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In Dallas

Posted by xccj , in Stories, News Nov 13 2015 · 100 views

Back in Dallas. Packed in 45 pounds of Lego in my suitcase, pretty sure some of it will be salvageable when I go to set it up tomorrow. Been interesting to be back, I guess. The 635 freeway was a total mess of construction the last time I was here, but now there's a fabulous expressway there. (Although Dallas traffic is as bad as Portlands, at least they do have a lot of infrastructure... Portland's roads are not expanding and only becoming more crowded.)

Anyway, I started that Hero Factory / Human world crossover story on my flight out. Going to enter it into NaNoWriMo now. I'll see how I do, since I'm clearly busy this month and only have vague ideas on the lot for it, but it'll give me something to do.

See y'all at Brick Universe Dallas tomorrow! (I mean, for those of you who are going.)



Hero Factory Story Idea

Posted by xccj , in Stories, Thoughts Nov 10 2015 · 99 views

Okay, I’ll lead up with this idea is not entirely original, but somehow I got it out of the end of a dream I had this morning and although the rest of the dream was kinda something else entirely, I remember this specific idea and thought it might be cool to expand on and now I’m working out the story in my head and all that stuff...


The basic premise: The main Hero characters are somehow defeated and only their cores remain. Throw in some cross-dimensional rifts and stuff. They end up on earth. A human picks up the hero core. Hero is summoned. Run around world finding other Heroes. Yay!

The premise is kind of campy. Like, I can name at least three Anime I’ve seen that do this; something is trapped inside some small, carry-able object and can be released to do battle. (And to my credit, Pokemon is like the third one I thought of.) But none of those Anime have been particularly intriguing to me, so I can’t help but think this plot point might be a little too market-y, gotta-collect-them-all type of a thing. But I have some ideas that would let me explore the Heroes as characters (something the tv show only did moderately well in the first season) and also play around with maybe a few human characters I haven’t really tried before. (One problem is, some of those ideas I want to try may be a bit to “adult” for BZPower.)

I dunno, I might try it out and post it here, just to do something differently. I haven’t posted a whole lot of “real world” stories on BZP before, mostly Bionicle. This would be a “Hero Factory characters in the real world” but still counts.



Reposting Another Story

Posted by xccj , in Stories Mar 25 2015 · 108 views

And it's Mystery on Keli-Nui.

It's the story that I entered for the Epics Mystery contest that I got few comments on, so I'm going to try again to get few to no comments! And I realize that I'm totally copying Spirit as he's reposting his epic from that same contest (which was a pretty good one and deservingly placed higher than mine) but I was totally contemplating reposting this at the beginning of the month, so I'm not entirely copying him. :P

Actually, it has to do more with finishing reposting my other epic Kulagi's Kanoka. And this is one of four Bionicle epics I still have access too... and it's only a few chapters long, and it's finished, so it seems ideal for reposting. (Also, I found another spin-off of Kulagi's Kanoka that I started but only got a few chapters into, and it's better than the original sequel that I had planned out, so I might start on that one again and eventually post it... but do people really want lengthy stories from Gen1 anymore?) (Oh, and I have that BZ-Koro epic, but the layout for that kind of requires writing it short bits at a time, but I still plan to keep up at it.)

Hey look at me, writing again! Or rather, planning to! Let's see how long this lasts!



Jimmy Eat World and Story Updates

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts, Stories Mar 03 2015 · 156 views

I dunno how common place they are, but I've been listening to the band Jimmy Eat World lately. Also, their band name. :P

I mean, I originally had their album back in 2001, which was I guess their breakout album? (And I had it on CD! For those too young to remember, that's how we used to store our music... which was a step up from cassettes, which were a step from records, ext... okay really CDs aren't that old of a technology.) But while I was a fan of their music then, I wasn't really following much current music in the early 2000s (I was more obsessive with 80s music at that point) so I never really listened to any of their other albums.

So now I just bought two of their later albums, and man their songs are still pretty good! I feel like quoting a bunch of them on social media, but then realize it's pretty lame to be quoting decade-old songs just cause I'm now hearing them for the first time. On the other hand, my posts in general probably fall under the "lame" category so I might do it anyway. *ahem* "Can't keep safe what wants to break. I'm alone in this, I'm as I've always been: right behind what's happening. She's lost in this, she's like she'll always be; a little far for me to reach."

Um, anyway, in story news, I'm thinking about maybe reposting some of my old stories. By that, I mean I'm actively going to finish reposting Kulagi's Kanoka, which I had posted about half the chapter for in 2013. I think I may have finished reposting it, but there was a data loss, and I lost the second half of it again. :shrugs: Nobody ever did review it the second time, but I remember I had some great readers when I initially posted it, so can't ask for more than that. Just want it here to prove that, yes, I did used to write fan fiction here on BZP, even if most of it has been wiped out in data losses.

This also makes me consider reposting another one of my stories, Mystery on Keli-Nui. It was for a mystery epics contest back in the day. (The theme was mystery, not that the contest itself was mysterious.) I was really pleased with how it turned out, even if it had a few weak spots. But while it got past the initial group of judges and made it into the finals, absolutely nobody voted for it (probably cause it was the second longest story in the entire contest, but it did lose to bonesiii's story, which was like 3 times longer. Yes, I am jealous.) and only one person ever commented it on it in a brief post, so I kinda felt dejected. (Especially when the good jokes in it got overlooked.) Not really expecting anything different this time round, but would anybody be interested? (It was only 14 chapters, and if those were spaced out over a couple of weeks it wouldn't be so bad right ;) )

Might work on my BZ-Koro story soon. I know where I want to go with the next chapter (based on what the members voted for) but just need to get it in writing. And it's bad timing, because I have Bricks Cascade to prepare for.)




Writing Fight Scenes

Posted by xccj , in Stories Feb 28 2015 · 173 views

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I have this ongoing project of rewriting a bunch of my stories that I lost when my laptop was stolen years ago. It’s crazy, since it’s been 7-8 years since that incident, and I still have a backlog of stories I want to redo. But I’m also revisiting them, updating them, improving them, ext, so it’s a lengthy process. Add to the fact that I don’t exactly have a ton of free time anymore to write, but I get inspired in short spurts, and make a little progress here and there. (And I want to finish my backlog of stories in a series, so I can focus more on new material.)

But anyway, I just completely a lengthy fight scene from one of my stories. Back in the day, I remember this particular story standing out for the outstanding level of details I went into with the fight scenes, more than I had ever before. But my style has improved since then, and now most of my fight sequences as just as detailed. Still, I wanted to go all out on this one, so it’s required some extra effort to get it down. I’m not sure if the current version stands up or not (it doesn’t help that I’m the only one who reads these, so there’s ever only really one opinion in play) but it seems okay for now.

But when trying to make it stand out, I’m realizing how hard it is to come up with cool new ideas. I mean, I’m probably more violent-minded that most (in that I spend way too much time choreographing fight sequences in my head.) But I have like zero real world experience or training, so really it’s just my flavor of Hollywood style actions. (I’d like to think I stay realistic, but I’m sure some of the sequences are nigh physically impossible to pull off. Oh well.) But see, I like going into more detail than “he threw a punch,” ext. But I’m finding that I’m starting to exhaust my ideas. Half the ideas that jump to my mind have been done in my other stories, and I don’t want to get into some sort of rehashing situation. And I’m coming to realize that I need to be far more creative with how I orchestrate my scenes in the future, or else they’ll go stale and be boring. And since I’m the one also reading, I don’t want em to be boring. (I also want to experiment with some more characterizations; I have a few varied ones, but I keep revisiting them in multiple stories, and I feel like I need to bring in something fresh to challenge myself as a writer. Then I remember I’m not a career writer and this is merely just a pastime, not to mention one that I’m not necessarily comfortable sharing.)

Eh, sorry for the writer-rambling stuff. And all this, and I still don’t have a new update for my BZ-Koro story. Between preparing for Bricks Cascade and writing my own stories the last few nights, I haven’t touched it yet. I’ll update it eventually; I hope nobody’s too impatient about finding out what happens next.



BZ-Koro Story: Chapter 1

Posted by xccj , in Stories Nov 17 2014 · 148 views

I finally got the first chapter up!

I make no promises in how fast I'll update this, cause I'll be writing it on the fly, but so long as there's interest, I'll make every attempt to keep it moving forward. Maybe it'll be enough to get me back to writing regularly again. That's the first "story" chapter I've written in about a year.

You guys did give me quite a cast of characters to work with. Quite a lot of "loners" for this group adventure, and half of ya are experts at Bionicle mythology in general. :P I'm making some tweaks here and there to make for a more well-rounded group, but if you have any issues, let me know!

Now go and read it! And just because there seem to be a lot of random name thrown around at first, I'll be organizing the characters soon enough. I'll say I hope to have the next chapter up in a few days... so maybe expect it a week later than that? I dunno, I'm bad with fansite deadlines now that I have a real job. :rolleyes:



Wanna Be in a BZP Story?

Posted by xccj , in Stories Nov 09 2014 · 730 views

EDIT: I've started on this, so any new entries will not be major characters.

I have an idea for a new story to celebrate the return of Bionicle. Specifically, a story featuring members of BZ-Koro, the virtual village where Bionicle fans hang out. (An analogy for BZPower, obviously.) I planning to use a few story tricks I’ve done previously, and one of those is to have members submit their names to become major characters!

All you’d have to do is fill out a short entry form in this blog and I’ll consider making you a character. Depending on how many entries I get, you may or may not get to be a main character, but I’ll do my best to make sure everybody who submits gets into the story. (And people are more interested in stories they’re in, so I hope to garner some readership that way too. :P ) You can pick your character traits, as stated below, so that I’ll be basing it off what you want to be like rather than just my impression of you. ;) (Some higher staffies will be in this regardless. How else are we supposed to have a supreme overlord if I don’t include Black Six?) That said, I do reserve the right to make slight alterations to characters to fit the story. (Or, if, y’know, you make yourself too powerful.)

Anyway, entry submission time!!
  • Name: Generally based off your username, but pick one if you change it often, or pick a shorter nickname if your original is way long. So like somebody called “Blardy The Super Cool Toa of Extremeness” will get it shortened to “Blardy.” If you’d like to think up something entirely original, go ahead, I guess, but then people won’t recognize it as you. :sly:
  • Area of Expertise: What’s something you know a lot about, Bionicle-wise. Is it masks? Weapons? Characters? Locations? Can you craft stuff, or are you stealthy? Choose something fairly limited, like a simple profession or area of study. Forge disks, purify protodermis, study Rahi, knowledgeable in Bionicle history? (This is one where I might tweak things if you try to godmod the character.)
  • Mask: Choose a mask of power that you can use. It’ll be Great Mask level, and let’s limit it to the common ones, so no legendary masks of time, light, life, creation, shadows, energy, ext.
  • Weapon / Element: You can choose a weapon that has elemental powers. Like a fire sword or earth hammer. You can pick the design and the element, but no extra gimmicks.
  • Side: Are you good or evil? Or are you a turncoat? If you want to be the latter, enter in which side you want to appear as, and then PM me the details so we can keep it a secret. :sly:
  • Motivation: Answer this question: Why would you embark on a quest? For the fame, or for the fortune? Help me learn what makes your character act.
  • Fatal Flaw: Here’s where you deviate your character from yourself (or at least claim to.) Pick some sort of unique downside to your character. Are they afraid of snakes? Can’t swim. Weakness to lightstones? Inexplicitly turn into a koala one a day for just fifteen minutes? Be creative here, and it’ll challenge me to include this into the story!
  • Other Details: If there’s something else about your character that you want to include that’s not covered above. Don’t go into too much detail here, cause there’s only so much characterization I can pull off, but something extra to add your special personality to the character in the story.
Aaaaaand that’s all I’ve got for now. I might start writing in a few days or so, depending on how quickly I get entries. (Or if nobody is interested I’ll just scrap the project.) But thanks for reading, now submit your own character!



An Unlikely Sequel

Posted by xccj , in Stories, TV Jun 25 2014 · 243 views

Gosh, I had this excellent idea for a sequel for one of my stories, and now I can't get it out of my head! The stories and characters just keep expanding in my head, allowing me to create new character dynamics while also retaining some of my originals and stuff and I'm kind of really excited for it.

The problem is... the original isn't finished.

And like, this is a story that I've been working on since... well, let's say 2000. The basic premise for it developed back then, and I didn't start typing it out until 2003, and it got expanded upon so much that it was one of my longer in-progress stories ever... until I lost most of it when my laptop was stolen in 2007. In 2009, I started the haunting task of rewriting it (to remove inconsistencies, and generally improve the writing.) I've had periods where I've worked on it ever since, but the last time I typed it up was last summer, and I haven't had time to progress on it since. And I'm only 80% finished with my rewrite of the original, which had only begun to reach the climax. I have the ideas of where I want it to go and the directions I want my characters to develop in, but I just haven't had the time and/or inspiration to sit down and type it out. (Having a job does that to you, I guess.)

TL/DR, I'm nowhere near to finishing this story even though I've been working on it for a long time.

So I should focus my efforts on the original and not the sequel (especially since I haven't worked on ANY of my stories since last summer) BUT instead I find myself jotting down plot points for the sequel. GAH.

In other news, I FINALLY got my LEGO Movie discs in. *grumbles about stupid amazon for delaying my order* And I guess it turns out if you want to watch the blu-ray movie, you need an actual blu-ray player, which my computer is apparently now. I got the EVERYTHING IS AWESOME set, so it also comes with the DVD, so I could watch that, but this DVD doesn't contain any of the special features, which I was looking forward to. (Okay, it does have commentary, but while I generally like watching a movie with commentary [see LotR] I was not overly impressed. The directors pointed out a few interesting bits, but mostly it was the voice actors just messing around.) Don't get me wrong, I'm glad to finally have it on a media where I can go frame-by-frame to catch back-ground things. But still kinda peeved that I can't enjoy the extra features yet. (Oh, or the 3D version, which I guess I need a 3D TV for.) But the young Vitruvius is great. (Yeah, so the cape isn't 100% movie accurate... it's still cool, get over yourselves.)



Location Settings

Posted by xccj , in Stories Dec 13 2013 · 162 views

Hey look I'm going back to referencing an arch of stories that I've never posted online and probably never will but I'll talk about them anyway.
So, my story is set in a city. A very specific city. It has a fairly developed down town, with plenty of skyscrapers and major businesses. It also has a well-developed port area, with lots of warehouses and shipping yards on a bay. Plus it hosts a major university, and about an hour’s drive away are fields for farming.
The problem is that I have never named this city.
Maybe I've read too many Animorph books, where they've always been ambiguous about the exact location where everything's taking place. And while in some of the earlier stories it wasn't a big deal about what city it was in, some of the latter ones have me going out of my way to keep the city anonymous. I'm starting to worry that I may be going in the wrong direction.
And this is not based off any particular city either, but rather a mesh of what I want for my fictitious location. I guess a fair bit is based on Seattle, but the locations are less cut up by inlets like that city is. And it doesn't really fit with the geography of Portland either, although the freeway through the middle of down town concept is similar. Perhaps it could fit with some place in California, but in general I would place them on the east coast. And I haven't even mentioned any mountains, which do vary between the various cities.
So the way I see it, I have three options. One is to continue to have an unnamed city, and then just add features to it as I need them for the story. The other is to create a fictitious city, like Gotham or Angel Grove, which would theoretically be a city in the US but won't actually exist. (Also like Kokomo) The third is I should just choose a city that fits in well enough and stick with it. (Although if it's not Seattle or Portland, then it'll be a lot harder to write about accurately.)
So, does anybody have any thoughts on this? What have you done for your stories?


Story Finished

Posted by xccj , in News, Stories Nov 19 2013 · 155 views

So, yeah, at 50,281 words, I finished my story for NaNo. Like, legitly finished too. I was actually getting worried as I was writing the final scenes, wondering it it would make it over the cut, and it just barely did. I expect when I got back to re-edit and trim the fat, it'll drop below the mark. That's what happened to the one I wrote last time. Although this time I don't have as many scenes that would be as unnecessary. Plus, I would estimate that a good third of it is fighting scenes. I went into a lot of detail and threw together a lot of may-not-actually-be-physically-possible moves. I tried not to be too repetitive, but I'll have to see how a read through goes later this month.
But the reason why I rushed to finish so early was because I started work on Monday. And now I have much less free time. The 8 hour days (plus an hour for lunch) are kinda hard on my after spending a summer unemployed. (Yeah, yeah, I know I shouldn't complain, and I'll just have to get used to it.) But then add on to that a three hour commute per day and it's like "Where'd the time go?" I guess this is the part of life where ya never have any free time. Oh well, I guess it's about time I joined the working crowd and start earning my keep.
Heck, I even have two or three different ideas for the BBC Contest, but no free time to build!  (And i won't be able to until after the contest ends.)  I also want to make some things to send to the Bionicle conventions, so maybe I'll throw some stuff together this weekend if I'm able.

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Is that the light at the far end of the tunnel, or just the train.
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Lisztomania, think less but see it grow. Like a riot, like a riot, Oh.
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I took a sip of something poison but I'll hold on tight.
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Birds sing for you, you can make this blue sky blush
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On the other side of the street I knew, stood a girl that looked like you.
I guess that's Déjà vu, but I thought this can't be true
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But even the sun sets in paradise
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Crazy how that shipwreck meant my ship was coming in
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So make now your ally, and leap before you look
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I'm just too much a coward to admit when I'm in need.
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Just believe in far away, ikiru tame ni sore wa
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Everything that drowns me makes me want to fly.
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