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NaNo 2008!

Yeap, I'm psyched for it already. I've been thinking all day (and wearing my ugly purple tortured-artist sweater) working on a couple of stories. One's an old idea I've had since I was a child, which is shaping up to be steampunk-ish (complete with dirigibles and stuff) but it's a bit of an epic, so I'm going to have to work on that for a while.

This other one is a reframe of the traditional Sleeping Beauty myth, wherein the idealistic prince doesn't give Beauty the True Love's First Kiss she needs to wake up, but argues with the Story Fairy about how Things Should Be. Story Fairy isn't happy, of course, but she only runs the stories, she doesn't run the people in it, haha.

Anyway, when our idealistic prince leaves, Sleeping Beauty wakes up, having heard the conversation in her dream and realizing "OMG! What am I doing, sleeping for YEARS for no good reason??" and she decides to follow said prince, whom she now designated the Man of her Dreams... which he kinda is, literally, since she only knows him from what she can remember of her dreams.

She drops her princess garbs for a practical traveling smock and starts running past the fence of briar thorns the Story Fairy set up a hundred years ago.

Except that she kinda goes the opposite direction he did.

And has many adventures!

At some point, they meet on the other side of the world in a tavern, share some stories about what they've been through. She's looking for a prince, though, and she's looking so hard, she doesn't recognize him, even though she kinda likes him, and he knows she's looking for the Man of her Dreams, and thinks it's not him, and besides, neither of them hang around each other long enough to be close to talk about where they come from, so they go their separate ways to have some more adventures.

Finally they meet back around where they started, recognize each other, get along even better now they have more time, and he offers to walk her home. While camping, she confesses where she's from and hopes he doesn't get freaked out by the idea of taking her to a doorstep covered with thorns, except he's already been there, and he freaks out because he remembers it, and they have an OMG IT'S YOU moment. They go to her kingdom (where Story Fairy has been waiting, inconsolable over its failure) to deliver that True Love's First Kiss so the rest of the kingdom can wake up and get on with life, too.

The jury is still out on whether they settle down happily, or go off adventuring together.

So I had a beginning and an end, but no middle. And I figure maybe a serial would be the best way to go about this, so I sat down, wrote out fifty slots in my Plot Bunny Book, and started filling in random slots with randomly generated titles. Some of them are purposefully generated in a random way in order to give me an idea of what the story needs to fulfil my Princess Checklist.

My Princess Checklist is currently as follows:
- trusty magical animal sidekick: because every princess needs one for the occasional help. Extra eyes, skills of sneakiness, watchguard, stuff like that.

- big sword: what kind of heroine wouldn't have one? OK, it's not going to be very big. But it will be very sharp.

- mentor(s): chances are these will be people she runs into and learns from for a while before moving on.

- stealth cloak: for those times when she needs to be not seen.

- change of clothes: you never know!


- knives: in boots. Those neat little ones you can swipe out for a deus ex machina ending, and one lodged in the sole of the boot for those awesome killer-kicks.

- handmirror: because she's vain. And handmirrors have a myriad of uses. And it talks (thanks, sparklemagpie!). It will sound like Stephen Fry, I hope.

- a way to menstruate cleanly: you can tell who my target audience is.

- doombox: it will probably be acquired one episode, to be used in another episode further down the line. I can't write this bloody series without featuring a DOOMBOX somewhere.

- nifty toolkit: not sure where this will go. At this point, this story starts being less fantasy and more steampunk, but I don't give a shit. Toolkits are awesome. I may have them in her boots as well, or strapped to her calves, or something.

- horse (sometimes): transportation. My girl can walk, but not all the time.

I'm probably missing something, but if she picks up anything else along the way, into the bag it goes! I may give her a musical instrument or something. And bobby pins. Lots of bobby pins.

I have a series of stories that run the gamut of comedy to more serious themes. Each story will have 1,000 words (if it goes any longer I'll wrap up with a summary and move on) and at the end of the 50,000 I'll sit back and see which ones suck and which ones work, and develope the ones which work into longer works. I have cheesy titles like "Jussy & the City of Light" and weird ones like "Jussy & the Closet of Queen Mira", and ambitious ones like "Jussy on the Thorny Path Through Hell", and plain old comedic ones like "Jussy & the Lampshade Affair". Some of them are loosely based on myths I know; others are ideas I would like a character to encounter; some few are shamelessly ripped from Star Trek and the like.

Hopefully, I'll come away with my sanity intact, because the devil is truly in the details for this one. Even if I don't, this story will still end up with a middle.



( 2 Words — Have Your Say )
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 22nd, 2008 05:26 pm (UTC)
It would be! Give him a vague overall plot and worry about the details later. Or make it up on the spot.
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 22nd, 2008 05:43 pm (UTC)
That's how they learn though. And that's the best part of character-making - having them make mistakes and learning from it, or learning how not to make mistakes in the first place.

Or you could create a character (or transpose someone you really hate) and use them to take out your frustrations on.
( 2 Words — Have Your Say )