Today's writing notes:
(Still working on "Shadow of Takeryuu")
21,000 words, whoo!
Finally, he cleared his throat. “I have to come clean,” he said. “I’ve been deceiving all of you. If this coup were to fail, I was planning on placing the blame on you and making myself look like the hero.” He bowed his head. “I’m sorry. It was a shameful act on my part.”
“Don’t worry,” Ganzorig said. “We knew the whole time. No hard feelings.”
Wai Ren did a double-take at the Lupe. “Wait—are you serious?” the general asked. “How did you find out?!”
“When we first met you,” Ganzorig said, “you were practically oozing manipulation.” He tilted his head with a bit of a smirk. “Living in the woods doesn’t make me stupid.”I'm having way too much fun writing Ganzorig as the master of messing with people. (Although he only does it to people who are asking for it. Otherwise he's a really nice guy.)
- Also, this being a prose account of a Neoquest campaign in the "real" Neopia opens this story up to all sorts of ambiguities. For example, Yuezhi's role in the story--was this something Blynn made up, or is it based on a real event that she learned about from Yuezhi at some point? I like to think that after the events of "Worth Searching For", Terra's family stopped in to say hi to Yuezhi whenever they were in Shenkuu, and considering Yuezhi likes stories, she probably had plenty of her own to tell them.
Plus, I really wanted to reconcile Yuezhi's presence in Shenkuu with the recent canon information that Kaia is the only "(known) faerie" from Shenkuu--that wording, straight from the Neopedia, definitely leaves room for unknown faeries from Shenkuu. :)
Maybe it's a bit pedantic of me, but I really enjoy trying to make my Neopian Times writing line up with canon as much as possible--I guess because I like my stories to feel more like things that could actually happen on the website, and less like me skewing the characters and the setting into something that could be original fiction if I just changed the names. When I write fanfic, I like to try to preserve the tone of what I'm writing about (unless I'm purposely being ridiculous, like when I wrote a Star Wars parody of "A Christmas Carol" featuring Emperor Palpatine and a bunch of Sith Force ghosts... good times), and I'm not usually fond of non-parodic works that drastically skew the original tone of something (whether it's fanfic or sequels/spinoffs/shark-jumping extra seasons/etc.), because I feel that it strains the sense of suspension of disbelief that accompanies derivative works. For example, I think My Little Pony: Equestria Girls works well as a spinoff because it doesn't contradict Friendship is Magic canon and stays true to FiM in tone and characterization, so it seems like something that could actually happen within the world of the show.
- Speaking of faeries, in this story I'm alluding to more of my ideas for the ancient history of Neopia. If the Neoquest game is an accurate representation of ancient Neopian history, the total absence of faeries in that game is curious. I've hinted in a previous story about the idea of faeries fighting in wars long ago (i.e. the origin of Terra's family's weapons), so it's possible that in Neopia's distant past, faeries as a whole were much less benevolent than they are now, and warred with each other and with Neopets (and probably different factions of faeries got Neopets to fight for them as well) on-and-off for quite some time. The faeries would burn themselves out in these wars and retreat to the sky to recuperate, which would take a few centuries, during which the rest of Neopia would experience relative calm. At some point after the events of Neoquest, Fyora ascended to power and put an end to her sisters' petty fighting, and began to mend relations between faeries and Neopets, so that nowadays they're on good terms. (Although, maybe learning about the past relationship between the two groups is what started Xandra down her path to villainy... hmmmm...)
This probably isn't something I'll ever write extensively about (lots of faerie war stories have been published in the Times already), but it is fun to speculate about, an underlying historical thread that can be seen in more than one story of mine that gives an added dimension of depth to the world.
... Yes, the lore is a huge part of the reason why I enjoy Neopets so much.