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Team J.A.F.



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An Unlikely Sequel

Posted by xccj , in Stories, TV Jun 25 2014 · 128 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.)

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Location Settings

Posted by xccj , in Stories Dec 13 2013 · 117 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?
 
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Story Finished

Posted by xccj , in News, Stories Nov 19 2013 · 109 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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Flamability

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts, Stories Nov 13 2013 · 123 views
SCIENCE, Chemisty and 1 more...
So story writing for NaNo got interrupted by a scientific study.
 
See, I have this potential scene where the enemy is using electricity, and the protagonist is waaaaay out gunned. So (SPOILER) he decides to douse the baddie with water and use electrolysis (powered by the baddie's electricity) to split the H2O into H and O. Then he'd use a spark to make the gas explode around the antagonist, thus winning in an unconventional way and showing that he paid attention in chemistry class (which is actually a theme of the story.)
 
But of course, I then had to consider an important fact of would this work? At all? The electrolysis part is good (use electricity to split water molecules into individual atoms) but I wasn't sure if the resulting gases would actually combust. At first I thought that the oxygen would be the one burning; I watched some recent show where they increased the pure oxygen count and threatened to blow the entire place up with just a spark. However, this is partially wrong; for stuff to burn, one of the key ingredients is oxygen, which the combusting atoms could fuse to to form CO2 or something. (Still, I guess adding oxygen allows increases the combustibility of other materials, but on it's own, it won't do anything.)
 
Luckily, my scenario is saved because Hydrogen is like extremely flammable. Like, "Hey, I'm the primary element burning in the sun" flammable. Like "Hey, I filled the Hindenburg and you remember what happened when that got lit up" flammable. So my scenario holds. Kind of. To truly test it, I would need to see if turning the sprinklers on a person who was shooting out electricity would produce enough hydrogen to cause a sizeable explosion... but sadly I'm missing some of the key ingredients. (Any person with electrical powers want to volunteer?)
 
Still, I found some interesting articles of flammability. (I hope my Google searches don't raise too many questions; I'm researching for a fictional story, nothing more!!) Anyway, one article was how to tell if something is flammable. It went something like this?
 
  • Does it have a flammable symbol on the container?
  • Does it say the word "flammable" on the container?
  • Does it catch on fire when you light it with a match?
 
(That last one may have been an addition of my own.) But yeah, basically, not quite the scientific explanation I was looking for.
 
I also need to research the physics of jumping off a moving vehicle on the freeway and safely landing on the ground. I may stretch the facts a bit with that particular scene. (Somehow, I really love the idea of a fight scene jumping from car rooftops on a busy freeway... moving fast enough to cause problems if one hits the ground, but with the cars still driving close enough to each other... again, this is a hard one to test out IRL.)
 
And stuff came up so I'll probably be busy for the rest of the month starting next week, so I need to finish this story quickly. Shame I'm only just at the expected word count right now... still worried that the story will naturally end before I reach 50K.
 
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Genre Masher

Posted by xccj , in Stories Nov 11 2013 · 152 views

I'm a little behind on my story.  Part of it comes from preparing for job interviews.  Another part comes from just not being in the mood to write.  (Which I guess is something NaNo is supposed to fight, but whatev.)
 
But one thing I had to consider when cataloguing the story was what its genre was.  And its hard for me to pin it down to one thing.  Here's why.
  • It has definite science fiction elements to it, primarily involving the protagonist and his team.  There's also a lot of scientific explanations thrown around to cover various things.
  • But at the same time, the antagonist and his minions have a fantasy feel to them.  (And science fiction and fantasy are very distinct genres.)
  • There's also a fairly in depth mystery going on here.  But not a mystery in the sense of "somebody died, find the killer" but "okay, just what is the antagonist up to?"
  • And there's lots of martial arts action scenes.
So really, what would I categorize it as?  It contains a fair amount of many types of genres.  I'm labeling it as "adventure" because I think it has the feel of an action-adventure movie / story most of all.  But it is kind of hard to pin down.  It's a story world that I created on my own, so just exactly what genre should it fit into?
 
But anyway, more writing to be done.  Yay.
 
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So, Update on Story Stuff?

Posted by xccj , in News, Stories Nov 01 2013 · 100 views

The most ironic thing about the shutdown?  I was one chapter shy of finishing my repost of my epic Kulagi's Kanoka.  Now, after a second data loss, I have to repost it AGAIN.  I'm not angry or anything (nobody was reviewing it anyway) but I find the irony amusing.
 
So I'm going to try and repost it.  (And get my post count up some more... gee, I lost all of like 30 posts!  That's a lot for me!)  No, seriously, I'm reposting it! Maybe try to do it faster than last time.  Maybe not.  I've also considered posting it elsewhere online.  I mean, I've come across other fan fiction sites before.  But I'm hesitant to do so because it probably wouldn't get me any new reviewers, and because I'm too fond of the BZP library, even in its excess of inactivity.  I might do it at some point, but I'll focus on BZP first.  At the very least, I have a good copy saved on my laptop AND external harddrive.
 
(Additionally, I found that somebody also copied my epic Time Disruption onto some Bionicle fan fiction wiki, so even tho it was without my permission, it still means that it's out there on the internet.  Doesn't bother me, except that maybe they should've copied a few of my other stories too.  :P )
 
And even tho the lack of reviews kinda depressed me, I did start a mini sequel to Kulagi's Kanoka, set during the Dark Hunter wars.  I'd love to post it here eventually and get people's take on it... but I kinda already know that nobody would read and review it.  I had a hard enough time getting reviews when BZP was in its golden age... can't expect much now when the library is almost a graveyard.
 
And finally, I'm thinking about doing NaNo this year again.  I'm kinda harsh on the whole National November Writing Month thing, because I view myself as better than them cause I can write whenever I want to, and I work on quality over quantity, (And even then I can produce some quantity... even tho quality is only determined by me.)  But between having a few stories I need to rewrite and still technically being unemployed, I have the time to do it, so I should challenge myself.  Although it will be different than the first time I really participated.  Then, I used existing characters from one of my original story themes and wrote a new story.  This time, I'm planning to rewrite a story that I lost years ago.  This means that I know all the basic plot twists and how it ends and everything waaaaay in advance, so I just need to push myself to type it up and flesh it out.  The issue is that I'm pretty sure the original one I wrote years ago was more like 30,000 - 40,000 words, so I dunno if it'll hit the 50,000 word mark before I finish it.  But if that happens, so what, I'll have one of my stories completed!  (The NaNo I did three years ago was 51,000 after one month, but incomplete.  I finally wrote the finale this summer, and it finished at about 72,000.)
 
But don't worry, I don't plan on posting it here and asking you to review it.  :P  Heck, the 582 word blog entry is already pushing it for your expected attention span.  Oh well.
 
Maybe tomorrow I'll write a blog updating some MOC things I've been working on.  :P
 
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NANO Completed

Posted by xccj , in Stories Aug 14 2013 · 116 views

I just completed my NANO Story from 2010.
 
So back in 2010, I participated in the National November Writing Month thingy whatever.  The one where you write 50,000 words in 30 days.  Huge time consumer, and didn't help that I was in over my head as far as school was concerned.  But by the end of the month, I was just over the word count mark.  But the problem was that my story was only partially over; I had set it up for the big climaxe, but didn't continue it.
 
And then the story got put on hold.
 
Fast forward to this summer.  I decided to retackle this, since I had the plot all figured out, and just needed to write in the details and battle.  (The idea was based on a 7 sins idea that I totally stole from Makaru and Kumata back in the day)  In the process, I added another bunch of words, so the final count is 73,280.  Not quite my longest story ever, but its pretty impressive.
 
For the record, my Time Disruption story was 88,000 ish words long, and my Slizers epic was almost at 120,000 words, and that was also a WIP.  My longest story is currently at 220,000 words, but I've been adding to it for four years now... and those are the longest ones I have to offer.
Now I have like 4 other WIPs I should start working on.  Oh, and that whole "find a job" thing should also take priority, right?
 
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Palm Pilot

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts, Stories May 23 2013 · 90 views

So, way back in the day, there were these devices called Palm Pilots or something.  They could include calendars and notepads and other stuff on them.  Basically, I always saw them as hand held computers, although clearly they were limited compared to desktops.  This was like in the early 2000s.  I know a couple of my classmates had some.
 
And back in 2003 or 2004 (I forget when) I wrote this adventure story that I'm sure I've mentioned here before.  It was about four friends getting trapped in a virtual game, where if they die there they die for real, and the only way out was to win the game.  (Rip off of Sword Art Online?  No, I finished this before then.  It was a rip-off of some other cartoon idea.  :P )  But one guy was able to keep out of the game, and he spend the story hacking into the program and trying to free the friends.  At one point, his desktop is compromised, so he downloads the data onto his palm pilot and goes mobile.  The palm pilot is integral to him finally figuring out the coding in the end.
 
The problem?  Well, I'm updating the story again, and something occurred to me.  Palm Pilots totally want out of style, and were never quite the extravagant hand held computers anyway.  But... well, what I described does sound familiar, doesn't it?  Oh yeah, smart phones.  Everybody and their dog has one nowadays, and they're clearly not a passing fad.
 
So, should I replace the palm pilot in the story with a smart phone?  It would be a little more accurate and true to current technology.  But it's also a classic part of my story which follows the technology of that era.  So, opinions?
 
(I know, first world dilemma for sure!)
 
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Emotional

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts, Stories Dec 18 2012 · 129 views

What is it with some of these Anime?  12 episodes and I get emotionally attached to the characters and moved by the finale.  Doesn't happen a lot for other shows I watch.  Maybe it's cause I'm watching entire seasons back to back instead of drawn out... but still.
 
And by "moved" I mean slightly choked up but not bawling or anything.  :P  And this doesn't apply to everything.
 
It has made me think of some of my own writing experience.  Honestly, there is only one time I ever got choked up over my own writing, and that was when I killed off Duka in my Bionicle epic Time Disruption. (Oh, uh, spoiler?)  But in general, I've avoided tragic deaths in most of my writings.  Sure, I have bad things happen to the characters, and the endings aren't always 100% perfect, but usually most of them survive.  Well, there is one story where I killed off all the supporting characters, one at a time, and the protagonist had an emotional breakdown, but it didn't happen to me as a writer.  (Because he used time travel to go back and change the chain of events, thus leading to only a few deaths of supporting characters... uh, yeah, spoiler again!)  But the point is, I never got choked up as an author because I knew I was bringing the characters back.  In retrospect, Duka's death kind of came up at the last moment, and although I was expecting to give him a sad fate, his death just seemed to accidentally slide into place and thus the emotion felt more real.  (And Duka wasn't even one of the main characters either!)
 
But yeah, this doesn't normally happen.  I mean, Toy Story III is one movie where I got teared up a bit (not just the incinerator scene, but also the lost teddy bear scene, cause that actually did happen to me as a kid except without an exact replacement.)  And I guess the seventh Harry Potter book was a little sad in that chapter where he walks through the forest.  But do those Anime writers have nothing better to do than write moving stories with relatable characters??
 
That's it, I'm going back to watching the robot mecha gory ones instead.  :P
 
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Ninjago Story Contest Entry

Posted by xccj , in News, Stories Dec 10 2012 · 94 views

Woo Hoo, I managed to finish my story and enter it into the contest. Yay! You can read and review it Here.

What the Karzahni? I just wrote an extensive blog entry and then 90% of the text gets deleted when I posted it? Oh well, I guess I can go into the detailed about the story in a later entry. Suffice to say, I hope you'll take some time to read it, and I hope it does well in the contest. (It is quite long; the longest entry so far.)

So please review! Thanks! (Oh, and go enter the contest yourself, since it only has like 7 entries and the deadline's tonight.)

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Is that the light at the far end of the tunnel, or just the train.
~ Owl City

Lisztomania, think less but see it grow. Like a riot, like a riot, Oh.
~ Phoenix

I took a sip of something poison but I'll hold on tight.
~ Foster the People

Birds sing for you, you can make this blue sky blush
~ Oh Land

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
~ Train

But even the sun sets in paradise
~ Maroon 5
 
Crazy how that shipwreck meant my ship was coming in
~ Train (Again?)

So make now your ally, and leap before you look
~ Nothing's Carved In Stone
 
I'm just too much a coward to admit when I'm in need. 
~ Passion Pit
 
Just believe in far away, ikiru tame ni sore wa
~ Song Rider

Everything that drowns me makes me want to fly.
~ One Republic

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