Adventurer’s Academy

When I started this blog, I posted a few moodboards I’d been playing with, and one of them was Adventurer’s Academy. The idea is there is a school for adventurers to learn their basic skills, focusing either in magic, fighting, or stealth, with a sort of Harry Potter at the RenFaire vibe. I’ve played with the concept a few times, the original version of it being more serious in its fantasy world, while this version steals a few characters from other things I’ve trashed and gives a more lighthearted story. Originally this was going to be the month by month story I planned to post here, but my usual writing anxiety has put its first part in rewrites a few times, with me going back and forth on how I wanted to tell it (which is the sort of process that led Laemmle High to be the thing I’m posting instead).

But I have a lot of fun with these characters and I’ve been trying to flesh them out more. Like with my magical girls and the princesses, giving them their own unique style and influence seemed important, and so I created fake Instagrams for the individual characters as well. Here is the central cast of Adventurer’s Academy, borrowing from D&D’s method of character creation, with images shamelessly stolen from Pinterest.

Continue reading “Adventurer’s Academy”

Seven Patron Princesses

When I first started this blog, I wrote six short stories in development of a princess project, mentioning I’d gone through a few iterations and adjustments to the ideas. I’m still going though those iterations and figuring out which version of the story is the one I like best, but the thing I do like about fairy tale stories is the idea of “the story” itself. I’ve always been fond of Neil Gaiman’s “Instructions“, or stories like No Rest for the Wicked, which rely on the tropes as part of the world. I’m also fond of “after the golden age” style stories as well, where the great things that have been told in stories have long since passed and another generation is living under their shadow, and all of this came together in the idea for the Seven Patron Princesses.

In Adalandia, continent of a hundred kingdoms, the seven patron princesses areĀ more than the ancestors of the seven largest kingdoms, but icons and saints, worshipped in small ways throughout the land. Each are said to represent a virtue and depict the proper way to live. Snow White, who represents purity, is depicted in red running through the snow as the forest tries to pull her back into darkness, and survived death. Sleeping Beauty, who represents patience, is most often shown in her tower, where she remained until her brave prince saved her. Rapunzel, who represents bravery, remained strong in her tower where she was stolen away by a witch. Cinderella, who represents diligence, is often depicted with fairies as she dances in her golden shoes. The Little Mermaid, who represents honesty, tied together the cliff keepers and the mermaids and became princess of two kingdoms. Beauty and the Beast, who represents kindness, entered the dark forest and tamed the King of Beasts. The Princess and the Frog, who represents humility, depicted often at her well with her frog prince in her hands. They are more than just stories.

But this was all hundreds of years ago, and now there are seven princesses again, each tied to the original seven, and they are all, for the first time, in one place.

Continue reading “Seven Patron Princesses”

Magical Girl Forever

A study in character development and celebrity.

Instead of doing what I should be doing, which is writing the next few parts of my 1950s monster mash, working on some short stories, or finishing the next chapter in Deadlands, my partner and I have been rewatching a lot of 90s anime, specifically Sailor Moon. I’ve had magical girl based story ideas in the past. One I’d held onto for a while was a next generation style story, where the daughter inherited her mother’s role as magical warrior, along with all the baggage that went with it. But after reading Snot Girl and enjoying the celebrity aspects of Wicked + Divine, a drafted up a quick idea of a girl who’d recently gotten her powers and joined the ranks of several other magical girls. They’re essentially Internet celebrities, girls who differ in style and fashion and motif, but who all essentially serve the same purpose. And, recently rewatching a lot of magical girl and fighting animes, I’ve returned to it and done what I usually do with a small concept and not too many ideas: moodboards. Only this time, since I wanted to focus on the social media aspect, I made them fake social media accounts. Instagrams and Pinterests and Twitters that would reflect real life celebrity. Then I took it a step further, and recreated a sort of Magical Girl magazine (mildly inspired by GDBee’s fake magazines). Beneath this cut is a lot of images that I left watermarked (blame my bank account) and hopefully the start to a fully realized world.

Continue reading “Magical Girl Forever”

Moodboards and Concepts Part II

I’m taking a bit of a break to catch up with my other projects like Deadlands and my Fear Street blog. I had so much fun doing the moodboards when I was in my creative slump that I sort of haven’t stopped doing them. I come up with a new story idea every other week and definitely have some ideas I’ve concepted out and then shelved. Here are the further adventures of what goes on in my brain.

Continue reading “Moodboards and Concepts Part II”

Black Magic Swing

In 1925, Quentin DeLacey attends a seance.

Like Miles to Go, this is sort of the beginning of a larger story. The true secret of this is that I read the origin of Frank and Sadie Doyle in the Thrilling Adventure Hour, mainly that Sadie was intended to be dead at the beginning of the story, with Frank being a bitter and drunk widower. It was the acting of Paget Brewster that kept Sadie alive and made Beyond Belief one of the best segments on the Thrilling Adventure Hour. I liked the idea of an old jaded man dealing with a lot of emotional issues with a lot of younger people running around annoying him. I’ve been looking for many excuses to write something set in the 1920s, so here we are.

black-magic-swing

Continue reading “Black Magic Swing”

Miles to Go

Miranda West runs away from home late one night and finds herself on the absolute worst road trip.

Initially I was going to put out one story over the course of October, but I struggled too much with writing it and have a few other projects going on at the same time, so I’ll save it. Instead I’ll be posting three short pieces every other week throughout October to give you something spooky to read this Halloween.

I’d been playing around with the concept of a horror road trip story, which I’ve now outlined in three different versions. This vampire filled one sort of sprung out of nowhere, the first part, which will be the section below, written in pencil while I was at a training for work. The opening scene of a young woman stopping in a gas station in the middle of the night only to find everyone dead appeared very clearly in my mind. I’ve written more since then, but I have so many projects and I’m attempting to focus on the few I have a drive to finish, that it’s only been touched when I have the capacity to think about it. But I do enjoy this initial pieceĀ and am posting it for your reading pleasure.

copy-of-miles

Continue reading “Miles to Go”

Mood Boards and Concepts

When creativity is at a minimum, we turn to other sources.

I’ve been in a bit of a slump lately. I started this blog to give myself some accountability in my writing, so I could work and focus on projects like I need to. Unfortunately my depression an usual avalanche of ideas makes it difficult to focus at times, and lately I’ve been struggling. I’ve been trying to come up with something I would update regularly here. Not something on a schedule, or anything concrete, but a story I could add a few thousand words to, slap it up here, and consider myself a content creator. Of course, since I have so many ideas, it was hard to choose one, and to help my creative juices flow I ended up making a few mood boards.

 

Ghost Girls Moodboard

Ghost Girls

Ghost Girls was a concept I came up with while over at my Fear Street blog. There were several aspects to my fake pitch for a Fear Street TV series I liked, mainly a Scully/Mulder dynamic between a girl who’d experienced things and another girl who’d been Scooby-Doo’d. I bumped them up to college age, and added a few more aspects: a conspiracy, no concrete proof that the supernatural is real, a haunted house. I don’t know if I’ll ever come back to these kids, but I had fun making a spooky board for them.

 

Dracula Drive

Dracula Drive

A story I’d started working on back in high school was that of a high school that suddenly had an influx of monsters and creatures out of a horror movie, and a girl reporter went around collecting everyone’s stories. A little while later I revisited, gave it a more concrete plot, a time travel element, and focused on each generation’s fear of the future. The story came a little to close to Men and Monsters purely because of its monster mash element, and I ended up dropping it for a long time. When I came back to it, I worried the frivolity of it had gone out, and I reconsidered Dracula Drive as a monster hop. Now everyone’s a vampire, a werewolf, a catwoman, a mummy, and they all do normal 1950s teen stuff. I worry, of course, about its resemblance to another popular franchise about monsters going to high school, and honestly I have such a soft spot for the original concept that I’m not quite ready to change it, but I’m a little proud of this board.

 

Adventurers Academy

Adventurers Academy

This story came strangely easily to me. I’ve wanted to do an adventurers style story for a long time and have come up with at least three different crews and eventually rejected them all. The idea of an adventuring school was a fun one, Harry Potter-esque while stealing more from D&D than other fantasy stories. I wanted it to be kind of fantasy punk as well, with the students dressed in a median between modern fashion and renaissance faire, and allowing them to talk like humans instead of Ye Olde Speech. The concept is fun, colorful, and I found a good team to work with, so I dashed this together to give myself some inspiration.