Another week's gone by and I'm still struggling with the same story. Mind you, I did finish a story on Monday -- one that I began over the weekend called Vigil. But I was hoping to finish this one too.
After some though I decided to rewrite my beginning yet again. This time, I opened with the girls playing a video game where they're heroes battling a monster octopus that's threatening some downtown city. I described this part first as if it were an actual battle going on, then revealed that it was only a game a few paragraphs later. I liked that method of opening the story, but I didn't finish the scene.
I decided that rather than trying to have the girls introduced to the ring and their great grandmother's back story and their connection to the Novas all at once, with no reason for everything to happen so quickly, it might be a cooler idea if Kelli is secretly already a junior member of the Space Babes and has been on several adventures with their cousin Jennie Nova. And then, of course, Elsie has secretly already traveled back to the fairyland of Amethyst several times, and is a kind of magical girl princess who has been on several adventures with her friends there.
I realized that I needed to figure out the details of what they'd done, what their costumes were like, and what items/powers they actually had. Plus I hadn't really written up what the two of them were like beforehand, even though I had some ideas about that in my head. I spent part of Thursday working all of this out, and then I had to go back and figure out how to reveal all of this in the story.
I had some sort of idea that a "villain" would show up that would set things in motion. My initial idea was that this was actually Hanubatum the demon of the ring, in yet another guise, trying to spur the girls to seek out the ring. But the more I thought about it, the more it seemed that a real villain was called for -- and I had at least one already partially established.
In figuring out Kelli's powers as Junior Space Babe, I'd given her some pretty nifty gizmos. She'd have a uniform that provided a force field that could protect her in deep space, and that would work deep below the ocean as well. She'd have a blaster, but would also be in communication with an orbiting space station and the AI aboard it. She'd have a small jet back built into the suit, and it seemed likely that a Space Babe suit would provide defense against projectiles and lasers, and maybe even augment her strength. So overall, a really nice little package.
Elsie, on the other hand, probably didn't have much. My plan was for her to get the ring, which would grant her great strength and toughness. But in the meantime, what did she have from being a part-time fairyland magical girl? An ability to change into costume quickly, that made sense. Perhaps some slight augmentation to strength and defense -- priority on defense. She'd be able to communicate with the other two princesses, at least when she's in the land of Amethyst, although since this is magic maybe from nearly anywhere, who knows? But I didn't see them handing her much in the way of offensive power. She's just a girl that joins them on adventures sometimes.
However, what if she'd stolen some sort of magic wand from a villain? I considered that, and I was really attracted to the idea of a Star Butterfly-type wand that does weird things like shoot narwhals at the enemy. I decided that she'd stolen her wand from the Evil Warlock King Krunklegunk the Uncivil. His wand was designed for nasty and wicked spells, but the Necromancer King of Amethyst had tried to adapt it to magical girl use, and now it spits out things that are a combination of creepy and cutesy -- such as a horrifying giant spider that can wrap enemies up not in spider silk, but in lavender ribbons and bows, and even wrap presents.
Thus, Elsie has some sort of weapon -- just not one that's entirely useful.
All of this gave me the name of a magical villain who sought revenge on Elsie, and might discover the mystery of the Ring of Hanubatum. Once he shows up and kidnaps one of them, we're off on an adventure that can take us to the fairyland of Amethyst, and into space, and eventually lead to the girls searching for the ring with the purpose of using it to defeat the villain. And then their mother comes home and asks, "You didn't have any weird adventures, did you?" Because this is the granddaughter of Grandpa Anarchy, and she's very aware that such things are possible. ^_^ (It's established that "No Weird Aventures" is one of her rules way back in my Return to Amethyst stories.)
And once I'd figured all of that out, I had to rewrite the beginning yet again -- so the mother could warn them "No weird adventures!" when she left. :D
My story is a mess of disjointed partial scenes and dialog right now. I have a lot to write to put it all back together, but I finally have all of the story figured out in my head. ^_^