Saturday, September 15, 2018

Today's writing notes:


Currently working on: Revising "The Spirit of Black Keep"

There is so much dramatic irony in this story and I love it muahahaha. The word count has stayed pretty constant for the most part--which makes sense, as I'm doing very few major content edits, mostly just smoothing out prose.

Celice is fun to write because she's got such an entertaining personality. She's very pro-active and no-nonsense, but she has her quirks, like her fear of heights, her tendency to binge on soda, and the fact that she doesn't know how to light a fire any other way than with magically-conjured flame. I think she plays really well against the shyer and more retiring Pharazon, protective and caring Kass, and grouchy but good-natured Jhudora. I feel like this story has a good cast of main characters.

It's also interesting to note that Eyries cannot turn into werepets like Lupes and Kyrii can. Despite Kass becoming quite feral mentally, he never underwent a physical change (Eyries are just massive creatures to begin with). I really enjoyed writing Kass as well. I like to think he's really a decent guy when he's not listening to malevolent spirits. It's implied in this story that when he's at his best, he is driven by a strong desire to protect and help others, and it fulfills him emotionally. And he took the mistakes of his past and used them to forge an iron determination to never go down that path again, which I think is a valuable lesson.

My headcanon for Kass is that after the first Darigan War and Lord Darigan's disappearance, Kass - whose leadership as a general played a large part in the Citadel's victory - took control of the Citadel out of a sincere concern for the well-being of the Draconians. However, his concern rapidly turned into a paranoid dictatorship as he grew determined to eliminate threats to the Citadel wherever he thought he saw them arise--and even before they could arise. Plus, he had a lingering bitterness toward Meridell that allowed the Three to worm their way into his head with promises of revenge.

... But he's all better now! And working to make things better for everyone else, too. Yay for happy endings! :)

Jhudora was also super fun to write. While on-site she's portrayed as kind of... ambiguously malevolent and definitely not a nice person, I've always much preferred NT author vanessa1357924680's portrayal of Jhudy as grumpy and unsociable, but with a good heart deep down. And I like the idea of a not-so-bad dark faerie wanting to stop some definitely bad dark faeries--away with stereotypes!

I also have a headcanon that Jhudora is quite good friends with Fyora and was one of Fyora's greatest supporters and allies during the Faerie Queen's campaign for the throne; many other faeries did not trust Jhudora, who is an extremely powerful dark faerie, but Fyora insisted that Jhudora be allowed to stay in Faerieland.

I also have a headcanon that faeries are always to be properly addressed as "Lady", unless you know them well enough that they allow you to drop the title. Faeries are powerful beings who command the respect of other Neopians, and they expect to be treated as such. Also, I imagine faeries are truly immortal and cannot die--you have to get rid of them by greying them, magically sealing them away, or banishing them to another plane. They are beings made of pure magic and do not work biologically like other Neopian creatures do. (This is discussed briefly in "Ylana Skyfire: Protector of Spring" where Illusen doesn't show up on Ylana's bio-sensors.)

(I'm a huge nerd for having such an extensive Neopets headcanon. I hope other folks are enjoying reading this stuff as much as I enjoy writing it.)

Also headcanon: faeries love striking deals. It seems to be a sort of game for them, and it's how faerie quests arose. Faeries find it quite easy to increase Neopets' power, but understand the consequences of doing so freely, so they make Neopets work for it, and don't allow pets to take on faerie quests whenever they want. I'm not quite sure what dark faeries do with the toys they ask you for. I want to think they secretly give them to needy children. :)

I'm still not entirely sure what to call Pharazon's hands. "Hands" kind of implies human-like appendages, which they aren't. "Paws" brings to mind something more mammalian, and he's a dragon. "Claws" just refers to his fingertips and not his whole hand. I kind of just go with "hands" nowadays because it seems to be the most fitting, even if it's not perfect.

Being a computer geek who writes about magic leads to some interesting magic systems. Jhudora actually uses Pharazon to magically ping the Space Faerie Mushrooms. I wonder if you could use him as a wireless magic router, too? Make him spread his wings just so to transmit the magical signal?

Also I am kind of amused by how much shorter Pharazon is than the other main characters. Pharazon is about three feet tall, while Celice is 5'7"-ish, Kass is maybe like 6'5", and Jhudora is around the same height as him (I imagine faeries are quite tall). Pharazon is the hobbit of the party. It just makes him all the more adorable. (Personality-wise he's quite Frodo-ish as well. Does that make Celice Gandalf? And Jhudora Legolas? Kass is probably Thorin I guess? I could do this all day.)

My headcanon as far as organized magic in Neopia is that joining a magical affiliation like the Order of the Red Erisim or Brightvale University's Magic Academy is strongly encouraged for mages, but not enforced. Lawless magic is a real problem, but there are enough good, heroic magic users in the world combatting the misuse of magic that Fyora and the leaders of the various lands have not had any reason to crack down on magic as a whole.

Plus, there are so many magic users in positions of power around Neopia - Fyora, Princess Roberta, King Jazan, Jerdana, Lisha, and Lord Darigan, to name a few - that restrictive legislation on mages would be met with much political opposition. It's one of those things that seems to be working out best when left to the populace, with leadership only stepping in when necessary.

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