Monday, June 12, 2017

Magical Girl Death Match!

Back in March it seemed like I'd be able to finish up Oz On The Half-Shell really easily if I just concentrated on in it for a couple of weeks.  This is a novella-length story involving someone trying to replace Grandpa Anarchy, and it seemed to me that it was more than 3/4ths done.  I liked what I'd written so far and I knew where the story was supposed to go.  What could be easier?

This, mind you, is just one of several novella or novel-length stories in the Grandpa Anarchy universe that I have started and failed to finish.  There's World of Hero, which I wrote back in 2012 and then rewrote a couple of years later, and which still needs a radical rewrite.  There's Second Class, a story about the Black Moon Maidens, that I wrote a couple of chapters into but never finished.  There's also Serial Anarchy, a novel I attempted to write one year for NaNoWriMo.  I only got a couple of chapters into that one too.

Serial Anarchy is one of those stories that I'm sure I could completely rework at a later point, but as for the others, they involve world-changing details that I've made reference to, and therefore the stories HAVE to be written at some point.  The further into the future I push my narrative with new stories, the more vital it is that I go back and finish these old stories which shape the future so that I'm certain to not get any details wrong.  My big plan for this year, for Camp NaNoWriMo in April especially, was to finish up Oz On The Half-Shell quickly and then concentrate on finally writing World of Hero.

So here I am in June, and I've only managed a few new scenes.  I started April by writing a bunch of shorter stories so that I wouldn't fall behind on my goal of publishing one story a week on my blog.  Then I got bogged down on Oz On The Half-Shell, and through most of May I wrote very little.  I've even worked up several new story ideas that I haven't worked on because I really want to get my novella done.

Mind you, this isn't the first time I've struggled to finish a very long story -- my Return to Amethyst story is novella-length, and took about a year and a half or two years before I actually finished it.  I also wrote Secret Crisis Wars last summer, and that is a novella-length story that I'd planned for quite a while.  So I know I can successfully finish these other stories, but it has been a struggle.

So of course it doesn't help when I come up with new ideas for very long stories.  ^_^

I've been reading a light novel (and watching the anime based on it) called Magical Girl Raising Project.  I liked the concept right away -- an MMO game about magical girls where one in ten thousand players is granted the ability to become a real magical girl.  Of course we exist in a post-Madoka Magica world, and therefore this series quickly turns dark, as the game's mascot who is in charge of things first decides that there are too many magical girls in the same town and some must be eliminated, and then later reveals that if you cease being a magical girl, you also cease living.  Then it devolves into magical girls killing each other.

The series has some major flaws, not the least of which is that there are too many characters and they all start dying before you even learn much about them.  They fall into the trap of giving you a character's full back story in the episode where they die, so that there's not much mystery about who's going to get offed next.  You also never get much of a story about who's behind all of this or what their actual motivations are.  But dark magical girl stories are popular, and the series is a hit, even though it's clearly not nearly as good as the classic that it's patterned after.  And I don't mean it's terrible -- but Madoka Magica was an instant classic anime series.  It's hard to equal it, especially when you're taking so many clues from it.

But I can see that there will be more stories like this one, and it got me thinking:  first, that we should just be forthright and honest about what we're actually doing, and call it something like Magical Girl Death Match.  Second, that someone should be trying to figure out who really is responsible for all of this.  If the magical girls aren't going to do this themselves, then certainly someone from the outside is going to be curious why all of these people are winding up dead.  Also, why can't the app store just pull the app from the store?  I mean, you can easily explain that magic is involved and that while the app appears in the store when you look, it's not actually listed there by the people that control the store and they have no way to remove it.  But in the anime they simply don't address this.

So this got me thinking:  a story where a young person dies of apparently natural causes (heart attack), but their family is convinced that something sinister involving the game they were playing is involved.  They hire an investigator because the police think they're crazy.  The investigator does too, but then he uncovers more deaths from people who have been using the app, and that the app isn't actually supposed to be in the store at all.  Realizing he's in over his head, he turns to a super hero for help -- Grandpa Anarchy.

And Grandpa Anarchy has an idea of who or what might be behind such a game -- because it's very similar to what happened in the Secret Crisis Wars, where heroes and villains were pitted against each other for the amusement of a powerful otherworldly being.

So this weekend I wrote up a treatment for Grandpa Anarchy and the Magical Girl Death Match Tournament.  My problem is, I can't start writing this.  I need to get my other stories done first.  ^_^  If nothing else I need to rewrite The Ring of Hanubatum so that I can put it on the web site (probably in 2 parts since it's so long).

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