When I was nearly done with Infinite Secret Crisis Wars, I had a lot of things in the air. I was changing characters around and adding or removing characters, and there was going to be a lot of fallout following the story -- so I began plotting new stories in my head.
I thought, "There needs to be a story where Circuit Girl and the other new characters join the League of Two-Fisted Justice." I created a story file for that.
I thought, "Circuit Girl should visit her brother in the fairyland of Amethyst City." I created a story file for that.
I thought, "Everyone in the Continuity Crusaders has changed or gotten something out of the whole event, save for Natural Twenty who got left behind on earth." I created a story file about their return.
I thought, "There would be a funeral for Deep Fat Fryer. Maybe that's where we learn that his niece has inherited his powers." I created a story file for that.
I thought, "The League of Two-Fisted Justice is growing! They're also probably making good money from that new cartoon show and the movies. Maybe they build a brand new headquarters and hire a secretary." And I even thought of how that could make a good story, so I created a file for that.
Now that I've finished Infinite Secret Crisis Wars and the two stories that lead into it, I've been working on the above ideas. The third one became Time Waits For No Ninja. The second one became Fairytale Physics which I wrote today. The other three are in the wings, but probably "Funeral For a Friend" comes next. There's probably at least one more story in there somewhere that I haven't thought of yet.
(As an aside: the term fairytale physics is one which I believe was coined by Jim Baggott to describe some of the fancy ideas of modern theoretical physics, such as multiverse theory. My original idea was to have one of the sidekicks try to argue with Grandpa that, even if multiple universes exist, it would be impossible by definition for someone in one universe to travel to another. Of course, Grandpa does this all the time so the sidekick would be arguing that this is impossible even as they did exactly that. A funny idea perhaps, but I never managed to find a way to fit it into a story. Before I knew it I was already past my series of adventures in other dimensions, but I still had a file titled Fairytale Physics in my Book 6 folder. And then I realized it made a nice title for a story that included discussion on how alternative pregnancy works in a fairytale world. Actually, I like it as a title better in this context, because it sounds like it's going to be about one thing when really it's referring to something else.)
Just like my other stories, Fairytale Physics was initially a jumble of ideas until I figured out the right setting and order to put them in, and suddenly it became a story. Circuit Girl visits her brother. She gives him a copy of her power armor, designed to look exactly like hers from the outside but to fit his body on the inside. She meets his daughter, and learns how children are born in a fairytale world. There are a lot of things I managed to squeeze into the story -- cameo appearances from characters who appeared in my past Amethyst stories, for example -- but of course once you figure out the direction of the story, where it begins and where it ends, you can't wander too much, so I didn't get to do more than mention them. This time around I solved my problem in this way: my original idea was that the armor that Circuit Girl brings was the big surprise at the end -- the big reveal (if you can call it that) is that Circuit Girl suspects that her brother will one day have to assume the role of Circuit Girl in her place -- thus the armor which fits him but looks exactly like hers.
This wasn't much of a reveal and the story leading up to that point was just a jumble of dialog on other subjects with no direction. But I realized that the fun part of the story would be Princess Amethyst -- Circuit Girl's brother -- testing out the armor. While that's going on, I can toss in the dialog between Prince Humperdink and Circuit Girl about their daughter and how she was born, and a few other things, and the reveal at the end is a situation in which Circuit Girl and Circuit Boy get to use their power armor together in an unexpected battle. Still not a massive twist reveal, but I think it works okay, and the story flows much better now. Starting the story with the testing of the armor gives me a setting and lets me explain why the armor has been gifted to her brother, and then leads into dialog with the prince. It's a small, subtle thing, but suddenly it feels like a scene where everything flows together rather than a bunch of pointless dialog.
So that's another story finished. I'm happy -- that's four stories since the end of Camp NaNoWriMo in July, so I'm managing to keep writing for the moment.
I was thinking about these things this afternoon and I realized that Circuit Girl has been dead for about 8 years, Guy Shadow has been dead 50 years, and the new Geothermal Jenny comes from a different universe. They're not going to be familiar with a lot of Grandpa Anarchy's villains and their storylines, and who's been Grandpa's sidekick and where these new heroes come from. They could use a refresher course... taught by the Electric Bluejay. I'm quite certain I can spin that into another story. ^_^ I think I'll call it Grandpa Anarchy 101.