Sunday, March 31, 2013

An Easter Miracle! (But not really)

Image by Celesse
Well, don't I totally rock at this weekly update thing, huh?

Do I get forgiveness if I say I missed last week's update because I've been writing almost non-stop for the past two weeks?

Probably not much consolation when you guys realize that you can't read anything I've been working on... not for a while at least.

But, let's backtrack and see what I'm talking about.

First off, I've gotten off the doll-making kick; at least, for a little while.

I had the 20th, 21st, and the 22nd off.... and I spent them WRITING!

Yeah, that's right...


I was able to hand write the opening of the next What Is Truly Meant To Be chapter on the front and back of a legal-pad page. Not too much once it's condensed down in typed form, but it's something, right?

But that little bit was done during breaks at work. The rest of the time I've been getting mad inspired by the X-Men RPG. We've had a couple of days two weeks ago where we actually had nice little role-play groups going. Most of them consisted of me mainly running my character Willow. She's a flirt and a prankster who gets her kicks out of getting a rise out of her fellow classmates - one in particular being the stick-in-the-mud William. She's just becoming so much more fun to run as a character and she's quickly surpassing Lia as my main character.

A LOOOOT happened that week in Willow's world and it just developed and expanded her character. I love it! I'm getting super connected to this character - a lot more than poor Lia - and I'm starting to finally hear Willow's voice in my head.

She's also a major case of "The Character Tells The Author How Stuff Is Gonna Go Down."

In other words.... this:
"So, You're a Cartoonist? - Following the Leader" by Tom Preston
It has inspired me to translate Willow's story in to prose so that all of you fine readers could also partake in her tale. I also still want to eventually try turning the entire forum game in to a series of webcomics, but I'll need an artist for that.

Anyway, on Thrusday, March 21, a cataclysmic event happened on the forum that turned it in to a massive bundle of heart-wrenching, edge of your seat, "For some reason I completely care about these characters" emotions. If you're keen to Tumblr's own little sub-genre language, the emotions would be simply summed up as "The Feels!"

I'll try not to be too specific with details so that when I DO translate everything over in to prose I wouldn't have let spoilers slip too much, but a player didn't want to run his character anymore and decided to start up a second one instead. However, he didn't want to bring in the new one until he got rid of the old one. This was the catalyst.

He killed off his character, and now mine are not only trying to come to terms with the loss of a friend, but a lot of other unresolved emotions that are building up to a head. The death of the character resulted in Willow completely breaking down. To the point in which I was weeping like a baby all of that Thursday night. Like.... legitimately, "Hand me a damn box of tissues, I can't see over here" crying. To this day, over a week later, I can't read any of that stuff without choking up. She had a very touching memorial that even got the killed-off-character's player crying, welled up Hubby's eyes with tears, and got Devon's player to choke up a little.

Mad skills!

One of the many reasons I want you guys to be able to read this stuff! I want to know if this stuff is just emotional because we're running these characters and feel connected to them, or if this stuff truly is that emotional.

Since I have no clue how many of you are X-Men fans, and because we created our own universe canon for this role play, I wanted to write up the main events of the world these characters live in. This way, everyone sort of gets what's going on. So last week I started writing down the key plot points of the X-Men: Evolution TV series, since this is the basis of our world.

I didn't get very far before the forum continued to blow up. So much emotion going on, so many characters reacting to the character's death, and reacting to the repercussions of the event.... it's taken us about a week of nearly non-stop role playing to finally finish off everything that happened that day!

It's been mad crazy! That's why I missed last week's post. Between bringing Hubby home from work and going in to work myself I spent the rest of the time working on the role play instead of my blog post. I had every intention of going back and writing the post after work was done, or on Monday, or even Tuesday. Yet, the forum always seemed to take over every waking moment.

And there were a LOT of waking moments. Even with me having to get up at about five or six in the morning nearly every day during The Week Of Feels Hubby and I still stayed up until midnight, 1am, and even 2am.

I am certainly not a college student any longer. I cannot survive on minimal sleep.... and my body sure as hell reminded me of that this past Tuesday. After I was done with work I got hit hard with a nasty head cold. I've gone through two tissue boxes easily. I frequently sit with my nose clogged with tissue and wonder if people would buy a product that is essentially tampons for your nose. I mean, doctors already use tampons to help with nose bleeds after a head trauma or nasal surgery...

I'm going off topic.

Anyway, Wednesday was miserable. My head was swimming, my eyes wouldn't focus, I was constantly either sneezing or blowing my nose, my throat was scratchy, and I couldn't seem to medicate the symptoms away no matter what. Dayquil? Doesn't help with runny nose. Herbal Tea Cold Remedy? It usually works, but this time, no dice. AlkaSeltzer? Didn't touch the cold at all. Dieting Tea with a hint of caffeine to keep you energized enough to exercise? Well, this one was mainly for the steam and to attempt to combat the drowsiness the meds were giving me. Still.... down went another tissue box.

I'm still getting over the nasty cold. I hate being sick like this now that my netbook died on me. If I am able to lay in bed, snuggled up in my covers, being on "bed rest" while sick is the best thing for my writing. I just go off like a beast. When I feel craptastic, but I'm forced to sit in a computer chair? I start to slowly slouch, my neck, shoulders, and back begin to ache, my eyes strain to see the monitor two feet away, and I'm just a grouch. Blah.

Hubby helped a little by offering up his laptop while he used the desktop. But that was mainly so I could continue role-playing in an insane attempt to finally close out the day so the rest of the players didn't have to sit and twiddle their thumbs for much longer. The player who killed off his character had to wait about a week before he could bring in the new one, since we wanted his new one to literally start where the last one stopped. It was a cool scene, but his grand entrance couldn't be on the same day as the other's demise.

I sure hope all of this massive role-playing will eventually result in the two prose sagas I'm hoping for - one for Lia and one for Willow - and when that happens I hope you all will let me know whether or not it was worth this blog and my Hey Arnold fanfic being put on hold.

I think it is helping me out as a writer at least. First off, it blasted through my writer's block. I'm now writing daily, and I'm writing a lot. I'm getting emotional and personable with my characters. I'm finally "hearing" them speak to me the way that DarkAngel1326 and Delaroux tell me their characters speak to them. Which is exciting.

OH! Quick sidenote about Delaroux! I just got a message from her that she has a new story idea and wants me to beta again. I have no clue what the story is about. I don't know if it's going to be another Hey Arnold fanfic, if it's going to be solely about her Flite11 group, if it's going to be about other demons and supernatural beings based on the universe she created for Flite11, or if it's going to be something completely different. I also don't know how long it will be before I start getting stuff from her, let alone my turn-around time. If it's anything like Something To Return To then I'll be getting something soon, and frequently!

Now, back to me.

I'm super excited about hearing these characters in my head! It's weird though. Because I don't legitimately "hear" them in my head per se. You know how when you think to yourself you hear your own voice in your head? Or when you read a piece of fiction - especially if there is a visual representation of it - and you "hear" the character's reciting their lines? Oooor, maybe not. Maybe I'm odd.

Anyway, that was how I was picturing the characters "chatting" to DA and Delaroux. Maybe that IS how it works for those girls. But for me, it's more of a series of Freudian Slips while I'm typing. Kind of like how Arnold and Helga just sort of take over while I'm writing WITMTB. I have every intention of writing one thing, but when I look at what I actually wrote, it's something completely different. Yet, if I try to change it back to what I intended, I get this weird feeling inside like the character is telling me that what I wrote was wrong, and what I originally had was what was "natural". Most times I comply, and this leads to the above comic strip.

My only thing is that Willow is a lot smarter than I gave her credit for, and Hubby's character Chayse is a lot more honest and straight forward. This resulted in a MAJOR plot twist/story arc device to be figured out WAY too soon. It would have been a lot more fun playing around with a certain element that was brought in, but noooooo Chayse had to confess something and Willow had to put the pieces together. Stupid characters.

This whole "The characters take over" thing is why Lia and Chayse ended up hooking up so shortly after the game started, instead of having Chayse take his time woo-ing her. Anyway, during The Week of Feels, the majority of the time Lia stayed "quiet" and just did whatever it was I deemed "natural" to do. Sadly, since Willow exploded as a much more developed and dynamic character, most of the time I had no clue what to do with Lia - so she sort of sat in the background.

Then Hubby started "hearing" Chayse in his head the same way I heard Willow. Soon our apartment was filled with a chorus of us verbally asking Willow and Chase "What are you doing!?" just before posting. We knew that the characters shouldn't say this, or act like that, but they had other plans.

As the Week of Feels came to a close and I realized that Lia never really did anything to say goodbye to her fallen classmate, I created a touching series of scenes for her. Nothing as emotional as Willow's farewell because Lia hadn't yet blossomed, but still moving - hopefully. What really surprised me though, was finding out that Lia is like a Mama Bear protecting her cubs and she gets SCARY when provoked!

A few days later she finally started to grow as well, and I "hear" her along side Willow now - although Willow is still the more dominant talker.

Hubby has also had a few of his secondary characters start "talking" to him too. This game has really gotten him in touch with his own writing side. This is big considering the fact that he has HATED any sort of transferring what's in his head down on paper since about high school due to his Aspergers. So the fact that he's writing just as frequently as I am, with such compelling stuff, and loving doing so is FANTASTIC to me. YAY, Characters Talking!

The biggest concern for him is that one character in particular, who he WANTS to get more involved in the game is NOT talking to him, at least, not for a while. Yesterday Ripley FINALLY opened up and we got some real good stuff from him. Completely surprised both of us. Mr. California Surfer Dude is actually quite the gentleman and apparently wants to become a therapist. Neither of us saw that coming.

Now, when either Hubby or I are on our lunches or breaks at work we always make sure to have paper and a pen on hand so we can jot things down as it comes to us. Hubby was shocked as the stream of consciousness for two of his main characters came out majorly different than what he was expecting of them - given the situation he left them in. He's also developed more backstory to fill in the two year time skip we just participated in, as well as the over-all driving force story arc for the universe.

I played one campaign of D&D with him as the Dungeon Master, and yet I forgot how epic his stories can get! I'm so super excited!

One last thing before I rap up with all this role-play talk. A new character just came on the scene and he's "scaring" his player by doing the same thing of "talking" to the player. The player was joking around that it's like the character is just channeling himself through the player. This just adds to my love of this new character.

His name is Lincoln, and when I get back to building avatars he's the next one I'm working on... even though I was in the middle of building Lincoln's player's main character when I stopped. XD

Anyway, Lincoln started off as just this shy, awkward kid who was raised in a different world/dimension. He's not the only one, another character Sasha was also raised like that. Lincoln was socially awkward and unsure as to how to carry himself on Earth.

This awkwardness developed a stream of consciousness where his thoughts would contradict his actions. Sort of like these new line of Speed Stick commercials:
If that wasn't adorable enough, this "my thoughts contradict my actions" back and forth quickly developed in to full-on multiple-personality-like conversations with himself. He is just too friggen adorable!

For those who watched the anime Soul Eater.... Lincoln is kind of like my obsession a few months back when I watched the show.... You might remember a loveably glompable character named Crona:
Crona being the kid.
Ragnarok - Crona's weapon and secondary personality - is the X-Faced thing messing with Crona.
We don't have a name for Lincoln's head-friend, but he picks on, messes with, and delights in Lincoln's pain just as much as Ragnarok does for Crona. Lincoln and Crona are just as equally socially awkward and may find their first friend in the maternal character of the group. Bonus: Crona and Lincoln are both raised and taken care of by a woman named Medusa!!!! How trippy is that!? Especially since Lincoln's player doesn't really watch anime and has never even heard of Soul Eater or Crona! I'm telling you, give Crona a set of green butterfly wings and an acknowledged gender and you have Lincoln! It's fantastic! My instant fave character! <3

Alright, enough ramblings about the forum for today. Hopefully this makes up for the two week delay. I'll try to work on converting stuff over in to prose, but no promises that I'll have anything concrete.

Aside from the forum itself possibly taking up more time, tomorrow also marks the start of my unofficial continuation of Script Frenzy! One Month. 100pgs script! Can I do it!? I haven't in the past, and I'm saddened that I will now never officially have a "winner" badge, but that doesn't mean I can't still participate in Script Frenzy - at least in my heart.

Normally, the script would be started completely from scratch, but since it's no longer official, I'm just going to use the month to get as much done in a script written format as possible before May hits. I'm supposed to be re-starting my The Jungle Movie fanscript with ChibiSunnie this month. I just need to sit down and take the time to go back over all the notes and what we have so far.... I've been slacking on that....

Depending on how adventurous I feel, I may start converting the forum posts over in to webcomic scripts. We'll see how that goes.

Since it isn't an official Script Frenzy I'm debating if I will be purposely skipping weekly updates in favor of my end-of-the-month diary recaps that I've done the past two years. Considering I've been doing bi-weekly updates this year so far, it's not like you'd really be waiting all that long. However, I do fully expect to just go ahead and continue with the weekly updates. I guess we'll have to see how work-heavy April turns out to be.

So, I may or may not catch you folks next week.... sorry about being so vague.
You can follow my blog or me directly if you haven't already. This will guarantee that you won't miss an update. Over along the right side of the page you'll see a spot where you can either add my blog to your RSS feed, or you can input your email address. I don't spam you and you'll get my blog neatly wrapped up in email form. If you have a blogger account you can also follow me by logging in to your account, scrolling down your Dashboard page until you reach "Reading List" click on the "Add" button, and drop in my URL:! Super simple! You can also follow me directly by checking out my Facebook Account, or following me on Twitter: @LycoRogue.

OH! Another quick sidenote, speaking of following blogs. Cyhyr just started up her own blog about writing! You should go check out her stuff here:

The Writer Cyhyr

And while you're at it, go hop over to DA's blog and poke at her until she remembers to post something.

Random Creativity Blog

In the meantime, please wish me and Chibi luck on our Script Frenzy, and wish me, Hubby, and the other X-Men Forum players luck with all the voices in our heads.

I'd like to close out by again wishing everyone a Happy Easter!

Image by MoogleGurl 

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