"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." MLK
Ahh, my Pink Lemon story, the whole reason why I have the NaNoWriMo winners badge up here; my first serious venture into writing a superhero story (revision's don't count). I'm 23 and a half now, and thanks to my being well read, all of my how to write books, Twitter and Mur Lafferty, I realized what writing was about instead of making something cool. I learned that for something to be ultra cool, it needs depth as well.
PL's former drafts were a mess, pure and simple. The first draft had a bad plot. Lora Summers, the protagonist, eats some old candy from the 1930s (yarg) and becomes a hero to fight against her rival, Trippi. Afterward, I had an idea for her to fight a 500 foot person named Lora Summers that rampaged across the city of Costa Mesa. This other Lora Summers was angry that she was being billed for 'protag Lora's hero insurance.
The second draft was better, Florence came up, Crimson Cherry came up, Lora's sister, Sarra got in on the act, and I established that there were other heroes in the world. The problem was that it was episodic, and unconnected. I chucked it after dealing with some scrambled plot lines--most of which are still being worked on in a much easier form!
The third drafts only got one story in, the origin. Lora was a mess, Sarra was a mess, and Cindy was oblivious. I can describe it by quoting an Alphaville lyric in a sad context: "Youth like diamonds in the sun, and diamonds are forever." That's right, growing up sucks, be a superhero. The message was an experiment in my writing, but I grew to hate it.
The fourth draft went back to basics. In another blog post that I'm currently working on, I write that I dictated everyone instead of planning sentence by sentence. I reread my unedited work, and felt a spark. Although that story is not perfect by any means, aside of the grammar and a few touches, world building and corrected messages here and there, it is a perfect story. I love it!
This brings me to the subject of the blog post. What does the Pink Lemon story mean to me?
I originally persisted because I had confidence that I could make something great from Lora being a hero with all the work that I had put into it. This is from whittling down a ten by five by four foot thing of stone into something less than a foot tall. I did not know why, or how, but there was something there, too much work, too much world building... too much optimism and determination.
Something hit me as I began to read back what I wrote. Lora being a hero appeals to me, because like me sometimes, she is out of her element. She is a mother in training this side of Mary Engelbreit, and she is put into Superman's shoes.
How does she deal with it?
How did I?
Why, Lora does it the same way that I do, by loving every minute of it, even in tough times.
Lora's optimism is my own, really. When I'm faced with something unpleasant, I don't whine and give up, I go ahead and do it! (unless a deadline is not set, and it's something that I asigned myself, but that's just simple procrastination) This doesn't mean that I coast through without problems, I have a shit ton of realistic problems (as opposed to the fake problems of dealing with a city rampaging C'thulu), and some are harder to deal with than others.
From March to early September of twenty ten, I was kept by my insane, narcissistic, Luddite aunt due to a financial family collapse. She did not know how to deal with me, so she kept me as a servant while she went to lay in bed and sigh while listening to one note meditation music. Yes, really. Without my computer to write, I was pretty downtrodden, but I did not give up. I persisted, and run around trying to fix the situation. Fortunately, I left my aunt, never to return, and getting my life on track. I'm training to me an IT guy, and I'm working on getting my writing career up.
What do Lora and I share? Pretty much just don't give up and be happy with what you were given.
When life hands you sour lemons, add some sugar and make a Pink Lemon story. ;)
Now, why does this appeal to me? Ms. Summers being out of her element is a given, but why the other things? The romance, the Dragonforce, the superpowers.... the plot? Antagonist, Morgan is out for revenge and she works at succeeding by being charismatic as she does something horrid, claiming that Lora and her highly respected ilk are evil and providing good proof of such in the process. Morgan provides her own "infallible" heroes as a replacement.This appeals to me because I like a good story about good vs evil, who doesn't, literally? Why specifically is because I know what it's like to be alienated like Lora is being from Morgan. I shrugged it off and don't care anymore, but I was never put at an extreme end like Lora will be. I love plots where the bad guy looks convincing, like you know they are evil, but you can't help but agree with them and their philosophy, and boy, does Morgan have some dirt on Pink Lemon!
Lora's optimism, Morgans charisma and both of their determination to survive in her new element and exact revenge respectfully, horribly clash as the story moves on and they each face a dark magic horror that's much bigger than themselves.
Unlike the last PL stories, I'm excited about this one. Everything is going ka-boom in a satisfying way as our sweet and innocent hero is caught in the middle. All in a well developed society with different customs, mannerisms, and means of panicking in the streets.
This new PL story has meaning for me because a character so different from me is experiencing my pain in a huge realistic and epic plot, that i can't wait to write!
Editing though, will be a bitch.
DragonForce - Starfire
DragonForce - Fury Of The Storm
DragonForce - Heroes Of Our Time
DragonForce - Dawn Over A New World
DragonForce - Through The Fire and Flames
Bonnie Tyler - Total Eclipse of The Heart
DJ StormX - Dreams of Snowy Plains
Alphaville - Forever Young
Garbage - As Heaven Is Wide
Godsmack - Awake
Vangelis - Dial Out
Above and Beyond - Good For Me
Joe Satriani - Friends
William Orbit - Millenium
Joe Satriani - Blue Sky Happiness
Faithless - We Come One
Greg Camp - Cat's Game
The Birthday Massacre - Pale
The Who - Behind Blue Eyes
THe CoOLAiD - Planet Earth
U2 - Beautiful Day
Vangelis - Light and Shadow