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DZ-Jay's Random Blog - Christmas Carol: A Short Story - Part XXIII


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Not much progress to report. After adding the elf characters to the beginning of the story and editing a few things here and there, I completed the Snowflake Gardens chapter and started on the next.

As predicted, I added yet another chapter to the story. For those keeping score, the outline now sits at 13 chapters plus an epilogue. I have a strong suspicion that the last two chapters will be turned into at least four, so that'll bring us to a grand total of 17 to 18 chapters plus the epilogue.

The current chapter I am in -- the new one I added -- is #11 and I titled it "Bad Toy!" with the quotation marks and all. That's what Carol Greenleaf yells at the toy robot when it zaps her with his modified laser. She actually says:

“Bad toy!” Carol scolded the T.O.M.Bot. “You’re a very, very bad toy!” she scowled fiercely.

I thought it was funny and I needed a name for the chapter, so there it is. :)

In the previous chapter (back in the yonder days of the "Snowflake Gardens"), Carol was introduced to the magical snowflakes. Rather than eating them like in the game (which is a staple game mechanic but doesn't work so well in a story narrative), she makes snowballs out of them. Magical snowballs. She then whacks the Bad Toy over the head with one and learns about their magical properties; to wit, that they stun severely the victim, allowing her time to escape.

It was a lot of fun to write all that, and at least to me it seemed to work.

Another fun part was coming up with onomatopœic phrases for the Bad Toy's sounds. I settled for three:
  • Grumble, grumble, grumble - for when it's rolling around in its tank-like treads.
  • Whir ... whir ... whir ... plonk. Bleep! - for when it's scanning around, swiveling its head from side to side looking for a target.
  • Bleep! Bloop! Bwoop! Bwoop! - for when it locks on a target and is ready to zap it.

Here's how they sound read in context:

Carol watch as the toy robot stopped and swiveled its head around, scanning; first to one side, then the other.

"Whir ... whir ... whir ... plonk. Bleep!"
"Whir ... whir ... whir ... plonk. Bleep! Bleep!"

Then a little bit later ...

Thus, with some measure of caution, but mostly curiosity, Carol stepped out of her hiding place and walked slowly towards the T.O.M.Bot 3K. Immediately, the thing swerved its head to face directly at Carol, and let out a series of bleeps and bloops and bwoops, as the little red light on top of its antenna blinked in step wildly.

"Bleep! Bloop! Bwoop! Bwoop!"
"Bleep! Bloop! Bwoop! Bwoop!"

That was fun and describes how they sound in my head. I just feel very stupid when I read it back to my wife out loud. :dunce:

Then, of course, there's the classic "Bzzzzzt!" for the actual laser blast. I even described the blast in terms of how it appears in the game. Here's a video of the sequence. I had to packaged it as a ZIP because AtariAge does not support AVI files. (?)
Anyway, I did my best to describe it as an electric shock running through her body, making even her bones glow. I think it's quite effective, and just vague enough to leave most of it to the reader's imagination, but still suggestive of the overall concept. :)

And that's all the progress we have. Right now I'm trying to get Carol out of the Snowflake Gardens and back into the action with the rest of the characters. The Evil Snowman is about to get a magical snowball splattered on his face, and the Ghost Of Christmas Presents will just laugh at the whole thing -- and true to his prankster nature, he will steal the stunned Snowman's twiggy arms and wear them like antlers, running around mocking the paralyzed foe. It's a scene from one of the game's cut scenes, and it needs to be in the story. Those cute little antics in the cut scenes are what originally drove my interest into writing the story.

Here's a video of the in-game cut-scene.

Anyway, that's all I have for now. Until the next time.

See ya'!

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