My Smash fanfic-in-progress has a schedule.
I have given myself some guidelines in designing this:
- Some fights will happen at certain weeks in the story, and this is unavoidable. The others can be shuffled.
- Four fighters are going to end the season at 4-2, 5-1, or 6-0 and make the finals.
- Everyone else will end the season at 3-3 or worse.
- Certain fighters are going to be 0-2 at week 3 so there can be side stories about their struggles.
- Fighters on the same team do not fight each other.
- Nobody should fight more than two fighters from any other team. This can be fudged in the offscreen fights.
- The tournament is larger than the named characters, so fighters can fight "someone else".
I have created a logic puzzle. It's like Sudoku.
So, after a short time I now have a full schedule for all characters. One of them ends up at 4-2 instead of 5-1, and I cheated by having Alex fight "Other" offstage on two different weeks, but it will work. It does not have to be logically perfect, it only needs to carry the story. I was only trying to fit some of the fights to the formal schedule, but I had to schedule more and more of them to make it work.
Here's an idea that I got one morning and spent the whole rest of the day writing down. Might as well publish.
The Boddy Estate
It is a dark and stormy night outside the Boddy Estate, a Victorian mansion.
A group of detectives enter the mansion. They resemble Sam Spade, Sherlock Holmes, Jessica Fletcher, Charlie Chan, and other familiar faces. They badmouth and berate each other like the parodies in Murder By Death but are even more abrasive because they are only going to be on screen for a minute.
Lightning flashes and the power goes out, leaving them in darkness. The detectives insult each other again, their voices rising as they nearly come to blows.
Lightning flashes and thunder booms, and there is silence and darkness.
The Boddy Estate at morning
Morning breaks through the mansion's windows. Every one of the detectives is dead, sprawled all over the room. One of the bodies is hanging by a noose from a slowly spinning ceiling fan. Another has knives in his body. In the foreground, an open bottle of poison sits next to someone's drink. Spread across the ground are at least two pistols, an axe, a lead pipe, a broken candlestick, and other murder implements. There is no blood. This is PG.
At the open front door stands a group of teenagers with a Great Dane dog. One of the teenagers says: "Gee golly! It's a mystery!"
Cut to opening credits. ( Read more... )
Looking over my directory of partially-written bad fanfics, I see:
- a Batman fanfic where Batman is forced to work together with Slade (the Teen Titans villain) and his team of Bad Guys
- an Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull fanfic where Mutt turns into a Timothy Leary dropout druggie in the '60s
- a Metajets fanfic where I kill off several named characters and put others out of commission
- a Slayers fanfic that resulted from several iterations of messing with the universe until it was set 20 years in the future and dealing with the heros' kids, and an accompanying outline for a story that destroys that universe another 50 years in the future
- a Smash Brothers fanfic/parody where the fighters are recruited by a guy who messes up universes for fun
- an outline for a Stein's Gate fanfic that puts Okabe in the hospital and makes Kurisu the lead
- a Star Trek:TNG fanfic where the Federation gets in a civil war, and Picard and Riker end up as opposing captains
- a Transformers fanfic with a little bit of intellectual insight into geopolitics, no tits, and fewer explosions
- [Edit Sep 10] and one more I haven't begun to write: a Garbage Pail Kids fic that patterns the dolls after stereotypical 1950s gangbangers, removes all the grossout humor and replaces it with slapstick, and makes the dolls one faction in a great Toy War involving parodies of Barney, Pokemon, GI Joe, He-Man, Green Army Men, and the Care Bears
My imagination doesn't like to stay within the bounds of an existing universe. I don't write episodes. My tendency is to do something grand with it that changes how the universe is arranged.
Bonus: have some parody ideas that I haven't written but I can tell the whole joke in one paragraph.
- Metroid: rough brunette '80s Samus wakes up from cryosleep and mugs sexy blonde Zero Suit Samus in an alleyway, then takes her armor back
- Touhou: Komachi and Reimu set up a racket where Reimu hunts and kills wealthy criminals, Komachi ferries their souls across the Styx to meet her work quota while charging them a significant fee, and then Komachi makes a donation to Reimu's shrine. Then the loli vampire Remelia appears in Reimu's room at night to warn her that pedophiles are *her* business.
- Touhou again, crossed with End Of Evangelion. Enough said. No, I can say more. The invaders are the TF2 characters, then I ran out of ideas so let's redo the Twilight Zone doll episode with Shang, Pyro, and Engineer.
Tonight I pounded out a new scene from a fic I'm never going to finish. Part of me says, oh, it looks nice! Share it! Another part of me says, this burns many of the plot points and characterization quirks that are supposed to be revealed during the course of the story, so I should hold off until I've finished it. Then I remembered that I'm not going to finish this story so I might as well post it, and it makes a good summary / introduction to the universe. Enjoy.
( Read more... )
The current Star Wars mania gives me Star Wars on the mind which reminds me that "Episode 1" sucked. As a shitty fanfic writer, I will ask the question: what could be changed to make the movie better? Let's skip the popular opinion of cutting Jar Jar and consider other possibilities. ( Read more... )
They say that the X-Files is coming back, so I'll drop my vague ideas of what I'd have done with the property instead.
Some FBI agents at a field office in the South are working a mafia case and are short of leads. The new guy Jason sets his computer to run an overnight search of all networked drives overnight for some of the names they are looking for information on. In the middle of the next day, as the search is still running, he starts getting results from file names beginning with the letter X. One of the files is a report issued fifteen years earlier by someone who had the same name as a CIA assistant director who had been in the news recently for mismanaging money.
He brings it to his partner Jeanette whose first words after glancing at the file are "It's an X-file. Those are for UFOs and stuff." He tells her to look at the name of the informant and she recognizes the importance immediately.
They bring it to the special agent in charge who confirms that the assistant director was working in this area at the time, and he finds it very interesting that a trustworthy report would end up in the X-Files. He asks for a printed copy of the report, says that he will investigate this personally, tells Jeanette that she is in charge of the investigation while he is out of the office, and departs alone.
Jason looks at a few other X-Files while he's on break and laughs at them.
A few days later, they go looking for the CIA guy's reports in the X-Files during a meeting with other agents and some of the files are missing. The SAIC's jaw drops. He orders everyone to print out everything they still have access to, "we're going back to paper for this investigation."
Jason and Jeanette get the building's IT to copy all of the X-Files to an external hard drive on the local network so it is under the control of the field office and they can search it more quickly.
The mafia investigation ends abruptly when the mafia leader's yacht sinks in the Gulf of Mexico with some of his deputies on board. Jeanette looks at the SAIC as if she thinks he might be responsible, but the look on his face is one of dejection and defeat rather than guilt. SAIC gets back in command mode: this is going to cause a power vacuum, somebody is going to take over, get on top of things before the gangs start a war across the entire state.
Jason goes home where he still lives with his parents and mentions "hey, did you know Mrs. Johnson's house is supposed to be haunted?" On his next off day he visits Mrs. Johnson and awkwardly asks her if she has ever seen a ghost, because he was reading an old ghost story and it had her address in it. She says no, but when her mother was dying she said that there used to be an angel in the house before the fire that happened when Mrs. Johnson was only four.
On his next work day, Jason updates the 60-year-old X-file about the ghost sighting with the information that he collected on his day off, writing that he did this on his day off, and marks the file as closed. Soon he is in the SAIC's office. The SAIC says "I hear that you closed an X-file. I've been hearing it from my friends in Washington. Now, I read your appendix. It was solid work and you didn't waste any taxpayer money. My gut instinct is to chew you out but you didn't do anything wrong and you did good work. Just... don't forget that we have real crimes to solve. If you want to chase ghosts, keep doing it on your own time."
As Jason leaves, the SAIC adds "and let me know if you find anything interesting in those files." The viewer has seen enough of both characters to know that the SAIC's definition of interesting may be different from Jason's.
On her day off, Jeanette mentions to a friend that her partner decided to investigate a haunted house because it was close to where he lives. Her friend mentions that she knows where there is a haunted house...
Soon they are at the "haunted" house with sleeping bags, laptops, and recording equipment. Jeanette's friend brought her kids who are about 8 and 5. It's a sleepover party atmosphere and Jason mentions that if there are any ghosts they would scare them off. In the morning, they start wrapping up. No one saw anything, no one had nightmares. They walk out the door as the ghost watches.
Different attitudes, different climate
The X-Files themselves are a source of mystery and comedy until they become familiar.
Not every X-File is real. Most of them are worthless, introduced and thrown away in a short time. An extra mystery in the show is which mystery will turn out to be the real one.
There is more than one story in each episode. Some are resolved quickly, some are spread out across a few episodes, many are simply background stories.
Neither investigator is a believer in the paranormal until it forces itself on them, and their attitudes and approaches are different from Mulder and Scully. Jason is in it for the "wouldn't it be cool if..." factor and he drives most paranormal investigations with his eagerness. Jeanette prefers rational explanations but enjoys carrying out the investigation and seeing where the facts lead.
The agents solve real crimes for several episodes before they are assigned to work on the X-Files on a special request from a deputy director who their SAIC is not familiar with.
The agents work in an office with other staff. Actors playing background characters will be hired on for a season to just nod and say "hi" once an episode and to have the same familiar faces in the same cubicles. The agents have friends and families. The cost of the show is going through the roof.
In later seasons:
- Somebody gives the order to delete all of the X-Files. The backup drive at the field office is the only copy until they start getting requests from other field offices to make a copy.
- Jason gets beamed up by a UFO. It turns out to be a secret US military aircraft. After seeing his FBI badge, they hand him over to "The Investigator": Dana Scully. She tells him that aliens do exist, and welcome to the resistance. Jason is written out of the show and replaced by another character.
Some previous concepts:
It has been in the news that Star Wars 7 is in production, so now is a good time to dump an alternate story idea of mine before the canonical story comes out.
Let me first state that while Star Wars has a large written canon, I have not read much of it and my ideas are not informed by it, so don't expect my ideas to come anywhere close to the canon. ( Read more... )