So, yesterday, I finally drew some bad concept art of supervillains I’ve had in my head for a while. They are known as the Dead Hand, a reference to both a Russian nuclear system AND the “Four=Death” similarity found in East Asian languages. And yes, there are only three of them in the picture. That’s all I had room for. Forgive my terrible drawing.
So, each one of these has a story.
- Empat (Malay for ‘Four’) started off with just the camera powers. Then I realized she was in a “what does Aquaman do without being in the water” situation and made her leverage her camera powers to superhuman accuracy. Then I gave her incredible intelligence and reaction time too, so her brain can process looking through countless cameras at once and switch images before even a supercomputer can react. Her look, I have to admit, owes a lot to the Payday series.
- Ceathair (Irish for ‘Four’, although it’s a complex language that way) started off as Peter Walsh, the protagonist of One Two Three Dead. Then that fizzled out and I went with him being past the point of no return, because let’s face it, Darth Vader is more interesting than Anakin Skywalker. Then I realized he’d been one of my dime-a-dozen Punisher types and turned him into someone with a magic sword. His durability keeps increasing-as of now, he can easily survive being splattered. The shirt and tie is actually a reference to the pro wrestlers Irwin R. Schyster and Mankind, who wore similar clothes.
- Cztery (Polish for “Four” is the newest. Originally, the leader of the Dead Hand, Richard Shi, was going to be a member, but his Q/Ellemist level powers made him too strong. So I had to swap in someone who had an indirect power. I’ve had a concept for “chemists” who mixed packs of chemicals in ramshackle arrays of tanks, and leveraged it into making her.
I deeply regret putting One Two Three Dead on hiatus-I like the concept, but it’s not the concept at fault. Rather, the story of Peter Walsh was not one ideally told through forced updates.
The concept was good, and I will certainly keep writing about other things. The problem was my attempt at a deadline update format, which turned it from a dash of inspiration into a forced scramble.
I should write more “expendable” stories, ones whose concept I’m not attached to so incredibly. That way I won’t have to feel angry that I can’t live up to my own concept. The two posted chapters will remain, and can be seen here
I find my approach to creative work, from story writing to Command scenario making, is like a sprinter. I will, whether as part of a whole or making a portion of it, sit down and throw myself into the project and nothing else for a time, and only stop when that portion is done.
Such an approach has worked, but not everything is suited to it. In writing a story like One Two Three Dead, I need to be measured, for everything is too big to do in one shot. For Command, this increases my bias towards small scenarios because they can easily be made in that fairly short time.
I want to be more measured. But it’s a hard habit to change.
I’ve chosen One Two Three Dead as the work I’m going to use for my web-serial. I want something more grounded, with more feeling I can get to as I write for it, so I chose that over the less serious alternatives. A new wordpress has been set up for it (right now it is extremely bare-bones, I’m working on the theme.)
Chapter 1 can be read here. I intend to update no slower than once a week.
See, I don’t really know what to write. I want to write a narrative web serial fiction, but I have so many concepts and only one that I could really focus on. The ones I’ve narrowed it down to are (working titles, I know they’re bad):
“One, Two, Three, Dead”-the story of a disturbed man who is given a chance to change history and be on top of his fate-if he becomes the mysterious agent known as the “Four of Spades”.
“Todd, Jane, and Steve’s Amazing Xenotech Adventure”-this is a screwball, goofier story about a guy recruited to work in a dead-end convenience store no one goes to-except people seeking “xenotech”, since the store is a front for a mysterious agency.
“Attack of the Mosaics”-a more conventional military thriller about the multiverse’s biggest “contractor”.
All three would take place in the same setting, which I made extremely broad on purpose.
I’ll be posting the first draft chapters of all three later. For now, comments are welcome.