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May 6, 2013

Notes on I Hraet You

Welcome to the notes page for I Hraet You!  Here you'll find a random assortment of information about the story -- kind of like DVD extras, only not in a DVD or consumable without a minor commitment to digesting the info at hand.

Work with me here.  I'm a typer, not a movie-er.

...

Anyway, read on for some cool-ish information you won't see anywhere else.  Because really, how many people do you know that would go so far to construct a world destined to revolve around a kinda-sorta-psychic harem hunter?  Besides you, Jeremy?  Whoever you are?

...

I'll get the non-sequitur down someday.  

(May '13 Notes)

HOUSEKEEPING!
1) Chapters will start popping up again on the 13th, which according to my calendar is on a Monday.  So it’s pretty likely that I’ll snap back to the old two-chapters-a-week, Monday-Thursday scheduling; I’m not going to commit to that schedule till the end of time, but for the time being I think that’ll do.  The only issue is trying to figure out how those chapters will fit in with posts of other stuff (since I’m assuming game-related stuff like the Let’s Discuss posts are a lot more popular), and beyond that I don’t know the exact frequency I’ll end up settling on.  I want about three posts on the blog a week so I don’t overwhelm others and myself, but I want to strike a nice balance between IHY and the other stuff.  Well, I’ll just have to see how it goes…

2) I’m beginning to suspect I put IHY on too long of a hiatus.  I ended the first part at just the right stopping point, but it just feels like if I’d kept on moving shortly afterward, I would’ve been farther along in the story (and indeed, I DEFINITELY want to get farther along in the story).  Ehhhhh…maybe every once in a while I’ll throw out a bonus chapter to speed things up.  That aside, I doubt I’ll be taking as long a break as I have before, mostly because the way things are looking for this “saga” I won’t be left wanting for chapters.  I could be wrong, but I’ve got a pretty strong hunch on this one.


3) It’s very possible that this post, like the others before it, may end up changing the next time you see it.  I might rejigger this post so that it’ll be something along the lines of a DVD extra or director’s commentary or something -- you know, lots of little fun facts that’ll give some insight into IHY (along with none-too-subtle foreshadowing about what comes next).  If I don’t, then I might make a post like “Notes on I Hraet You (2)” that’ll do the same in the future.

4) Again, I’m always ready for some guest chapters.  If you think you’ve got what it takes, leave a comment here or the Feedback page (visible on the main IHY tab) and tell me what you’ve got on your mind.  We can pound things out, and I’ll gladly offer proper credit and attribution.  Same goes for fan art -- though I’m probably a ways away from thinking about something like that, I might as well make the offer clear as long as I’m here.

THE ACTUAL STORY STUFF!
1) The thrust of the first saga, “The Man Who Would Be Hearty” was mostly about leading man Lloyd discovering his powers -- along with the risks it involved, and the threat of the masked menace Gaston Leroux.  This upcoming saga, “Good Will Hearting”, will be (hopefully) about Lloyd coming to terms with that power; he’ll have to figure out what he’s going to do about those risks and Gaston, and start doing a little setup for his own noble counterattack.  It’s in this saga that the title will start making sense -- and with it, the beginning of an even wilder adventure.

2) It’s hard to say how far along in the story we are, but I’m pretty confident that there’s enough potential for three sagas after this one, at least.  That’s a really hazy number right now, though, so let’s not dwell on it any longer.


3) That said, the way things are looking (as a holdover from last time), I’d say that each saga is going to be split according to five major events.  Mini-arcs, if you will.  The last saga was primarily about the setup, and this one is more about…er, more setup.  But it’s different this time, in that the setup in this case is about Lloyd capitalizing on his power.  If you’ve read the other chapters, you’ll know that there are three loose ends that he has to tend to first -- and as a result, three of those arcs will be focused on him tending to those ends.

4) It’s not going to come up for a while (i.e. in this saga), but there pretty much HAS to be an arc that reveals Lloyd’s past.  I won’t say anything about the details, but let’s just say if I do it right, it’ll knock you right the hell out of your chair.


…See what I did there?

THE CHARACTERS AND POOP!
1) The character page pretty much confirms this already, but Lloyd, JP, Patton, Trixie, and Mrs. Overdose form “the core five” cast members of the story.  Obviously Lloyd is the one you’ll be seeing the most, but the other four are going to be key players in their own way -- the Five Man Band, as TV Tropes would put it.  That doesn’t mean the other characters -- and trust me, there are plenty of them -- won’t get their chances to shine, but in terms of the story’s chief task force it’s going to be those guys and ladies.

2) Unfortunately, Gaston ALSO has a core group of allies that are out to make Lloyd’s life less than pleasant.  You probably won’t be seeing them all in this saga, but a couple of them will be making an appearance.  Who are they?  What are they?  Well, figuring out who among Porbeagle’s citizens are hanging around with some bad company is a part of the saga’s fun -- along with one of JP’s chief goals. 

3) Incidentally, some other characters will pop up throughout the story as well.  Will they partner up with Lloyd?  Or side with Gaston?  Who knows?!  (Well, I do, but I think I’ll keep that to myself for now.)

THE MECHANICS AND WRITING AND NACHOS!
1) I’m assuming that one of the challenges that’ll pop up with IHY is making sure everyone has a distinct enough voice.  With characters like Lloyd and Trixie that should be simple enough…but when it comes time for these characters to get in a big room and start hashing it out, I need to make each line of dialogue immediately indicative of who’s speaking.  I feel like I’ve taken some strides toward that with characters old and new, but it might just be something I have to watch out for.

2) By extension, I’m probably going have to be a lot more mindful of the voice from now on.  Reading stuff like Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (which, like many of my books, tends to disappear and reappear at random thanks to wormhole shenanigans) has made me conscious about my style, so I need to take things up a notch in the near future.  Hopefully writing IHY chapters will give me all the practice I need.


3) A recent concern that’s popped up -- I’m wondering if Lloyd is absurd enough.  He’s a ham, no question, and his logic is pretty suspect at times, but in the face of the rest of the cast I can’t help but wonder if he’s been surpassed…and if his absurdity is consistent from one scene to the next.  Well, I guess I’ll just have to see how it goes; if I keep working with these characters, I’m guessing their characterization will become a lot more instinctive for me.

4) Writing the sound effects (Ka-[insert vaguely-related term here in all caps]) is at once a joy and a challenge.  It’ll be interesting to see how people react to those; it might be one of those “hit or miss” circumstances you hear so much about.

5) I wonder if my foreshadowing is a little too obvious.  I’ve teased more than a few plot points already, but I’m a little worried I’m sticking a big red flag into them instead of letting it flow naturally.  Then again, as the guy writing all this junk I have a fairly good idea of what’s coming up; the surprise is lost on me, but with any luck readers should be well-rewarded without getting hammered in the head.


THE RANDOM JUNKYARD!
1) There WILL be wrestling later on.  That much is non-negotiable.  That’ll also probably be the arc where Patton gets his time to shine, for obvious reasons.  Chief among them, the appearance of his rival -- because as you’ll soon discover, I have a weak spot for foils and rivalries.

2) It goes without saying, but Lloyd isn’t the only one with special powers.  In fact, pretty much all of them have a name.  And a sort-of origin story.  It’ll all get explained somewhere down the line.

3) And on that note, you could argue that the villains (such as they are) can be organized into separate but interlocking factions.  You can look forward to a glimpse into “the hierarchy” later -- not all at once, obviously, but it’ll start coming together.

4) I still need to decide on a theme song for Lloyd.  Any suggestions are more than welcome.


Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand that’ll do it for now.  Hope to see you guys around next week when IHY goes live.  Though I suspect that I should probably get on making some new art for it.  God, why do I do these things to myself…?

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(October '13 Notes)

--All right, let’s start off with the most obvious thing: with the Sheila Arc finished, I Hraet You has reached an undeniable milestone.  And it only took me…

*checks archive page* FORTY-TWO CHAPTERS?!  Are you kidding me?!

Well…damn.  I didn’t expect the actual chapter count to run this long.  It’s kind of a worrying precedent; this is the first of five scenes for the act, and yet its length is almost as long as the entirety of everything I wrote last year.  I guess this means that I’m going to have to pick up the pace if I want to reach some of the cooler arcs in the story…or any arc, for that matter.  I guess I’ll have to consider editing certain sections down, or in the future extending the average word count so that there’s more content in less space.  If nothing else, I’ll probably have to split that one big Scene into two; it makes the archive page look a bit more attractive, if you ask me.

--That said, I like the content in the Sheila Arc.  The thrust of this part of the story is Lloyd figuring out how to use his powers -- not just the mechanics behind them, but the means to help others.  Of the three characters he promised to help, Sheila is the easiest of the bunch…for a given definition of “easiest”, considering what she put him through.  But it is a good starting point for him, as well as setup for things to come.


--It seems like the more I wrote about Sheila, the more fun I had with the story.  It would have been easy to make her the “shy, busty glasses girl” and leave it at that, but then again she wouldn’t be a worthy member of the IHY cast if I did.  Revealing those different sides to her -- even if they were under duress -- was probably one reason why the arc ran as long as it did.  Well, that and the fact that she’s an important person to Lloyd.  Like he said, Sheila is one of his first new friends in years; take that as you will, but for now I’m keeping my lips sealed.

--It’s worth noting, though, that Sheila’s mom Jane came right the hell out of nowhere.  She was barely going to be in one scene, but I realized that stripping her of story time would be a detriment to Sheila’s character.  And then one thing led to another, and she started getting weirder, and now she’s a full-on member of the cast.  I wonder what I can do with the world’s wildest mom…well, I already know what I can do, but I’m not saying.


--Gaston sure made things get dark in a hurry.  I think that’s going to start being a thing -- at least once or twice more, just for effect.  He is the villain, after all, so it’s only natural that it hits the fan whenever he makes an appearance.  That said, my intent is to make chapters with two-word titles the chapters where things get serious.  If all goes well, there’ll be a chapter called “Problem Solving” that’s going to blow your brains out.

--Anyway, let’s talk about some of the other new characters.  Arjuna is actually someone I came up with before IHY; he’s more or less a stock character I made to go into any number of stories as needed (if you check the blog’s archives, you’ll find a version of him in Four Dudes Go to Hell).  He’s not going to be a core member of the cast -- the five-man band is largely in place as it is -- but he WILL be a solid contributing member to the story’s B-team.  Another group, so to speak, that works alongside Team Lloyd.  Another member of said team has made a couple of cameo appearances, but he won’t get shown off in full until the upcoming arc.


(He doesn't look like this guy.  Not entirely, at least.)

--Speaking of which, the next arc -- which I have no problems spoiling here -- is going to focus on the terse bug enthusiast, May.  Thing is, she’s going to ratchet up the difficulty for Lloyd significantly; the groundwork has been laid long beforehand for Lloyd to have plenty of questions that need answering if he’s going to trot around town helping people, but with May the very concept of helping -- and indeed, Lloyd himself -- is going to end up deconstructed.  A VERY important part of this story is establishing that not every person in the world (woman, especially) is in need of Lloyd’s white-knighting, and May is the primary means of establishing that.  She’s going to force Lloyd to reconsider his actions and aims, whether he likes it or not.

--That said, JP is also going to play a bigger part in this upcoming arc.  It goes without saying that he’s had enough of Lloyd’s shit, but it’s about to reach a fever pitch.  Not having Lloyd’s power, he doesn’t have the attachment to the extrasensory that his brother does, and even then is significantly more practical.  So it’s only natural that the two of them start butting heads over matters, and both of them present valid points for their procedures and arguments.  Even so, if Lloyd is going to be the key factor in helping others, JP is going to be the key factor in solving the mystery behind Porbeagle’s plight.


--And indeed, JP is pretty much going to have to play detective here.  The last few chapters of the Sheila Arc have a lot of details packed into them, and sorting it all out is going to fall on JP more than it does Lloyd…well, ideally.  JP’s rival character has already been introduced in the form of Dex Hawkfield, so it’s going to be a battle of wits as he puts together pieces of the “crime scene” and reconstructs the events that happened.  Of course, he’ll pretty much HAVE to do that to clean up the dirty dealings that transpire -- including trying to unravel the secret behind the fake evidence that starts popping up.

--It’s worth noting, though, that the core five will all get “rivals” to butt heads with.  JP gets one in Hawkfield, and Patton’s has been vaguely referenced a couple of times.  Mrs. Overdose’s is going to be another key player in this arc (and in Gaston’s plans overall), while Trixie’s is going to get a mention at best for the time being.  As for Lloyd…well, arguably, he gets THREE rivals.  One of them is Gaston, of course.  Another is a wannabe rival.  But the third becomes a challenge in his own right -- and if you thought Lloyd could ham it up, just wait till the new guy takes the stage.

--I made some new art for the archive page, but now I get the feeling that I’m going to have to do all the art for the cast over again to match…and on top of that, add in the art for new cast members.  I am NOT looking forward to that.  


--I guess I pretty much invalidated the cliffhanger at the end of the arc, didn’t I?  Well, come on now -- did you really think that Lloyd would get booted out of his own story?  He’ll be back…it’s just that he’s going to (almost literally) face a few trials of his own, independent of his audition room antics.

--Things on the IHY docket: a rock concert, a big barbecue, a corporate infiltration, a wrestling bonanza, blimp shenanigans, cult warfare, riots in the streets, the emergence of a killer robot, the emergence of a mechanized T-rex, and some manner of ghost haunting.  Among other things.


And that’ll just about do it for now.  Till next time, then, keep on enjoying I Hraet You -- because rest assured, I Hraet You is enjoying you.  As well as a work of fiction can, at least.    


4 comments:

  1. I plan to start reading your story soon. I have to get caught up on some other things, but it is on my list. I'm really looking forward to it.

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  2. Good to hear. Like I've said elsewhere, you won't be wanting for content for a good while...though I can only wonder how people might react to said content. You'd best start preparing yourself for wombats now. It's the only way to survive.

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  3. ~I read till chapter 2, then I had to start classes again and lacked time! But it was really good! I`m gonna continue reading IHY after the 15th!!(Which is the date of my exam! Curse exams! Always there to give judgement on my answers!) Also, can I ask where you got the first photo from? o.o Is it a game? Looks interesting

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  4. The first photo's from PlayStation Home, a sort of free add-on/interface you can explore with an avatar you make. I haven't had much experience with it, but from what I've heard, it's pretty terrible. And pointless.


    In any case, whenever you decide to jump into IHY, you'll have plenty of content to start diving into. Just take it at your own pace, and carve out a win on your exam. The story and I will be here for a while yet.

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