Sunday, January 6, 2013

Figuring Out The Valentine's Day Tale

I know that my last post was on a Wednesday, but this week still feels like it flew by!

I did manage to do the beta reading for Devious.Editor and DarkAngel1326. I'm proud to have finally found the time to help those ladies out. Devious has some work to do in order to finish her chapter. She has blips where she describes what she wants to happen in that part, but doesn't have it fully figured out yet, and she needs to figure out how she's going to end the chapter. So I guess Fugitive isn't going to be updated as soon as I had implied last post. I will be working with her and hopefully help her finish the chapter in a timely manner.

As for DA, well her story is fantastic. There were some places that I made some suggestions that I feel would help pull at the heart strings a little more, so she might have some tweaking - depending on whether or not she follows my suggestions. However, once she feels confident that she has the story at its best I hope she posts it on DeviantArt and/or Fictionpress. The world needs to read it. :-D

As for me? Well, the above beta reading was the extent of my "Writing World" ventures. I did manage to finish Professor Layton. So that's one less distraction. Now my thoughts are all on the Valentine's Day competition that the Hey Arnold group is hosting.

They will be using the same scoring as for the Halloween Contest, so I REALLY want to try to make up those points in originality. Therefore, I'm avoiding the Helga/Arnold, Gerald/Phoebe, and Harold/Rhonda/Curly pairings because those will probably be everyone's go-to. The problem being, that there are so many MORE options I could go with and I don't have any strong feelings to follow any one of them in particular. I have until February 8th to figure it out though.

Here are my reigning thoughts on what I should do, and there are a LOT of them:
  • Grandpa Phil and Grandma Gertie
    • I've stated before that it would be fun to do a "how they got together" story about these two; the transition from Gertie bullying Phil to them actually dating and getting married. I still feel like this is too large and too complex of a story to write as a simple Valentine's Day tale, so it's again getting slotted away.
    • Perhaps a story just about their wedding day. It would be sweet with a little chaos thrown in. I just need to do some research on the average wedding in the 1940s... it's a shame my grandparents aren't still alive....
    • I could do a story about Gertie's pregnancy and/or birth of Miles and the chaos a new baby brings to the already hectic life of running a boarding house. Problem there is that I have no experience in the "new parent" department yet, so I'm not sure how true-to-life I'd be able to make the story just on second-hand info.
    • A simple, quiet tale of Phil and Gertie during the years of the show - 80, raising a grandson, taking care of the Sunset Arms, and growing old together. I'd probably do the story through the more-sane POV of Phil, and how in his opinion Gertie hasn't changed one bit.
  • Miles and Stella
    • Keeping with the Shortman family, perhaps a story of Miles and Stella while they're still in the jungle, before bringing Arnold to Hillwood. Or perhaps their new lives in Hillwood and getting reaccustomed to "civilization" along with parenthood. I feel these two don't get too many stories for two reasons. 1 - we don't know terribly too much about them, 2 - everything about their lives that needed to be said was told beautifully in "The Journal" episode.
  • Oskar and Suzie
    • I already did a pseudo-romance story about them during the July Daily Challenge. Do I want to do another one?
    • The Million Dollar Question for this couple is "Why did Suzie marry him in the first place?" so perhaps there's a story there.
      • I don't have any theories on the matter, so that might prove a bit tricky...
      • Perhaps the story isn't the REAL story of how they got together, but a bunch of mini-stories via the boarders' theories on the subject.
  • Bob and Miriam
    • Another dysfunctional couple that people wonder about. A lot of theories float around about Bob actually being a looker and a charmer in his day and then showing his true colors after he and Miriam are married. I might be able to work with this.
    • There must have been a time where these two were legitimately happy together. I just need to backtrack to before Miriam started drinking.
      • Did Bob crush her dreams of becoming more than a house wife right away and that's what drove her to drink?
      • Did she start drinking after the stress of caring for Olga and keeping house while watching her dreams die?
      • Did she start drinking after having Helga? Either as a continuation of some postpartum depression or because she sincerely didn't want another child?
      • Did she start drinking relatively recently, as a way to cope with not having her "perfect" Olga around as a buffer between her and Bob?
      • I feel like this story might be a bit of a deep and twisty one... perhaps another to slot away for another time...
    • Another fantastic plotbunny that crept up was a story where Bob is tempted with an affair with an employee - or possibly a returning client - and the proof that the Patakis truly love each other as Bob and Miriam work through this threat of infidelity.
      • Definitely a larger story that needs to be slotted away.... I have so many stories like this!
  • Coach Jack Wittenberg and Tish
    • Another dysfunctional couple, but this one routinely shows off that they really are madly in love. Writing a story about these two is like writing a parody fanfic of the show “According to Jim”; partially because it’s the only show I know of where the couple is obviously in love but compete constantly, and partially because Wittenberg is voiced by Jim Belushi and the wife on both shows is a blonde.
    • Perhaps the story of how Jack and Tish became a couple. The story was briefly told by Tish in the episode “Best Man” and it might be fun to explore it some more.
    • Maybe a fun story of Tish and Jack STILL competing heavily while Tish is pregnant with Tucker.
      • Since Tish isn’t in the ONE episode that Tucker is in, and since Tucker is never seen or mentioned past the episode “Benchwarmer” – which includes his surprising absence from the “Best Man” episode where Jack and Tish get re-married – it is sort of fanon that Tucker is actually Jack’s son from a previous marriage.
        • Perhaps there can be this bittersweet story of Tish having a crush on Jack since they were kids, watching him marry another woman and having a kid with her, and then Tish being there for Jack when he goes through divorce.
          • Another multi-chapter plot bunny?
  • Ernie and Lola
    • Switching back to the Sunset Arms boarders. At the end of "Ernie in Love" he and Lola made up after their fight. Lola was trying to coax Ernie in to having dinner with her again, but Ernie tried to slow things down with a simple "we can have coffee". Did this relationship grow now that Lola had gotten over her shallow views on Ernie's height?
  • Harold and Patty
    • Another couple I touched upon twice during the July Daily Challenge. One was Patty's POV during the episode "Hey, Harold". It wasn't really a romance, but it showed the potential there. My first story about these two, however, was "Letters From Nowhere", another July Daily challenge prompt in which Rhonda sends secret admirer letters to Harold, but he thinks they're from Patty. It's kind of a romance yet again, but I've never actually wrote a true romance story between these two.
      • Perhaps a continuation of Letters From Nowhere. What happens when Harold arrives at Slausen's looking for Patty without realizing he's supposed to be finding Rhonda?
      • Maybe a story about how they finally transition from friends to "more than"
      • How about a bit of a heartbreaker story of Patty - who is two grades higher than Harold even though he's almost two years older - going off to college and Harold feeling stupid, alone, and left behind?
        • I kind of like this one, but it again feels larger than a Valentine's Day one shot.
  • Rhonda and Sid
    • I don't really get this pairing, but apparently there are some subtle clues throughout the show that suggests that it IS canon that Sid has a crush on Rhonda. Hubby likes this pairing the most out of the Rhonda possibilites.
      • My fear is since I don't really get this pairing it would take me too long to figure it out and I won't have time to actually write it.
  • Sid and Nadine
    • ChibiSunnie unintentionally brought up this possibility to me when she did a comic suggesting such a pairing. Although neither of us believe this is going to be more than a short high school fling before they mutually part ways as friends, it would still be fun to see them as a couple, even for a little while.
  • Nadine and Peapod Kid
    • Established canon after Peapod's reaction in the episode "Married". I don't really get this coupling though, so if anything I'd have this set up as a love triangle with the above pairing of Nadine and Sid. Perhaps a tale of Peapod wooing Nadine away from Sid. Thing is, I just can't refer to the kid as "Peapod" the entire story, so I'd have to come up with a "real" name for him.
  • Lila and Stinky
    • Another couple that Chibi came up with, mainly due to their similar rural backgrounds. They could actually make a really cute couple. I’d probably focus on Stinky winning Lila over, under the shock of his peers since Lila and Rhonda are clearly still the top two girls that the gang would love to be with.
  • Eugene and Sheena
  • Helga and Brainy
    • Pairing Helga up with anyone other than Arnold is already sort of taboo, but it is certainly unconventional to pair her with Brainy! However, that is precisely what I’m already doing with my main story.
      • Part of me wants to submit my fifth chapter – when Brainy asks Helga out – to see how far it could get in the contest, as well as sort of promote my story.
        • However, that will completely take away from the actual writing portion of the competition. I feel like I need to write a brand new story.
      • Should I write a sort of “companion” story to my main one in which I show more of Helga and Brainy dating?
      • Should I write a story completely separate from my main story, but still have Brainy and Helga paired off?
  • Tommy and Maria
    • Two side characters that we know little to nothing about aside from Tommy’s affection to yell for Maria to “come over here!”
  • Mr. Simmons and Peter
    • I would have to pretty much completely construct Peter’s character since he was only briefly seen in the “Arnold’s Thanksgiving” episode. Would that count as creating an Original Character? Because creating OCs isn’t allowed for this contest.
    • I’m not sure if I want to follow this couple because AngelBlood666 already wrote a really nice story about these two for his July Daily Challenge, and I honestly don’t think I’d be able to surpass his tale.
  • Lila’s Parents
    • I also want to do a story with these two, but we know nothing at all about Lila’s mother and almost as little about her father. I would certainly be severely bending the “no OCs” rule since I would essentially be creating two brand new characters – including coming up with their names.
      • Unfortunately, I feel like this is a no-go for the contest, but perhaps I’ll slot it away for next Valentine’s Day…
So those are my thoughts on all the couples I can think of for this Valentine’s Day contest. Anyone have any thoughts on which story I should focus on? Which one do you think could be a real winner? Which one is most intriguing to you? Let me know in the comments below! :-D

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