Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Meanwhile In Frosthaven -- 7/13 Camp NaNo Update

I feel like I haven't done as much writing as I should have, but I've done an awful lot of plotting.

Over the weekend I did not write much.  I was working on a story on Friday and then did not work on it much until Sunday night, but it's a longer story -- several scenes -- titled Shadow Secrets.  I finally finished it Sunday.  I'm not sure I'm happy with the results, but I like the general idea of the story and I rewrote the first scene to make it much more action-packed.

I also started working Sunday night on the story Prison World.  I had an ending in mind for this, and I changed the ending several times.  When I went to bed Sunday it was still a jumble of ideas but by Monday morning I'd figured out what I wanted to do with it and finished it.  I think it works.

Tuesday morning I started and  finished a new story, Short Circuit.  I've been writing all these stories about Kid Continuity and this one kind of popped into my head -- what if I wrote a story where Kid Continuity and her brother meet Grandpa Anarchy when she's still very young?  What if they meet Circuit Girl as well?  Suppose this happened at a comic convention?  Before I knew it I had the story written.  My original idea was that I could place this story at the very beginning of the first book, and with its reference to Grandpa Anarchy comics and its foreshadowing of characters who would become far more important later on, it would make a perfect first story to introduce Grandpa Anarchy.  I've always kind of felt like the first story I actually wrote -- Remember This -- is actually a terrible story to introduce Grandpa with, given that it's not very funny and not quite in the spirit of most of the Grandpa stories.  I even went so far as to rearrange the order of the first few stories so that I could have several of my funnier stories appear first.

Well, now that Short Circuit is finished, I'm not actually sure if it's a good idea to place it in the first book.  I'll have to think about it for a while.  I'm not sure if it's actually that funny or novel, and maybe I'm being self-indulgent in tossing in characters that nobody has any reason to know anything about until much later on, assuming they even read that far.  (Kid Continuity wouldn't appear until book three, I think.)  At the same time now that I've done this I'm kind of thinking that one or two stories involving Circuit Girl would be a good idea.  In the story Remember This, Circuit Girl is already dead before the story starts, but her death has grown in significance with how many other stories I've written that link to it or mention it, and I've since described her as one of Grandpa's best and longest-lasting sidekicks.  Which is something you'd totally miss if you read the current stories in the order I have them, because several sidekicks appear before her and she never actually appears "on screen" at all.  So maybe it would be a good idea to insert a couple of stories involving her, if I can come up with something good.

Anyway!  Today I created a series of new stories.  The plan was to work on Doom, my Doom Patrol tribute story, which I decided to rename Gloom and Doom since I actually have a story called Doomed in the first book, one of my earliest stories.  This story involved a group called the Bastions of Gloom, the strangest hero supergroup ever (hence the Doom Patrol tribute).  But first I decided I should work on Interlude or Here and There, which I think are the same story but it isn't an actual plot, it's just "Geothermal Jenny and company are still trying to find Grandpa Anarchy".  That may or may not be something I can spin into an actual story, we'll see.  Before working on it I re-read Opportunity of a Lifetime and Status Report, and I was actually more interested in figuring out what Sam Solo and Two-Fisted Timmy were up to -- these are the two oldest members of the League of Former Sidekicks, who stayed behind when Jenny and company left earth in her interstellar saucer.

I started thinking, what if they broke into the Anarchy Mansion while Grandpa was off planet? Who might they run into? What if the shadow creature returned to earth to look for Grandpa Anarchy, and ran into them instead?  And before I knew it I had dialog in my head, and I started writing Meanwhile In Frosthaven. And this story potentially spawned another, because I imagined them entering the mansion, perhaps for the first time in fifty years, or at least for the first time in quite a while. Grandpa never changes anything. How long has that picture of him fighting Doctor Zero Hour and his giant Atomic Zombie been hanging on the wall in the entryway above the stairs? For fifty years, perhaps?

And immediately Two-Fisted Timmy starts talking about the man who painted it (has it always been a painting? I think so). Old Romany guy who lived in New York's East Village. Grandpa saved him long ago and he was so grateful that he painted not one giant picture -- but several, maybe ten. He would give a new one to Grandpa every year or two on Christmas.  (I only know what two of the paintings are -- there's one of Grandpa and his former partner Guy Shadow fighting some villain.) Anyway, the moment I wrote "on Christmas" I realized that there's a Christmas ghost story hidden in this detail somewhere.  At the moment it's tentatively titled The Final Painting, although I haven't figured exactly where I'm going with it.

I started two other stories today that are unrelated to anything I've bee working on.  I decided that I need a sidekick called the Pompadour'd Pamplemousse, whose power stems from his amazing hair, maintained with a grapefruit hair gel.  Later I also decided I needed a sidekick named Butt Rock Boy, and when I looked up "Modern Butt Rock" online (I was 100% right that Five Fingered Death Punch is considered butt rock -- Butt Rock Boy will wear one of their tee shirts, and also insist that Nickleback is the greatest rock band ever and that Creed was a really good band, honest!) I found an article that tries to define exactly what butt rock is, and I realized that not only is Butt Rock Boy a big fan of butt rock, but also has a fairly cerebral take on what it is.  And I started writing dialog, and of course the villain who has this discussion with him on what is or isn't butt rock has to be none other than Death Medal, and so I have another story partially written.  For now the title is simply Butt Rock Boy, but a possible better title is Unified Theory, which is part of the title of the article I read -- Toward A Grand Unified Theory of Butt Rock, by Mark Lee on the Overthinking It web site.

All that, and I've plotted another story in my head after listening to this month's free HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast while on a walk.  Their subject this week is Wuthering Heights, and after hearing some of the backgroun history on Emily Bronte, I have an idea in my head involving a weather-controlling undead creature called the Wuthering Wight, which may take place right before or after Gloom and Doom.

So far this month:

Opportunity of a Lifetime  7/3, 917 words
Eclipsed In Time  7/3, 822 words
Status Report  7/4, 1,424 words
Chaos and Order  7/5, 1,913 words
Above the Law   7/6, 1,160 words
Muse  7/7  1,017 words
Shadow Secrets  7/10  2,347 words
Prison World  7/11  1,091 words
Short Circuit  7/12  959 words
Meanwhile In Frosthaven  7/13  1,068 words

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