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Everybody's Writing!!

edited 2020-05-23 05:42:53 in Media
There is love everywhere, I already know
do2yk258fldk.png


Woo!!

As you guys know, I write quite a bit. So far, I've finished a couple of stories, but not many.

My first foray into writing was quite forever ago, a story called Raya!, which was (if you can believe it) a magical girl story inspired by Indian mythology. It was basically a CW teen drama combined with a brutal magical girl series. I say "brutal" because it didn't really question the magical girl orthodoxy or anything, it just took things to logical extremes. Though, despite the constant destruction of the main characters rich neighborhood due to what is believed to be actual terrorism, nobody ever moves away.

However, I just stopped writing it after a while, and moved on. I did reuse one of my favorite concepts in it later, and I'll definitely talk about that eventually.

Fast-forward a lot, and my last attempt at really writing something was a story called Honor Board, which was about (surprise surprise) rich high school students navigating their lives. That also kind of petered off, mainly because I could never figure out why the main conflict, that the main character Pfeiffer has to navigate a friendship with her best friends -Arabella and Zainab- who were fighting with each other, existed.

Sometime after that, I actually buckled down to write something seriously and, by George, I actually managed to do it! That story is called Return from the EDGE, and like the original title (Return to the world from the EDGE, which felt excessive) it was very inspired by light novels. The main characters all wielded giant machines powered my dimensional energy, and went out to fight mysterious creatures from a dimension layered on top of our own.

I worked very seriously on the setting. I actually wrote down notes, which I almost ever do very seriously, just to keep track of all the places and acronyms. The factions were much simpler to deal with, since at the end of the day it was still a story where individuals dealt with individuals, rather than being moved by their allegiances. Hilariously enough, I've basically forgotten most of said universe details, though I can at least draw out a sketch of the character arcs without checking.

I have a few interesting stories about this story, actually!

First of all, I once wrote the whole of Chapter 11 and then saved over it. I think the second attempt turned out better anyways.

The original draft of the story was 13 very long chapters long, written like an anime series, and that version of the story featured a whole different set of antagonists (though the main villain remained the same). I looked at that draft and realized it was really off, so I cut those original 13 into about 20 or so and added 18 more.

I also went about six chapters into the original draft before I came up with an actual plot, and that plot was basically the perils of privatization, which then just became a subplot among other things.

Also, it's set in Norway and all the technology was named in Google Translate Macedonian, because... well, it was cool.

I originally meant to write a sequel to this story immediately after finishing writing it, featuring the protagonist Sigmund going to Morocco and training two new Moroccan kids in the fight against RRs, but it never really went anywhere...

Then I wrote Heist Phantoms. Ah, Heist Phantoms...

Heist Phantoms is basically a comedy, wrapped in some drama, covered in more comedy. I mean, it has very serious elements. The protagonist is trying to wish her father out of prison, for one. Otherwise, it's pretty much just a funny story about a really weird place.

The original concept for this story, that I thought up quite a while ago, did actually involve a set of secretive interlinked phantom thieves. The protagonist was supposed to be Nora (who ended up being the main deuteragonist instead, and her sister was actually a whole separate character who hung out with Alexandra (who ended up becoming her sister) and only showed up in the sequel.

This version ended up having the 'Heist Phantoms' moniker bestowed because of the protagonists actions, whilst their actual abilities came from magic Gaelic rocks. I don't think I ever experienced any serious hitches writing this story, and it took shorter than normal to write, probably because I was constantly switching perspectives.

I do kind of find myself falling into patterns, or forcing myself into them at least. For example, all of Return from the EDGE and Detective Brody are written from the main character's perspective (except Detective Brody's first sequel, which features an epilogue from somebody else's eyes). I think it's fun to write like that, actually, so I'll try and stick with it.

However, I do find when I write in multiple perspectives (see my upcoming post on death games) I write much faster and more obsessively than normal. I guess because it's easier to see all the different perspectives.

Anyways, I guess that's all for now. Next time: death games, how Heist Phantoms cribbed off Raya!, writing a fripSide-esque song, and other things.
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Comments

  • Creature - Florida Dragon Turtle Human
    ...holy crap you do visual design computer art?
  • edited 2020-02-06 17:32:42
    Ultimate Forum Poster
    First of all, I once wrote the whole of Chapter 11 and then saved over it. I think the second attempt turned out better anyways.
    One lesson programming has taught me that's useful outside programming is to use version control whenever possible.
  • "you duck spawn, refined creature, you try to be cynical, yokel, but all that comes out of it is that you're a dunce!!!!! you duck plug!"
    Did you do much research for the Norwegian setting?
  • edited 2020-02-06 21:56:01
    Why does that Japanese say "foachinkuingz"?
  • edited 2020-02-08 05:28:06
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    Why does that Japanese say "foachinkuingz"?

    Typo! (oh well now I have to redo that).

    It should read "foachinuinguzu". That is, "フォアチンウィングス".
    ...holy crap you do visual design computer art?

    Literally just MS Paint. It's what I use for most of my cover art on fictionpress too, though for Detective Brody I went fancy and used Jeta Logo Designer. I might end up redoing them in MS Paint anyways, though, just for consistency.
    use version control whenever possible.

    Yeah I should really look into that.
    Did you do much research for the Norwegian setting?

    Quite a bit, actually. Researching modern Norway was pretty fun. I mean, it was pretty easy too since it's easier to find information on modern Norway (where they speak English as a second language) than most other things.

    I looked up buildings, more general things about how people lived (though a lot of my characters ended up being more intense and boisterous anyways since that's how I write), listened to some popular Nordic pop guys (this was surprisingly hard even during the age of YouTube) and so on. I also tried to look into schools, but I quickly dumped the school element of the story so that didn't help with much.

    I read The Local NO for months, too, just so I could keep up with things.

    Fun Fact; Norwegians don't normally use eBay, they have a site called Finn. It sells, basically, everything (including houses). You can even post job ads on it.

    I think I cheated by just having all of my characters by default just speak Norwegian, as if the story were told in autotranslate, but I did do some research into Manx/Manks as a language to use for my 'Ancient Gaelic' bits in Heist Phantoms.

    Okay, so let's talk about Heist Phantoms and Raya!

    There's a chapter of Raya! that will probably always be my favorite (especially since I've mostly forgotten the rest). In that part, the main protagonist Laurie is lost in a fantasy projected by one of the four main villain generals, Chiara. She basically finds herself living a Disney Channel TV series, and it's very ridiculous overall.

    However, Laurie is eventually able to break out of this world, because she won't settle for looking away from the harsh realities of being a hero.

    In Heist Phantoms, I took this and turned it into the climax of the story. There, when Lea enters the core of Paradox Park where the Witch Maiden awaits her for the final battle. Instead, she enters a world where her life is going swimmingly. She's become a perfect version of herself, and every problem she was trying to solve no longer exists.

    This time, there's a bit more plot attached. The Witch Maiden has long left the world the heroes are trying to save, but she's left enough instructions for Mayor Foley (who has been the main villain so far) to take over her dastardly plots. He attempts to use this glamour to extract a song from Lea, which I'll talk about in a second.

    So instead of just breaking free as soon as the illusory world is gone, Lea has to re-take control of her own song.

    Speaking of, I actually had to write the song.

    This is a story set in modern Canada (for some reason), so in the story Lea has written an EDM sort of song. However, when I was trying to write out the lyrics, I wrote it as a fripSide song, with all the typical fripSide sounds (in my head). It doesn't just exist in the form available in the story, there's actually a full version.

    Since then, I've also written a few songs for other stories (well, mainly one story, which may or may not end up happening).

    Anyways, here it is; Create a PARADOX:

  • edited 2020-04-01 14:22:04
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    As you guys might know, I'm quite into death games. Mainly because I find them hilarious, but also because it's just a really interesting way to write a story.

    Whenever I start writing out a death game, I'm very enthusiastic about it. I love the characters and the intense plotting that a death game has to entail. However, after about 15-20 chapters, I can feel myself starting to burn out or well... in all honesty... become disturbed at myself.

    How am I writing this? How can I create entire characters just to watch them grovel at the feet of mortality itself.

    Maybe one day I'll manage to get through a whole death game, but probably not now.

    Death Games: UR Doll

    UR Doll was inspired by a draft I wrote long ago, which was pretty basic*. It wasn't originally designed as a death game, but the premise I'd written out made it ideal for one.

    *Read it here:



    That basic premise, that a girl was stuck in a computer world taking part in an experiment to save her sick brother, evolved very quickly. First I decided on a real life setting, Virginia, with the main character attending George Mason University and studying political science. To date, this is the only time I've written about a protagonist out of high school.

    UR Doll's premise was distinct from it's two main plotlines. These were:

    **There is a group of two neurosurgeons (one crazy, one learning the ways of crazy) and a nurse (specially trained in life-support, since everyone is in VR) on a Black Site near George Mason University who have been tasked with creating a psychological profile of the perfect soldier. Somebody who can fight towards any specified goal.

    This profile, once created based on the 10 participants, will be 'Intergrated' into the minds of top soldiers and special agents. This would include good aspects such as being mission-oriented and putting the team above one's own needs, as well as bad aspects such as not being too concerned with one's own horrific actions, or completing the mission at all costs.

    **One of the participants, I forget his name, is a Romani immigrant to the United States, who passed through a lot of treacherous areas on his journey to America. It would be slowly revealed that there's a war going on between Italy, Romania and Bulgaria vs Turkey and a couple of allies (don't ask me specifics kay, and also Turkey wouldn't be in NATO for reasons).

    Anyways, there's a pathway that illegal migrants used to pass these war zones, but most of them have died trying to cross it since it's like, a war zone. However, it is in this area that Italy is developing some sort of super-weapon, working with the more industrialized European countries, and it is believed -the unnamed boy, I guess we could go with Aslan for now?- has come across a facility related to this weapon and has seen schematics related to it.

    Therefore, after further consultation with the shadowy team behind the approval of this whole thing, the two doctors and nurse find the memories he had of the places presumed to be this area and turn this into the world the 'Dolls' have to play in.

    However! They will also try a new experiment, running on an artificial brain. A doppleganger of Aslan, who will also try to comb through Aslan's memories whilst participating in the game. Then the obvious happens and Aslan's duplicate realizes that if he can kill Aslan, he'll be able to take over Aslan's real body on the outside.

    There are 10 characters in the game overall, but some have way more plot than others. I think it's a disservice not to describe them, so I will in a later post.
  • There is love everywhere, I already know
    The characters in UR Doll are each selected from the program based on a duality, that is to say, either one or both have motive to kill each other. Of course, since these motives are mostly secrets, they also have to keep the murders secret.

    Emily


    Aslan


    Everest


    Brody


    Samantha


    Poppy


    Rachel


    Olivia


    Niels


    Nona


    So, why did I stop writing UR Doll? I stopped writing after Everest killed Aslan and got away with it. I think, in a weird way, I might have been scared of myself for Aslan. He was a good kid, a kind boy taking care of his family, trying to keep a broken Emily together, falling in love with her.

    And here's this smart, rich boy who just comes along and stabs him in the heart, leaving him near the forbidden zone for Emily to find.

    Plus, around the time I was writing it was when I had this dream. In fact, I find that when I'm writing death games is when I have my most extremely vivid terrifying dreams.

    Anyways, Benny was the mascot of the game, controlled by the doctors and nurse at different times. He was a tiny stuffed teddy bear (based on my own old teddy bear, who was called Brandon) who always spoke with a booming game-show host voice (represented by bold text) and used the word 'Any' in all of his sentences.
  • There is love everywhere, I already know
    Writing the outline for UR Doll gave me a whole other idea, which I might actually begin working on sooner rather than later.

    I should also do my outline of Thriller: Threat x Killer sometime.

    In the meanwhile, the first ever chapter of Detective Brody has gone live. It's going to be a long while of editing and posting and etc with this story, but I'm quite glad it finally happened after all this time.

    I guess, much like my new idea, this is based in my current interest in "a mystery where nobody dies, but people consider the circumstances to be serious". I don't know why it's become the default for every mystery to feature a death, even though that can kind of dull the complexity of each character and their motivations.

    I mean, I guess it gets you right in the visceral part of your mind, but it's not a shortcut I like.
  • edited 2020-03-04 14:31:28
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    So, aside from Thriller: Threat x Killer, there is a story I spent a lot of time working on called Revelcy40 that I've been thinking about a lot today.

    What is Revelcy40? Well... it's a story where Italy takes over the world.... a ripoff of AKB0048.

    Okay, not exactly a ripoff! But I was inspired to write it by AKB0048, and two of the basic details are the same. There's a magical source of energy that can only be accessed through quasi-magic biological floaty beings (in this case they were the "Walre") that can be transformed not just into energy, but can power the user's abilities beyond normal capability.

    So the Walre produce completely clean energy, and the only costs are those with Heart Fille singing (and like... the eventual early onset dementia those users get) and that all plantlife that grows in the vicinity cannot be consumed by human beings because it becomes extremely carcinogenic. In order to use Walre effectively, the Earth (run by the UN, in this case called the Repubblica) is split into North (where financial activity and other things take place) and South (where all the food is grown, and no Walre are allowed).

    Another way this was inspired by AKB0048 was that it took place over multiple planets, though I later brought that down to continents because interplanetary warfare seemed a bit much for a story with this much sci-fi already.

    So, in another detail inspired by AKB48, the story actually has multiple Revelcy40 groups. Only, in this case, each gets their own story. At the start of Revelcy40: Brescia, an inside job destroys the original, 40 year old at that point Revelcy40. From that point, three disparate groups form:

    Revelcy40: Genoa

    This is the group my first main character belongs to, and the most traditional "remake" of the original group. She's just become an Adolescent (that is, she's taken her intensely insane 10th grader exam) and her father, who works for a big landowner on the southern continents where they live. On the day of her Adolescence, her mother's own ~mysterious~ early onset dementia kicks in, and so she can't go ahead to join them.

    She initially wanted to go along with their plans to get her into higher education (which involve, in a roundabout way, killing a bunch of indentured servants) especially with Revelcy40 having imploded, but then she decides to go ahead when an audition is held anyway later on, after the mysterious group clarity announces their own new Revelcy40.

    Revelcy40: Venice

    A "new vision" group, formed by remnants of the original Revelcy40 who have renamed theselves clarity (yes, this is more discount ClariS than TrySail), this group has the most insight into the goings on of the planet and therefore is more a straightforward political unit. I never really thought this out much.

    Revelcy40: Florence

    The "alternative" group. After Revelcy40 is destroyed, one of the producers/choreographers runs off to the Middle East (called Florence here because, as I said, Italy took over the world) in the hopes of living a normal life. However, a dedicated Revelcy fan spots her in a cafe, and they decide to start their own version of the group. Even though the originate in/operate in the Middle East, this is the group I associate with rock music the most.

    Overall, this group gets even more gritty and probably gorey than any of the others, because the situation where they operate (close to the nests where 70% of Walre are born) is really hostile.

    I was also considering probably having a boy in this group.

    Over the course of these three stories, I was going to maintain the same set of villains (three officials from the UN who are set with destroying Revelcy40 once and for all), or maybe have each group take one of them down until the end, where they change everything once and for all (with an ending that will surely end the story!!!).

    So, yeah, Revelcy40.

    I'd like to work on it but it would be like, 90 chapters of work and an intense amount of worldbuilding.
  • edited 2020-03-25 04:31:28
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    THRILLER: Threat x Killer

    Threat x Killer is set in an unnamed European country, something like a theoretical Germany, but much smaller. Maybe I should have just gone for Norway again, but the culture portrayed felt very different. Too different. Maybe, if I ever rewrite it, I'll just set it in America or the United Kingdom.

    In this story, those convicted of high crimes are installed with a 'tracking beacon' known as a Compline (short for Compliance Line) under their skin on the forearm just under the dominant hand. Usually, these Complines work just as described.

    However, a specific set of young juveniles has a special sort of Compline installed. This one not only works as a tracker and a form of ID for law enforcement, it truly does enforce compliance.

    In a DEATH GAME! Woo~

    Anyways so in this world, to stop the decline of libraries, a campaign was set out to make them 'cool' places to hang out. This involved installing phone charging stations, lots of free wi-fi, and some more social cues. As a result, teenagers hang out in libraries, and they require staffing. However, nobody really reads the books.

    Our protagonist, Halford Biscombe, has recently been convicted of a high profile crime. This story became major news, because he's a nouveau riche kid who has recently moved to the capital city to attend a prestigeous private secondary school. Before this scandal emerged, he was living an essentially charmed life.

    The crime? He and his two best friends attempted to cheat on their X-Levels, the toughest college-entry exam in all of Central Europe, but only he was caught. He had a Compline installed, and now he must spend every day working in the biggest hangout in the city; the Lark Sentry Library.

    Due to getting convicted, his romantic relationship with the boy at the top of the social food-chain -Antony West- ends. As he attempts to move on with new friends Thea and Nico, Antony suddenly shows up to the library and practically yanks him to the school across the street (a public school, not the private one they attended). He tells him that something strange has happened.

    However, Antony does not get a chance to explain himself, because the body of a teenage boy flies out the window at the school they're in front of. He's dead, he's been murdered.

    They both freak out, before being chloroformed and spirited away to a mysterious abandoned police station outside of town, where they are questioned by unknown figures behind a wall.

    Thus Thriller: Threat x Killer, begins.

    The premise of Threat x Killer was simpler than that of UR Doll, I guess. Basically, teenagers have Complines installed for various reasons, and they are inserted into the game. The original premise was that once the initial group of eight was thinned to four, eight more players would be inserted into the game, but I never got that far.

    Disobeying Complines usually lead to the activation of 'Intermittent Pain Mode', which would hack the nerve-endings attached to the Compline and cause ridiculous amounts of pain to the 'player'. Doing it too often, or doing something too rash, could result in the people in charge of the game just killing the player.

    I guess a main difference from UR Doll is that there was a lack of surveillance by the team behind the game, in this case Mrs. West (Antony and Wickam's mother), the police chief, the doctor/scientist and a teenage girl called Mariko Lensky. Of course, this is another story based in government conspiracy, about conducting experiments and watching the outcomes.

    I guess with this story I wanted to do an upstairs/downstairs thing, where half the participants are pulled from the upper classes and the other half are middle or lower class. Halford I guess was meant to represent both upward (financially) and downward (status-wise) movement.

    So, why is it called Threat x Killer? Well, in the game, certain players are designated 'Threats' based on what they know, and others 'Killers' based on what secrets they're trying to keep. The Killers get to know exactly what the Threats know about them, and sometimes just what they've done to make them Threats. This is relayed through an app each player is forced to download. Messing with the app or their phone is against the rules. Their phones are, however, not used to track them via camera or voice, as per the rules, since it's a "scientific" psychological experiment.

    When a player is killed, signaled by their Compline dying, agents from the mysterious police station are deployed not only to cover up the crime, but also to capture the Killer. The Killer and any other players in the vicinity of the murder are taken to Police Station "19" (I guess) and debriefed on what happened. The players are also allowed to lie or flub the truth.

    Halford "Hal", "Hal-bear", Biscombe



    Chloe



    Mimi Hollloway



    Thea



    Arabella Russo



    Haverley Ruiz



    Caesar Otto



    Apparently this post is too long so I'm splitting it.
  • edited 2020-03-25 06:12:24
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    Part II

    Antony West



    Wickham West



    Second Half Characters

    The second half is not very fleshed out, and sadly, it probably never will be.

    Nico Levesque





    Further backstory details; a previous game took place before the story starts, and that involved Mrs. West's husband, her sister Sarah, Sarah's lesbian computer-coder lover Lark Sentry, Mariko's father and the prerequisite people of lower classes. That one ended in a plane crash orchestrated by one of the players, a young man who had to quit pilot school/become a plane technician in order to feed his growing young family.

    Whilst playing the game, he fell in love with a young waitress (who was, decidedly, not his pregnant wife) and decided that the quagmire he'd put himself in would be best solved by just offing himself (so he didn't have to deal with his wife/family) whilst also getting rid of the more powerful players (Mr. West and Mr. Lensky).

    Of course, he miscalculated entirely, considering Mrs. West is so rich, powerful and influential that her husband was expected to take her name from the moment they began dating. Mrs. West (who is part of the government plot to run the game to start with) manages to convince her sister to off the waitress quickly and is about to manipulate her into getting rid of Lark when Lark manages to crash the Threat x Killer system, which also crashes the national electricity grid for a day.

    Unfortunately, with the rules no longer in place, two things become true:
    a) Lark can now reveal the game to the world without any repercussions
    b) Mrs. West can kill Lark without breaking any of the rules she has to abide by as overseer, which she does.

    However, in the media, the grid crash and the plane crash are connected as "terrorist incidents". In order to placate her sister, Mrs. West lobbies the government into pretending Lark was the "hero" who saved the world from both by alerting them to the events before anything worse could happen, and she was killed off by one of the "terrorists" (I never quite expounded on who they blamed...)

    But Sarah can't handle being the only survivor (and being turned into a huge liar with all the press she has to do praising her dead-by-her-sister's-hands lover as part of a cover up), so she leaves the country and is never seen again.

    In all honestly, I thought out this backstory so much that this story has more of a prequel than it does a second half.
  • Ultimate Forum Poster
    That one ended in a plane crash (t
    The text got cut off.
    Mariko
    *Immature giggling*
  • There is love everywhere, I already know
    Apparently a mariquera is a man-bag and not specifically a fanny pack but it makes much more sense if it's the latter.
    A very homosexual piece of wood.

    a) well, that's one way to do euphemisms (i'm sorry)
    b) what about the very homosexual cigarettes?
    The text got cut off.

    Oh, sorry, I wrote this over multiple days in .txt. Plus, that post is probably not going to handle more words, so I'll add it to the second one.
  • edited 2020-03-26 12:53:09
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    Spent some time writing. It was at the expense of other pursuits, but all of them are decidedly less productive.

    I'm writing the idea that I've mentioned in here before. As you all know, I'm super cagey about things I'm currently working on, but I can say that it employs a mix of some old concepts explored very thoroughly in this thread.

    If I were to describe it, it'd probably be;
    Final Destination meets A Midsummer Nights Dream meets Gossip Girl meets Cinderella Game

    So do with that what you will.
  • There is love everywhere, I already know
    I've been thinking about writing lately. Especially in regards to what the hero should be able to do.

    Primed by probably every anime and super hero/action TV series/movie of the last couple of years, I'm biased towards the protagonist and the team around him somehow managing to end whatever conflict there is definitively.

    However, frequently real life doesn't work like that. Counterpoint; that's a terrible philosophy to work in fiction by.

    But, the hero will probably have internal struggles on his journey. He might make mistakes, or find that what he believed is actually all lies (see also: Tales of). Whatever he or she makes of this situation might guide how they deal with the overall problem at the core of the story (which is really just a fancy way of saying main villain/last boss).

    But these struggles are internal, small. No matter what, the inner turmoil of a person can't compare to the collective turmoil of everybody not them. I don't want to say it isn't the hero's responsibility to save everyone on the planet as a result, but I guess I want to point to a duality between the hero and the conflict.

    I mean, of course, if the conflict mainly affects the main characters of a story, they should be able to solve it resolutely. If it's bigger, maybe that shouldn't be the case. Maybe the hero can do his part in helping solve whatever big problem there is, and others can do the rest eventually. Maybe they can accept the problem as being a part of their lives forever, but can mitigate it as much as possible, with the view of a severely long-term potential eradication.

    So, yeah.

    I mean, if the villain is the leader of a tyrannical empire, maybe killing him is a chance to review what is happening and move on from that point, rather than having this serve as the one opportunity for everything to be solved.

    I feel like I'm learning lessons everybody else already learned and passing them off as original, but I think that's everybody born a generation after a bunch of people could read and write.
  • There is love everywhere, I already know
    I've had an idea for a single story that ballooned into this really big idea, and I've wanted to work on it for a few weeks now.

    So, the first story is called Root-Cause, and this is a story about a teenage boy who is contacted by a covert American agency known as the Secret Intelligence Agency. This agency, obviously, is so secret that nobody knows it exists.

    Under this agency, he's cultivated by his handler as a remote agent for the American government and he's sent out on missions. Usually, these are essentially robberies from private companies that are developing proprietary technology. He steals data and small pieces of tech.

    Before I talk about the twist, this story was initially supposed to be a spy story involving agents from the SIA, the FBI and some private companies including a company called Clarion. Clarion is basically Amazon in this universe, a company that becomes ubiquitous in retail but also runs web analytics and hosts important servers and carries out extensive datamining.

    But as I wrote the first chapter (which is where I've been stuck for weeks) I realized either I can't write an espionage story or I don't want to. I mean, it would be up to me to provide all the excitement. In a sense, if it's all just real life spy activities, there's nothing amazing to hide behind or prop my story up on.

    Of course, this basic story involved the hero, Layth, becoming a parkour expert and skilled with blunt weapons. It also involved various people using real guns (he's shot at late in the first chapter), which I then realized are extremely rare (or nonexistent) in children's or teen's fiction.

    So, I've started trying to develop it into a transforming hero show story. In this version, Layth and the various SIA agents and etc transform into heroes and duke it out using various technological powers. In this version of the story, technology is not analogous to magic at all. At all.

    Anyways, now for the twist.

    Either way I decide to go with, it turns out that the SIA is not real. Layth and the various SIA agents have been tricked by an AI known as Supra into believing they are working for the American government using various audio tricks and deepfakes to create their "handlers".

    Layth finds this out from a computer history "expert" called Willis. Willis is a student who went to college for computer engineering, which he quickly realized he was terrible at. Still trying to fake it for the duration of his first year, he realizes he's actually a genius detective when it comes to remembering facts related to computer development and history, and this leads him to learn of Supra and then sometime later, of it's scheme and connection to the SIA agents.

    So Willis hits Layth with an EMP to disable all of the SIA-but-actually-Supra devices he has on him at all times, and explains this all to him, and that's where the adventure begins.

    Supra's overall goal is to access the system that was developed from it's own code; codename Supra_Natal/The Child. This code was co-opted by Clarion to develop their data-mining and analysis project via the operating system that runs all of Clarion's sites; Pulse.

    Supra_Natal/The Child then becomes known as Pulse [Main]. A system that is completely airgapped, and only interacts through Clarion [Main] via Pulse [Child], which is manually moved to connect to Clarion, then anti-virused into oblivion before it's reconnected to Pulse [Main].

    In a weird way, I thought of Pulse as the child of both Supra (father) and Clarion (mother), but this would remain an analogy in the spy version of the story. It'd probably be presented more materially if I do turn this into a transforming hero story.

    Kay, so that's Root-Cause.

    A long while ago, when I was an actual 10 year old child, I came up with a ripoff of Mary Kate & Ashley In Action called Girl 2. This was a typical spy story and I don't remember any details aside from the name.

    Later on, I came up with the idea of a new story called Girl_2, which was also a story about hackers. Then, about a year ago, I came up with a parallel idea of a similar story about hackers, and so I decided to call it Bro_2.

    I remembered that idea recently, so I decided to come up with a whole trilogy of stories involving hackers that aren't otherwise related.

    Given recent things I've said about being able to stop myself, I think I'll discuss Bro_2 next post.
  • There is love everywhere, I already know
    Let's talk about Bro_2 Girl_2.

    Since I made my last post, I've had a lot of ideas shift here and there about this story, so I'm going to try and have it all make sense but I'm not sure it will.

    About ten years ago, in some as-of-yet undetermined American city, a computer virus emerged, infecting every commercial device on the planet and shutting them all down for 15 minutes.

    At the center of this was a mysterious phenomenon that breached the real world; a kaleidoscopic, geometric, spiked sphere that appeared in the middle of the city at a four-way intersection. The phenomenon has been dismissed by authorities and almost all those who didn't see it.

    Surely it's just a coincidence that whilst law enforcement were investigating this phenomenon, they happened to catch the hacker responsible for the "Girl_2 phenomenon", named after the virus in question.

    In the present, Zoe and Quinton are two thirteen year olds who live very different lives.

    Zoe is the only daughter of a rich family. She lives with her single father, who works more than he should. She attends St. Augustine's Private School, and has just joined the journalism club there. Her best friend Gabbie, a girl who counts rock music as her lifeblood, thinks she's a little zany, and her "eternal rival" Kay has just joined the journalism club along side her.

    Nothing much to see here, aside from the opulence. Zoe has never even thought seriously about the "Girl_2 phenomenon".

    But for Quint, it's everywhere he looks.

    Quinton is the only son of a practically single mother, what with his father having been in prison for most of his life. He attends the local milquetoast public school, where he likes to bake in the Home Ec club. He has a best friend named Jake, who is a giant science nerd, but everybody else hates him.

    Why? Because his dad was charged and convicted of almost a thousand murders worldwide as a result of the "Girl_2 phenomenon".

    As a result, Quint has never been allowed a phone or any other electric device in his life by his mother. He secretly visits his father once a month, and what his father said on his most recent visit troubled him.

    In what was clearly a slip of the tongue, his father mentioned another person who was involved in the Girl_2 phenomenon. Somebody he "hurt". Somebody he "used".

    But he'll be lucky to ever find out what that means, because his mother has just discovered a log of his visits and barred him from ever going to see his dad again.

    Meanwhile, Zoe finds herself covering a story for the school paper (which is essentially a four page fluff document since they're middle-schoolers) after Kay takes the project she was excited for. It's the current city youth center's fiftieth anniversary, and so she goes to do some research after school.

    Whilst doing her interview with the center's manager, he mentions the Spiked Sphere incident, and Zoe later mentions this to her father during dinner. Her father] clams up, angrily asking why she would waste her life in journalism and storming away from the table.

    Devastated by his reaction, Zoe wonders if it has anything to do with her mother's untimely death ten years prior (huh, how unusual). Feeling nostalgic, she goes up to her room and opens the box of keepsakes her mother left her in her will.

    As she reaches inside the box, she accidentally drops it on the floor, breaking open the false bottom and revealing a very, very old laptop.

    She charges it, boots it up and discovers that despite the machine being from ten years prior, it has a holographic display. Needless to say, those don't exist yet anywhere else.

    On it are a treasure trove of documents, and one mysterious program that requires a password to activate.

    That program is called Girl_2.

    Now, just as she's about to shut the computer off and forget all of it, a chat application opens itself. A mysterious person known as "Overlay" tries to talk to Zoe, claiming they know things about her mother. Freaked out, Zoe closes the laptop.

    And then the story goes from there.

    Anyways, it's supposed to involve Zoe and Quinton meeting, quickly discovering that Zoe's mom and Quinton's dad worked on Girl_2 together. That the Girl_2 name is code for (is it weird I don't want to discuss spoilers?). And that Overlay is actually a pseudo-(also a giant spoiler).

    I think Overlay would kind of be a similar concept to Supra from Root-Cause, but also very different. In a way, Girl_2 would involve characters fighting more explicitly because of personal reasons, rather than to serve their cause.

    There's also a third story in this Hack x Heroes trilogy, but all the detail I ever came up with was "You know I should rip off Kamen Rider Blade".

    By the way I hope everyone noticed the new thread banner.
  • edited 2020-05-29 12:32:38
    Ultimate Forum Poster
    Zoe and Quinton
    I wonder what it says about me that at first I thought this was a reference to a certain girl involved in a certain internet controversy.
    As she reaches inside the box, she accidentally drops it on the floor, breaking open the false bottom and revealing a very, very old laptop.
    I'm guessing it was a really light/thin laptop to not get noticed.
    I hope everyone noticed the new thread banner.
    Yah, it's nice, I like it.
  • There is love everywhere, I already know
    Yay~
    I'm guessing it was a really light/thin laptop to not get noticed.

    Ah, that's a good point. I'll have to work that in.
    a certain girl involved in a certain internet controversy.

    Oh darn, I wasn't thinking about that at all! I have such luck with names. Detective Brody has like 10 different important characters with R names (Rylan, Riven, Romeo, Rise, Rowan, Ricky etc). Like now, I can't bear to change them.

    I've actually started considering writing Girl_2 (even though I'm meant to be writing Root-Cause). If I do write some, and I get to the point where the spoilers appear, I should probably flesh them out here in the thread too.
  • There is love everywhere, I already know
    Of course Zoe had heard of conspiracy theories before, but they seemed like a far away concept. Something the journalists she admired so much talked about on the news.

    When I wrote this line, I had a feeling that I'd make certain sorts of people mad, but it'd feel even weirder to pretend that this wouldn't be Zoe's reality. Like, "12 year old Zoe has a healthy skepticism of mainstream media" is the least realistic thing ever.

    Also, in writing this:
    Her father clams up, angrily asking why she would waste her life in journalism and storming away from the table.

    I think I made Zoe's father sound a bit like a psycho, but I think there's no other way to write this scene effectively.

    He did end up not storming away.
  • "you duck spawn, refined creature, you try to be cynical, yokel, but all that comes out of it is that you're a dunce!!!!! you duck plug!"
    Random question without previously checking for answer, how many words per day you write on average?
  • edited 2020-06-06 18:59:19
    Creature - Florida Dragon Turtle Human
    in terms of productive writing: 0

    in terms of unproductive writing: ........i am afraid of the answer, though this post alone contain 610 words.
  • edited 2020-06-07 05:04:17
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    Random question without previously checking for answer, how many words per day you write on average?

    I suffer a terrible habit where there are months where I write nothing of substance, and then weeks where I just drop everything I write. Though, so far, I've been avoiding that with Girl_2 (it'll happen once I get round the middle though).

    Doing some detective work on my files, it seems I wrote chapters 1-8 of Detective Brody on January 7th and 8th. I then wrote chapters 9-13 between January 17th and 22nd. Finally, I wrote chapters 14-19 on February 2nd and 3rd.

    The chapters vary in length from 1,600 to 2,500 words, so I guess the average would be 2,050 words per chapter. But so... 8,200 words per day when I am seriously writing. Otherwise nothing per day.

    Right now with Girl_2, I'm averaging about half of that but just over June 4th and 5th. I think mainly because I just don't have the solid plot yet in terms of what I want to do with every character and the overall plot.

    New characters tend to appear in my work like Wild Pokemon of the Wingun Mind. I hem and haw whilst I figure that out, then I write the chapters, then do more hemming and hawing, and then one day I'm just writing till I have to force myself to stop.

    Apparently, my Penny on M.A.R.S. post from yesterday was 1,150 words long. In all honesty, I wasn't even done yet but now I worry about adding more.
  • There is love everywhere, I already know
    I've finally given some serious thought to my third Hackers x Heroes project. As should be obvious, writing on Girl_2 has seriously stalled, and I certainly can't pick it up this week since I'm busy in real life.

    Anyways, I wanted to give it a : _ // # type name like Root=Cause and Girl_2, but so far the name that's stuck is Bust The Mind, which has no fancy things in it.

    So this story takes place in an alternate universe that splits off from one of the other Hackers x Heroes stories. In terms of plot, I want to do a modern Knights Templar sort of scenario with a big mid-story twist.

    Before I hash out the details, I want to set out a few of the themes I've found through both Girl_2 and Root=Cause. That way they can inform the third story and make it part of the vaguely related trilogy:
    • Computers! More specifically, personified computer programs that apply artificial intelligence to varying degrees.
    • Neo Spiritualism, via humanity's collective consciousness. Like the computer cloud, but involuntary and always there. How could this be hacked? How does it relate to individuals? Can it be allowed to manifest in big, visible ways?
    • What could have been. Specifically, I guess, how chasing after it is Bad.
    • A lost child. This is sort of an aesthetic theme, to a degree, but one from which serious story details and plots are born.

    Yeah, I think that's it. If I think of anything else I'll add to it.

    Anyways, so in Bust the Mind, there was an event about thirty years before the story starts that significantly blurred the line between the real world and the digital one.

    Overall, this event added to humanity's experiences. I haven't decided quite how yet, but things definitely got better from it.

    However, it also created a form of specific, brutal psychosis for people who got pulled in too close to the "digital" side of things. "Digital Mind"; Think psychics, but for Wi-Fi. You have people talking in code, mapping their neural systems into or on top of citywide networks and then doing as they pleased.

    The worst thing about it all is that on the face of it it's completely untraceable unless you find the person behind it and they're doing something really obvious. In fact, most of the time it presents as severe mental psychosis.

    Anyways, to prevent these devastating attacks on humanity by scarred individuals, a new division of various governments was created called the Mind Busters. Using special proprietary algorithms developed in-house, they go about finding these people and apprehending them, which is usually extremely difficult.

    "Curing" these Digital Mind cases means locking sufferers in faraday cages (think loony bin cells) and administering a course of a program known as "Catharsis.exe". Catharsis has been through several upgrades, and is linked to the algorithms that help determine cases of Digital Mind.

    As the years go by, cases of Digital Mind drop significantly. It appears that only the generation of people who were alive at the time of the event that connected the digital to the real can be affected by Digital Mind, and all those that could have been affected have been dealt with.

    The discovery of a milder form of Digital Mind, one that only results in just the psychosis and not the tech system control, also complicates matters. Even worse is that this form presents as other psychological conditions, ranging from big deals like schizophrenia to smaller forms like sudden OCD.

    Many countries start to shrink their Mind Buster divisions, against warnings from prominent researchers.

    At the start of the story, the protagonist, who will totally exist and has a name and backstory and everything, lives in this new world where the whole Mind Buster thing is kind of a sideshow irrelevant to most teenager's lives.

    It's a bit relevant for him, though. Because of his struggling family, he joins the Mind Buster Reserves at thirteen because they provide for full rides at certain schools. He's no good at hacking computers, but he is great at sifting out cases of Digital Mind via analysis.

    When he's sixteen years old, the first ever case of Digital Mind is discovered in somebody under twenty. The world goes into a frenzy, and he is called on standby.

    However, the symptoms don't seem to fully align for him, and he has a nagging doubt in his mind. This grows as he moves through his daily life, and is eventually called on actual cases.

    He's asked to write reports on the cases, and he does so thoroughly in a way that his direct superiors are impressed with. He's shifted onto a permanent team, in place of veterans who actually fought in the thick of the Digital Mind era.

    Then he starts to see the cracks.

    The reports he's been writing are being edited by his superior to couch any of the language he uses when casting doubt on the possibility that the cases they're tracking are Digital Mind. His best friend at school develops a serious delusion at school that he misinterprets as Digital Mind before he discovers that his friend is actually just on a very bad drug trip.

    After that, he questions his ability to read people accurately at all. Has his naivete and inexperience made him cocky? Even worse, have they made him a tool for whitewashing what has become a witch hunt?

    It all comes to a head when he learns that all the initial algorithms used to guide Catharsis.exe have been retired and replaced with The Golden Trio.

    What are these mysterious three black-box algorithms, and have the Mind Busters been using them to slay nonexistent dragons? If so, why?

    Like Root-Cause, this story is complex and involves a lot of things I'm not only unfamiliar with from a writing standpoint but even from a perspective where I haven't really experienced lots of media beforehand with similar plots that I can draw from.

    But I'd really like to execute this sort of story well.
  • There is love everywhere, I already know
    I have somehow managed 1.5ish chapters of Girl_2 after a long spell of nothing! Woo-hoo!

    I'm reconsidering the holographic computer in the initial scenes for Zoe, but I might keep it depending on how it goes. I'll definitely put it in later scenes though.

    I wonder just how many chapters I envision this going for. I'm at 7, and I'm only starting to scratch the surface of the story, I think. I didn't really expect this to be long, but I'll have to see how the middle section goes.

    I did not expect Quinton to be so scared, but I guess that's what happens when you're a pariah.
  • edited 2020-06-30 14:31:31
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    I think I'm in a really weird, fun part of Girl_2 where I have to figure out how all the characters switch allegiances.

    Most important, I'm in the middle of what I would call "The Fall of Zoe". This is a story where the protagonists try to uphold what's right, but in a world where things aren't easy for them.

    At the start of the story, Zoe is a happy-go-lucky easygoing girl with easygoing problems. I've had to ramp her issues up several degrees to get her to "Maybe you shouldn't be working with the creepy teenage boy who hangs around the youth center flashing a utility knife around".

    Also I really really wish I could stop feeling like I'm writing like eventually the plot is "and then Quinton realized he was in love with Jake" (which becomes worse considering certain plot developments re:Zoe) but this is just my "shounen ai is everywhere" brain interfering with writing brain because I'm never, ever writing with this intention.
    In what was clearly a slip of the tongue, his father mentioned another person who was involved in the Girl_2 phenomenon. Somebody he "hurt". Somebody he "used".

    10 chapters in and I'm only just getting to this part.

    Anyways I did say:
    and I get to the point where the spoilers appear, I should probably flesh them out here in the thread too.

    So let's discuss the next few chapters.

    I think right now I'm right before things start happening. Mainly, a set of mysterious characters will start manipulating things behind the curtain. First of all, we have the mysterious Kiana Bell, who begins regaling Zoe with stories of her mother.

    Kiana Bell happens to live in France, where Zoe recently visited for her birthday, and she only does video calls over the computer.

    Kiana Bell also tells Zoe about her mother's love of building computers, and instructs Zoe on building her own supercomputer with the help of one delinquent boy named Kane.

    Meanwhile, Quinton tries to learn Friendship (but he already knows 4 moves I know). I think with Zoe and her best friend Gabbie, they both have good social skills, but with Quinton he's very much learning to be himself with other people. Hence why he puts Jake on a pedestal and it starts getting slightly weird.

    Soon after this part, Gabbie will be contacted by a woman named Violet. Gabbie's father is the successful music producer Ashley Wilde, and so Gabbie has developed a strong love of music through him.

    His lifestyle means Gabbie is left at home most of the time by herself, and so she depends on Zoe to some degree. However, due to "The Fall of Zoe", this is no longer an option for her.

    Gabbie does dream of becoming a pop star in her own right to some extent, but she has a terrible singing voice. But maybe, if she tries hard enough and has a special item with special software, she can change all of that.

    I don't intend for all of my stories to include a singer one, but it just tends to happen. It's kind of one of my favorite things and I can only really stop myself if it just won't fit (no singing major character appears in Detective Brody). In my off time, I've already come up with three ditties for Gabbie. They probably can't all be in the story, and only one is wholly plot relevant, but I'll see what I can do.

    I wonder if I should take up poetry but the very thought of "poetry" kind of makes me run in the opposite direction.

    By the way, Zoe's mother's name is Abigail hahanope* Kingsley.

    *It's not Kiana.

    One day I will come up with a twist that isn't "It was all anagrams!"
  • There is love everywhere, I already know
    So, I was thinking about how each Hackers x Heroes story approaches religious concepts and superstitions.

    In Root=Cause, I'd say Clarion, Supra and Pulse are like Greek or Roman Gods. They exist in the human world, but they're much more than that. They're above it, but they aren't immaculate, and they have their own abilities and struggles.

    In Girl_2, Overlay is something that cannot act without assistance. I would say it's maybe a fallen angel (though that's extremely inaccurate). Most importantly; Overlay is not above humans. I guess part of making my protagonists very young, I'm trying to show that Overlay would not be as effective in tricking older protagonists or adults.

    In Bust the Mind, Digital Mind is not a single god, but it's a malaise or a miasma. It strikes the unsuspecting, and that creates paranoia. I guess as far as I've thought about it The Golden Trio and Catharsis.exe are tools rather than religious concepts, but that'll probably change as I flesh things out.

    Huh I had this post in drafts for weeks, so there it is!

    ----

    Now for the stuff I wanted to discuss.

    I am about 20 chapters into Girl_2, and I have two options:

    One is write out what I initially envisioned. In that vision, I thought I would be at the point I am at about chapter 15, so I could keep the story to 30 chapters.

    The second is truncate what I had planned so I can at least try to make the 30ish chapter deadline. That would involve extending the subplot I'm currently in to make it the centerpiece of the ending.

    I genuinely wanted a bit more build-up, but I'm starting to think that I don't need it. There are two big characters who need to make their debuts, and one character who needs to step out of the B-roll, and then that's it. I think I can manage that across ten chapters. I've managed a lot already.

    A concern is that 2/3rds of the story in this scenario doesn't feature a lot of computers doing magical things, and this part will be full of them. I'd have liked to ease into the ending, but I think that might result in a story that's too mellow, so truncating is actually for the best in the long run!
  • edited 2020-07-28 13:19:49
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    After I finish Girl_2, I need to go back to editing Detective Brody IV. I wrote that earlier this year but it feels like eons ago...

    Also >when you can't remember what car Mrs. Chando drives or even what chapter you described it in.

    (it's a red fastback sedan)

    I am up to chapter 26/30 of Girl_2, and I wonder if I'll overshoot 30 by a bit. However, I have actually gotten to the place I feel I need to be at this point in the story for the ending to work.

    Funnily enough, even now, Zoe and Quinton haven't met and they probably won't till stuff gets serious. In fact, Zoe has met Jake, but Quinton hasn't met Gabbie or Kane (he will soon though). Though in exchange Zoe hasn't met Helena either, but Helena is like, not really a main character (hence why this is the first time ever I'm mentioning her).

    I didn't expect this outcome in my original outline, as you can see above, but I think I like it.
    They probably can't all be in the story, and only one is wholly plot relevant, but I'll see what I can do.

    I managed to work all four into the story (mostly by changing a concert scene from one long thing into two halves with one as a flashback)! Woo!
  • There is love everywhere, I already know
    I have things to say about Girl_2, but no time right now, so I'll save it all for tomorrow.

    What I should say is that now that I'm about to finish it, I can probably show off the mock-up covers I made for FictionPress. I particularly like this one, and I think it portrays the story really well. I also have this as an option, and this simple version.

    For the accompanying songwriting thing, there's this, which is probably what I'll go with as well as this and a simple version.
  • edited 2020-08-24 16:12:04
    There is love everywhere, I already know
    so I'll save it all for tomorrow.

    This is a lot of tomorrows later but I actually finished Girl_2! I think considering I didn't have any idea what the ending would look like or similar the story worked out really well! I haven't actually thought about it in a few days, so I can't just rattle off the synopsis of the latter half right now.

    Anyways, I keep getting PMs asked to join Webnovel by "agents" who are definitely totally not just Tencent bots, but I wonder if this would actually help my exposure.

    However, Webnovel is one of those platforms where there a short story is like 50 chapters and the majority of them are Cultivation stories or other stories translated from Chinese or Korean works...

    I tried posting my stories on Wattpad once but I got lazy about it (and there were other things that I'm not too concerned with right now nope I still think they're somewhat relevant), but if I'm looking for exposure* I should really try at least one.

    I think Girl_2 (and Return from the EDGE and any potential sequels) would be great for a service like Webnovel, but I'd probably never crack the top 50,000 just because my stuff isn't Cultivation or BL.

    *I swear GMH I didn't mean for this to come up again.
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