Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Starting the Winter Writing Challenge

Well, my writing schedule is already shot. I wanted to finish up chapter four of "Peeping Tomcat" by the close of last Tuesday, that way I could spend the rest of the week reworking my original akuma idea and have chapter five re-written. I would then be all set to start Ali's winter writing challenge over on Writers’ Huddle. Granted, I'm still ready and participating, but now I'm already a week behind where I want my goals to be. It's a good thing I foresaw this and worked in a "catch-up" week...

Chapter four IS done, but it kept me until Friday to do so. I then spent the weekend wracking my brain to try to rework my first akuma of the story. Originally, it was going to be Ms. Popular, a villain with an evening gown over the signature bodysuit. Her akumatized item would be her copy of Chloe's sunglasses, and in raising the sunglasses to expose her eyes, Ms. Popular would have a Medusa-like affect. She would have three "settings", as it were, where she could either freeze a person like Medusa, or she could project cattiness on women to make them fight each other, or she could make mindlessly faithful protectors out of men.
I still like the character design, even if I don't
like the character build....
All-in-all, I was never all that excited about this build. It seemed too complicated, too convoluted, and I had no idea how her powers actually worked. Plus, catty women and male protectors seemed a bit archaic thinking....

After tearing the build of this akuma down and starting from scratch, not liking where that went either, and repeating the process, I think I FINALLY have something I like. It kept about four different reworks, and about five days of constant ponderings in the back of my mind. I rewatched episodes, I listened to music, I tried looking up some akuma OCs others have created, I read Miraculous fancomics, and I tried to find a way to create something that felt like it fit in the Miraculous universe.

Finally, last night I decided to just take it slow step by slow step. All of the akuma supervillains got their powers and name based on why they had negative emotions. Hawk Moth uses the last few moments and reflects them back in his verbal contract. I needed that. Perhaps then I'd know the akuma better.

This worked wonders! Why didn't I think of this months ago!?

I still used my OC Louise Fabron, and she was still obsessed with Chloe. So, I started where Marinette and crew met up with Louise in the mall and told the story through Louise's POV. In "Peeping Tomcat" Louise gets irritated with Marinette and runs off. The next time we see her, she's already in her akumatized form with no true knowledge as to what happened.

So, I instead I used this writing practice to follow Louise to figure out what caused her to become so upset, what the akumatized item was, and what Hawk Moth said to her. The whole thing more-or-less took the path I was expecting, but also gave me more insight than I could figure out just trying to play everything out in my head.

As with Ms. Popular, Chloe is still the catalyst with cruel words causing the negative emotions that attracted Hawk Moth's attention. The copy of Chloe's sunglasses was still the akumatized item. However, now Louise has a villain name that sounds better and feels more at home in the Miraculous universe: The Mimicker.

Her powers are pretty neat too. I still need to figure out the other main components, though. Such as how Ladybug and Chat Noir figure out that the akumatized item is the sunglasses when they aren't being used as the main villain weapon. I also need to figure out what Chat Noir is going to use his Cataclysm power on, as well as what Ladybug's Lucky Charm is going to be, and how it's going to be used to stop Mimicker. So I still have quite a bit of work ahead of me.

In the meantime, though, the hardest part of coming up with the villain in the first place is done! Added bonus is that I liked it enough as a second teaser for PT that I posted it, which achieved my goal of at least one new thing posted each month! I also could potentially read it at group tonight. Whoo!

"The Birth of the Mimicker"
On DeviantArt           On FanFiction

I'm going to have to adjust my weekly goals for the writing challenge, but I'm still aiming for about one chapter a week, if I can't sneak in two. So my goal is to have this akuma attack chapter re-written by the time I head out to watch the Super Bowl at my friends' new place.

While I was wrestling with what to do with this akuma-attack chapter, even debating skipping over it and writing it last, after the rest of the story was figured out, I decided to fill my free time with my frantic reading of "Ender's Game" in order to finish in time.

It kept me the better part of six hours on Friday to do it, but I managed to finish re-reading in time to both get a book read in January, as well as return the book without having to renew it.
One down, about eleven to go....

I'm still taking issue with Card's timing inconsistencies.

According to "Ender's Shadow", between point A of Bean's arrival at Battle School and point B of the Bugger War ending, Bean aged from five to seven, possibly eight, there was a little confusion. So it kept around three years.

According to "Ender's Game", between points A and B of Bean's estimated arrival based on context clues, and the definite end of the Bugger War, Ender aged from seven to eleven, going on twelve. Which means the same span of time took four or five years.....

Tanuki Facebook Sticker
by Yanare Ku
H-how!? There is a scene in "Ender's Game" between Ender and Bean that is copied over into "Ender's Shadow" almost verbatim. Which means Card HAD to have re-read "Ender's Game" in order to get it nearly exact. It's obvious that he also wrote down notes of key points in "Ender's Game" to reference in "Ender's Shadow", so how is it that neither Card nor his editor noticed that there are two years that just disappear in "Ender's Shadow"!?

I mean, I get it, in writing "Ender's Shadow" Card could have realized that things are more realistic or more dramatic if they happen in a slightly different timeline than he originally wrote. He had been writing for an extra decade by the time he penned "Ender's Shadow" and honed his craft more. It makes sense that he'd want to tweak some things.

BUT THE TIME FRAME OF ENDER'S GAME WAS ALREADY ESTABLISHED, AND FOR A DECADE!!!! No. Sorry, you deal with the holes you created or the slow pacing you had! You don't retcon everything! No!
Blue Cat Facebook sticker
by Kangaroo
On top of the time inconsistencies that were bugging me, Card completely messed with me when, during the last two chapters of "Ender's Shadow", he IGNORED WHERE A CHARACTER WAS! The character of Colonel Graff, in two different chapters, ends up being in two places at once if you compare "Ender's Game" to "Ender's Shadow".

Dan from Dan Vs
Created by by Dan Mandel and Chris Pearson
All-in-all, both books are quite enjoyable. Just.... never do what I did. Never try to fit them both in the same timeline. It just doesn't work. PARADOXES!


Okay, I'm all better now. Sorry.

I have Ali's book Lycopolis at the ready to start on Thursday. I could always start today, or even two days ago, but I figured I could use the week down-time from reading to help me figure out my own story.

Reading is important to writers. It helps us grow and helps our minds wander and explore. However, it's not much help if it's used as a procrastination tool....

I just need to continue with the flow I created last night when I wrote "The Birth of the Mimicker" so I can stay on track with everything: avoiding zero-days, keeping up with the winter challenge, have "Peeping Tomcat" done by mid-March, have a new story posted every month, and keep up with my reading.

Wish me luck. Or, more accurately, discipline.

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