Wednesday, February 5, 2020

First Week of Feb 2020 Update

On January 2nd I listed several story ideas I planned to work on.  Of those, I've finished Arachnope, Punch 'Em All, and my Ahmguh story (renamed).  I also listed a story file named No Politics that I've done nothing with, and another new story file called Grandpa Anarchy 2020 that I've failed to develop.  Sometimes that's how it goes -- I jump from idea to idea, and as long as I'm finishing something at some point, it's all good.  And some of those ideas I fail to work on weren't really much of an idea anyway.

On January 10th I talked about splitting an old story into five:  The Name Game, Disco Inferno, Dancing Queen, Hot Stuff and Get Down Tonight.  The last two of these have yet to be finished.  (And while we're at it, I've poked at another old story called [for now] Jack.  It's supposed to fit into book 1 but it's not finished either.)

On January 16th I listed more stories I was working on:  The Android Head of Philip K. Dick, The Earth Is On Fire, and Invictus.  None of these are finished, but I've worked on the first one a bit and I believe it works as a set of two stories with my android butler idea titles Wilfred being a follow-up story.  As for The Earth Is On Fire, this was one of those "I had a vision of how this story should go" things where I really failed to write down much of anything, so there's not a lot to work with at the moment.

Stories I was working on on January 27:  The Great Brain Robbery (finished), Fear of a Clown Planet (finished), Manekineko or Lucky Neko (not finished) and My Gun Is Sharp (not finished, I don't even remember what I was doing with it.)

Over last weekend I finished up my "clown" trilogy.  I numbered A Clown in a Clown Store as story 389, Fear of a Clown Planet is 390, and Death By Clown is 391.

Since then I've been working on several new ideas.

Banana Split:  (This story is very much a working title.)  It occurred to me last week that I really needed to write a new story about the Eternal Order of the Second Banana.  I wrote about them way back in story 067 Brothers and Sisters, and the Second Banana Strike Force has appeared a couple of times.  The Eternal Order is a secret society of former sidekicks, run mostly by the Electric Bluejay and his associates (who also run the temporary sidekick agency).  The strike force is a secret paramilitary wing of the order... basically a collection of heroes who are available to help others but mostly work behind the scenes, rather than as a public hero group.  Also, they tend to have a revolving cast of agents.

The strike force was featured in story 093 Banana Also Rises and the secret order bar is the setting for two other stories, 281 Time Trip and 284 Hurricane Punch.  These are tall tales about Grandpa Anarchy as related by the Electric Bluejay, and I always intended to write at least one more but I didn't come up with anything.

The Second Banana Strike Force also appears in an unfinished novella, Second Class, which involves the expansion of the Black Moon Maidens supergroup.  Largely because of this story and a a later group of stories involving the formation of a magical girl supergroup, the Shoujo Alliance of Frosthaven, the strike force is down several powerful heroes.  Former members Spirit Summoner Shaman Sally, Microbat, Tsunami Lass and the Ritzy Cracker are members of the Black Moon Maidens, and Shaman Sally is also a part-time member of the Shoujo Alliance of Frosthaven.

This leaves me with five known strike force members:  Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Sixteen Tons, Dog Is My Copilot, Cell Site Girl and Aquakinetic Lad.  The first two are basically muscle or military types; Dog Is My Copilot is a secretary and a pilot, for the most part (also a decent investigator); Cell Site Girl is a communications support character, and that leaves Aquakinetic Lad as the only true super-powered operative.

So... a story about new members joining the society and the strike force seemed in order.  I put together a list of sidekicks that had appeared in the last 60 or so stories (working my way back through Book 11 and Book 9) and then considered which of these would actually be useful to the group.  I create a lot of joke sidekicks who are not strictly useful and/or could never be expected to have long hero careers.  But I came up with the following:

The Glass Cannon, a young woman who fires powerful force bolts.

Alice Liddell, a version of Alice In Wonderland who wound up following Grandpa Anarchy back to our world.  I always meant to do more with her, but never did.  I imagine she has some knowledge of magic and/or possibly can teleport between worlds.

HighSis, a character who is kind of a parody of Isis from the 1970's show The Secret of Isis (she smokes marijuana in order to transform).  Although kind of a joke character, she appeared in three stories and is actually quite powerful, in the same way the Isis character is powerful.

Kitty Kitty Bang Bang, a catgirl who is an expert gunslinger.

Wings of Liberty, a half-falcon woman who I still have yet to write in her own story (but she appears in another story with Black Dahlia, before she becomes Grandpa's sidekick).  She can fly and would have sharp taloned feet.

Ex Habitu, a character with a dress that can produce any type of weapon.

Furious Bandersnatch Boy, who can transform into a powerful humanoid monster.

Escape Goat, who is an escape artist in a goat costume.

Spyro Gyros, who gains powers when he eats gyros sandwiches.

Boy Ballerina, a boy in a ballerina outfit.

Of this group, The Glass Cannon, HighSis and possibly Wings of Liberty most fit the bill for operatives who are super-powered, I think.  Possibly Spyro Gyro as well -- I haven't really codified his powers in a story yet.  In some ways the last three on the last are joke characters, but I decided to include them anyway.  Boy Ballerina is like a young, male Nina Ballerina, a kid who tries to combine martial arts with ballet moves.

The Tutu of Lully:  I was working on this Banana Split story when it occurred to me that Boy Ballerina's inclusion might be strengthened if he found some sort of supernatural aid to make himself stronger and more effective (and, perhaps, more like a classical ballerina in appearance).  I also thought that Spyro Gyro is going to have a much harder time finding a gyros sandwich in a fight than Popeye ever did finding spinach.  What if he came up with a magical amulet of some sort that summons food?  (Specifically, gyros sandwiches).  This evolved into a story idea I've been working on since yesterday, which is currently titled the Tutu of Lully, which obviously I need to finish before I work on the Banana Split story.

UPDATE:  Over the last two days of the week I managed to stitch together a complete story for The Tutu of Lully.  Right now it's overly long and I probably need to trim and tighten it, and I'm not sure I like it, but at least it reads as a complete story now.  I cropped a bunch of dialog and background information and stuffed them into a new story called:

Tea For Tutu:  Well I mean, what else would I call it?  This title suggests a non-traditional wedding ceremony between Ballerina Boy and Spyro Gyros to me (one involving tea?)  I also thought up some stuff that leads directly from The Tutu of Lully into Banana Split, so this might form a trilogy depending on how these stories wind up being written.

University of Hard Knocks:  At some point last week I was also trying to come up with a new story involving the villain Ichabod Berelli, aka Idiot Ball.  He's a kind of Kingpin criminal mastermind who has only ever appeared in a single story.  I listened to a Villains podcast about Kingpin, and it gave me ideas, but I only got so far on the story before jumping to other things.

Hellfire and Brimstone and Transhumanist:  Sometimes I come up with long bits of writing that don't fit into the story I'm working on.   These are two such files; one is a long section about Hellfire Lass, detailed information on how she got her powers, a lot of which never made it into that story, and the other is a section of villain dialog that did not fit into Fear of a Clown Planet but which I still like.

It's Complicated:  While listening to an Imaginary Worlds podcast about villain plans and how often movie villains especially have plans so complicated and convoluted that it's nearly impossible to figure out what they were hoping to achieve or why (see:  Lex Luthor in Batman vs. Superman), and I decided that a story with that kind of plot would be fun.  Something that was such a mess that Grandpa gives up trying to oppose it because he has no idea what the villain really wants, and the villain has almost zero chance of achieving it.  I created a new story file based on that idea.

You Will Destroy Us All:  Along the same lines, I wrote down a few bits of dialog based on the idea that the hero always tells the villain he's crazy.  What if they're being serious?  Like, the villain really has mental problems?

I'm not certain that one is an actual story plot, but anyway, I created a file.

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