Tuesday, October 18, 2016

All Aboard the Jolene Train!

Yup. Full-on obsession with Jolene. I literally can't focus on any other character right now. I guess it's a good thing that the X-Future boards have been dead since June - more or less - because I don't know if I could even play as any of those girls right now.

Probably doesn't help that I'm playing Jolene multiple times a week now. We have our normal weekly game, and then a "side quest" day of your choosing.

Bear started creating bounty posters - the one for Jolene is awesome! - as well as quest requests that are posted on the "community boards." In-game, these are boards in a central location of any given town so that everyone can see and possibly respond to the quests/bounties. In the real world, these are side-quests posted on the forum Mouse made at the beginning of the month. You choose what quest you want, a good time for everyone is coordinated, and the questing begins!

Jolene had a solo quest that was both a success and complete fail last night, Mahtab had an epically successful solo quest yesterday afternoon, and Rensin, Corlmitz, and Dunina are all doing a quest tomorrow night. It's a fun added element that not many DMs utilize.

Now, again, aside from explaining why I'm obsessed with Jolene, what does any of this have to do with my writing? Well, for one, the more sessions we have, the more journal entries Jolene will write. I still need to write up the one for last night, but with the other game sessions we've had, I added nearly another 1700 words to her journal this past week. I'm probably going to add at least a couple hundred more today once I write up the next journal entry.

I've also done some brainstorming with Shadow. I wanted to find a picture for the now infamous Jacob Highwin; Jolene's first true love. In the process of trying to track down something that both matched the picture in my head, and match the hype I've written about him thus far in-game, I stumbled upon a bunch of other pictures I liked.

Soon I had a collection of pictures of beautiful men drawn in High-Fantasy style. I decided to add them to the roster of Jolene's past loves. I've named Jacob, as well as the other four men who swore to be with her forever, only to dump her. I started matching up pictures with these names, and when I was done, I still had a few extra. So I gave them some backstory connecting them to Jolene as well.

I then passed the pictures over to Shadow, along with complete improv storytelling of each man, his love affair with Jolene, and why it didn't work out. It just flowed from me, and I only felt the need to slightly tweak a couple of elements.

In the end, I had about a dozen named lovers - ignoring the countless nameless clients Jolene had taken up over the years. I also had a small story involving each of them.

I think I have my new NaNo concept for this year. One that can help me stay with Jolene, and maybe get me to the winning 50,000 words this year. I think I'm going to write about Jolene's love affairs. A chapter or two for each beau. As it is, I'm looking at about 4,000 words per love(r). I'm also assuming that Jacob would get either a lengthy chapter or two, given Jolene was in love with him for about seven years.

This will probably turn into a 70,000 word novel once done....

I've even unofficially started NaNo prep for this story already. A little less than a week ago, after I came up with the skeleton of Jolene's past with these men, I decided to get her actual life timeline - as it were - down on paper. Coincidentally, Bear asked for exactly that about an hour after I started.

Anyway, so, I'm still painstakingly working on this timeline, but I am up to four pages; bulleted. I'm essentially going Year by Year with different major factors of any given season listed on the timeline. As of right now, these "main points" include things like her mother's many miscarriages, and when Jolene fell in love with the next man in her life.

I'll have to come up with a better visual aid for her 21-yrs before I post it officially anywhere, because it's a jumbled mess right now. At least I can understand it, though, and that's what matters.

It will be exciting to have something to read at group again once I actually START this project. Last week I ended up reading the first six entries for Jolene's journal; in other words: first four game sessions, more-or-less. As predicted, the group got a bit lost without the context of the game that lead to that entry. However, they did say that there was ENOUGH in the journals to intrigue them; make them wonder what DID happen. They also enjoy Jolene's personality, which is fun.

They'd love for me to turn the journal into a novel. This means I'd have to find a way to add more detail to a journal-entry-based story so people can actually see the story unfold; not just Jolene's reaction to the events. It's a fun concept, but I don't know if I could re-do Jolene's present. It wouldn't be Jolene if she didn't have this battle about her love for Rensin, this sibling-like respect for Corlmitz, distrust of the cleric Mahtab, or struggle to keep the corruption of the Prime Evil Deceit under control. I couldn't write a story about all of that though, without just transcribing an already transcribed game. It wouldn't be original. It wouldn't "count."

However, there IS something that could be said about converting a good game into a novelization for others to read. I feel like this either hasn't been done before, or only done very rarely before. Then again, just about every geek/nerd has had that ONE game or ONE character that was just so epic it is ALWAYS the fall-to story among your friends.

Hubby has that with his elf character Zalic. Even if you weren't part of the game that Zalic was in, he is still infamous within our group. There is another campaign where Shadow consistently rolled so high for a random NPC that the character not only got a name - Mandito Atarme - but he got his own CHURCH dedicated to him. Then there are tales like this comic I recently found, and now proceed to read whenever I need to weep with laughter:
Read the full comic "Fated"
Written by Jasmine Walls, Illustrated by Amy Phillips
My point being, there might actually be a demand for fun games getting narrated for other geeks to consume. I'd obviously get the OK from all the players first, and count them as co-authors since there wouldn't be a story without them.... Heck, this might also be a "thing." I mean, I've been trying to do the same thing with X-Future via Glitches, but this time I really can't make this story original. This D&D game is just too good as-is.

There's action, drama, intrigue, mystery, danger, angst, and humor - although, I do kind of wish the humor would be a bit higher. We're so serious in this game!


Sorry. Obsessing again. I guess that's my cue to wrap this up.

To recap: I have written this past week, about 1700 words, but it's for Jolene's journal, which my writing group wishes I could add more to so it could be a stand-alone story. However, there's a possibility that I might just get permissions from Bear and the group to novel-ize the transcripts of our games instead of trying to come up with an original story for Jolene, since it won't be the same without the people surrounding her. In the meantime, I'm going to focus on Jolene's backstory, and finish working on the timeline of her past. This will help me with my new NaNo concept of writing about Jolene's many love affairs throughout the course of her young life.

Mixed into all of this is my struggle to think of something NOT relating to Jolene that I could write a flash fiction about, in order to keep up with Ronoxym's challenge for me. As it is, I've missed two weeks.

So, in order to not miss any more weeks, I'm bending the rules a little bit again.

I wrote a story from the perspective of one of Jolene's slighted lovers. It's not necessarily Fanfiction, since it doesn't have a well-publicised "source material" such as a novel, movie/TV show, or game. I mean, there IS D&D, but you could just claim that as generic high fantasy. So, skirting around rule 1. Rule 2 is that it cannot relate or continue previous entries, and it does not since none of the other three have anything to do with Jolene. Rule 3 is that I cannot write about a character I've already created, and I didn't create the character of Orick until after I wrote this story. It's another bend of the rules, but it works, right?

Anyway, cheating a bit or no, this story still - more-or-less - has the spirit of the challenge, so I'm counting it.

"Lost Love"

Now, to write Jolene's history, come up with details about these men so I can write about them next month, as well as figure out what to do for my flash fiction this week. Busy, busy, busy!

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