation of the substitute teacher idea.  I did a head count and while I claimed there were a dozen students, I only named ten in the previous story.  I decided that I really should write a second story that mentions the other two.  I want several of the kids to be future villains, so I think this story is about one of them attempting to become a villain while on a field trip.  Also, I need to figure out who the sidekick is that's along for the ride and abusing his/her power over the kids.

Permit  Story 150.  This was written specifically as a second Mayor Doomhollow story.  Grandpa is seeking a building permit, along with his sidekick Glass Frog.

Abjure the Realm of No Return  This is a Lovecraft-inspired story.  I read this at March writer's night and people liked it.  I think it's one of my better stories this year.

Superdrone  Story 152.  A story about a drone attack.  I... can't remember if I like it or not.

Dream A Little Dream  This is a second Lovecraftian story.  I liked this idea when I thought of it, but I'm not sure it works right at the moment.  Needs a better ending.

Elementary  Story 154.  Another old idea that I had been meaning to write for a long time, this is a "Grandpa as Sherlock Holmes/Hercule Poirot/etc" story.

Shadow Out Of Joe's Mouth  Sounds like another Lovecraftian story, right?  Well, it isn't really.  A comic book villain from the Grandpa Anarchy comics comes to life.

Consuming Passion  Yet another story that I'd been working on for at least half a year.  I finally finished it!  A villain steals all of the chocolate in the city... and builds a castle out of it.

Whom the Mad Would Destroy  Story 157.  A Death Medal story, built around a famous quotation.

Godzilla Was An Artist  A Kid Calculus story, built around the idea that massive destruction is a form of art.

All The Trauma You've Been Craving  This is intended to be a Trauma Queen story, her first outing as a villain.  I have most of the story in my head but it's not really written yet.

Gorgon Gun  This will be story 160.  It's barely an idea, but I have a villain with a special weapon that turns people to stone, and I have Grandpa fitted with a fist of steel.

Oz On The Half-Shell  This is a novella-length short story, I think, at least 20,000 words.  It's mostly written but several scenes at the end need work, and it may need a rewrite.

Asphalt Cemetary  Working title for a story that is mostly written, about Grandpa confronting a villain named the Sartorial Scoundrel.

Sharp-Dressed Man  This was the title of the previous story, but I had to split it into two separate stories.  This one is not written yet, but it's mostly in my head so I think I can bang it out pretty quickly.  Also involves the Sartorial Scoundrel.

Happy When It Rains  Unwritten, not much more than an idea at the moment.

Avatar Bazaar  Written but I don't know if I like it or not.  Involves Grandpa working with another old hero named Freem Beam.

Walpurgisnacht  This turned into a longer story (3,500 words I think).  Based on the idea of April 30th and the legends built around Walpurgisnacht.  It involves Grandpa, Dark Dr. Dark, Unpossible Man, Black Dahlia, and DarkFireNinjaCatgirl.

Old  Grandpa is sued by another very old hero.

Heart of a Child  Story 168, not much more than an idea at the moment.

The Girls of Two-Fisted Justice  This turned into a longer story than planned, 3 scenes and at least 2,500 words.  I like it though -- about a cartoon version of the League of Two-Fisted Justice, aimed at teenage girls.

Old Boy's Club  Story 171.  A story idea I came up with (with help from several friends -- Matt, Jeri-Lynn, and Jeff among them.  Mike also.)

Murderbot 346  Another story made up just tonight, with the help of friends, and inspired in part by the Age of Ultron movie, and by Chuck's description of Ultron from the comic books in the sixties.

Unpossible  I've decided to make this story number 172 and try to finish it.  It's an origin story for Unpossible Man.  I want to do one for each current/former member of the League, so that would include...

Patron of the Arts  This is a proposed Nina Ballerina origin story.

I don't have titles for origin stories for Deep Fat Fryer, Dark Dr. Dark, or Daisy Warrior Princess.  But I'm leaving room for those three stories to be added.


Secret Crisis Wars on Infinte Planets Part Seven, A New Hoop  You know, for kids.  Okay I couldn't avoid doing that joke... basically this is a "uninverse reboot" story, since those are so popular these days.