Somehow we are almost through November, which means a few things.
- December is almost here, which means…
- Christmas is almost here (!)
- The deadline for the short story is up.
I’ve never entered a piece of writing into a competition before, and I’m interested in seeing how it does, especially as the theme of the competition is Superheroes.
It just so happens that the manuscript I’m (still) working on, Temporary, is all about exactly that, which put me in a great state of mind for tackling this subject.
At first I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to stay within those themes and ideas, but having cultivated Temporary for so long, becoming somewhat well versed in Superhero mythology in the process, I couldn’t think of a better time to take some time away from Temporary and work on something new, yet immediately familiar.
Perhaps too familiar?
You see, Shell is set within the same Universe as Temporary.
The world of Shell takes place in Moonsault City, and is set within a time period within the first act/turning point of Temporary. It makes reference to characters that exist within their shared Universe, notably KO and Reaper, but it doesn’t hammer it home. It’s not in your face or obnoxious about it. Instead, I’ve attempted to write it in such a way that it doesn’t matter whether you’ve read Temporary or not which, let’s be honest, is the best way to do it as not many people have had that opportunity just yet.
Some may say this is a bad idea, that a short story should be completely unrelated and stand by itself in every conceivable way – and that could be true, depending on what the story is, and how it unfolds.
Shell? With this short story there are only a few aspects that ground it within the same world: Incident Powers, a fangirl knowledge of KO/Reaper that my protagonist, MiMi, has for Temporary‘s main Supers, the concept of Evolution, and one mention to Five Star City being the only real connecting points between the two narratives.
Outside of that it is, as it should be, a totally unique, stand alone story.
It was an interesting writing exercise to create a wholly new piece of fiction within the same Universe. I’d grown so used to Temporary’s main players that I’d never stopped to think of another person’s story – there could be hundreds! Kenny and Gray represent just two people’s stories in a world that’s been forever changed. Why shouldn’t MiMi’s story be told as well? It’s a short story competition about Superheroes, so why not take this concept and run with it within a world I already know?
MiMi tackles an oppressive Tiger Mother in her every day life, as well as trying to deal with high school life and an overly smothering/quasi emotionally abusive boyfriend; all of this whilst having become the primo target for the V-Threat, Overkill, who has developed an unhealthy obsession with her Super alter ego, Neon.
Well, that would be, telling wouldn’t it?
The themes (overbearing parent(s), academic pressures, relationship issues, teenagers not understanding emotional abuse or the damage it can cause, finding yourself and coming out of your figurative shell) are all unique to Shell, and I’m hoping that it stands on its own merits because of it. And for those who enjoy the Universe that MiMi Nakamura/Neon inhabits?
Well, there’s always Temporary.
But that’s getting ahead of myself. First, the competition.
Here’s hoping Shell does well, eh?