In which I reveal my New Project

by ninivenable

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In this issue:

1. Film poster [x]

2. See that poster? That’s this year’s summer blockbuster- well, sort of blockbuster. But that poster, that film, has been plaguing me for the past month or so. See, just last month, I decided to take a break from HIDDEN ZERO CHAOS and go back to work on a project called THE PROXY WARS. It’s an idea I’ve had since 2005, back when I wanted it to be a comic (which is funny considering my drawing skills are lacking). In 2010/11, I decided to give it a chance as a novel. I changed a lot over the course of the years. Originally, it was the story of a 12-year-old girl named Lamb who could pilot a giant robot. In the “remix” version, she became 18, I added two contrasting love interests before I combined them into a 16-year-old boy named Cipher who could also pilot the robot. I added two opposing sides- each with their own giant robots -who were trying to take Lamb’s robot. Afterwards, I abandoned the story to work on something else, then in June, I came back to it. For the first few weeks of June, I wrote 4,000 words a day. After 80,000 words, I stopped working on it to go back to CHAOS. The reason I stopped were for two reasons: 1) Certain plot elements were too coincidental and/or didn’t make sense overall. 2) Pacific Rim was coming out.

Now that it’s out, from what I’m hearing from people, PR and PW have a lot of similarities that scared me even more:

1. Both have a male and female capable of piloting a giant robot.

2. In universe, both robots were created based on Japanese culture.

3. Said robot requires some type of mental link with the pilot and mecha to get it working.

4. Robots came about to combat monsters/aliens.

5. The male and female leads have some type of ship teasing, but nothing comes out of it.

6. A theme surrounding family.

There’s more to it, I’m sure, but these six things were enough to make me never go back to PW, even though I really wanted to. Even though I just posted earlier this month that I finally finished the rough draft of CHAOS.

Since finishing that story, I’ve been in some weird stage where I couldn’t decide what story I wanted to work on. I no longer had interest in CHAOS- it was dystopian, felt too much like The Trilogy I Will Not Name, and also suffered from other stuff. I no longer wanted to work on it. I thought about going back to PW, but with PR out, I kind of freaked. I thought, If this ever gets published, people will accuse me of ripping off Pacific Rim.

Then, honestly, right now, I became level-headed. I told myself that, for starters, I was thinking too far ahead; that if I finished PW that it’d get published no matter what. Not only that, but who cares if someone thinks that? When people say that ideas aren’t original, they truly mean that.

But the other thing I’ve realized is that I know what makes my story similar to PR and what makes it different:

1. Pacific is inspired by the directors love of Japanese monster movies. Mine is inspired by Arthurian legend and my love of Japanese animation (interestingly enough, not so much mecha, though Eureka Seven is hugely inspirational to Proxy Wars).

2. The mecha in PR (jaegers) were created to combat monsters. The mecha in PW (ANO) were created to combat aliens but are now being used against people.

3. The mental link in PR requires two minds to get the jaegers to work. Without giving too much away, with my robots, you only need one person to operate the ANO, and that one person is someone somewhat engineered to do so.

4. PW takes place in an environment where the younger generation blames the one that came before it for messing up society (the story has elements of dystopia), and the generation after the youngest will grow up hating the elders. Because of this, most people leave home around the ages of 12-14. To explain why Cipher, 16, still lives at home, I created a grandmother who wants to hold her family together to combat this extreme generation gap.

There are some other ways that the story’s different, just as there are other ways that they’re similar. Not to make this post any longer than it need be, but I’m coming back to THE PROXY WARS, which I’ve just finished the first draft (which is sloppy as hell). I think I’ll also try doing my progress reports update every Thursday, too. Hopefully, I’ll stick to this one and not write another post talking about a new project. I mean, this story is fun as hell. Yeah, I’m trying to be realistic with these robots- there are scenes where people jump from buildings in the midst of robot attacks -but it’s also fun, which is something I feel I need right now.

Sorry. No more rambling.

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