1. cfalnevermore

    cfalnevermore Member

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    Aedan Thomas, Private Eye, Werewolf. Writing Journal

    Discussion in 'Progress Journals' started by cfalnevermore, Jul 3, 2018.

    I was born on Halloween so I've always harbored a love for creepy things. Monsters, myths, urban legends, that sort of thing.

    When I was younger, sixth grade, i had a silly idea for a story about a war breaking out between supernatural forces, werewolves vs vampires. I saw the wolves as the good guys.

    It would have been the silly tale of a sixth grader if I'd written it. But a year or two later, Underworld was released. Not only was it my idea, they also made the vampires the good guys (sort of). Utterly discouraged and convinced Hollywood itself was out to get me, I abandoned the idea.

    I remain a fan of werewolves and the idea behind them. To me they remain a fascinating way to explore humanities struggle with their own primal selves. The werewolf could be interpreted as a sort of metaphor for all sorts of things. Inside us all is a beast clawing its way to the surface, and such.

    I still wanted to write a story about a werewolf, so something like 6 years or so ago I came up with a character. I called him Aedan Thomas.

    One day at college he wakes up naked in the woods, covered in blood. He contacts an old friend of his, Zach Bronson, who shared a love of the occult with him when they were little. It turns out Zach is a sorcerer and a sort of representative to an organization of supernatural beings and entities.

    Together they investigate why Aedan has suddenly transformed, as well as an unusual murder, and a series of dissappearences (of other supernatural beings) around town. Along the way they meet the Succubus Annaleigh who joins them, as she's certain something is stalking her.

    The mysteries end up being all connected. Another being is collecting blood of supernatural beings for nefarious purposes. After a grueling week of investigation, and coming to terms with werewolfism, The friends sort the problem out.

    From there Aedan becomes a Private eye who specializes in "weird" cases (paranormal stuff). From there I could write all sorts of adventures.

    I'm hanging onto the concept, but much the same way Underworld did all those years ago, I keep discovering that my story is similar to things that already exist.

    The concept as a whole bares a resemblance to Jim Butchers "Dresden Files" and likely many others. I told a friend about it and he told me it sounded like a show called "Being Human" that he liked. Just to add insult to it, guess what the freaking vampires name is? It's Aidan. (Stupid vampire jerks).

    "I spelled Aedan different and he's a werewolf." I argued. "Also my story has a succubus trying to live her life!"

    "Ever seen "Lost Girl?" He replied.

    "No."

    "It's about a Succubus trying to live her life."

    "DAMN IT!!"

    Still. I'm not letting this stop me from writing the story. I'm a big fan of the characters I've come up with. My love of the occult provides me with plenty of fodder for Aedan, Zach and Anna to investigate.

    I'm curious to hear what someone thinks of my ideas, and I want to end by saying this: it may be true that your idea has already been done somehow, but don't let that bother you. Just make the story yours.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
  2. cfalnevermore

    cfalnevermore Member

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    One of the ideas I've enjoyed thinking about is the relationship between Aedan Thomas (werewolf PI and martial artist) and Annaleigh the Succubus.

    I'll just be upfront with my beliefs. Sexism is a problem, it happens on both sides but primarily women are victimized, and I think culturally we need to change our attitude. Women are more than just romantic partners. Anna and Aedan prove that by being close friends.

    In the beginning it's almost predictable. Aedan has romantic interest in her, she appears as a beautiful super model and walks and behaves with elegance. She's smart and charismatic, all things he finds very attractive.

    Cliche almost, but here's my twist. Number one, (more important) she doesn't feel the same, and number two, her being a succubus, makes a conventional relationship with her impossible. She can't have sex safely. Having sex for her means feeding on human spirit energy. It isn't pleasant for who she sleeps with. There will come a time when Aedan expresses his interest to her, and she gently talks him down, explaining that she doesnt feel the same, even if she did, she can't be the lover he wants. He has her affection and love, but not romantically. He accepts that in time.

    I'm somewhat proud of this concept. It may not be original, but in my head I'm establishing a relationship between to characters and removing the sexual aspect. I want Aedan to be... a typical guy in many respects. But I also want him to be an Ally to women. He may pine for her for a time, but he accepts her feelings and moves on. None of that "proving his love" stuff that makes Anna out as some prize he can earn by doing whatever.

    I'm hoping my characters are more "Part of the solution" than "part of the problem." It starts with him accepting Anna and respecting her feelings, letting his own romantic feelings for her wain, while his friendship with her grows. This helps to show that males and females are capable of having other emotions between them than just sexual tension.

    I hope I haven't offended, and I certainly don't want to stir up a hive, but I'm willing to hear what others may think. Is there a better way I can depict this? Anna is still a temptress type female character, she feeds on sexual energy, but she's more than that too. Am I making forward progress? Am I just making things worse?
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
  3. Cohen

    Cohen Member

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    As many have stated before, no idea is really original any more, maybe not for thousands of years, it just gets transformed and delivered differently. Just write what you want to write, and if you want to have commentary on sexism and change the way males behave to women, then go for it!
     
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  4. cfalnevermore

    cfalnevermore Member

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    thats the plan. Thanks for your support!
     
  5. cfalnevermore

    cfalnevermore Member

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    I did something stupid. My ideas for Aedan Thomas and his adventures span years. I've been writing chunks, many of which are out of context and unrelated to previous chunks. I have yet to figure out how to connect them, or even what order they will occur in.

    In short, Aedan is resembling a series more than a singular story. Why I'm planning a series before I've even finished the first story, I have no idea. Like I said, stupid.

    I've been working on a timeline so that I can keep track of what happens when. But I'm encountering a problem. I don't know where in the timeline the first story should take place.

    The obvious answer is "at the beginning." But I'm hesitant to do that. A lot of my favorite series sort of throw you in in the middle. Let me try and elaborate.

    I have ideas for when Aedan is first bitten and given the werewolf curse while he's still a child, I have ideas for how he first transforms years later in college. I have ideas for how he meets other friends and characters. My thought is he'll move into his friend Zach's family owned hotel (which caters to paranormal folk in secret) and start his PI business there. Then I have many many ideas for cases he solves, people he meets, and other such things.

    That said, do I start the story when hes a child and first gets bitten? Do I start in college when he first transforms? Do I go even earlier and start with his mom (Secretly also a werewolf)? Do I start at his PI business where he's solving cases?

    After thinking a lot on it, right now I think I want to start there, at the "Moonlight Inn" where Aedan is solving cases. That was the story I wanted to write ultimately. Stories about a werewolf detective. So I'll start there and establish that, revealing events of his past as I go. Now I just have to decide which case I should start at...
     
  6. cfalnevermore

    cfalnevermore Member

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    I read through a lot of my stuff. It's riddled with grammar and punctuation errors, in dire need of editing, and very disjointed. The way I've been writing, I get an idea and I write about it as soon as I can. My mindset is "get it written, get it organized later."

    Consequently I've got a good number of random "scenes" (mostly action sequences) of my heroes doing this that or the other but no indication of how they may have reached that point.

    I prefer to write like this. It lets me put a bit more passion into the ideas I write because they're fresh in my mind and I'm excited about them.

    I've noticed however, that I seem to assume that people are only going to read the chunks, and I end up adding a lot of unnecessary detail to add more context to a scene. After reading through a bunch... I need to fix this. It's really not necessary to describe Aedan or Annaleighs physical build, or their wardrobe, or any of their habits, because in theory I'll have already established these things earlier in the story. It was especially jarring considering most of them are action sequences, and I keep pausing to add unnecessary detail on clothing or something because I feel like the complete picture isn't there.

    It's a conundrum for me. If anyone's reading, I'm curious to hear your opinions. Is it better to write in chunks to be edited and connected later? It would it be easier to just write a story from start to finish, for the sake of establishing and maintaining good flow and pacing?

    To anybody who's curious, here are some of the chunks I've written so far:

    Aedan as a werewolf teaming up with his sorcerer friend Zach to battle a magic spider creature called a Jorogumo.

    Aedan forced into a one on one duel with a renegade Ogre warlord who escaped a troll kingdom under a bridge.

    Annaleigh's wicked older sister kidnaps and bewitches Aedan with Succubus magic, forcing Annaleigh to fight tooth and nail to rescue him.

    Aedan and Zach investigate paranormal activity and dissappearences and discover traumatized spiritual beings (sprites) have grown in darkness to the point where anyone who comes into contact with them is whisked away into a nightmare world built by the sprites themselves.

    Zach's ex, Dante, a wannabe necromancer, escapes magical prison and attacks Aedan, Anna, and Zach, in their home, with fear sprites and a few zombie monsters.

    There's others. I still have to get them organized. Some of them could almost stand alone as their own stories. But I'll figure it out in time.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
  7. cfalnevermore

    cfalnevermore Member

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    So in my mind it's really important to establish the rules in which my characters operate. I established what a werewolf is in this story a long time ago but I've since forgotten all the rules I came up with back then. I wanted to reestablish a few.

    Werewolfism is a variation of an ancient curse placed on early tribes of humans by beings or deities unknown. In my story, many paranormal beings can trace their afflictions back to ancient curses.

    Werewolves, and others classified as "shape shifters" were cursed for their greed and gluttony. They would be forced to take the form of monstrous beasts, and hunger for the flesh of the ones they care for the most. This took many forms as humans spread across the globe. In many African countries they became Wereleapords. In more European countries were herding and farming were more prevalent, werewolves took shape. Their are many varieties of shapeshifter across many cultures that all descend from this curse.

    Furthermore shapeshifters can spread their curse to other people, but only those that were descended from the original cursed tribes.

    This makes the curse sort of a genetic trait. Not everyone bitten by a shapeshifter can become a shapeshifter. One has to have a genetic predisposition for it (so to speak). Now this was thousands of years in the past, so these genes are everywhere, but in modern days, it's become far less common.

    If one does have the cursed gene, it doesn't automatically make them a shapeshifter. More often than not, the gene lies dormant and does nothing. It can only be "activated" by a bite from another shifter. It is also possible for the gene to activate on its own. If this is the case, the person will become a shapeshifter around the onset of puberty.

    Wow this is more complicated than I remember. Ok that's the background of the werewolf curse in my universe.

    Now... if you are a cursed shapeshifter, genes will again determine what sort of animal you become.

    Aedan is a werewolf. The curse effects his every waking moment to some degree. It causes his body to develope better hunters senses (smell, hearing) and causes him to hunger for something and it first he can't figure out what the something is. During full Moonlight, his body transforms, involuntarily into its beast form and he has little to no control of himself during this time, as his animal form takes control. It's after he awakens from this form that he understands the thing he's hungry for, that he's craving, is of course, human flesh.

    Overtime he learns to control his shapeshifting and he can do it at will while maintaining control, but every full moon he locks himself up, as no werewolf can stay in control during that time. The urge to hunt and feed their craving is at its strongest.

    Even though he can transform at will, Aedan doesn't do so very often. The transformation process is long and incredibly painful. He is awake, and aware as his bones change shape and size, his organs shift, his nerve endings stretch, and abunch of other unpleasantness. Transforming hurts. A lot. On top of this the transformation uses up a lot of his bodies stored energy. As a result, when it's over, he's ravenously hungry and must feed. This happens when he transforms back into human form as well. If he doesn't eat well he could make himself very sick. His friend Zach has a type of magical numbing concoction that makes it easier for him to get through the painful transformation process. Nothing will make that process pleasant.

    As a werewolf, his body chemistry changes in a lot of ways. More adrenaline is produced. It's a bit harder for him to maintain control if he's feeling emotional. He learns self control in time, but early on he frightens himself with how violent he feels at times of distress.

    The big rule looming over him though, every instinct he has compels him to hunt fellow humans, if ever he gave in, if ever he swallowed one small bite of human flesh in beast form, the curse would destroy his humanity entirely. He'd become something less than an animal, a mindless wretch seeking its next meal. More dangerous and monstrous than any wild wolves have ever been. Seems easy, don't be a cannibal and you keep your humanity, but the curse makes it difficult. The wolf form always desperately craves human flesh.

    That's probably enough for now. Covers all the bases. Feel free to share. What other rules should a good werewolf tale follow? Anybody else got their own developing lore?
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
  8. cfalnevermore

    cfalnevermore Member

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    Today I'll cover the rules of wizardry and magic in Aedan's universe. His friend Zach, will essentially be my exposition-providing support character, and he refers to himself specifically as a "sorcerer."

    First off, in my universe, there exists a mysterious energy, unseen and ignored by roughly 90 percent of all life on earth. Mages refer to it as spirit energy. Many living things produce it. The earth itself seems to produce a constant stream of it. This spirit energy isn't very well understood even by the magical community.

    In this universe, magical abilities manifest in a few ways. The most common is the mage. In essence, mages are people born with a capability to produce spirit energy powerful enough to create various effects. They can strengthen this ability, like a muscle to grow stronger. It depletes stamina as it's used, so using to much can exhaust them. They use spell words to focus their spells into the shapes they want. Words used vary from person to person. The guild of magic has lists of possible spells and spell words it teaches to young mages. They can augment their abilities through study of spirit energy and knowledge of Alchemy, as certain natural components augment spirit energy in various ways.

    Mages can only use their own energy in their spells. They can't use the spirit energy around them or anything. Sorcerers are different from mages in this way. In the various myths and legends I read about (mostly on Wikipedia), sorcery and magic are often used interchangeably, but the word Sorcery often has darker, more sinister connotations. In my universe this is because Sorcery has gotten itself a sinister reputation over time, but the act itself isn't dark or evil.

    Sorcerers/sorceresses are people capable of channeling spirit energy into themselves in order to fuel various spells. Few of them can even produce their own spirit energy. This ability when used right can make a sorcerer infinitely more powerful than a mage, as they can keep using spirit energy around them so long as there's a good sizable well of it nearby.

    Sorcery was thought of as darker and more wicked magic for a long time, because they were considered spirit "thieves." It didn't help that in ancient times, some sorcerers kept various living beings, or even spiritual entities as slaves to fuel their magics.

    The practice is banned in the modern magic world. Sorcerers obtain usable magics these days by forging alliances with powerful spirit beings who then allow them to channel their power willingly.

    For example, Zach's family has long had an agreement with an old and ancient Mountain Spirit known as Klikitat. Klikitat is, in short, the spirit born of the spirit strength of Mt. Adams in Washington. It's grown old and powerful enough that it's sentient in many ways. There were Native American tribes that worshipped this being. Zach's lineage can be traced to these people. Klikitat agrees to aid Zach and provide him with spirit strength, and in exchange, Zach must travel to the mountain once a year to do what he can to strengthen the Life force there. He basically does a bunch of environmental work. He'll plant trees, help wild life workers, things like that.

    Zach can meditate and mentally contact Klikitat from anywhere to ask for strength, and Klikitat can refuse if he so chooses. Sorcerers can only channel so much magic at a time. If a sorcerer tried to channel the entire spirit of a mountain into a single blast, their brains would pop like baloons. Zach's method of managing his magical gifts is to channel magic into magic jewels, where he can store it for later.

    There's a lot more to magic and Sorcery, so likely I'll revisit this topic in the future, if only to iron out the details for myself.

    Once again, feel free to ask questions, share ideas or whatever. Anything to help me develope my own ideas and help me get the details nailed down.
     
  9. cfalnevermore

    cfalnevermore Member

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    I can't decide if I should actually post this... but what the hell, maybe people will find my stupid random musings endearing. I mentioned before that I wanted my character to be an "ally" to women. I also want him to be an "ally" to members of the LGBTQ community and plenty of other oppressed peoples.

    After I pondered a bit I wondered if I wasn't making a mistake. My tale is essentially "straight white guy to the rescue." World has way to much of that as it is. Even if he is an ally, it's still a problem. So I started thinking about making Aedan something other than a straight white guy... There's literally no reason he can't be a gay black woman. He's a person. So why do I have so much trouble envisioning him as anything other than a straight white guy?

    The simple answer I suppose, is I still have predjudices I need to fix. The more complex answer is, Aedan is supposed to be like me. I can write well about a straight white guy because I am one. I'm more familiar with the cultural differences, the subtleties.

    But then I ask myself, would it really be that big a deal if I wrote a white character and just switched his skin color, orientation, or gender? On the one hand, it shouldn't, were all people. On the other hand it should, because ignoring someone's cultural heritage, gender, or orientation, could be doing them a disservice.

    My musings have lead me to conclude I still have a boatload to learn. I feel more like an ignorant child than a freaking 29 year old at times. But I suppose I am a product of my culture.

    Race, gender, orientation, religion, all these things should be treated with dignity and respect. I believe that. I feel that best I can do, and consequently, Aedan can do, is be an Ally. An ally is someone who stands with their beliefs. He doesn't fight the battle for them, it isn't his fight. But he stands alongside them in support of the cause, helping them earn the victory.

    He'll treat people with dignity and respect, even if it takes him time to understand how. He's not greater than them. He's their equal, unique, beautiful, and deserving of dignity, just like they are.

    All this in a story about a werewolf solving mysteries. Sometimes I worry I might be dumb.

    I'm no champion, I'm not setting the world on fire, I'm just a privlaged American schlub, I get that. But I'm gonna try to do my part. It may be a small part, but I'll do it. I'll treat people, men, women, gay, straight, trans, black, white, Latino, Asian, whoever they may be, with respect. They deserve it. I'll endeavor to be a less ignorant person while I'm at it.

    Now that I've humiliated myself on the internet, I think I'll go show someone I respect them... somehow. Best of luck to all in your lives. Even if you've had to struggle endlessly, I hope all of you get the respect you deserve.

    Idiot white guy who likes werewolves, out...
     
  10. cfalnevermore

    cfalnevermore Member

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    Now that I'm done humiliating myself and showing everyone just how little confidence I have in myself as a writer... let me move on. As a challenge for myself, I decided to write a short story about Aedan Thomas (werewolf PI). I'm rather proud of the end results. I'm thinking of posting it here for all to see once I get some editing done.

    Part of me wonders if perhaps I should stop focusing on Aedan as an overlong epic and think more about him from small story to small story. I've got all the background stuff in my head, that can come across as his adventures unfold.
     
  11. cfalnevermore

    cfalnevermore Member

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    So I posted my short. We'll see how that goes. I'm just thrilled people are reading. First comment was helpful and insightful but I found myself wondering about one thing they said. They didn't agree that my genre matched the work. That's fine, maybe I'm not as good at creating a creepy atmosphere as I would lije. It's also true that this story is more "horror themed" action/mystery. Anyway that was fine. The part that bothered me was that he thought it worked better as a dark comedy.

    I'm by no means trying to say theyre wrong or anything. I'm not even argueing against them. I'm grateful for the input, but comedy is not what I expected. It's true I try to keep the dialogue light hearted at times, if only because I'm putting Aedan against some very disturbing monsters (in this case a monster said to suck unborn fetus straight from their mother's wombs) and some heavy themes. But I didn't see dark comedy as a primary theme.

    Ultimately I've decided I'm over thinking it. Really I'm glad people read my story and took the time to tell me what they thought. If they think it would be better as a dark or offbeat comedy, then they must have at least found parts of it amusing, which means some of my jokes are funny right? That's a good thing and it makes me happy.

    I feel like I wanted it to still be dark, a little disturbing, and a bit thought provoking. These monsters could all be seen as metaphors for the human condition after all. Thank you all for your input! I'm grateful. I know what I want to try and fix in my works in the future.
     
  12. cfalnevermore

    cfalnevermore Member

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    I've got a lot of Aedan's tales planned out at this point. I'm still working on the primary setting. I haven't come up with a name for my fictional town yet, but I know it's going to be in rural Nebraska.

    Aedan's best friend, Zach, owns the "Moonlight Inn." To us normal humans it's a charming rustic place to spend an evenimg, get a meal, and see the sights. It's conveniently located near a highway, so it gets decent business from folks passing through.

    To the supernatural world it's a very well known place for people like them to rest. It's location, away from the prying eyes of the town, gives them a safe haven from the eyes of normal humans and Zach is known to cater to their needs during their stay. It's a travel hub for monsters essentially.

    Zach allows Aedan and Anna to live on premesis in exchange for help working the Inn. Aedan also runs his PI business from there. With Nebraska being near the center of the US Aedan can drive or fly wherever he needs to to solve a case.

    The town itself (I'll just call it "podunk" for now) sits on an energy layline which in turn draws many supernatural entities to it. So the monsters have set up an operation there to cater to them all. They Fae and the Troll kingdoms have set up an underground city beneath a historic bridge there, which caters to their kind, while on top, a group of Vampires have built a business that's able to feed many of the supernatural communities. Deals with local cow and pig farmers supply him with meat and blood. He's also got a deal which allows him to take older unused human blood from blood banks and hospitals. By mixing this blood with animal blood, theyve concocted a mixture that both satisfies their monstrous cravings and keeps them nourished. Blood is the most common "food" among supernatural beasts. With the Vampires restauraunt they can feed without hunting. Allowing manymonsters to live relatively normal lives if they so choose.

    So "Podunk" will be my primary location. It's status as a paranormal "hub" means that it can kick off any number of adventures. It's place where monsters thrive without the humans ever realizing they're there.

    That's where I'll start my story. I'll begin with a customer traveling to the Moonlight Inn seeking Aedan's help. I'll build the world from there, past, present, and future.
     
  13. cfalnevermore

    cfalnevermore Member

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    I'm willing to admit my reasons for wanting to write about werewolves and monsters is... a little juvenile. You know what the most amazing spectacle in the universe is to me personally? Two monsters fighting.

    It started with Godzilla, my hero. All through my life, nothing in fiction and media, is as exciting as a pair of beasts throwing down. "Who would win in a fight?" Is still one of my favorite questions. Bear or Gorilla? Dragon or T-Rex? Werewolf or Velociraptor (that's the unscientific six foot variety of Jurassic Park fame)? Giant Spider or Tiger-man? I could sit around and speculate for days.

    As time has gone on, werewolves have remained one of my favorite imaginary contenders. Just bestial enough, but just human enough to strategize. So it's true. A lot of Aedan Thomas is just a platform to let me write exciting monster fights.

    Succubus Vs. Wendigo. Werewolf vs Zombies. Siren Vs. Sea Dragon. The worlds got so many monsters, and if it runs out I can just make up some more.

    Aedan started as the answer to the question "who would win? A werewolf or Jorogumo (giant magic spider). The ferocious beast vs the crafty hunter. Magic vs tooth and Claw. Brain beats brawn, but Jorogumo doesn't realize, the wolf isn't a stupid mindless beast. So I wondered, how could I get these two into the proverbial arena? Why would they fight each other?

    The story grew from there. Aedan became my protagonist. His best friend from Middle School, Zach Bronson, turns out to be a sorcerer. Aedan is humbled by his help. Once the pair of them hit high school, they drifted apart, as Aedan was drawn into a different crowd. He even ostracized Zach at times.

    Zach shows up at Aedan's college to help him get a handle on his new werewolf curse. But weird things are going on. A mystery creature is kidnapping other monsters. Aedan and Zach learn this when they meet Annaleigh, a fugitive Succubus, hiding from her powerful family.

    Soon, Anna and Aedan are kidnapped as well, but not before Zach finds a clue that leads him to the kidnappers Lair.

    There he finds the Jorogumo, draining power from various monsters in order to summon some type of Lovecraftian deity. She claims she succeeded, but no dark god seems present. The spider woman, driven to madness by her efforts attacks the sorcerer. At full strengtg, Zach could likely have handled her. But he's drained from days of helping Aedan with his werewolfism. Lucky for him, right when it seems the Spider has beaten him he's rescued by Aedan, who, with Anna's help, has transformed himself and broken free of the spider webs.

    Cue the wwe intro music. It's the wolf vs the spider. Who lives and who dies?

    Ok this is less an entry about progress and more me just musing about my own silliness. But I'm proud of the characters I came up with. It may be true that the most exciting thing to me is a throw down between beasts (Godzilla Vs Cthulhu) but when you add context to the fight, it makes it all the more satisfying. The more character I have to Zach, Aedan, and Annaleigh, the more urgency the battle had. Wasn't just a wolf fighting a spider, it was friends protecting each other.

    Aedan continues to develope. I hope someday he moves others the way developing him has moved me.
     
  14. cfalnevermore

    cfalnevermore Member

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    Another ally of Aedan's will be Lorelei. A Siren. She's sort of an amalgam of various sea dwelling myths and legends. Sirens, Sea Witches, Mer people.... that sort of thing.

    Hers is a tragic tale. The supernatural creatures of the seas have been driven to near extinction by the modern world. Pollution, over fishing, other ecological problems, but the biggest one for them has been the noise pollution created by more and more populated shipping lanes. Modern ship engines are powerful, but they create a lot of noise. Noise travels farther in the water.

    Many of the Mer folk were driven to madness by the noise. The only survivors left are those that found quieter places, or those that delved into deeper waters. As a result, mystical sea creatures are quite rare.

    Lorelei was banished to the surface by what remained of her people (haven't decided what her crime was yet). Before Aedan began living with Zach, he was called to a coastal town to investigate weirdness happening there. He found Lorelei, just barely surviving. He took pity on her and made her an offer. Since she was banished from the sea, she needs a place to stay. Like any marine life she needs to stay wet, so Zach offers her a home in the pool of his Inn.

    She accepts his offer. So now an ocean dwelling Siren lives in hotel swimming pool in middle America. Her magic has turned the pool water into salt water, and much to Zach's delight, she's able to keep it clean and maintained without any aid from him. She can hide from hotel guests and Zach had a few chambers dug that give her some private spaces to stay.

    In exchange for this hospitality, she has become one of Zach's patrons, giving him access to her ocean based magic. There's plenty more details to work out. But Lorelei acts as a source of wisdom for the most part. As a Siren, she rarely speaks, as her voice itself is laced with dangerous magicks. She only speaks when absolutely necessary. Her song can drive many living things mad.

    She thinks of Annaleigh as a sister of sorts and the two are close friends. She's grateful to Zach for giving her a home, but she will forever feel the loss of the open ocean, and the sadness that comes with it.
     
  15. cfalnevermore

    cfalnevermore Member

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    Warning! Sexual content follows. Prepare yourself accordingly.


    Today I find myself musing on my character Annaleigh. Anna (Ah-na) is a Succubus, or rather, my modern interpretation of a Succubus.

    For those who don't know, the succubus, and the male counterpart, the Incubus" are demonic entities that attacked humans while they slept. They would appear in dreams of their victims and seduce them into sexual activity which lead to deteriorating health for the victim.

    Some also believe that if they would wake during a Succubus or incubus attack, they would find themselves completely paralyzed, and they would feel something sitting on their chest, pinning them down.

    Some may recognize these as
    Symptoms of sleep paralysis. It's possible that before medical science understood the phenomenon of sleep paralysis, many people attributed their paralysis, the feeling of pressure on their chest, feelings of fear (resulting from the brain still being half asleep and dreaming) and their bodies being sexually active (a common occurrence while sleeping) to demonic attacks, rather than sleep paralysis. This may have given more impact to the myth of the sexual demons and made lasting legends of them.

    My modern interpretation of these creatures is more like a form of vampire. They have physical bodies, and don't need to haunt the dreams of their victims. Rather than feeding on the blood Of their victim, they feed on a persons soul or spirit energy, and they access it through the sex drive.

    They have very attractive bodies and are generally charismatic, so coaxing others to sleep with them may not be difficult, but all the same they have other tools at their disposal. Their bodies produce a sort of musk which makes them appear all the more attractive to regular humans. On top of that, the musk effects each person differently. If someone asked 20 people to describe the same Succubus or Incubus they saw the previous night, they would get 20 vastly different descriptions. Each person would perceive something differently. Skinnier, heavier, different shades of hair or eyes, different interpretations of facial features, hip shape, breast shape, you get the idea. You get bewitched by one of these creatures, you sort of see your idea of an attractive person. Once they've gotten close to a victim, they are able to ensnare them with magic if they need to, making their victims pliant so they can bring them to a place to feed. If the person has a strong enough will to break the Succubus/Incubus spell, they can also paralyze their victims with a magic kiss. Their kiss causes limbs to lock up, and renders them helpless.

    While the Succubus or Incubus is capable of feeding in human form, it's much easier for them in their beast form. In this form their bodies become bat-like humanoid creatures. With their victims incapacitated and their bodies transformed, they then proceed to mate with the victim, which for them, involves forcing a spiritual "mouth" into the victims soul. Since it's spiritual it slips right into the physical body. Sex is required for this process, because at the point of orgasm, the human body actually opens up a sort of unseen spiritual barrier. On a spiritual level, sex (in my universe) does involve two peoples souls touching. Same sex couples still touch souls mind you. There's is just as beautiful. So a persons spirit barrier lowers during sex and that's when the Succubus/Incubus strikes, biting off chunks of soul.

    The effects of these attacks vary. They could very easily damage the soul enough that the victims physical body could fall into a coma, succumb to brain death, or just regular death.

    Victims are unlikely to die from a single feeding however. Annaleigh in particular, takes small bites. Her victims generally suffer from a day or two of pain, illness, night terrors, and impotence. The souls can recover from some damage. Anna has been known to take larger bites from sexual predators, causing them some sort of permanent damage. The most common being complete loss of sex drive. The worst people she leaves as little more than husks. Theyr minds obliterated.

    All of this is merely the "physical" (and spiritual) effects of having a piece of soul chomped off. It says nothing of the mental trauma of being paralyzed and attacked by a monster. So the Succubus and the Incubus of my story are pretty frightening creatures. They appear as everything many of us want. Beautiful, sexy, charismatic, talented, rebellious, exciting, it is incredibly easy to fall for one even when they don't employ their magic.

    The creatures themselves are still cursed with humanity in many ways. Their human form is 100 percent human. They need to eat normal food, drink water, sleep, socialize, all of it. A medical professional wouldn't be able to see anything unusual in their physiology.

    Lots of them despise what they are forced to do to survive. They do their damndest to stay undercover, but no matter what, they have to feed their spirit at some point. Normal human soul/spirit maintains itself. In a Succubus/Incubus it doesn't. They use their sexual vampirism to feed on the souls of others to maintain their own. The feeding process always hurts someone. They all cope in different ways. Many Succubus numb their empathy into non existence. If they don't care about their prey, then it's easier to take what they need and move on. Anna herself, tries coping by only hunting sexual predators. She convinces herself she's doing good, and (argueably) she is. She traumatized people who prey on and hurt others, but that only does so much to assuage her guilt over what she is and what she does.

    Another way the succubus/Incubus are cursed is they can't feel lust, attraction, or pleasure themselves. They're almost asexual in that regard. This ends up being a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, many of them feel a void that they have no way to fill. Everyone wants them, but they'll never want anyone the same way. They can't. On the other hand it lets them keep a clear head about feeding, as well as maintaining relationships they do have. They cherish their friends, and while they often have to talk their friends down from falling in love or lust with them, when they do? They form very powerful lasting bonds, free of complications and sexual tension.

    Anna cherishes her friendship with Aedan and others. Her other coping mechanism is a tendency to want to play "matchmaker." In this way she allows herself to experience romance vicariously. She's eager to find Aedan a partner.

    Having said all of this now, there's a few things I want to clarify. Sex is a beautiful thing. Two consenting adults, who love one another to share their body and soul with each other, and bring one another to the peak of ecstasy and bliss? That's beautiful. No matter what their gender, race, or orientation. This isn't to say that all sex is about assionate lovemaking. Sex for fulfillment is beautiful too. Some need to satisfy an urge, a kink. In my opinion, this is still beautiful as long as it involves two consenting adults. If someone likes being tied up and treated like an animal and they find someone willing to oblige, awesome. It's (argueably) less about "touching souls" and more about fulfilling a need. But I think in many cases like this, there may still be some touching of souls.

    The Succubus in my story is meant to be a tragic figure in many ways. Their curse makes almost everyone crave them, but they can't ever have that kind of connection or fulfillment. For many of them... this is hard. But asexuality does exist in the world. So honestly... I'm still working on how a Succubus/Incubus feelings and such work when involved with another asexual person. They need a person to be attracted to them in order to slip past the spirit barrier and feed. But it's completely possible for asexual people to form loving relationships, even sexual ones.

    Part of me wants to say that the Succubus/Incubus can't have sex, in human form or otherwise, because they will inadvertently attack their partner. But at the same time... I just said they need the victim to be attracted to them... They're a work in progress. Maybe some day Anna will be able to find an asexual lover. But for most of the story, her strongest relationships are to her friends.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2018
  16. cfalnevermore

    cfalnevermore Member

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    I'm genuinely curious if anyone knows. If someone's living out of a car, how do they handle imsurance and other things that typically require a permanent address?

    Ive got a character in mind. Her name is Rayne. She is an actual private eye. A series of events cause Aedan Thomas to get on her radar and she begins investigating him and discovering all sorts of weird things about him. Eventually she learns about the paranormal world, and decides to work with Aedan at his PI business. Eventually they will be romantically involved.

    However, important thing is, when she first shows up she is living out of her station wagon by choice. She sold everything she owed to help friends of hers find their kidnapped daughter. Devoted all her time to that case and sold everything to keep herself going. Once that case ended she started taking contract work where she could and she makes decent enough money now, but she still hasn't gotten herself a home. To explain away the legal stuff, I'm just saying her dad let's her use his address when she's applying for service or insurance. But seriously... how do other people manage in a car situation?
     
  17. cfalnevermore

    cfalnevermore Member

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    Been treating this is more of an online journal than a progress journal. Sorry about that. Maybe I'll start a blog sometime. But I'm bored and feeling thoughtful, so I'm gonna talk about horror.

    Fear is a natural human emotion and is arguably the cause of all the strife in the world. I realize that's a gross over simplification, so I hope nobody takes offense. this isn't a proven Dogma I'm rambling on about, just my own unproven opinion.

    People might build their entire lives around what they fear. Changing their whole personality because they fear being alone. They might shout hateful things because they fear they're irrelevant, or wrong. To protect themselves, they have to be right. Even if it means they have to use force. This could apply to religion, politics, or just connecting with another human being.

    Some of us fear loneliness, some of us fear being ostracized (not the same thing in my mind), some of us fear poverty, some of us fear pain, some of us fear retribution, done of us fear judgement, some of us even fear spiders. How much do these fears shape our lives I wonder?

    The horror genre may seem like money grabbing cheap thrills to many, but I've always seen it as so much more. Horror is a chance to explore and understand part of our own humanity. We have every right to be afraid. We live in a world with plenty of human made strife that could lead to our deaths at any time. And that's just humans. The world can kill us with a tiny genetic defect, or disease. So many terrifying ways to die, even in a 1st world country. It's a terrifying life we live, even if it's completely mundane. I'm not even one of those people living a heroically dangerous life, like a soldier or a rescue worker. I'm just some schlubb and I'm still afraid.

    We owe it to ourselves to explore our own fears, our own darkness. Understanding is never a bad thing. So yeah, horror runs deeper than blood and gore. That's why it sucks being a horror fan a lot of the time. As much as I love a good slasher flick, those aren't the essence of horror I enjoy so much.

    Silent Hill 2, a PlayStation 2 video game from back in 2001 (holy shit I'm old) was the first story to teach me about just how frightening it is to be a human being. Its story involves a grieving widower and his journey of pain and despair. It's... an incredible experience. It will always be an example I hold up when someone claims that horror is cheap. Horror can be cheap, but it shouldn't be. It can teach us so much about ourselves.

    Aedan Thomas is a product of these beliefs of mine. Werewolves and beast-humans in general are nothing new. Normal wolves can be a nightmare for farmers and shepherds. What if they had a human intelligence behind them? What if this was more than an animal attack? The thought is scary. A twist that often occurs in these tales comes when the protagonist discovers THEY were the monster all along. Because deep down, we humans are just as animalistic as any other beast.

    I'm trying to write Aedan to evoke these things. His struggle with his own inner beast. He's human. He feels compelled to fulfill his needs, dare his hunger, or his lust, or quell his fear. When he can't he gets upset, his inner beast tries to claw its way up. He's a better human being than I am because he always fights that beast back down. So aside from turning him into a badass werewolf with heightened senses and super strength, the werewolf is a struggle against his own humanity.

    If he gives in a to his compulsions, his selfishness, his lust, or greed, he'll be no different from a savage animal. In his case, doing so could easily get someone hurt or killed. Here's the other thing about wolves though. They may be animals, but many people revere and worship them for good reason. They aren't just pure savage beasts. they're just surviving, same as anything else. When Aedan finally learns to understand, respevt, and accept his own darkness, it becomes easy to control, and coexist with it. To live his life.

    I'll continue later...
     

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