Friday, January 31, 2020

January 2020 -- Accomplishments

My goal is to write a new story a week.  I actually completed 13 stories for the month:

1/1/20 Die Glocke
1/6/10  Disco Inferno
1/7/20  Dancing Queen
1/7/20  Punch 'Em All
1/13/20  Abyssus Abyssum Invocat
1/15/20  Die Eir Von Satan
1/15/20  Arachnope
1/17/20  Escape Goat
1/17/20  Red Handed
1/20/20  The Clichemonger
1/20/20  When You're Dead
1/24/20  The Great Brain Robbery
1/29/20  Fear of a Clown Planet

I also read Oulipo Blues at writer's night and later rewrote the ending, and I rewrote the ending for an old story Idiot Ball (see below).

Stories I worked on this week:  I completed Fear of a Clown Planet, and I plotted (mostly in my head) a prequel and a sequel.  Fear of a Clown Planet takes place in the middle of a clown apocalypse, and the villain Bofforma III does not appear in it, so I wanted a story that explained how he was unleashed again, and another where Grandpa takes him down.  Neither is absolutely required but it would make for a nice mini-trilogy, assuming I write them sooner rather than later.

I also worked on a new story called University of Hard Knocks.

Way back in probably 2014 I wrote a Grandpa Anarchy story about a villain named Idiot Ball.  This was my attempt at an underground criminal mastermind along the lines of Kingpin.

An idiot ball is a television script writer reference, where a character acts dumb or out of character in order to move the plot along.  They have the idiot ball that week.  I remember very much wanting to create a villain with this name just because I liked the phrase, but also I think I wanted to name the villain 8-Ball as a first choice, and that name had already been used.  Idiot Ball was my next choice.  My eventual explanation was that my villain, whose name is Ichabod Berelli, runs a company called IB Enterprises and the company logo is a black billiard ball with the letters IB where you would put the number 8.  He makes reference to tossing the idiot ball to Grandpa Anarchy, but he doesn't like being called Idiot Ball himself.

...yeah.  So that whole villain name/concept doesn't work that well -- a very smart villain with the name Idiot Ball.   But he was a big underworld boss like the villain Kingpin, and I managed to write a story with him in it.  Conveniently titled Idiot Ball, my story had a very lame ending because I wrote up to that point without knowing how I was going to end it, and for once nothing came to mind.

Although I liked this villain, I didn't use him again.  I think at best I referenced him in one other story.  But recently I was listening to a podcast about real and fictional crime bosses, and they did one episode about Kingpin, the Marvel villain.  This gave me some good ideas and bits of dialog for a story involving Mr. Berelli / Idiot Ball, so I created a new story file, then went back and reread my old story.

One thing about this story, I always imagined it being set in Seattle.  I had to think about why this was, because Grandpa Anarchy operates in a fictional town called Frosthaven NJ.  But I realized this story was written so long ago that I hadn't really decided where Grandpa Anarchy was based yet.  In any case, nothing in the story actually says where it's set, so I can easily pretend it's set in Frosthaven.

At this point I have several powerful businessmen / villains in Frosthaven, each with their own major company.  Julia Judas and her brother run Omnigen Corp.  Melodious Jackson Magoon runs MJM Enterprises.  The Electric Bluejay (Jay Medberry) and his associates run Temporary Superfriends and the Eternal Order of the Second Banana.  And, of course, the mayor of the city is former villain Judge Doomhollow.

IB Enterprises is one that I had forgotten about, and/or not considered that it was based in Frosthaven.  I need to do a write-up on this company I think.  Also, while I'm thinking about it, some of my previous sidekicks should join the Second Banana order, and maybe the strike force.  I've removed several of their key members, they need to be replaced, and there might be a good story in that.

In any case, I reread the story and was appalled at how badly it ends.  Grandpa Anarchy runs out of options with Mr. Berelli, confronts him but can't come up with a way to pin him for any crime, and as an act of desperation he punches him in the face.  There's no twist ending, it's not really that funny, it was a terrible ending.  Last night as I was about to go to bed I came up with a better ending, so I got up and rewrote the end of the story.  My new ending isn't maybe the most brilliant ever but it actually works as an ending I think, so I'm satisfied.  I feel like I've written two stories this week, even though one of them was simply fixing a really old story.

I do want to use Mr. Berelli in a couple more stories.  He could be a good villain for Grandpa.  My new story file that I created yesterday is titled University of Hard Knocks, and I want to try and work on that one.  I still have two more clown stories in mind, and my other stories I was working on including the one about Philip K Dick's android head, and one about a possible android to replace Grandpa Anarchy's old butler Wilfred.

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