Wednesday, July 8, 2015

2015 Writing Challenge Week 2 - Wolverine Part 2

Alright, following the pattern I've set so far, this week's title should be "Week 3..." but it occurred to me how silly that is. Yes, I'm already three-days into the third week of the Summer Writing Challenge, but I don't TELL you about it until NEXT Wednesday. So, for instance, last week's title was misleading since it had Wolverine in the title, but the bio was for Neo-Gambit.

Anyway, starting next week, the title will be about the PREVIOUS challenge week and the character I reworked. I couldn't very well use the same exact title two weeks in a row in order to set that up, though. Hence, the "Part 2" to make it a LITTLE different. Anyway, enough of that.

Whoo-boy this week! Fourth of July was CRAZY! We were all expecting the week leading up to it to be nuts, but figured the Fourth itself would be dead because everyone would be at their parties/BBQs/Picnics. Instead, it rained nearly all day and everyone decided to shop for non-barbecue back-up food.

I'm so tired. On top of that, my aunt-by-marriage unfortunately lost her mom to cancer this past weekend. Sadly, I couldn't attend the funeral in support of her, but my mother did. Which meant no weekend visit from Mom. It was a sad reason to not get a visit, and it would have been cool to see Mom again so soon.

On the flipside, though, I DID just see my mom, I'll see her for my birthday later this month, and that meant I could concentrate on writing instead of frantic "Mom's Coming to Visit!" cleaning.

That didn't work out as planned. I tried. I really did. All week I went over pictures to try to figure out what Neo-Wolverine would look like. I watched shows and movies - Inside Out is FANTASTIC, by the way - and I played video games in an attempt to be inspired like how Mikoto from "K" inspired Neo-Pyro. I even used my Sunday Insomnia to stay up and customize a wrestler in the Xbox game WWE '13. I was hoping SOMETHING would strike me.

Months back, I sent a long list of names to Phfylburt. Name options for Neo-Wolverine once I decided I wanted him to be Latino. We narrowed it down to a name I had only heard once or twice before: Mateo. For months Neo-Wolverine was Mateo. While I enjoyed the name, something about it seemed off to me. It didn't seem to have that same gruff punch as Logan - the name Wolverine goes by - or James - the name revealed to be Wolverine's birth-name. As I'll show in the character bio below, I even used the Cowboy Bebop character Jet as a starting reference. And even Jet had that umph that Mateo just didn't seem to have. On top of that, ever since I decided on Mateo - mostly for the originality of the name in fiction - the name's been popping up everywhere.

While the name is Spanish in origin, most of the characters with the name were African American. A good sign since Phfyl really wanted me to have Neo-Wolverine be half-black so Lucas would be more likely to bond with him. The not-so-good sign? Most of these black kids were these lanky nerds. That pretty much confirmed it for me. Neo-Wolverine needed a new name.

Which is why I focused so much on the appearance of him first. If I could figure out what I wanted him to look like, I could call him Mateo and see if the two fit. Eventually - and by that I mean about 5pm on Sunday - I did figure out what he looked like, and Mateo did NOT fit. I then went through my list of about 20 other names; spending HOURS on to try to figure out which names I liked, which names I liked the meanings to, and which names fit this new image of Wolverine.

Eventually, Hubby and I decided that Dominic fit the look and that gruff punch feel that I wanted. The only snag is that the one main character in the Fast and the Furious franchise is named Dominic and also goes by Dom. On top of that, both that Dom and Neo-Wolverine have younger sisters they're super protective of, AND they both work outside the law. Do I want people to think "Vin Diesel" whenever the character comes up? There really weren't any other names that I liked as much, though. So, I'm hoping the character is different enough that people won't think "Fast and the Furious" or "X-Men" when they see Neo-Wolverine.

The next hardest bit was to figure out his powers. I wanted him to have the core-power of an enhanced healing factor so that he can remain a badass. I wasn't sure about the others though. I knew he couldn't have the bone-claws. That's blatant Wolverine. Same with giving him a metallic skeleton. Hubby and I also agreed that - for the same reason as the lack of metal bones - Neo-Wolverine can't be one of the Glitches that was once experimented on, even if it did give him and Lucas some sort of bonding topic.

We did agree that he should keep his heightened senses as well, but tweak them a bit. Hubby came up with the idea that instead of being able to see clearer and father, that Neo-Wolverine can see more of the color spectrum; namely Infrared. Hubby suggested that just his right eye could switch to infrared, but I'm trying to figure out why both eyes wouldn't. It is a cool image though. Hubby equated it to the X-Men character Cable:
Strangely, even though I'm focused on reworking X-Men characters, when Hubby suggested just one eye glowed - especially the right one - I didn't think of Cable. My mind instead went to the ReBoot character Matrix:
Whose eye glows red when he uses it to lock on to a target with his gun:
Both characters have artificial eyes, though. Cable was infected with a techno-organic virus as a baby and lost his left eye, arm, and leg to it. Matrix lost his eye in a Mortal-Kombat-like fighting game. That's why only one of their eyes glow: it's fake.

So why would Dominic only be able to switch one eye in to infrared? We also postulated that perhaps he was born with one eye that saw only in infrared and the other saw the rest of the color spectrum. He then would wear an eye patch similarly to how pirates legitimately wore them: one for "day seeing" and the one kept under the eye patch was set for "night vision".

Not really sure yet. There's still some bugs to work out of this character build, but the main skeleton is set enough for me to be satisfied that I hit my two-week goal of character reworking.

So, here is basically what I have for Neo-Wolverine:
New Name: Dominic "Dom"
Basic Info: 42yrs old, 6' 1", 240lbs, Deep Brown, almost black hair and stormy grey eyes
Powers: Norm-Beast Glitch with Elevated Senses and Healing
He can heal at an elevated rate - although I'm not sure yet HOW much faster he heals compared to normal humans - and he has heightened senses. Being a Beast-class Glitch, his powers developed in the womb, instead of manifesting at puberty. He has always had the elevated senses and healing. He can pick up scents like an animal, he can hear more clearly and further - again, like an animal - and his elevated touch allows him to pick up vibrations easier. For instance, when a person touches railroad tracks to determine if a train is out of sight down the line. Elevated taste; I haven't really thought of a cool feature for that one, aside from him being a great chef. With a literal blink of an eye, he can switch his sight over in to infrared. I still have a little tweaking to do for the power-set, especially since I want to come up with a name for someone with elevated senses and healing at the same time. All the terms I come up with don't seem to work: biomechanics - because of how his body works comparatively - biofunction, bioreaction, bioreception, etc.
Physical Appearance: Even though he's an inch shorter and 60lbs heavier than Ryder, Dom is all muscle. He's a bit blocky in stature, but he's ripped. His hair is feathered and slicked back. He keeps a scruffy beard because it's too much effort to shave every day or groom a full beard. He has mostly Latino features, but his skin color is a bit darker; like creamy hot chocolate.
He's casual; wearing jeans and work boots typically. He also favors tank-tops and t-shirts; ones that are formfitting enough to show off his muscles underneath, but also loose enough that he's comfortable in them and can easily move. He also enjoys wearing either loose vests, or open shirts and he rolls the sleeves up to his shoulders. When it's colder out he wears denim cover shirts and leather jackets. He doesn't really have much of a typical color palette to his wardrobe, but he is finicky about the material he wears/sleeps on due to the heightened touch. More often than not, he wears second-hand clothes because they've been "worn in" and they're softer.
He attempted piercings when he was younger, but his healing closed up the holes almost as soon as he took the piercings out. As an adult, no one can even tell he had piercings in the first place. I'm still debating if his healing would have the same effect on tattoos, but if he can keep a tattoo, it would be his sister's name in her handwriting across his right peck.
These were the images I found to help inspire the appearance of Dom:

Jet Black from Cowboy Bebop
Spanish actor Javier Bardem
Personality: He has a hard time expressing his feelings - aside from rage - and has always been that way. The only ones he ever truly showed his affection towards were his mom and sister. He rarely smiles, but when he does it generally means he's about ready to kick some serious ass. It's been years since someone has heard him laugh. He does generally snort a laugh if the situation is humorous enough. His "resting face" is typically the boarder-line scowl seen in the above pictures.
This isn't to say that he's dead inside. He does feel the full range of emotions, he just has a reserved way of expressing them. For example, if he's sad he'll avoid eye contact, slouch, and keep quiet. If he's happy he'll be talkative and energetic, have a twinkle in his eye, and have a hint of a grin. If he's proud he'll give a hardy slap on the back and say something encouraging, but not TOO encouraging: e.g. - "Hey, you managed to do the whole obstacle course without falling flat on your face that time." If he's disappointed he'll give the cold shoulder and typically state something demoralizing, but with a hint of a challenge to prove him wrong: e.g. - "And here I thought I was getting somewhere with you, I guess you are a hopeless cause." If he's feeling protective he pretty much resembles a mother bear protecting her cubs; scoops the protectee behind him and literally growls at the attacker.
He's a private guy that keeps to himself. Not too many people know much about him. He's a mystery to people he doesn't let in, and those he does let in only know what they witness.
Not-so-brief History: Born and raised in a Glitch Slum right outside the New York City boroughs. His father was out of the picture since Dom was about 2; probably left once they realized Dom and his younger sister Cecilia were both Glitches, but I haven't quite decided on that yet. Whatever the reason, Dom didn't have a father figure, which is why he's so closed off. He needed to be the tough Man of the House. He coasted through school and got into a lot of trouble. He ended up joining a street gang, and his powers allowed him to climb the ranks fairly quickly. Cecilia - whom Dom called Cici - was the polar opposite. She did well in school and focused on extra-curricular activities and after-school jobs to keep her out of trouble. She still knew the neighborhood was bad, and so one of the extra-curricular activities was martial arts. She was a black-belt karate master, knew kickboxing, and started a women's self-defense course in high school. As much as Cici didn't want her activities funded by dirty money, nearly all that Dom brought home from the gang went towards her education.
Cici ended up going to one of the few colleges that allowed Glitches to enter their prelaw program: NYU. She met "Neo-Kitty" there as her roommate. They became instant best friends, and since Neo-Kitty lived on the West Coast, she was welcome at Cici and Dom's home for short school breaks: Homecoming, Thanksgiving, Easter, and Spring Break. Neo-Kitty became a surrogate second sister to Dom.
Over winter break Cici's sophomore year, Dom was in the middle of taking down a rival drug distributor when Cici was abducted. Using his Underground contacts, Dom found out that she was taken by the government agency GPS - Glitch Placement Services. They were the ones responsible for setting up the Glitch Slums and relocating known Glitches into these "reserved neighborhoods". GPS had a secondary, hidden agenda that not even all GPS officers knew about. The most secretive branch of GPS was in charge of "placing" Glitches into experimental labs. GPS mostly focused on "cleaning up the streets" of abandoned and/or orphaned Glitches so that no one would notice them missing. I'm still trying to figure out why GPS picked up Cecilia.
It kept him a couple weeks, but Dom was able to use his Underground channels to find the GPS lab in a closed off former NY subway tunnel. He broke in, but found his sister dead. He helped a handful of Glitches escape, among them were Lucas Kinney and Geoffrey "Fidget" Wilkins. After destroying the facility - a) so no one can be experimented there ever again, b) out of pure anger, and c) so that no one can trace the government attack back to him - he took in Lucas and Geoff.
Somehow - I haven't figured it out yet - Dom was able to get out of the gang so that he could dedicate his time to protecting the boys, as well as Neo-Kitty, from the GPS and all others that would wish harm on Glitches. While keeping a watchful eye on Neo-Kitty, the two studied together, and both learned of the teachings of Neo-Xavier; a strong Glitch advocate. While Neo-Kitty saw the teachings as ones similar to Martin Luther King, Jr., Dom saw them in a more Malcolm X aggressive light. This differing view of how Glitches and Norms should co-exist made it easier for Dom to let Neo-Kitty move back home after graduation, and without a bodyguard any longer.
In California Neo-Kitty met Ryder and married him. Then the couple moved to Upstate New York where she built a Glitch orphanage and school in honor of Cecilia. Dom wanted to help at the school, but their differing views of Neo-Xavier's teachings still caused friction. Dom instead bought nearby property and - with Geoff's help as a Techno Glitch - built "The Arcade". He trains any of the orphanage's students that wish to learn self-defense against Glitch-Haters. He also trains adult Glitches with the sole purpose of using them as a team to guard Neo-Kitty and her school/orphanage.
Much to Neo-Kitty's equal-parts delight and dismay, Dom is a mentor and psuedo-uncle-figure to Chayse.
Whoo! Sundays seem to be my super productive days. Either that, or Deadline Crunch Time is my most productive, considering all the above was figured out more-or-less between 5pm and 11pm Sunday night. Thanks to some soundboarding with Hubby.

Either way, it got done and again posted MOSTLY on time. I think I posted in the Writers’ Huddle at about 1am my time. It just frustrates me that it kept me about two hours to type up a rough skeleton and then post on the forum because my computer kept lagging hard-core.

This week I am actually working MORE than the standard part-time max of 35hrs. So, it's been a crazy work-week already. I knew I wasn't going to have much time to focus on character creation this week, and so I didn't want to really focus on either Neo-Charles Xavier or reworking Magma. I'm going to need a full week for those two.

My birthday is this month, and my family is visiting - for realsies this time - and so I knew I wanted to save a low-brain-power rework for that week; especially since I most likely won't have my normal Sunday Crunch Time to work.

Well, out of the four remaining - Xavier, Magma, Pyro, and Shaldowcat - two require a lot of work; as I already mentioned. Pyro and Shadowcat, on the other hand, are already started. So, I wanted to use one for this week - due to the lack of non-work time - and one for my birthday week.

Out of those two, Shadowcat is pretty much finished. I mean, thanks to Ryder and Dominic's backstories, hers is mostly written already. I also more-or-less have her powers figured out, and I've always had a mental image of her in my head that is JUUUUST different enough from the comics and X-Men: Evolution that I can solidify it as an "original" look. Really, the only things I need to do to finish her off is FINALLY decide on a name, write backstory leading up to her going to NYU, finish off any tweaking of her powers, and decide on her family-life. Honestly, the hardest part will probably be choosing a new name for her.

So, Kitty is on reserve for the week of July 20th. Which means I'm working on finishing up Iggy's build this week! It's been a bit challenging so far since I haven't really had the brainpower to do much. I'm foreseeing another Sunday Crunch Session, but I'm hoping to at least have him done by midnight this time.

Who should I work on next week? Both are important, but minor background characters that won't get much "book time". Still, they ARE crucial to the development of the other characters. So, who will be next week, and who should be the last week of the challenge?

Xavier and Magma, who would you like me to work on next? Drop me your suggestion in the comment section.

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