Pages: 1 ... 3 4 [5] 6
Author Topic: Drop it like it's hot! Or... Updates from Dee. :o)  (Read 4357 times)
nicksgal
Supreme Time Waster
*******
Posts: 10954


Fool, said my Muse, look in thy heart and write


WWW
« Reply #60 on: April 14, 2021, 07:53:15 PM »

So PBox&Co is a treasure trove of mythology, both its own and actual mythology. Most of this is just based on the fact that I love mythology and find it fascinating; in general, PBox&Co has a lot of author appeal what with “write the story you want to write” and all at play. If you enjoy PBox, you probably also enjoy mythology or enjoy the clever way it’s weaved into the story. Or maybe you don’t and you’re here for the shonen manga/anime and sentai series influences (it’s cool, that’s fun too). But there’s definitely things that are more blatant and things that are less so. That being said, I thought it might be fun to talk about some of the mythology in PBox since I’ve spent a lot of time in the writing threads talking about my love of mythology and that I’ve also been writing some heavily mythology/lore stuff here recently as we near the end of the entire tale. There’s some I can’t quite get into yet, but I think I’ll start at the beginning of PBox with something a little less blatant for now.

In the beginning of PBox, Nick says:

Quote
“Pandora… the priestess… she knows… knows my name… Maybe not… on the surface… But… but… her heart… will react to it…”

He says it’s “Nickolas,” and Minako responds with “Nick. ”This “Nick” vs “Nickolas” is here for the Backstreet Boys connection more than anything else. In a world where they’re really the Backstreet Boys, people who knew that in their heart would clearly think “Oh, we know him as ‘Nick’, not ‘Nickolas’.” As it becomes OF, this becomes a little more muddled as the difference between “Nick” vs “Nickolas” is less clear cut and more of a familiarity thing, honestly. It’s something I’m working on adjusting or giving more of a reason outside of “these are really the Backstreet Boys.” Later in the story, we see Renee not calling the emerald demons by their generally accepted names (e.g., “JC” remains “Joshua”) and it’s really to highlight the difference between accepting our favorite little demons and not accepting them. It gets more complicated when there’s not a “standard nickname” for Brian or Kevin. And this was always an aspect of the difference between the dichotomy of their interactions that I liked, so I’m trying to keep the spirit of it. In case you were curious, the line in the OF version is this instead:

Quote
“They never… responded to… my name… Pandora knows… knows my name… Not without… hearing it, but... but… her heart… is supposed to... react to it…”

Well then, knowing all of that, what’s in a name and why is knowing someone’s name so important? (Shakespeare posed a similar question to us once.) Fun fact, this isn’t Classical Mythology based like many of the other things in PBox (or Asiatic), it’s Ancient Egyptian Mythology. In general, PBox is an amalgamation of all the best and most interesting mythology out there, in your favorite gal pal’s humble opinion. So, let’s take a little stroll back to Ancient Egypt!

Basically, in the beginning of everything (supposedly), Re/Ra was the first pharaoh of all of Egypt/the whole world (because Egypt is obviously most important to Egypt, nevermind that cultures were all over and thriving at this point) and he often liked to stroll around his two kingdoms (upper and lower in elevation compared to the mouth of the Nile) and check everything out. Creation myths involving Re allege that he created everything on his own through spit or some… more fun means (except for people, who come from tears, so good for us), whether that’s water, fire, animals, deserts, other gods, whatever. And as the creator of everything, he has many names, but one that he kept secret to himself that would unlock his magic to anyone who knew it. Now Isis, a powerful goddess, magician, and healer, wanted that magic. For one of two reasons (mythology is fun): the older is that Re’s power was terrorizing the two kingdoms from the heat of the sun’s rays and she could give people respite by asking him to leave if she knew it or the slightly newer one where she needed the magic to re-create a certain missing body part for her dead husband after Set played a game of “Whoever fits in this sarcophagus wins!” “Oh no, our pharaoh Osiris is dead! And chopped into tiny pieces! And now we need a new pharaoh of all of Egypt?! Who could have possibly seen this coming?! Guess it’s me unless some more legitimate heir miraculously comes along! (Good luck procreating with your dead and dis-membered husband.)” (As I said, mythology is fun, but often snarled. How can Osiris be pharaoh when Re is pharaoh? However, this has nothing to do with PBox, it’s just extraneous background information that is also hilarious -- I’m hoping you caught my great pun.)

So Re spit one day to create something else and Isis collected it, then made a clay snake out of dirt and the spit. Re goes on his daily stroll and gets bitten by the snake. And since it was made from his magic, he can’t heal himself despite ordering the poison to leave his body (as creator of all things, you don’t need a doctor for this kind of thing). The poison makes him really feverish/sweaty and it’s difficult to speak (Huh… wasn’t there some other time someone got poisoned in PBox and couldn’t speak? Can’t recall! Wink), so he calls on the other gods/goddesses to help and they’re just as confused as he is. Then Isis comes and says she can probably do it with her magic and healing abilities, but she won’t be strong enough without knowing his true name. Not the ones everyone knows (his lesser names) or his epithets, but his real name that only he knows. He tells her, but none of the myths say what it is, so we don’t know. However, I wouldn’t put it past there being some secret mystery cult that made it integral to their worship/initiation/what have you (this is just me making up theories, this part is not fact or anything I can provide you with references for). Presumably, in addition to healing Re, Isis used the magic for one of the two reasons (depending on the age of the version) she’d wanted it originally.

So, there you go! Knowing someone’s true name gives you power over their magic, apparently. I wonder when that will come up again. Could be that it has something to do with “why Pandora?” Shrug

I suppose this is your edition of “Dee is extremely facetious while talking to you about mythology and her magnum opus.” Hope you enjoyed it! Let me know if there’s anything specific you want to hear mythology information about or if you’re good with me talking for as long as I like about whatever.
Logged

~*Dee*~

People think it would be fun to be a bird because you could fly. But they forget the negative side, which is the preening.

From "And Now, Deep Thoughts" by Jack Handey

nicksgal
Supreme Time Waster
*******
Posts: 10954


Fool, said my Muse, look in thy heart and write


WWW
« Reply #61 on: April 14, 2021, 07:56:18 PM »

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. Feedback is always appreciated. Smiley

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos

Pandora's Box on AO3

Please find updates as follows (links included in titles):

Chapter Eighteen ("Centered") of Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos

Chapter Eleven ("Truth") of Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (You've been able to read this chapter here at AC since February, but if you had wanted to comment on it back then and didn't, now's a great time to do so. I will now stop being shameless in my updates thread.)

Enjoy! Continue to feel free to ask me anything and get answers! Thank you again to everyone reading! I would love to hear from some of you. Smiley
Logged

~*Dee*~

People think it would be fun to be a bird because you could fly. But they forget the negative side, which is the preening.

From "And Now, Deep Thoughts" by Jack Handey

nicksgal
Supreme Time Waster
*******
Posts: 10954


Fool, said my Muse, look in thy heart and write


WWW
« Reply #62 on: April 21, 2021, 06:37:24 PM »

We’re going to keep going with Ancient Egyptian mythology this week in our talks, because I’m not quite ready to move on to Classical Mythology aspects yet.

This week, I wanted to talk about the “Eye of Re.” You probably noticed last week that I wrote “Re/Ra” the first time I mentioned his name. The reason for this is because Ancient Egyptian is only written with consonant sounds represented by hieroglyphs, so any vowel sounds are our best approximation based on current language plus comparisons to Greek and Roman written translations. The Ptolomeys were good for something! “Ra” was the transliteratio n that was used earlier, but it’s pretty commonly accepted that it’s probably actually “Re.” Other fun facts about other Ancient Egyptian gods I mentioned last week, Set used to be called “Seth,” but we’ve pretty handidly switched that one. “Isis” is actually likely to be closer to “Iset” and “Osiris” is probably closer to “Usir.” Ancient linguistics is fun. I’ve now gotten to nerd out at you about three things I find fascinating: mythology, linguistics, and history.

Alright, so the “Eye of Re” has a few different myths attached to it, but I want to discuss it in terms of some goddess legends. So any of the “daughters of Re” can take on the eye roll as a defender of Re and/or the pharaoh. The most prevalent myth about the Eye is Sekhmet’s. So Re grew old and people stopped preserving the balance and justice he had upheld them to and he grew angry and sent Sekhmet (Hathor in the form of a lion) to defend him. This defense quickly turned into a rampage and she slaughtered many people (so much so that there were new rivers in Egypt, made from blood. Yum!). Re decided this was bad (there’s no one to worship you if all your worshipers die) and he ordered her to stop. But… she really liked killing people, so she didn’t. The gods eventually dyed some beer red, so it looked like blood, she drank it all up, fell asleep for three days, and was cured! Heck of a hangover, right?

This crazy from power aspect was the inspiration for Nick trying to use his powers without knowing them. Among other things with the Eye of Re, which you know if you know your mythology, but I’m not quite ready to discuss those. It’s also a little of the blind prophet type thing from Greece, at Delphi, I think? Anyway, blind prophets are the best since anything they tell you must be true because they can’t see anything.

This week’s chat was short. Happy Wednesday!
Logged

~*Dee*~

People think it would be fun to be a bird because you could fly. But they forget the negative side, which is the preening.

From "And Now, Deep Thoughts" by Jack Handey

nicksgal
Supreme Time Waster
*******
Posts: 10954


Fool, said my Muse, look in thy heart and write


WWW
« Reply #63 on: April 21, 2021, 06:40:08 PM »

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. Feedback is always appreciated. Smiley

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos

Pandora's Box on AO3

Please find updates as follows (links included in titles):

Chapter Nineteen ("Weaknesses") of Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos

Chapter Twelve ("Onward") of Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (You've been able to read this chapter here at AC since March.)

Enjoy! Continue to feel free to ask me anything and get answers! Thank you again to everyone reading! Please chat with me, lol.
Logged

~*Dee*~

People think it would be fun to be a bird because you could fly. But they forget the negative side, which is the preening.

From "And Now, Deep Thoughts" by Jack Handey

nicksgal
Supreme Time Waster
*******
Posts: 10954


Fool, said my Muse, look in thy heart and write


WWW
« Reply #64 on: April 28, 2021, 07:41:35 PM »

There’s two more things that stick out to me as “PBox&Co lore/mythology” that should be discussed earlier than anything else. And since we’re on a roll with Ancient Egyptian mythology, I thought this one would be fitting.

So Kevin has healing powers, but he’s originally introduced to us in the role of Gate Guardian. He weighs the hearts of women and determines whether they’re pure enough to pass through the gate. So says PBox anyway; it gets slightly more complicated in PNecklace… soon, but not yet. Though near the beginning of PNecklace, Howie does say:

Quote
“We originally gave Kevin the scale in the hopes that he would be able to find Pandora of the Sapphires and bring her to us and the country. That was its main purpose.”

The symbol of the scale was originally going to be fairly important for our dearest friends from Safaiananpou, but I’ll talk about that more next week when I have a little more time to prepare my author talk. This week’s topic though, is one I have memorized, so I can talk about it pretty quickly. This aspect of the scale was one that was in the story from my first plans, I just wasn’t sure where to put it or how to use it as I was beginning to write and didn’t really figure it out until I had chosen Kevin’s powers. And then it all kind of fell into place.

I do want to remind you of the PBox scene specifically before I talk mythology because it’s more a general explanation than a specific story. So, here’s some PBox:

Quote
“This is the crossroads between the kingdoms, the corners where they intersect. All who appear here must let their heart be judged. I felt you approach.” [The gate guardian] held the scale toward Minako. “You first maiden!”

Minako nodded, stepping forward.

“You face me without fear, Maiden? Interesting.” The gate guardian reached out his hand toward Minako’s chest. Minako opened her mouth to protest, but his hand was like silver lightning. He tore her heart from inside her chest and set it on the scale.

Nick and Brian gasped as Minako struggled to breathe and sank to her knees.

“Minako!” Nick exclaimed, rushing toward her with his arms outstretched, ready to pull her into his embrace.

The gate guardian put out his hand.“No. No one may touch her until her heart has been weighed. It may become corrupted with your heart’s contents.”

Nick held his hands toward her for a moment, then stepped back and clenched his hands into fists. He put a fist to his chest. I love you, but… can my heart of darkness corrupt you? What can I do?

The gate guardian stared intently at the scale. Minako’s heart began to glow with pure blue light. The gate guardian smiled as the scale began shining brightly and tipping. The side containing Minako’s heart rose as the empty side of the scale dropped drastically. “It has been a long time since I have weighed the heart of a priestess.” The gate guardian smiled. “Sapphire Pandora… You finally exist in this world?” He nodded and removed the heart from the scale, leaned down, and gently placed it back into Minako’s chest. A brief glow of blue light emanated from his fingertips. “Forgive me for my intrusion, Pandora. You are pure and may cross my gate…”

It’s nice that Kevin has healing powers and can just pull peoples’ hearts out all willy-nilly like that, no? I think of every myth I’ve ever mentioned, this is one you’re likely familiar with. So, here we go!

The weighing of the heart is probably one of the better known myths from Ancient Egypt, since unlike Classical Mythology, what we have preserved most of their rites and rituals are from tombs and thus funerary in nature. In route to the afterlife, the soul passes many trials from supernatural entities at several different gates (and these supernatural entities were pretty scary, one of them was called “he who dances in blood,” for instance). At the final gate (the Hall of Two Truths), the heart weighing is presented by Anubis for the judge Osiris (and sometimes other gods, it varies, but Osiris is constant, being god of the underworld and all). After the negative confession (an oath that the deceased had not committed any of the 42 sins, all based in everyday morality, rather than divine edict), the feather of Ma’at is placed on one side of the scale and then the deceased’s heart is placed on the other. Ma’at is both a goddess and the concept (and the word, all very convoluted) for “truth” or “justice,” but overall the ideal of truth, order, justice, good will, and stuff like that (I’m Howie today). So the mythology surmises that if the deceased was an upholder of these concepts, the side of the scale with their heart will rise and the side with Ma’at’s feather will fall, proving that as a good person in life (even if they weren’t necessarily perfect), they deserve a peaceful and just afterlife. You may or may not be wondering what happens if a heart is heavier (which could mean they were very bad or that they lied in the negative confession). Well, in that case, there is no afterlife, the deceased doesn’t even get to go back to one of the punishment gates. Instead, Ammit the devourer pops out of the ground and devours their heart and then they’re just... nothing. Yum. Now, Ammit is a composite beast with the head of a crocodile (but not wonderful crocodiles wearing pink boas), the mane/torso/front legs of a lion, and the back legs/tail of a hippo (the most fearsome creatures in all of Ancient Egypt, basically), so you know she’s especially scary.

This is one of my favorite myths in general, so that’s a lot of its inclusion in PBox. There are other reasons that I won’t get into quite yet, but if you are paying attention to the myths I have been sharing or keep careful track of everything I say or won’t say, then you may be on the path to discovering the biggest secrets in PBox&Co’s history and mythology. If anyone is dying to be spoiled, PM me and ask. I probably won’t say one way or the other, but I just want to know if anyone’s right or if I’ve done a good enough job giving just enough hints without making it super obvious.

See you next Wednesday!
Logged

~*Dee*~

People think it would be fun to be a bird because you could fly. But they forget the negative side, which is the preening.

From "And Now, Deep Thoughts" by Jack Handey

nicksgal
Supreme Time Waster
*******
Posts: 10954


Fool, said my Muse, look in thy heart and write


WWW
« Reply #65 on: April 28, 2021, 07:43:29 PM »

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. Feedback is always appreciated. Smiley

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos

Pandora's Box on AO3

Please find updates as follows (links included in titles):

Chapter Twenty ("Strengths") of Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos

Chapter Thirteen ("Light") of Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (You've been able to read this chapter here at AC since March.)

Enjoy! Continue to feel free to ask me anything and get answers! Thank you again to everyone reading! Please chat with me, lol.
Logged

~*Dee*~

People think it would be fun to be a bird because you could fly. But they forget the negative side, which is the preening.

From "And Now, Deep Thoughts" by Jack Handey

nicksgal
Supreme Time Waster
*******
Posts: 10954


Fool, said my Muse, look in thy heart and write


WWW
« Reply #66 on: May 05, 2021, 07:26:11 PM »

Happy Wednesday, y’all!

So, we can’t talk about PBox without talking about some of its original inspiration. Part of it is still ongoing and shall be revealed soon...ish… or rather, eventually. The other part though, I’ve since tried to get away from, so I’m happy to share with you!

So once upon a time at the beginning of PBox, I researched some things that are still in it and was looking for some other interesting things to make it a little more unique than just a “this is inspired by x” thing and stumbled upon the Four Gods/Fours Symbols/Four Auspicious Creatures from Chinese mythology. Now I can’t remember any specific mythology about the Four Gods, and I did a cursory internet search again and couldn’t find much, but here’s the basics:

The Four Gods are represented by semi-mythic creatures: the vermillion bird, the azure dragon, the black tortoise, and the white tiger in addition to the yellow dragon. They were identified with cardinal directions (and constellations therein), colors, seasons, and elements.

Now, if you know me, you know I love my elementals, because they’re just cool, so obviously this spoke to me. Now I wanted to mix it up a bit, so nothing is an exact copy, but you’ll notice there are four warring states in PBox and all the countries are named via directions that are represented by colors and have characteristic weather. In case you forgot, our favorite little countries as mentioned in Chapter Two: Safaiananpou -- "Sapphire South," Emeradotouhou -- "Emerald East," Topazuseihou -- "Topaz West," and Rubiihoppou  -- "Ruby North."

But, you’ll notice that our favorite Boys are southern blue (because what else would our Black and Blue crooners be?), not red; then red goes to the north that should be black, and yellow goes to the east that should be white instead of the center (which is never mentioned). Azure seems blue, but generally covers that blue-green color pallet and is represented by green. You could definitely call coastal Safainanpou summery, but I’d call it more spring. Dessert Topazuseihou seems more summery than autumn, Emeradotouhou seems more autumn than spring, and frigid Rubiihoppou is pretty wintery. As for elements, the only good answer I have is that our favorite little demon Nick is pretty fiery, lol.

Initially, the constellation aspect was going to play a bigger role in the story, but I’m sure you noticed that Howie mentioned it, Kevin had the scale, and I think Brian discussed it one other time before it disappeared because… Well, I showed the beginning of PBox to a friend and they said something to the effect of “Oh, man, I think you’ll love this” and handed me a little manga from the 90s called Fushigi Yuugi. And I had two thoughts: First: Absolutely. I do love this. Second: Darnit. A story where a random girl ends up in a mysterious land and the characters have origins in the Four Gods and constellation ties? Well, crud. And there’s two groups going against each other with two more in the backstory? Double crud. Oh and three of our first introduced characters from this world are a love interest, a king, and a general in addition to these two girl rivals who are friends (there’s also a priest and a doctor introduced later). Triple crud. There are no new stories basically, lol. It’s something I’m looking at with a fine-toothed comb as I de-fanfic this story (in addition to getting rid of “priestess” and such as they’re less that per se and that helps widen the gap) since I see the similarities, but at the time, I decided it wasn’t a huge deal for a fanfic. However, I did ultimately make the decision to get away from it as much as possible while writing. So I guess all of the constellation stuff is the noodle incident in PBox and that’s why.

Hope you enjoyed this romp through mythology and PBox’s origins! See you next Wednesday!
Logged

~*Dee*~

People think it would be fun to be a bird because you could fly. But they forget the negative side, which is the preening.

From "And Now, Deep Thoughts" by Jack Handey

nicksgal
Supreme Time Waster
*******
Posts: 10954


Fool, said my Muse, look in thy heart and write


WWW
« Reply #67 on: May 05, 2021, 07:29:39 PM »

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. Feedback is always appreciated. Smiley

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos

Pandora's Box on AO3

Please find updates as follows (links included in titles):

Chapter Twenty-One ("Catharsis") of Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos

Chapter Fourteen ("Soul") of Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (You've been able to read this chapter here at AC since March; it's still one of my favorites, let me know if it's one of yours too.)

Enjoy! Continue to feel free to ask me anything and get answers! Thank you again to everyone reading! Please chat with me, lol. It's getting lonely in here talking with myself.
Logged

~*Dee*~

People think it would be fun to be a bird because you could fly. But they forget the negative side, which is the preening.

From "And Now, Deep Thoughts" by Jack Handey

nicksgal
Supreme Time Waster
*******
Posts: 10954


Fool, said my Muse, look in thy heart and write


WWW
« Reply #68 on: May 12, 2021, 05:32:47 PM »

It’s interesting having finished Camp NaNo last month and now I’m finally posting the first chapter I wrote without any part of it written during my initial NaNoWriMo stint (except for one tiny conversation). Next week, we’ll go backwards because I thought that was going to be Chapter Twenty-Two and it was not. Plus, I have been saving an Author Talk for that one since I wrote it back in December. So this week’s chapter was a fun adventure in not quite being sure what to write… It has three scenes and took about half a month to write. It was exhausting. You can read my thoughts on all that from back in February. I was starting to panic. Should I have not taken a month and a half off to edit PBox? Should I have kept writing this in December? Should I have not written my holiday story? Is this what the future of PNecklace will be like? I say that I gave myself some slack, but I won’t lie to you and say I wasn’t at least a little anxious.

So I thought it would be fun to talk about my writing schedule and let you look into my process. Since NaNo, I’ve tried to write something every day whether that was brand new writing or editing something I’d already started. I think I’ve mentioned it in the various writing threads, but I usually keep anything I’m working on open on my laptop. Right now it’s kind of a mess because I’m not sure how to order these two arcs, so I’m writing them in separate documents and splicing them in later, plus the document where I last left off the story and wrote my cursory outline of the last fourteen chapters. I have just shy of three and a half chapters done; if anyone has great ideas for funny Nick scenes, you should probably tell me so I can move on from that “just shy.” I wish juggling made sense in the story because I laughed so hard. But I’ve also written 13,617 words so far. I should supposedly finish June 7th. We’ll see how that goes.

Keeping track of my word counts has been a fun adventure. I’ve only skipped six days since November 1st, if you can believe that! (One in December, two in January, one in February, and two in March.) Here’s a quick run down of my general writing stats:

  • November: word count high -- 5,726 words; word count low -- 5 words; average word count: 1,725 words per day
  • December: word count high -- 3,045 words; word count low -- 54 words (technically zero); average word count: 1,138 words per day
  • January: word count high -- 4,998 words; word count low -- 19 words (technically zero); average word count: 1,543 words per day
  • February: word count high -- 2,451 words; word count low -- 33 words (technically zero); average word count: 862 words per day
  • March: word count high -- 2,427 words; word count low -- 2 words (technically zero); average word count: 569 words per day
  • April: word count high -- 3,563 words; word count low -- 6 words; average word count: 1,432 words per day
  • May (so far): word count high -- 2,130 words; word count low -- 144 words; average word count: 1,134 words per day (7 words per minute of writing time, I’m so fast Wink)

So I guess, I’m pretty consistent? I’m really hoping to finish another chapter today or two if I’m super inspired. We’ll see how that goes. Y’all know that Wednesdays are kind of hit or miss for me on how productive I am post-updating.

Anyway, let’s talk about my process. I generally have a clear idea of where scenes should start once I ponder over them. And sometimes they flow really well, but sometimes they don’t. February was one of those don’t times, as I mentioned. Each day I stop without finishing a scene or chapter (it depends), I will always reread over it the next time I start writing and hopefully jump off from there. And I typically edit a little as I go, because I can never just leave something alone. It’s why I make myself close the documents once I’m finished writing.

A timeline if you will:

  • So I spent January 30th and 31st writing the first scene and also a small part of a scene that ended up in Chapter 26th.
  • I started the second scene on February 4th. I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing February 1st through 3rd, so I poked around and apparently spent the 1st through the third editing chapter 8 to post it and the 4th through the 8th writing the first chapter of the OF version of PBox, so… those are my gaps in writing today’s chapter I suppose.
  • On February 6th, I decided two prewritten scenes (from November 25th and January 2nd) were part of the third scene of this chapter and that a scene written some time in October was part of Chapter 24. I also wrote part of a scene that ended up in Chapter 27.
  • On February 7th and 8th, I wrote Chapter 24. I also edited some scenes that ended up being parts of Chapter 25, Chapter 26, and Chapter 27, then decided a prewritten scene from October was part of Chapter 25.
  • February 9th through February 12th, I added a sentence or two each day to the second scene. On February 9th, I also wrote part of Chapter 27 and a scene that wasn’t in PNecklace at all.
  • On February 13th, I finally finished the second scene and started writing the third scene, which I finished on February 14th. I also started writing Chapter 25 on February 14th.

I’m sure you’ll read the second scene and wonder why it took me so long at all, lol. But, there you are. Half a month of my life spent writing. I’d say the two days per scene tends to be more typical of my output than two weeks per scene.

Wish me luck as I finish these last ten and a half chapters (plus one short scene)!
Logged

~*Dee*~

People think it would be fun to be a bird because you could fly. But they forget the negative side, which is the preening.

From "And Now, Deep Thoughts" by Jack Handey

nicksgal
Supreme Time Waster
*******
Posts: 10954


Fool, said my Muse, look in thy heart and write


WWW
« Reply #69 on: May 12, 2021, 05:35:04 PM »

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. Feedback is always appreciated. Smiley

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos

Pandora's Box on AO3

Please find updates as follows (links included in titles):

Chapter Twenty-Two ("Feelings") of Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos

Chapter Fifteen ("Confidence") of Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (You've been able to read this chapter here at AC since March, but feedback is always appreciated.)

Enjoy! Continue to feel free to ask me anything and get answers! Thank you again to everyone reading! See you next Wednesday!
Logged

~*Dee*~

People think it would be fun to be a bird because you could fly. But they forget the negative side, which is the preening.

From "And Now, Deep Thoughts" by Jack Handey

nicksgal
Supreme Time Waster
*******
Posts: 10954


Fool, said my Muse, look in thy heart and write


WWW
« Reply #70 on: May 19, 2021, 05:43:19 PM »

Tiny persistent Nick, you're the worst! (I'm kidding, you're my absolute favorite -- though that should be abundantly clear by now.) So as you all know, I've been employing the backlog since I unretired/found my love for writing again. Everything you've been seeing and reading in PNecklace these past few months, I had written before December when I started posting it (except last week's chapter). And now, this week's chapter is finally the last one I wrote any part of during NaNoWriMo (except for maybe a tiny scene here or there, but I think we're almost through most of those ones). I started it on the very last day, to be specific.

I then completed this week's chapter when December hit and I said "Now what? Guess we keep writing, Nick?" "Yup!" It initially included parts of last week's chapter in its original plans as well, but I ended up focusing on two of the things I wanted to include more than the other two, so I pushed those other bits back. And then I actually took most of December and January off from PNecklace in order to edit PBox fully and write my holiday story, with a tiny bit of PNecklace editing and a very tiny bit of writing interesting bits. And then when I came back, I realized that last week's chapter was actually before this week's chapter when I added the first scene.

While I was editing, I was still vaguely plantsing the rest of PNecklace (I wrote a tiny snippet of the very end and a few other bits, planned some team dynamics, fleshed out the big bad, worked on our main heroes' character arcs, etcetera), and came to the conclusion that getting to that planned final end wouldn't happen in the next twenty loosely planned chapters, but the arc our demon buddies were currently on could end, so... there would likely need to be another installment. Ugh, Nick... Why do you have so much story to share? ("I'm really interesting!" "You're right, I know.")

At the beginning of this, I thought I was crazy rereading some stuff here where I said that this would originally be four stories, but no, I was right, it will be (but probably for different reasons than I thought back then, the story has definitely departed from what I thought might be the plotline back then a little bit over these past few years). However, if it creeps into five stories, so help me, Nick! We've gotta do something else! I think part of this thinking is that I would rather have all the stories be close to 50 chapters instead of letting PNecklace become unruly and "go on for as long as it takes" so it's only a sequel. But also knowing that if I figured there is more to come that I want to make sure that PNecklace feels satisfying at the end and not just "this should have been longer, but I didn't want it to be, so I chopped it in half" and now it's just contingent on the last part being finished to be satisfying. I guess the point of this author talk/update is to confirm there's more coming? Unless I finish PNecklace, give up again, and re-retire? Wish me luck? I think it’ll be fine because

And that's where I stopped when I wrote this Author Note in December. I think I really wanted to be able to tell you all that I'd finished PNecklace and had started writing "Pandora's Demons" (that's its title), but, as you know, I haven't finished PNecklace... yet. But it's close. Only about eight and half chapters left to go! I hope those of you reading have enjoyed it so far. You know I'm always here to chat.
Logged

~*Dee*~

People think it would be fun to be a bird because you could fly. But they forget the negative side, which is the preening.

From "And Now, Deep Thoughts" by Jack Handey

nicksgal
Supreme Time Waster
*******
Posts: 10954


Fool, said my Muse, look in thy heart and write


WWW
« Reply #71 on: May 19, 2021, 05:45:32 PM »

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. Feedback is always appreciated. Smiley

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos

Pandora's Box on AO3

Please find updates as follows (links included in titles):

Chapter Twenty-Three ("Memories") of Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (I think this is one I listed as a favorite. It's me nerding out on rites and rituals again, which is always fun. You've seen a wedding. I wonder what you'll see next...)

Chapter Sixteen ("Earthquake") of Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (You've been able to read this chapter here at AC since March, but feedback is always appreciated.)

Enjoy! Continue to feel free to ask me anything and get answers! Thank you again to everyone reading! See you next Wednesday!
Logged

~*Dee*~

People think it would be fun to be a bird because you could fly. But they forget the negative side, which is the preening.

From "And Now, Deep Thoughts" by Jack Handey

nicksgal
Supreme Time Waster
*******
Posts: 10954


Fool, said my Muse, look in thy heart and write


WWW
« Reply #72 on: May 26, 2021, 07:40:17 PM »

Happy Wednesday!

So I wanted to talk about Five Man Bands this week and specifically Five Man Bands with fantasy tropes. So I’ve said before that I love a good Five Man Band and honestly… this is probably because of the Boys more than anything else. So your key players in five man band are as follows:


  • The Leader/The Hero: In PBox&Co, you could argue this is Nick. He’s the protagonist, one of our most frequent viewpoint characters, and the story starts (for us) when Nick’s hero’s journey starts.
  • The Lancer: The one made to foil the hero. If Nick’s the hero, this is obviously Brian. There’s no way around this. I’ll discuss it more below.
  • The Smart Guy: To be fair, compared to hot-headed and impulsive Nick, literally any of the others can assume the role of Smart Guy. (Nick’s learning and trying, lol). However, strategic Howie with his military prowess is the most likely filler of the role.
  • The Big Guy: This is Kevin. A sheer powerhouse, physically imposing compared to most of the others, even though in PBox, his powers are most often utilized in a defensive nature rather than sheer offense. I honestly think it’s telling that Nick himself (actual Nick, not PBox Nick) envisioned Kevin as The Powerlord in the Backstreet Project -- to Nick, Kevin is The Big Guy personified. (As an aside, what did Nick want to be in the Backstreet Project? He suddenly puts on an amulet and knows how to fix a spaceship, never mind that he couldn’t fix an Earth spaceship, let alone one with alien technology… Nick clearly wants to be the Smart Guy with shades of the Leader. I’ll be honest, he didn’t fanboy enough about getting super powers; that was one of the first things I promptly fixed in Gobosei -- you just know he would.)
  • The Heart: The one cheering the others on, making impassioned speeches about friendship, AJ of course. (Though he did have shades of Sixth Ranger when he first appeared and Minako filled in this role both as is and in its more gender-biased “The Chick.”)


But honestly? Nick’s not your typical High Fantasy Hero. He’s not necessarily all-loving, if anything he’s a bit of a curmudgeon despite his youth. He’s more than happy to start a fist fight with whoever. He’s pretty selfish. He has his flaws in spades, as you know. And while he definitely loves his friends and would risk hell for them, he’s really not into the whole “because destiny says so” shtick. But there’s a character who is…

Howie. A sword-wielding King who loves his people, is descended from a protected demonic lineage, and considers his duty the most important thing he is. And he obviously rallies the other to heroics. A textbook High Fantasy Hero. I told you I wanted to make Howie important. (I’m a relic of my time, really. Is this that much of an issue anymore?)

Then… What’s Nick? Well, he could be The Lancer. He and Howie have a lot of opposites about them, but in a story where Howie’s the Hero, his Lancer is probably AJ. He could be The Big Guy. His first solution to most problems is “hit it?” But, Kevin’s probably still The Big Guy, or possibly The Smart Guy. We’ve already established that Nick is not The Smart Guy in PBox, but he has his moments as he grows. Brian’s probably Howie’s Smart Guy. That makes Nick The Heart -- again, a bitter, selfish, hot-headed Heart, but caring for his Five Man Band is his m.o. Truthfully, PBox is really a story where The Heart/Lancer/Big Guy is our protagonist rather than the typical Hero.

And because of this, the classics of Five Man Bands are muddled. Anyone as a Lancer to Howie is kind of wishy-washy because of the forethought that went into Nick being in The Hero role. If you ever had any doubts, Brian is Nick’s Lancer, 100%. Where do we find Nick at the beginning of the story? Questioning his faith and purpose among other things. And Brian? Assuming the role of a priest. I mentioned this in the demon powers discussion already, but Nick uses his fists to attack (and is clueless about his powers) whereas Brian uses defensive barriers and is, arguably, a master of his craft (he wavers a bit over time, but everybody has their character arc). Orphaned Nick to den of demons Brian. Hot-headed to calm. Doer to analyzer. I could go on, but I think you get the point. In a PBox world where the others are placed in The Hero role, there could be some fluidity on who serves The Lancer role for each of them, but not for Nick and, as that case stands, probably not for Brian either.

Anyway, what’s fun about Five Man Bands is their character dynamics. They’re not necessarily about any one member, but how they play off each other to form a unit. What separate units can and can’t do based on who’s missing. What happens to the team when one member is gone. I’m thinking a lot about this now as I’m ending the story and maybe you’ll see what I mean once you’re where I am, but this was stuck in my head and I wanted to discuss it.

So, now it’s your turn. Is Kevin unequivocally The Big Guy? Just what is Nick if we switch perspective and accept that Howie is the classic standard for The Hero? Are AJ’s shapeshifting powers muddling how I feel about his role? Are you still focused on me giving you a mild spoiler about Brian and not addressing it? Or are you wondering why I wanted to bring up the Backstreet Project in a discussion about PBox and not Gobosei? Always here to chat. See you next Wednesday.
Logged

~*Dee*~

People think it would be fun to be a bird because you could fly. But they forget the negative side, which is the preening.

From "And Now, Deep Thoughts" by Jack Handey

nicksgal
Supreme Time Waster
*******
Posts: 10954


Fool, said my Muse, look in thy heart and write


WWW
« Reply #73 on: May 26, 2021, 07:43:16 PM »

If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. Feedback is always appreciated. Smiley

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos

Pandora's Box on AO3

Please find updates as follows (links included in titles):

Chapter Twenty-Four ("Exchange") of Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos

Chapter Seventeen ("Den of Demons") of Pandora's Necklace on AO3 (You've been able to read this chapter here at AC since March and it's probably sill one of my favorites; feedback is always appreciated.)

Enjoy! Continue to feel free to ask me anything and get answers! Thank you again to everyone reading! See you next Wednesday!
Logged

~*Dee*~

People think it would be fun to be a bird because you could fly. But they forget the negative side, which is the preening.

From "And Now, Deep Thoughts" by Jack Handey

nicksgal
Supreme Time Waster
*******
Posts: 10954


Fool, said my Muse, look in thy heart and write


WWW
« Reply #74 on: June 02, 2021, 09:00:55 PM »

I have no Author Talk this week, because it has been a week, but I decided to start adding some more little author notes to the end of the chapters. Here's the one from AO3's update this week because it's not particularly spoilery:

When I initially posted PBox, a friend/reader said I was "cruel" for letting AJ interrupt Nick and Minako's wedding night (in Chapter Twenty-Nine: Demonic Heart), so I suppose I continue to be cruel, haha. Anything I can do to keep our hero celibate, right? I wonder if that will ever change! (She said possibly facetiously.)

Nick's dreams have played an important part in PNecklace since the beginning. Much of the story is focused on Nick figuring things out and piecing together his memories and self. Realistically, they've probably been there all along, he just buried them in an attempt to forget his pain. Trauma is difficult when you're a child, but he also figured out at some point that he didn't really want the box or any divine miracle, he just wanted anyone to accept him as is (and that's the thing he really needed despite wanting differently in the beginning). In PNecklace he grapples with wanting to be stronger; wonder what the thing he really needs is? I ask this facetiously as always -- of course I know the answer.

Thanks for reading! See you on Sunday for the first Sunday Sizzlin' Summer extra update! Anyone else have thoughts on Nick's dreams? I'd love to hear them! Smiley


If you would still like to read PBox, I will include both location links below. While all fifty chapters of PBox are complete, it is still undergoing the tiniest cursory edit where I change the paragraph alignment of the "~*~" and fix a couple errant commas, but otherwise it's all there. Feedback is always appreciated. Smiley

Pandora's Box on Absolute Chaos

Pandora's Box on AO3

Please find updates as follows (links included in titles):

Chapter Twenty-Five ("Cost") of Pandora's Necklace on Absolute Chaos (I'm posting this slightly early, it will be up in the next half hour or so.)

Chapter Eighteen ("Centered") of Pandora's Necklace on AO3  (You've been able to read this on AC since April.)

Enjoy! Continue to feel free to ask me anything and get answers! Thank you again to everyone reading! I'll be posting Chapter Nineteen on AO3 on Sunday, but won't be updating this thread then since you've been able to read it here on AC since April. See you next Wednesday! Feedback is always appreciated as I catch my two cross postings up to each other (or if you're loving what's currently on AC). Smiley
Logged

~*Dee*~

People think it would be fun to be a bird because you could fly. But they forget the negative side, which is the preening.

From "And Now, Deep Thoughts" by Jack Handey

Pages: 1 ... 3 4 [5] 6
Print
Jump to: