Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Secret Crisis Wars in Oz
I continue to insert stories between other stories. When We Last Left Our Heroes is a story inserted between Daughters of Anarchy and Girl Gravity. In Daughters of Anarchy, the story ends with the heroes under attack -- their first battle as a new supergroup. In Girl Gravity they are registering with the galactic empire as superheroes and discussing several adventures they've already had. I felt that a story in between the two, highlighting one of those adventures, was in order, and I came up with a way to do it and wrote it.
Today I started and mostly wrote another story, Nursery Rhymes, which I've inserted between Llahna's Girl and Punchathon (although I might place it before Llahna's Girl; we'll see). Again, I felt a part of the overall story that had happened mostly off-screen and was mentioned in passing needed to be highlighted. I keep doing this -- it's the same thing I did with Eclipsed In Time, when I decided that the death of the void creature called the Shadow of Evil ought to be shown on-screen. This time, I was trying to allude to the fact that the Shadow of Evil was launched into our reality from a comic book and somehow split into at least three creatures before travelling back in time, thus explaining the existence of the two other void creatures I've so far inserted into this series of stories -- it just seemed like an awful lot to explain as an aside in one of my other stories, so I came up with an entire story centered around what actually happened and why.
I'm in a bit of a quandary at the moment. I've reached a point where, save for finishing up 2-3 stories (Nursery Rhymes, Punchathon, Meanwhile in Zendeth Sector) I've finally reached what I originally conceived as the heart of this book of stories -- the Secret Crisis Wars. The joke here is to make fun of how Marvel and DC Comics continually reboot their universes (DC in particular), and make fun of Crisis on Infinite Earths and all of the subsequent permutations, and of Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars and all of its spinoffs and subsequent rehashings. I would have Grandpa Anarchy and a bunch of other heroes teleported to some planet or other plane and forced into a big battle, and then everything would change/get rebooted. Possibly more than once.
As you can imagine, I didn't actually plan to write a story covering everything that might happen during these events -- that would be pretty boring. The plan was to gloss or skip over most of it. I reread some of my stories this past week that did exactly that. X Chromosome did this very well -- Grandpa and a bunch of earth heroes go on a quest in a fantasy world, and in only about 5 or 6 scenes I cover several days or a week of questing and battle. Each scene is funny on its own, and I think you get a sense of the overall story without having to read through the whole thing. I also did this sort of thing in Youth Is Wasted On The Young, perhaps less successfully but still it mostly works. In that one Grandpa, Nina, and the Archons of Excellence go on a journey in search of a fountain of youth -- and once again I skip over a lot of the actual details, because they would mostly be pretty boring.
I want my Secret Crisis Wars story (or stories) to work in a similar way. And I'm very excited to work on it, and to get the last three stories that happen before it done.
Having read through Youth Is Wasted On The Young and X Chromosome, I also read through several related stories, including finally Oz On The Half-Shell. This is a story from my last collection (book five) that I never finished. It's one of my novella-length stories. I have at least four, none of them completed -- the first, World of Hero, is one of my early stories that I've rewritten a couple of time and it's still a mess. It's planned for book 2. The second, Second Class, is intended to be a novella-length story in book 4 about the Black Moon Maidens, which is much better plotted but only half written to date. The third is my Grandpa Anarchy novel I tried to write two years ago called Serial Anarchy; this is several chapters and some idea of a plot, but I can't say I had a fully-formed plot for this one, which is probably why I failed to finish it.
(And to be fair, I have written some longer stories/story arcs that are completed -- the three Amethyst Road stories on book 1 combined are nearly 8,000 words, so we could call that a novelette, while the sequel in book 3, Return to Amethyst, which is also three stories, clocks in at 25,000 words. That one, at least, could be considered a short novella.)
But Oz On The Half-Shell is more than half written and is already at 21,000 words. It's also, in my opinion, one of my best stories involving Grandpa Anarchy. It gave me the chance to expand on characters and develop them quite a bit, and I think I did a pretty good job of that -- when I read it, I really enjoy it. And having just read it, I really want to work on it and try to finish it.
But of course, I need to work on the Secret Crisis Wars story. Thus my quandary. :/