Friday, March 3, 2017

About A Ring

I've been working on my "Great Grandma's Magical Ring" story, which I've given the new title About A Ring.  I never had an exact plot for this tale but I knew it involved Grandpa Anarchy's great granddaughters finding their great grandmother's magical ring -- the one she used to transform into Hellfire Lass -- and discovering a journal that gave details on Hellfire Lass's career.  The fact that their great grandmother was a super hero has been kept a secret in the family -- nobody knows until now.  So that seemed like fertile soil for a story, and I might also be able to work in a bit where they discover some information or technology left behind from the other side of the  family, the Novas, who were early space adventurers.  Jennie Nova is their -- I think it would be a second cousin or second aunt?

I started by writing out a short history of Hellfire Lass, where the ring came from and how she used it and then hid her past, and the history of the family.   Then I wrote another bit explaining how Elsie's talking stuffed dragon Craigmont, who appears in my Return to Amethyst stories, is actually the Sumerian demon Hunabatum that resides in the ring.

So I tried to set the scene.  Elsie and Kelli are cousins.  I imagine they don't live near each other, but Kelli is visiting.  Unlike their parents, they both are big superhero fans and dream about being heroes themselves.  Elsie would have posters on her wall of characters from the Girls of Two-Fisted Justice cartoon show, and also autographed photos of real heroes that she could get since her great grandfather is Grandpa Anarchy.  She probably has a signed photo of him too -- but covered up by something else.

I set the scene in her bedroom.  She's bored.  Kelli is there.  I even have an idea of where I'm going -- I've decided that the demon Hunabatum and Jennie Nova's self-aware computer system Valerie 9000 can fight over who gets to grant power to the girls, maybe in some sort of magical virtual reality battlefield.  Thus, the girls start off bored, weird stuff happens, they end watching this weird gladiatorial battle and they're no longer bored.

I wrote a full scene early in the week, but it was going nowhere.  I couldn't figure out how to steer the conversation to the topic of super heroes, or how to introduce the demon, or how they wind up looking for their great grandmother's stuff in the attic.  Nothing was working.

So I left it for another day.  When I went back to the story yesterday, I decided to begin with Kelli demonstrating taekwando moves.  She's studying taekwando so that she can become a sidekick to Grandpa Anarchy, and then a hero.  Of course, she's told her mom it's for self-defense.

My new scene starts right off on a discussion of heroes and how both girls wish to become super heros.  This was a good change.  Further, I decided that the demon, rather than reveal himself directly, would insert a few comments that steered them in the direction of looking for their great grandmother's ring.  (They can't figure out who is talking -- it sounds like one of them -- but they set that aside while in pursuit of the mystery of the ring.)  In addition, I decided that Kelli has been talking to Annie Two over her phone and getting advice from Grandpa's computer system.  That helps drive the plot and provide them with details they wouldn't otherwise know as well.

I managed to get two scenes written, and I've written part of the third, but again I'm having problems figuring out exactly how the demon reveals himself (or is revealed), whether I want to include anything about Valerie 9000 or the Novas at all, and basically how I bring the story to an end.  In my head  the discovery of the ring and the information about their great grandmother was always a big reveal and a natural ending, but now that I've come this far it doesn't feel like the ending at all -- and the idea of the demon revealing itself, or Val 9000  teleporting them to some secret Nova family space station just sounds weird and out of left field at the moment.

So I'm back to thinking about the story and trying to figure out exactly where I'm going with it.  I really wanted to finish a second story this week, since the only one I actually finished was really last week's story that I didn't figure out completely until this week.  But it looks like that same pattern is in play for this week's story.

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