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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:21 am 
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Howdy, pardners!

So, the calendar tells me that it's November, which is better known as the month of the year when I lie to myself, and tell myself that this will be the year when I actually finish NaNoWriMo, even as I know in my heart of hearts that what will actually happen is that I will keep with the program for maybe a few days, then miss a chapter, then go into a panic trying to get back on pace, and then quietly fizzle-out around the one-week mark, before burying my terrible unfinished crime novel in a landfill in the New Mexico desert in the dead of night.

But I steadfastly refuse to learn from my own mistakes, so here we are again, and I'm going to give this thing one more shot...

In an effort to make the exercise more achievable, I decided I'm going to shelve the goddamn crime novel, and do a Jakkard story this year. I'm not sure what that story will be, but we'll see where it takes us, and how long I can keep it rolling. And, in an effort to apply some sort of external shame pressure to myself, I'm going to post the results here each day, so there's no hiding for me if I fall off the wagon.

Anyway, I will apologize in advance, because you're all going to get these "chapters" (a word I use only in the loosest possible sense of the term) exactly as they come out of my word processor, all hot and steamy and riddled with typos and plot holes and continuity errors. Because I know that, if I actually stop to edit or even to think too hard about what I'm doing, I'm not going to hit my daily quotas. So, yeah, sorry in advance. Here's your chance to peer into the terrifying underbelly of what I euphemistically call my "process." :blush:

I owe an extra apology-in-advance to the long-suffering Raven, given that I'm planning to borrow one of his characters for this magically mystery tour. The only exculpatory factor I can offer in my defense is that it was not done with malice aforethought. This was just the idea which popped into my head at the last second, and I'm going to do my best to run with it.

The good news is, if I do Raven's ridder wrong, there's always that New Mexico landfill, waiting and ready swallow the evidence. God bless you, little landfill. You've done yeoman's work these many long years.

Anyway, here's the snippet which burst into my head last night, and which I'm going to use as my prompt for the story. Hopefully we find a beginning and an end to go along with this middle...

Somewhere in the Waste, in a Town Called "Heaven's Door":

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:26 pm 
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Day 1

Chapter 1


(To be continued... didn't get to the end of the chapter, but I'm breaking for tonight.)

EDIT: Now finished. Added the second half of chapter 1.

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Last edited by OrcishLibrarian on Fri Nov 02, 2018 8:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 8:19 pm 
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Day 2 -- finished chapter 1 (edited into post above).

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:45 pm 
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Day 3 -- start of chapter 2. Most of the day was lost at the airport, so not much writing done. Optimistic I will finish the chapter tomorrow; will edit to add here.

Chapter 2


EDITED (day 4) -- chapter 2 now finished, ending added-in via edit.

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Last edited by OrcishLibrarian on Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:48 pm 
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I owe an extra apology-in-advance to the long-suffering Raven, given that I'm planning to borrow one of his characters for this magically mystery tour. The only exculpatory factor I can offer in my defense is that it was not done with malice aforethought. This was just the idea which popped into my head at the last second, and I'm going to do my best to run with it.

The good news is, if I do Raven's ridder wrong, there's always that New Mexico landfill, waiting and ready swallow the evidence. God bless you, little landfill. You've done yeoman's work these many long years.

Hey, I'm not Scar's father, and...

Scar: "You're damn right you're not, 'cause if you were, I dust you so fast you couldn't even make a pun about it."

Er… what I meant to say is that Scar's out on her own, and I'm just thrilled to see her out making a name for herself in those great wide Wastes. Scar has become one of my very favorite characters, and I'm always thrilled when she shows up in somebody else's story. Orcish, that TNSC story you wrote where Jackie is teaching Scar how to shoot is one of my favorite things on this site, so seeing Scar here take center stage is a really cool thing, and definitely has me looking forward to November.

Scar's frustration in dealing with Tosser is very identifiable to me. I am constantly telling my students not to do things that they then go and do. I then leave comments on their papers not to do it again, and then they do it again. I then take time in class to carefully and slowly explain why they should not do it, and then they do it anyway. I can't begin to tell you how often I think of that Futurama quote: "I'm a professor! Why isn't anyone listening to me?!?"

I should also point out that, owing to the sheer quantity of British comedy shows I've watched, I get a chuckle out of Tosser's moniker...

Anyway, I like the little temptation that Acey gives in the prologue. Speaking of names, every time I see Acey's, I think of Home Alone, and the movie-within-a-movie, Angels with Filthy Souls, and I just think "Too bad Acey ain't in charge no more." And of course, with mention of his sister, I think of The Outlaw Josie Wales. So yeah, very cinematic so far!

The last thing I'll say so far is that I like the sort-of countdown you had going on in Chapter one, with Sienna being the third-best shot, and Sage being the second-best shot. Poor Sage, he just had to miss once, didn't he? :D

Thanks for posting, Orcish! I look forward to seeing where this goes from here. By the way, if you would prefer that I not post commentary in this thread to keep it clean, like I did back in the WotW days, just let me know, and I'll delete and move this!


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:32 pm 
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Hey, I'm not Scar's father, and...

Scar: "You're damn right you're not, 'cause if you were, I dust you so fast you couldn't even make a pun about it."

Hah! :D


Er… what I meant to say is that Scar's out on her own, and I'm just thrilled to see her out making a name for herself in those great wide Wastes. Scar has become one of my very favorite characters, and I'm always thrilled when she shows up in somebody else's story. Orcish, that TNSC story you wrote where Jackie is teaching Scar how to shoot is one of my favorite things on this site, so seeing Scar here take center stage is a really cool thing, and definitely has me looking forward to November.

Well, thank you for the very kind words, Raven, and thank you so much for reading! I feel like it's going to be a strange ride all month long, so hopefully you're still looking forward to November come next week, and the week after that, and the week after that... :rofl:

Anyway, yeah, I obviously love Scar, too, and, when I realized that I wanted to try to write a Jakkard story, but that I didn't want to trot out my most common cast of characters one more time (pun largely intended), she sort of immediately popped into my mind as someone I'd like to try to tell a story with. And then -- as seems to be my wont, for some inexplicable reason -- I somehow caught hold of a scene from the middle of the story (namely, in this case, Scar's little exchange with Acey Wales, wherein Acey makes his offer/threat), and that gave me a purchase to try to work from. And so now I just sort of have to figure out how to get from the beginning to the middle, and from the middle to the end. :sweat:

Now, here's the part where I feel bad, and where, if I wasn't just doing this whole thing like Jason Statham in "Cranked 2" -- I CAN'T STOP FOR ANY REASON! -- I would be a responsible orc, and I would go back and re-read all the previous Scar stories to make sure that I actually got the details about her right, and that I was doing her voice correctly. Case in point -- does Scar have a last name? I couldn't remember! So I just gave her one! And it's not even a particularly good one, either. (As they say in Hollywood, we'll clean it up in post.) Another case in point -- does Scar drink? I'm not actually sure! Whiskey, obviously -- and one whiskey in particular -- is a pretty charged subject for her. But I can't remember, from "Scars," whether she was teetotal as a result, or whether she just doesn't drink much. So I have her drinking whiskey, here, which is possibly/probably wrong. (We'll clean it up in post.) Lastly, I have a vague sense that I've got Scar's tone wrong, so far. The Scar we see here is much harder, much gruffer, much more matter-of-fact than the Scar I seem to remember. Now, it's possible that we're just seeing a different side of her. She's a little older, now -- she's been ridding for a few years. Maybe that has changed the way she talks, the way she carries herself a bit. Maybe she even plays a bit of a role, for the benefit of her fellow ridders. After all, Scar does carry around a couple very big secrets that she would never allow out, not even to her trailmates. So maybe blending in is something of a survival imperative for her. But it's also possible that I'm just getting her slightly wrong. (We'll clean it up in post.)

(Hah, I'm just kidding -- there's no post. Gotta see how this thing turns out first before we even know if it's worth cleaning-up or not. That New Mexico landfill always beckons, if things go wrong...)

And, on a related note, part of that is probably that I think I'm subconsciously attempting a bit of a different tone, here, from some of my Jakkard stories. The goal here is not to lose the lightness, or the wonder, or the humor -- I like all those things about Jakkard, and I hope I can keep them. But this piece is also skewing a little harder, and I think that's semi-intentional. This is less an homage to sort of the golden age of westerns that it is to some of the harsher, more unforgiving (pun slightly intended) entries in that genre. So, maybe a little less "Maverick," maybe a little more Sergio Leone? (For one thing, there's a heck of a lot more swearing in this story than my average, and the dialect is a little more accented. Again, that's not me deliberately setting out to be edgy, or arty -- that's just how the characters are sounding in my head this time around.)

And maybe some of that tonal shift comes back -- fittingly enough -- to Bob Dylan. Because, of course, my time on Jakkard started out with "Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts," which, for all that it's about crime and murder, is an uncharacteristically upbeat song on an uncharacteristically dark and moody album, full of rollicking harmonica and sing-songy rhythm. Whereas -- spiritually, if not precisely literally -- this story drew some of its initial color palette from "Knocking on Heaven's Door," which, before a bunch of hair metal acts turned it into a power ballard, is a very dark, very emotionally-moving song in Dylan's original rendition. The song -- originally from the soundtrack to the movie "Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid," which features a genuinely ill-advised acting turn from one mister Robert Allen Zimmerman himself -- always gets me with it's lyrical simplicity, and its intense vulnerability. This is not a power ballad. It's a song about dying, and -- in a very real sense -- about fear. Dylan isn't often emotional -- and, when he is, the emotion is usually anger, or amusement. But, here, something peeks through the crack. Here -- maybe because he's pretending to play a role -- he allows himself some emotion. Here, you can hear him sounding vulnerable. And something about that song really moves me, and I think that's bleeding through into the story. I listened to "Knocking on Heaven's Door" *a lot* back when I was working on "Rest For the Wicked." That was the right mood for Jackie in that story. And it's back in my mind again, here.



Again, if I can digress for a second, look at the lyrical simplicity of this song, and how much it says with so little. This is not the freewheeling, amphetamine fueled, "I don't want to hear no folk playing," rhyming-just-to-hear-himself-rhyme Dylan of "Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again." (Which is another song which I love, love, love, for completely different reasons. That's Dylan at his other peak -- a man infatuated with the sound of language, and almost indifferent to meaning.) Here, this song is really only two verses long, with only nine unique lines:

Quote:
Mama, take this badge off of me
I can’t use it anymore
It’s gettin’ dark, too dark for me to see
I feel like I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door

Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door

Mama, put my guns in the ground
I can’t shoot them anymore
That long black cloud is comin’ down
I feel like I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door

Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door

But, good God, how much do those 9 lines say? How much do just those first two lines say? And then you get to the refrain, which sends a chill down my spine every single time...

...But that's an awfully long answer to a question which no one actually asked. I have a strange habit of giving those, don't I?

Anyway, back to the original discussion, I'm really glad that you liked that little story about Jackie teaching Scar to shoot. (Or even remember it, for that matter!) Because I like it, too. :) And, interestingly enough, that story was named for a Sheryl Crow song, because a bunch of TNSC stories were named for Sheryl Crow songs, because (of course) Tuesday Night Story Club itself was a takeoff on the name of a Sheryl Crow album. And Sheryl Crow, as we all know, is one of the many people who have covered Bob Dylan. So you can see how this was all connected from the very beginning, and was all part of my well-laid -- dare I say Ravenesque? -- plan.

(Nah, I'm just kidding. This is all a coincidence. I'm making all this up as I go. You all know me well enough to know when I have a plan, and when I don't, and this adventure ain't planned. Miss Red would not approve...)


Scar's frustration in dealing with Tosser is very identifiable to me. I am constantly telling my students not to do things that they then go and do. I then leave comments on their papers not to do it again, and then they do it again. I then take time in class to carefully and slowly explain why they should not do it, and then they do it anyway. I can't begin to tell you how often I think of that Futurama quote: "I'm a professor! Why isn't anyone listening to me?!?"

Hah, well, I'm glad that Tosser rings true in that sense! I confess to having worried that maybe Tosser was just a bit too dense and stubborn to be believed... but maybe that's what makes him believable, in a weird sort of way? :D


I should also point out that, owing to the sheer quantity of British comedy shows I've watched, I get a chuckle out of Tosser's moniker...

Hah, I am so bad at writing names. I will do literally almost anything to get out of having to come up with proper names for my characters. :)


Anyway, I like the little temptation that Acey gives in the prologue. Speaking of names, every time I see Acey's, I think of Home Alone, and the movie-within-a-movie, Angels with Filthy Souls, and I just think "Too bad Acey ain't in charge no more." And of course, with mention of his sister, I think of The Outlaw Josie Wales. So yeah, very cinematic so far!

Oh, wow, I wouldn't have ever remembered that an "Acey" name-dropped in that "Home Alone" scene. But, now that I do know it, I love it! :D

Acey just came about because I had the idea that the gang in the story would be headed by a brother and sister, so I needed two names. And, given my aforementioned statement about my mortal fear of having to create name-names for people, I knew that I wanted the gang leaders to have nicknames instead of name-names, and, as it often does in the context of Jakkard, my mind went back to card games, and I lit upon acey-deucey. So the brother and sister became Acey and Deucey, respectively, which are Jakkard outlaw names I can actually really get behind. :D

Then Acey and Deucey needed a last name, and, as you correctly surmised, "Acey" sounded enough like "Josey" in my head that I decided on one more little nod to the western canon. And so our villains in the piece (or are they???) became Acey and Deucey Wales.

(And, yeah, they probably are the villains. They just might not be the only ones. Only time will tell. :D)


The last thing I'll say so far is that I like the sort-of countdown you had going on in Chapter one, with Sienna being the third-best shot, and Sage being the second-best shot. Poor Sage, he just had to miss once, didn't he?

This ranking may be a bit unfair to Sage, since I think we all have an idea of who Scar considers the best shot she's ever known, and I think that we, the readers, know that Jackie's missed her share of shots over time. (I can think of one important one in particular, even though it worked out for her in the end...) But chalk this up to Scar not being a fully impartial observer, I think. :)


Thanks for posting, Orcish! I look forward to seeing where this goes from here. By the way, if you would prefer that I not post commentary in this thread to keep it clean, like I did back in the WotW days, just let me know, and I'll delete and move this!

Well, thank you so much for reading, Raven -- and for the wonderful characters who I have dragged into this mess! And please feel free to muck up my thread however you like. It's going to be plenty sloppy just from my stops and starts, and whatnot, so don't stand on ceremony on my account. :D


* * *


And, on that note, day 4 -- finished chapter 2! Now edited into the original chapter 2 post.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:38 pm 
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All I can say is this had better be the setup for the world's longest knock knock joke. That's not meant as derision. I'd just really like that.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:19 am 
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TPmanW wrote:
All I can say is this had better be the setup for the world's longest knock knock joke. That's not meant as derision. I'd just really like that.

I mean, I'm not *that* good... but we'll see what we can do. :D

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:22 pm 
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Day 5 -- chapter 3 done!

Chapter 3

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:14 pm 
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Now, here's the part where I feel bad, and where, if I wasn't just doing this whole thing like Jason Statham in "Cranked 2" -- I CAN'T STOP FOR ANY REASON! -- I would be a responsible orc, and I would go back and re-read all the previous Scar stories to make sure that I actually got the details about her right, and that I was doing her voice correctly.

And, you know, just because those stories are really good! :paranoid:

Case in point -- does Scar have a last name? I couldn't remember! So I just gave her one! And it's not even a particularly good one, either. (As they say in Hollywood, we'll clean it up in post.)

Scar has not, before now, been given a last name. In fact, I'm not convinced ANY centaur on Jakkard has been given a last name, although I can't be sure of that. I am relatively convinced that I have never given a Jakkardian Centaur a surname (at least in canon. Scar tells a story about a few centaurs with last names...)

My head canon is that Devereaux is not Scar's original last name, but rather that when she left the Ranch, she needed a surname, and refused to use her father's, and so she took one with similar roots as Jackie's. Having said that, though, I have no problem with you giving her this either as her original last name or her "current" one.

Or maybe it's Straight's last name and we're in a happy version AU of that other AU... :shifty:

Another case in point -- does Scar drink? I'm not actually sure! Whiskey, obviously -- and one whiskey in particular -- is a pretty charged subject for her. But I can't remember, from "Scars," whether she was teetotal as a result, or whether she just doesn't drink much. So I have her drinking whiskey, here, which is possibly/probably wrong. (We'll clean it up in post.)

Scar will drink. When we first met Scar (in Shades of Red) Jackie offers her a drink and, though reluctant, Scar polishes it off nicely. In Scar's, she talks about drinking a few rounds of the Holster's Whiskey before the other kids started chanting "Buckle Down," triggering her.

Out in the Waste, I'm sure Scar would be perfectly willing to knock back a few. However, the read I get from her is that she would very rarely, if ever, get drunk. I don't get the sense that she wants to lose control of herself. Also, she mentions at one point in her diary "that centaurs and alcohol are not a great mix," which relates to her father, of course, but it's also a nod to Greek mythology, wherein Centaurs getting drunk was always the cause of some trouble or another.

I somewhat picture a "lesson" from Red back at the ranch, maybe relatively early in their time together there, when Jackie wanted Scar to drink, and Scar kept - very politely - refusing. Finally, Jackie says something like, "Listen, Scarlet, [this is likely before Scar worked up the courage to tell Jackie to call her Scar] someday you're going to be out there in the Waste, and your life might depend on somebody not noticing you, not suspecting you. And there's nothing folk in the Waste notice more, or find more suspicious, than when somebody ain't drinking."

And Scar probably woke up the next morning with a VERY unpleasant headache.

Lastly, I have a vague sense that I've got Scar's tone wrong, so far. The Scar we see here is much harder, much gruffer, much more matter-of-fact than the Scar I seem to remember. Now, it's possible that we're just seeing a different side of her. She's a little older, now -- she's been ridding for a few years. Maybe that has changed the way she talks, the way she carries herself a bit. Maybe she even plays a bit of a role, for the benefit of her fellow ridders. After all, Scar does carry around a couple very big secrets that she would never allow out, not even to her trailmates. So maybe blending in is something of a survival imperative for her. But it's also possible that I'm just getting her slightly wrong. (We'll clean it up in post.)

(Hah, I'm just kidding -- there's no post. Gotta see how this thing turns out first before we even know if it's worth cleaning-up or not. That New Mexico landfill always beckons, if things go wrong...)

I think the biggest thing with this is who she's around, and who she's not. It's like when we talk to our friends or coworkers, as opposed to, say, our parents. Scar has a very deep connection with Jackie, but she also feels this unfathomably, indescribably deep sense of gratitude to her. Every time she talks to her or even about her, it's always Miss Red, very formal, very respectful, and I think it's just how reverently she looks at Jackie. And I think the way Scar presents herself at the ranch is based around that, as well as her love for the younger kids.

Out in the Waste, though, she's got to be harder. She's got to be, as Jackie once described her, tough as nails. This is Scar on her own. This is Scar not wanting to leave her flank exposed (pun!). So while I agree that this Scar does not sound exactly like the Scar we've seen, I haven't read anything her that screams "This isn't Scar!" It reads as natural to me so far.

Anyway, back to the original discussion, I'm really glad that you liked that little story about Jackie teaching Scar to shoot. (Or even remember it, for that matter!) Because I like it, too. :) And, interestingly enough, that story was named for a Sheryl Crow song, because a bunch of TNSC stories were named for Sheryl Crow songs, because (of course) Tuesday Night Story Club itself was a takeoff on the name of a Sheryl Crow album. And Sheryl Crow, as we all know, is one of the many people who have covered Bob Dylan. So you can see how this was all connected from the very beginning, and was all part of my well-laid -- dare I say Ravenesque? -- plan.

Well, let's just say that Jackie and I have at least two things in common, and one of them is that we are both (as you once described her) capital-P Planners. And while even my plans get derailed from time to time, I have usually thought things out long in advance.

But yeah, that story's great.

:D

Scar's frustration in dealing with Tosser is very identifiable to me. I am constantly telling my students not to do things that they then go and do. I then leave comments on their papers not to do it again, and then they do it again. I then take time in class to carefully and slowly explain why they should not do it, and then they do it anyway. I can't begin to tell you how often I think of that Futurama quote: "I'm a professor! Why isn't anyone listening to me?!?"

Hah, well, I'm glad that Tosser rings true in that sense! I confess to having worried that maybe Tosser was just a bit too dense and stubborn to be believed... but maybe that's what makes him believable, in a weird sort of way? :D

No, sadly, there are people like him. And they do often get themselves hurt (either literally or metaphorically).

I should also point out that, owing to the sheer quantity of British comedy shows I've watched, I get a chuckle out of Tosser's moniker...

Hah, I am so bad at writing names. I will do literally almost anything to get out of having to come up with proper names for my characters. :)

You could always just go the Raven route and give your characters a variety of pun names. It's worked out alright for me so far.


Anyway, I like the little temptation that Acey gives in the prologue. Speaking of names, every time I see Acey's, I think of Home Alone, and the movie-within-a-movie, Angels with Filthy Souls, and I just think "Too bad Acey ain't in charge no more." And of course, with mention of his sister, I think of The Outlaw Josie Wales. So yeah, very cinematic so far!

Oh, wow, I wouldn't have ever remembered that an "Acey" name-dropped in that "Home Alone" scene. But, now that I do know it, I love it! :D

Acey just came about because I had the idea that the gang in the story would be headed by a brother and sister, so I needed two names. And, given my aforementioned statement about my mortal fear of having to create name-names for people, I knew that I wanted the gang leaders to have nicknames instead of name-names, and, as it often does in the context of Jakkard, my mind went back to card games, and I lit upon acey-deucey. So the brother and sister became Acey and Deucey, respectively, which are Jakkard outlaw names I can actually really get behind. :D

Then Acey and Deucey needed a last name, and, as you correctly surmised, "Acey" sounded enough like "Josey" in my head that I decided on one more little nod to the western canon. And so our villains in the piece (or are they???) became Acey and Deucey Wales.

(And, yeah, they probably are the villains. They just might not be the only ones. Only time will tell. :D)

And, continuing the music theme, let's not forget AC/DC. I can't shake the feeling that, at some point in this story, Acey and Deucey are going to be Back in Black.

The last thing I'll say so far is that I like the sort-of countdown you had going on in Chapter one, with Sienna being the third-best shot, and Sage being the second-best shot. Poor Sage, he just had to miss once, didn't he?

This ranking may be a bit unfair to Sage, since I think we all have an idea of who Scar considers the best shot she's ever known, and I think that we, the readers, know that Jackie's missed her share of shots over time. (I can think of one important one in particular, even though it worked out for her in the end...) But chalk this up to Scar not being a fully impartial observer, I think. :)

Clearly, she thinks Lucky is the best shot ever. After all, he said he hit the bullseye the first time he ever shot...

:D


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:33 pm 
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Days 6 & 7 -- ended up skipping ahead a bit and working on a scene for later. Don't think I'm going to post it until the story catches up, just so that I can try to keep this thread in some rough semblance of chronological order.

Day 8 -- started chapter 4:

Chapter 4

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:31 pm 
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Poor Lanta...

Doc reminds me fondly of Josiah T., Sloshed Sawbones. His insistence that Tosser has excellent teeth makes me very happy.

I love the tension so far. You're doing a good job of establishing Deucey as this great big looming threat. But of course, there's this other, more sinister threat looming, which is Acey's offer. I'm very interested to see where this all goes from here.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:18 pm 
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Day 9 - chapter 5 is up!

Chapter 5

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:54 pm 
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And, you know, just because those stories are really good!

Also, this! :D


Scar has not, before now, been given a last name. In fact, I'm not convinced ANY centaur on Jakkard has been given a last name, although I can't be sure of that. I am relatively convinced that I have never given a Jakkardian Centaur a surname (at least in canon. Scar tells a story about a few centaurs with last names...)

My head canon is that Devereaux is not Scar's original last name, but rather that when she left the Ranch, she needed a surname, and refused to use her father's, and so she took one with similar roots as Jackie's.

Hah, that was basically my thinking! I sort of figured, "I bet Scar gave herself a name, if she needed one, and I bet that, whatever it was, it would sound something similar to Jackie's, but not quite."

Still not 100 percent sold on Devereaux, but I don't have anything better for the present, so I figure I'll just let it ride for now. (Pun, as always, intended.)


Scar will drink. When we first met Scar (in Shades of Red) Jackie offers her a drink and, though reluctant, Scar polishes it off nicely.

OK, yes, I thought I vaguely remembered something like this, although I misidentified the story it came from.

It's always nice to realize I'm only mostly senile, and not completely.


Out in the Waste, I'm sure Scar would be perfectly willing to knock back a few. However, the read I get from her is that she would very rarely, if ever, get drunk. I don't get the sense that she wants to lose control of herself. Also, she mentions at one point in her diary "that centaurs and alcohol are not a great mix," which relates to her father, of course, but it's also a nod to Greek mythology, wherein Centaurs getting drunk was always the cause of some trouble or another.

This makes complete sense to me, and was basically where I had landed in my head.


I somewhat picture a "lesson" from Red back at the ranch, maybe relatively early in their time together there, when Jackie wanted Scar to drink, and Scar kept - very politely - refusing. Finally, Jackie says something like, "Listen, Scarlet, [this is likely before Scar worked up the courage to tell Jackie to call her Scar] someday you're going to be out there in the Waste, and your life might depend on somebody not noticing you, not suspecting you. And there's nothing folk in the Waste notice more, or find more suspicious, than when somebody ain't drinking."

And Scar probably woke up the next morning with a VERY unpleasant headache.

Hah, yes, absolutely. I now have the most wonderful mental image of Scar sipping the shot, and making this horrible face, and saying, "why does anybody drink this?" To which Jackie responds by downing her shot in one, wiping her lips, and saying, "if you're tasting it, then you're doing it wrong."


I think the biggest thing with this is who she's around, and who she's not. It's like when we talk to our friends or coworkers, as opposed to, say, our parents. Scar has a very deep connection with Jackie, but she also feels this unfathomably, indescribably deep sense of gratitude to her. Every time she talks to her or even about her, it's always Miss Red, very formal, very respectful, and I think it's just how reverently she looks at Jackie. And I think the way Scar presents herself at the ranch is based around that, as well as her love for the younger kids.

Out in the Waste, though, she's got to be harder. She's got to be, as Jackie once described her, tough as nails. This is Scar on her own. This is Scar not wanting to leave her flank exposed (pun!).

OK, good. This makes sense to me.


So while I agree that this Scar does not sound exactly like the Scar we've seen, I haven't read anything her that screams "This isn't Scar!" It reads as natural to me so far.

*wipes forehead* Phew!


And, continuing the music theme, let's not forget AC/DC. I can't shake the feeling that, at some point in this story, Acey and Deucey are going to be Back in Black.

I read this, and then air-guitared while singing the riff, because that's the law!


Clearly, she thinks Lucky is the best shot ever. After all, he said he hit the bullseye the first time he ever shot...

I seem to recall that the bull once hit his eye, too, so that would be only fair. :D


Poor Lanta...

Lanta, I think it's fair to say, is not having a good day. I'm not 100 percent sure what I make of Lanta, just yet, but I do instinctively sympathize with her. There's something very believable to me about the fact that, when she sort of has her mini-breakdown, the thing that sends her over the edge is the fact that she only got mixed up in the business for a measly six boks a week -- which she wanted, of all things, so that she could get library books in the mail.

Somehow, people losing their cool in the face of danger has turned out to be a sort of mini-theme in this piece, and it's actually one of the things I'm (weirdly) enjoying. Maybe my favorite moment in the piece so far is when Tosser keeps repeating to himself, "I'm shot, I'm shot," like he can't believe it. We're seeing people fold under pressure just as much as prove themselves to be heroes, and I kind of like that dynamic so far.


Doc reminds me fondly of Josiah T., Sloshed Sawbones. His insistence that Tosser has excellent teeth makes me very happy.

Hah, yes, there are definitely some shades of old Josiah T.! In retrospect, I probably should have made Doc something other than a fox, just to lessen the overlap a bit. But I got very enamored with the idea of having a dentist named Doc, for obvious historical reasons, and then things kind of ran away from there. :D

And, yes, I love that bit, too. Again, in the circumstances, it seems so weird, so completely insane, but that's what ends up making it feel real to me, even as it also gives me a laugh. Doc's a dentist. Of course he's going to check Tosser's teeth!


I love the tension so far. You're doing a good job of establishing Deucey as this great big looming threat. But of course, there's this other, more sinister threat looming, which is Acey's offer. I'm very interested to see where this all goes from here.

Me, too! I'm just as eager to find out as anyone else. :D

Anyway, I'm so glad that you're enjoying the piece so far! It continues to be a bit of a crazy ride, but I feel like I've still got a little momentum, so that's no bad thing!

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"And remember, I'm pullin' for ya, 'cause we're all in this together." - Red Green


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:26 am 
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Giving myself a NaNo cheat day, because I'm catching up on my reading instead! Will be back with more tomorrow!

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:17 pm 
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Day 11 -- chapter 6 is up!

Chapter 6

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:51 pm 
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Deucey's fun. And her gang seems like quite the cast of characters, so that should be pretty fun to watch unfold. The good sheriff's fate was very much expected, but Deucey certainly got creative with the method of his execution.

I enjoyed Sienna and (apparently) Sage's Morse code bickering, although I have to admit that I kept trying to imagine how a centaur got up on the roof. I mean, I would imagine that in a world with centaurs, buildings would likely be designed a bit differently, so maybe most buildings come complete with wooden scaffolding utilizing ramps or something. I hadn't really thought about it before.

Thanks for posting, Orcish!


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 5:04 pm 
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Thank you yet again for reading, Raven! Your munificence sustains me. :)


Deucey's fun. And her gang seems like quite the cast of characters, so that should be pretty fun to watch unfold. The good sheriff's fate was very much expected, but Deucey certainly got creative with the method of his execution.

I feel like it tells us a lot about Deucey that she takes all the time and effort to sort of slowly set up her little "magic trick" with the bullet, and that she sticks the landing... only to then get bored with her own handiwork a second later and just blow the sheriff away before he's had the chance to fully appreciate her scheme. Deucey strikes me as both very patient and very impulsive at once, which likely makes her dangerous to everyone around -- including herself.

Anyway, yeah, I had fun with Deucey. I like that, if you squint, you can sort of see some outward similarities between her and Jackie, but that those parallels start to fall apart once you look closer. And I'm guessing that's probably not an accident? I bet that a lot of bandits who've come along after Red Jackie became a campfire legend have taken some conscious steps to try to model themselves after her -- at least in outward appearance. I even had an idea -- which didn't make it into the story -- that Deucey wears dark red eye shadow, that trying to make yourself look like you have red eyes has become a way to try to intimidate people, to announce to the world that you're a fearsome bandit.

(The more I think about it, I may go back and put that in... because I would sort of love to see Scar's reaction to that...)


I enjoyed Sienna and (apparently) Sage's Morse code bickering, although I have to admit that I kept trying to imagine how a centaur got up on the roof. I mean, I would imagine that in a world with centaurs, buildings would likely be designed a bit differently, so maybe most buildings come complete with wooden scaffolding utilizing ramps or something. I hadn't really thought about it before.

Well, if it makes you feel any better, I clearly didn't think about it, either. :sweat:

I'm going to go with low-angle stairs. I'm going to just assume that stairs in Jakkard tend to have wide steps and low angles -- almost ramp-like -- for the ease of all the four- and zero-legged folks out there.


Thanks for posting, Orcish!

Thank you, Raven, for reading. I hope you're still enjoying the story!


* * *


On that note, it doesn't take the most acute observer to notice that my daily updates to KoHD have become less daily than previous. And that's because I've come to the (unsurprising) realization that I don't actually like writing this way. I can force myself to do it in small bursts, but I find it really hard to sustain, and -- frankly -- it takes a lot of the fun out of it for me.

So I've decided to just chuck the arbitrary NaNoWriMo quotas out the window, and I'm going to finish this story on my own pace. To be clear, I *am* going to finish it -- and I actually suspect I'll get a lot written over the holiday next week! But I'm not going to hold myself to a daily schedule. I'm going to write when I have time and inclination to write. And, as a side bonus, this'll actually allow me to work on some other stories, too, as opposed to only doing KoHD each day.


* * *


Getting back to the story, briefly, the little excerpt I posted as a prologue should slot in right about here -- Scar and Acey have their fateful conversation while Sienna and Lanta are up on the roof. And that brings us, essentially, to the end of day one.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 5:32 pm 
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Chapter 7

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 1:55 pm 
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Chapter 8

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"And remember, I'm pullin' for ya, 'cause we're all in this together." - Red Green


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