Thursday, March 18, 2021

Mid March Update

Stories I've written in 2021:

413 I Swear

414 Collateral Damage

415  I, Gardener

416  Maid Ex Machina

417  Infinite Dojo

418  Princess of Pluto

419  The Return of Normal

042  Hot Stuff

420  Get Down Tonight

421  Free Advertising

422  Inevitable

423  All I Ever Wanted

424  My Clone Sleeps Alone

425  Girl Squared

426  Wrong Number

427  Doomscrolling

428  Endorsement

429  Transformations

430  Frills and Bows

Stories that I think I am working on:

431  Noticeable One

432  Beauty Treatment

433  True Colors

???  Just Like Miss Anarchy

???  Trust Mother

???  Real Girl

So obviously, I'm doing much better than my goal of one story a week.  I wrote a lot of stories at the end of February -- at least 5 or 6 in the span of about two weeks.  I didn't exactly follow the "Bolt from the Blue" vision I had last month where I plotted an entire group of stories in my sleep -- but that's okay, the whole experience still sparked me into writing a bunch of new stories anyway.  Sometimes the ideas I have for stories don't actually work out, but I manage to come up with something else that does work.

I rewrote The Return of Normal and Free Advertising and Inevitable, and then I came up with the stories All I Ever Wanted, My Clone Sleeps Alone, Girl Squared, Wrong Number, Doomscrolling, and Endorsement.  The first three fit into my plan for Miss Anarchy to go out in space and have adventures with her two great granddaughters Elsie and Kelli.  Wrong Number was a spontaneous idea I had that started with Miss Anarchy complaining to Mal about still being Miss Anarchy.  Doomscrolling evolved from a half-finished story involving the Holy Terror, which I adapted for an outer space adventure.  I had plans to do this for two or three existing story ideas, but this is the one that I managed to write.

Endorsement was a new random idea that popped into my head, but stemmed from more stuff I'd written about Miss Anarchy becoming more popular and getting new advertising offers.

At this point, I had plans to write: 

* A story about the Girls of Two-Fisted Justice fan club and how popular Miss Anarchy suddenly is.  This was my Just Like Miss Anarchy story idea.

* A story where the mothers of Elsie and Kelli show up in space.  This was Beauty Treatment, which I still plan to write.

 * A story in which several members of the New League of Two-Fisted Justice arrive for a Girls of Two-Fisted Justice photo shoot (possibly with a group of journalists from earth).  This might be Noticeable One, or maybe True Colors, or I don't know yet.  I have a lot of things in my head that I want to happen, but what makes a good story may be something entirely different.

* Possibly one more adventures in space story involving Miss Anarchy, Elsie, and Kelli.  I had plans to adapt one or two old story ideas/prompts called Uncanny Valley and Every Alien Loves Shakespeare, and Transhumanist.

* Eventually, the story Trust Mother, which involves an attempt by Julia Judas to kidnap/adopt Miss Anarchy and gain control of the Anarchy estate

* Followed by Real Girl, in which the robot Magical Girl Anne is transformed into a human girl

* And finally, Entourage, which happens at the opening of the Girls of Two-Fisted Justice movie

* Oh, and I never wrote I Think Therefor.  I have plans to write that one too.

Plus I feel like I should mention, March is Magical March, the month where people on the internet draw magical girls with a theme for each day of the month.  In 2018 I wrote a story for each day of the month, using the theme for that day, and I had fun doing that.  I tried to do this again last year and I only managed the first three stories, but I had plans to try and finish that project this year.  Obviously, I blew that idea off this month because I'm in the middle of a different group of stories at the moment.

I really felt like I needed to write Just Like Miss Anarchy next -- the story about the growing popularity of Miss Anarchy and how the fan club was reacting to daily videos of her exploits.  Only, the more I tried to turn this into a story, the more obvious it became that there was no story there to work with.  Where's the surprise?  Where's the twist?  We already know Miss Anarchy is becoming incredibly popular and the fans are growing more rabid.  At this point, this idea may never turn into a story.

I thought, what else could they do?  Maybe there's a convention coming up -- one being held virtually.  Maybe they want Miss Anarchy to appear at the con, virtually, from many light years away.  Maybe they use magic to make that work.

I came up with a list of things that might happen at a con or that they might give away to fans, and... none of it really sparked any actual story ideas.  Meanwhile, other ideas were going through my head, so I eventually tried to assemble them into a story called Noticeable One.  I had some scenes of news reporters talking about Miss Anarchy, I had some dialog between Miss Anarchy and Mal where Miss Anarchy complains about being stuck as a girl again.  But it also seemed to me that I'd played on this idea too much, so I also wrote a bit where she explains to her great granddaughters that she just likes to complain, she isn't trapped, she's doing this of her own free will, etc.

Somewhere in the middle of this I had a new idea to have the actress that plays Miss Anarchy in the upcoming movie to show up at the space station they're at.  They've already greenlit a sequel, and she wants to follow the "real" Miss Anarchy around for a while.  And I thought, what if she shows up and immediately kisses Miss Anarchy?  I liked that idea, and I tried to make it a surprise ending for my story, but even as I assembled the story I realized that there was no central thread or idea to the story, nothing to hold it together, just some scenes strung together with a random ending that really had nothing to do with what came before and didn't really count as a surprise or twist ending, because it just comes out of left field and isn't all that shocking.

I finished the story anyway, but then almost immediately after, I began to tear it apart.  I'd also come up with the idea partway through this story that Elsie, as Hellfire Lass, is essentially a demon, and might be able to possess Miss Anarchy and transform her back into Grandpa Anarchy.  I'd even written that into the story, but didn't actually have her do it, because if Grandpa Anarchy appears again, based on the events in Wrong Number he'd be summoned by a wizard who is searching for him to curse him.

But I realized I can't bring that idea up and not do it.  The entire idea that Miss Anarchy might want to become Grandpa Anarchy again, but is afraid of this wizard, and hasn't told this to Elsie and Kelli, and Elsie might spontaneously decide to demonstrate that she can transform Miss Anarchy in this way if she chooses to -- that was the story.  Of course, this meant the wizard would locate Grandpa, and I had to figure out how Grandpa Anarchy would avoid being cursed, and I realized, what if the wizard summons Grandpa while the demon still possesses his body?  Does he have Grandpa, or a powerful demon?

So I rewrote the entire story the same day.  I removed the news reporter bits, and the ending with the actress showing up, and focused the story entirely on whether Miss Anarchy wants to become Grandpa Anarchy again or not.  I think this time the story works.  I called this Transformations.

This thing -- where I have an idea but I'm afraid to pursue it -- is kind of a theme with me sometimes.  I was planning to write Noticeable One next, or whatever story I can come up with involving Miss Anarchy in the news / the actress portraying her showing up / several members of the New League showing up for a photo shoot.  I had no idea which of these would make a  great story, but I do know that one story ought to involve Miss Anarchy and Dark Dr. Dark discussing who this wizard is who is seeking revenge on Grandpa Anarchy, and what can be done about him.

But I also thought, what are Glory Ashes and Magical Girl Anne doing back on earth while Miss Anarchy is gone?  I had an idea for Death Medal complaining that kidnapping them just wasn't the same as kidnapping Grandpa Anarchy, so like always, I wrote the thing that was already in my head.  And once again I came up with an idea and then was too shy to go with it at first.  Magical Girl Anne has transformed several demons into articles of clothing that she wears.  Her dress was a demon, her boots were two different demons, her staff was a powerful demon.  At the end of Princess of Pluto she'd transformed a demon into some bloomers.  I thought, she'll threaten to transform Death Medal into something -- he's a demon, after all.  But I can't actually let her do it, can I?  Death Medal is a recurring villain.  Nor can I allow her to transform Death Medal's girlfriend Miss Kid Gloves, nor his best henchman Private Growley Monster.

So!  I wrote my story with the idea that she'd threaten to transform them, and be told that she couldn't, and would pick some random other demon and say something like, "You'll do!"  And that would be my ending.  But as I wrote the story, I had trouble figuring out why an unknown demon would show up randomly at the end.  So I added an accountant demon at the beginning who is following Death Medal around and taking notes, and he was going to be my target.  But this presented it's own set of problems -- there wasn't really any surprise in Anne deciding to transform the unnamed demon who only existed so she could have someone to transform.

I wrote the story anyway, and tried to make the real surprise that this demon accountant actually liked the idea of being transformed into clothing.  I finished the story, but it was a weak ending, and once again I almost immediately decided to rework it -- and it was the same thing as before, because I realized that the real story is that Anne is told she can't transform Death Medal into an item of clothing, and then she does it anyway.  I already had her complaining earlier in the story that even if Grandpa follows and exploits story beats (he allows himself to be captured, and waits until the villain explains his master plan, for example), Anne does not feel like she should be constrained by these ideals.  So why would she avoid  transforming Death Medal?  He's threatening to destroy the world, and this gets rid of him, and what does she care if he's a recurring character or not?

This story I called Frills and Bows.  I finished it twice today, and the second version is much more satisfying.

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