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My New (old) Fiction Project


#41

Back on track with a full range of new pages.The lead story is issue 10 of Heroes: Unglued. Action! Excitement! The return of the K-Men! And you won’t believe how this one ends!!!

In the Encyclopaedia I’ve finally added a page for Strikeforce, because they are kind of central to… well, everything.And there’s a new page describing Sylvia Roth’s beach house, because we’ve spent a couple of issues there so why not?

And various other bits and updates to old pages and new cross references.


#42

I really don’t understand the point of blog comment spam. So I’ve written a blog post about it:

http://www.dmheroes.co.uk/journal/post/2016/10/18/Comment-Spam.aspx

It would be seriously meta if somebody spammed it :smiley:


#43

The Strikeforce story is back on track! This week you will find part one of the cleverly named (well, I think so) “Swan Song” storyline. Just why does Black Swan keep missing team meetings? The answers are in Strikeforce chapter 10!

Not much else this week. There are a few timeline updates in the History section, and there’s a new article devoted to the Penal Colony on Titan.


#44

Prison colony on the moon Titan?

Why does that sound familiar!

:smile:


#45

I freely admit plagiarism :stuck_out_tongue:


#46

Shouldn’t you have at least tried claiming “I was paying homage” first?!


#47

Uh… yeah… I typed “homage” … bloody autocorrect :angry:


#48

Like the Great Railway “Homage”?

…and yes, I did steal that joke… :smirk:


#49

New this week: Heroes issue 11. The last thing Don said when he cut the team loose at the end of last issue was “keep a low profile”. Do you think they listened to him? Here’s a hint: the title of this issue, Low Profile, is entirely ironic.

The new factual article this week is an overdue look at the technical specifications of the Strikeforce Teleport system.

There’s a new timeline for 1995, and with it I’m starting a new policy of including events that haven’t yet been referenced in the main stories. So they won’t mean much to you at the moment, but think of them as teasers of stories yet to be told.

You’ll notice that the timeline formatting is a bit wonky for some events, but it’s not major
so fixing it is quite low down my to-do list. I have been reformatting the Who’s Who
entries, though, as the old format was overly fussy and not in keeping with the rest of the site’s design. I haven’t redone all the pages yet, but I’m working on it.


#50

A mini blog post apologising for setting my story in a country I’ve never even visited…

This is not America


#51

Strikeforce have discovered that their team-mate Black Swan is in the clutches of their arch-nemesis, the Warscout.

They currently have no idea where to look.

‘No idea’ is normal for Strikeforce.

Yes, the Swansong storyline reaches its conclusion in Strikeforce chapter 11.

This is complemented by a biography of Black Swan herself – but you won’t want to read this until after you read the story!

Also new this week is an article on Don’s customised, armoured recreational vehicle.

And there’s a timeline of 2013 which documents several minor events that have been referenced in various stories.


#52

I currently have a list of 639 potential cross-references to 300 pages which will eventually need to be written. Seems like the best way to tackle the problem is to write the pages that are pointed to from the most different places (on the assumption that these must be important if they’re mentioned a lot).

So as of now, here are the most popular items:

Row Labels Count of REFERENCES
James 12
Electron 10
Scorpio 10
Jerome 10
Chi-Yun 9
Nightflyer 9
Don 8
Luey 7

Complicating things is the fact that several of these characters have big revelations in upcoming storylines, and I don’t want to preempt them by doing a bio that will be either incomplete or have to undergo major changes very soon.

So it looks like the characters I will be doing over the next few weeks are Electron, Nightflyer, Don and Luey. In that order.

Just in case you were wondering.


#53

How do you turn a role-playing game into a story?

Here’s how I do it: http://www.dmheroes.co.uk/journal/post/2016/11/09/From-Game-to-Story.aspx


#54

This week I celebrate two milestones:

First, the site has exceeded 100 pages of content. Only 316 pages on my “to do” list now…

Second, with issue 12, the Heroes comic-book-without-pictures reaches the end of its (arbitrarily decided) first volume, and a thematic turning point: the team’s (I use the term loosely) first full adventure without their mentor, Don, and their growing acceptance of their role in the world.

This issue took a long time to write. I was doing fine until the last few pages. There I was, thinking the issue was about Fred, when I suddenly realised it was equally about James. (It’s a constant problem with James: he’s always pushing himself to the front of anything that’s going on.) This stymied me for a while and I spent quite some time rewriting the last few pages to make them say what I wanted them to say. I then needed extra pages to make the ending work (and it still feels a bit rushed).

You may have noticed that every issue of Heroes has been 22 pages long. There’s no real need for this. It’s a traditional length for comic books, but they do vary. And on the Web, I have no real constraints at all. I could use any number of pages I want to make the story work, as I have this month. But I like the discipline of keeping to the 22-page limit, so I’ll keep this as a one-time variation.

Here are some stats for this arbitrary volume:

12 issues
270 “comic” pages (my printed archive runs to 498 pages of text but I’m very generous with white space)
1,262 panels (that’s 1,274 pieces of non-art, including covers)
67,073 words

This last figure is interesting: if Heroes was a regular book, it wouldn’t even make a short novel. Yet I feel that I’ve told a lot of story in those words. Which supports my original thesis: a comic-book script is a very good format for a lazy writer.

Elsewhere, there isn’t much more to this week’s update. The Electron bio page got pushed back to next week, for reasons I can’t quite remember (it’s written but it’s not in this update for some reason). So all you get for for your money is a rather pointless timeline of 2323, and an even more pointless entry on the Museum of Antiquities (honestly, I’m not even sure why I wrote this).

The most interest new page is probably the history of troll rock – yes, my universe has its own music genre. How cool is that? Troll rock (and its associated subculture) will crop up fairly often in the story, so it seemed worth talking about it.

Next update will be next Friday, as usual.


#55

Strikeforce chapter 12 has gone completely out of control.

It was supposed to have a short epilogue teasing the next chapter. Then the epilogue turned into a huge space battle that’s taken me all night to write.

All I’m saying is, if I don’t post a new chapter tomorrow it’s not my fault.


#56

Blame Trump.


#57

Ha, well I finished it, and it’s a whopping 12 pages (I usually keep these chapters to under 10 pages). So here’s the blurb:

Chapter 12 of Strikeforce is unimaginatively called “Incidents”. A number of plots are intertwined through this one, but it’s mostly setting up things for some big stories coming soon. And I introduce another dozen new characters, because the universe isn’t complicated enough already (!).

Other updates include:

  • The long-overdue biography page for Electron, which actually has some unrevealed details about his background so it’s worth a read.
  • A description of Vancouver’s Sentinel Building, which played a very small role in the recent Heroes story but also (as you will learn) takes part in a Strikeforce story that is yet to be told.
  • A timeline for 2349, which drops two names that will mean nothing to you at the moment but will soon become so important you wouldn’t believe.

#58

Issue #13 of Heroes (a comic book without the pictures) is a spotlight on Paul:

CAPTION (PAUL’s NOTES):
My name is Paul Smithsteen. I’m a psychiatrist. I have a lucrative practice in Los Angeles.

CAPTION (PAUL’s NOTES):
I am also Jerome Sanders, a sailor in the King’s navy. That would be King William of 17th century England.

CAPTION (PAUL’s NOTES):
I am also Harry Grubbins, private investigator. I work the lower East side of Chicago in the '50s.

CAPTION (PAUL’s NOTES):
I am also Jesse Dillon, I preach in small town Texas in the 1880s.

CAPTION (PAUL’s NOTES):
And others. I don’t know how many others. All in my head, crowding to get out.

CAPTION (PAUL’s NOTES):
I know it sounds like fodder for a fascinating case study. But this isn’t about me.

PAGE TWO. One panel.

Another big splash page. This shows the entire group (JAMES, SARA, FRED, CHI-YUN, PAUL) by the side of a highway. It’s early morning. In the background we can see their rented SUV and FRED’s motorcycle. They seem to be arguing. (No surprise.) JAMES has a large, unfolded map flapping in the wind and he is struggling to read it past CHI-YUN’s and SARA’s arms as they try to point things out to him.

CAPTION (PAUL’s NOTES):
It’s about them.

CAPTION (PAUL’s NOTES):
Earth’s next generation of superheroes.

CHI-YUN:
What about this blue road?

JAMES:
That’s a river.

CAPTION (PAUL’s NOTES):
God help us.

…interested? Well get yourself over to my web site and read the new issue of Heroes, “Dr. Smithsteen’s Casebook”: http://dmheroes.co.uk/scripts/script-13.html (after reading the other 12 issues of course :wink: ).

And while you’re there you can read the other new pages, like the bio of Strikeforce member Nightflyer http://dmheroes.co.uk/bio/nightflyer.html and… well, loads of other cool stuff. There’s a blog that tells you what’s new each week http://dmheroes.co.uk/journal/ so I don’t know why I always type it all here!!!


#59

After about 7 years, and 300 “chapters” (playing sessions), I decided the Game was much too unwieldy, too big and complicated to manage any longer, with too much weight of storyline and character history to keep track of. I decided to end it in a big, dramatic fashion. I created a storyline I later called The Event, in which all Earth’s heroes sacrificed themselves to save the Earth. End of the Heroes, end of the Game. I was out of the superhero-GMing-business.

…more semi-coherent waffling about the story-behind-the-story on my blog: http://dmheroes.co.uk/journal/post/2016/11/26/Twenty-Years-Later.aspx


#60

No weekly update due to life intruding, but I’ve managed a blog post (which follows through the thoughts from the last one):

http://dmheroes.co.uk/journal/post/2016/12/03/Parallel-Stories.aspx

If I was writing this story sensibly, I would start with Strikeforce chapter 1, write 300 chapters of Strikeforce, and then move on to Heroes issue 1, set 20 years later.

Of course I didn’t do that. I started writing both stories in parallel.