Thursday, May 21, 2009

Writer's Block

I'm currently experiencing it. I'm at 9 chapters into my Shifters story and there's still a TON of stuff that needs to happen and will happen and ... I'm at a loss of what to write next.

Maybe it's that it's too open ended right now, even in my head. I'm not sure what my villains or heroes will be doing next.

I'm trying to get past it by writing a chapter involving a major/minor character that hasn't had much love yet, but is mentioned multiple times at the start of the story.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Being comfortable with writing...

One of the things that my throwing myself head over heels into writing fanfiction is that I have rediscovered the joy of writing.

I used to write all the time, before I got sucked into the gaping vortex that was text-based RPG's, Final Fantasy XI and WoW.

I tried to do NaNoWriMo 2008, and I got halfway there before I stumbled back into the no-writing routine.

Using fanfiction as a way to write something enjoyable, forcing me to read over what I write and try to find and fix errors, broaden my writing style slightly, figure out what I do over and over annoyingly and stop it...

My folders are overflowing now with stories.

I have a BUNCH of stories right now regarding Toto and Hauli, but I need to go back through them and rewrite them here and there. You see, I finally found the OTHER part of TGS that deals with post-season 2 Gargoyles... how Lex becomes a cyborg, what happens with the Quarrymen, the second Unseelie War, etc.

So I need to update my stories based on this new information. Not TOOOO much needs to change, but a few things here and there will need to be updated.

And I'm still going strong on my Shifters story. Stumbling here and there, but I'm plugging along with the story. I can go back and fix problems later.

Six 'chapters' and counting.

By the way, what makes a chapter a chapter?

My problem with my writing is that I tend to JUMP POV's, fumbling in and out of someone's stream of consciousness. I'm not sure if it's a flaw I need to stamp out, or a curious but doable quirk that makes my writing uniquely.. mine.

Friday, May 8, 2009


So not only am I insane enough to try to write Gargoyles fan fiction, but I happened upon one or two cross overs. After reading them (the good, the bad, the good ideas but bad implementation), I decided to try my own hand at it.

I was surprisingly PLEASED with the results. I think I did a good job at it. I have to work on the ending a little bit, but other than that, I'm happy with the way I feel I managed to capture the crossovered characters, not to mention Brooklyn.

The first part of my four-part crossover story is on the sidebar.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

My Version of the Clan and other things...

Obviously, I am not the creator of Gargoyles. I have no idea what they were intending, or where they were going to go with the story. I have no real idea how old they consider Angela (or the other Avalon Gargoyles). Etc.

So I've had to make do with what I could find out, and what I think sounds reasonable.

I'll note 'My Idea' with (mi), and 'Series' with (s) and 'Timedancer' with (td) where applicable.

(Series includes interviews and commentary by the creator of Gargoyles, not just what was in the first two 'canon' seasons of Gargoyles, as well as information from GargWiki.)

Adrenaline causes specific enzymes to activate in gargoyle eyes, causing the males eyes to glow white, females to glow red. It probably started out as something to make Demona seem even more demonic, and Angela as Demona's daughter has her mother's eyes, but then they had other female gargoyles in the series (during the World Tour) have red eyes too. Ergo: Males white, females red. (s)

They turn to organic stone during the day, tied in part to the cycles and turning of the planet and sun. Their own internal clock will turn them to stone occasionally without the benefit of the sun. However, Earth's sunlight will always trigger stone sleep, regardless of how soon it has been since their last sleep cycle. (An 'episode' of Timedancer shows that it isn't ANY sun, but Earth's sun specifically) (td)

They absorb solar energy while asleep, which is what causes the healing process to occur, as well as what keeps them from needing to eat like the large active creatures that they are. Most of their waste products are shed in the skin. (s)(td)

Starting anywhere from chronological age of 40 (mi)(td) to 50 (s), female gargoyles will start their breeding cycles. They go into season around the autumn equinox, and lay usually a single egg six months later around the time of the spring equinox.

What age this happens depends on a few factors, such as health of the gargoyle, their own personal genetics as well as the breeding status of nearby females. For instance, if a female gargoyle is living with another clan than the one of her birth, and is within a year or so of her own cycle and the clan females begin their own breeding season, she may 'short cycle' so that her own child will be layed and hatched in the same time period as the clan she is with. (Similar to how women living together in a household will often have coinciding menstrual cycles after a short time.)(mi)

In my world, Toto's clan tended to go into their cycle young, around 40. (mi) Sata, according to what I can figure out, was breeding in her early 50's. (td)

Once they begin their cycles, a female gargoyle will have one child every twenty years for an average of three layings. The ages given are 50, 70 and 90. (25, 35 and 45 in 'human' ages) The eggs take 10 years to hatch. Meaning that a female gargoyle will have a 20 year old child (equivalent of 10 year old) when her second egg hatches. (s)

How long or short a period would be required for her to short-cycle, if she would? I would think short-cycling would be only 2-3 years, tops. (mi)

The way I figure it, Brooklyn, Broadway and Lexington were almost 40 when they were transported to Manhattan. So the equivalent of late teens, early 20's. (s)

The Avalon gargoyles seem to be about the same age, and judging by the aging of Tom and Katherine, I don't think a mere 20 years passed (as some places indicate (s)). Instead, it seems more like 40. Otherwise, Angela would be leaving Avalon as a ten year old gargoyle, instead of the late teen, early twenty adult she seems to be. And Tom doesn't look like he's 25-30, the way he should be. And Katherine certainly doesn't seem to be 20 years older than the young Princess she was in 994. They both look at least 35-40 years older, not 18-20. (mi)

This means, when does Angela lay an egg? Now, according to one report, the next 'breeding' season for the Manhattan/Avalon clan is supposed to be 2006 (s). Yet other stories have Angela laying the egg that would be Artus in 1997 (td), yet another says 2008 (hatching in 2018). (s)

What does that mean? Well, if Angela is about 40 then yes, the '97/98 laying makes sense. If Sata arrives with 20 year old gargoyle hatchlings, (10 year olds), she'd have missed a cycle of breeding. For the sake of math, Sata laid the twins in time -10. They hatched at time 0. At time 10, they'd be '5' year olds and Sata would be due to lay another egg. At time 20, that egg should hatch, and the twins would be '10' year olds (and about the age in the Timedancer story that they return to 1997 with their parents). At time 30, they'd be '15' year olds and Sata would be due to lay another egg. (td)

Without knowing how long the family remained in the future after the birth of the twins, the problem is: Since Sata returned to 1997 Manhattan with the equivalent of 10 year old gargoyles in tow, but no nearly mature egg, it seems to indicate that she either deliberately skipped one of her cycles or left her egg in the future (if she was there long enough for her to become pregnant and lay an egg). Did Sata deliberately avoid having another child knowing what happened to her and the twins with their timetravelling, or did she have the time to lay an egg in the future and was forced to leave it there? I can't picture Sata and Brooklyn being so blase in 1997 when they returned if they were forced to leave a child in the future. Which leads me to believe they made the choice to abstain during Sata's second breeding cycle. (mi)(td)

Brooklyn would be about 80 years old when he returns to 1997 (40 human). (td) Goliath was 56 (s) when they awoke in 1994, so in 1997 would be 59 (almost 30). Hudson was already over 100 years old when he promoted Goliath to clan leader. (s)

My OC Toto would reach 40 in the year 2006. She would be 10 years out of cycle with 1997 Angela, but within 0-2 years of 2006/2008 Angela, and in theorhetical synch with Sata. (Which means I need to change one of my story arcs slightly). The part of me that likes coincidences likes this new thought. So I think this is what I'm going to accept as 'truth'.

To me, it seems that attributing 'human' tonal ranges to the gargoyles is ... silly. All the voices in the series were very well suited to the characters, but I always pictured that when a gargoyle spoke in that deep angry roar for the males or the angry screams of the females, they'd probably hit a few registers that human voices just can't imitate. The way hearing a lion roar or a jungle cat scream causes us to shiver? Yeah. They hit that register. It lends credence to the fact that not only were they on average larger than humans, stronger, faster and certainly could be very scary looking, they weren't just super-humans. They're a different species. (mi)

Given the vocal things they did with Demona versus Goliath, I figure the males tend to roar while the females have a more of an angry feline shriek. (s)(mi)

A few times in the series, the gargoyles are shown to be equally as comfortable running down a street on all fours as they are walking, and being almost animalistic in hand to hand combat. (s) To that, I added the fact that I've always pictured them fighting and dodging bullets and the like as a very fluid motion, equally incorporating not only a four-footed battle stance, but two footed, and using their wings and tails as pivot points and anchors for quick turns and movements. (mi)

While studying the wing patterns that the creators gave the gargoyles, I noted something.
Goliath has two 'wingspars' (the term is from td) and a single 'wingclaw'.
Brooklyn has no wingspars and a winghand with three fingers.
Demona and Angela, while their wings have the 'bat shape', do not have visible wingspars, and also have a winghand with three fingers.
So I figure the gargoyle 'wing' has four bones in it. The more 'spars' you have, the less bone you have to give you 'wingfingers'. One bone is taken up by the outermost supporting edge of the wing (like an index finger). The thumb is the wingclaw. Then two other bones would either form additional small finger/claws, or wingspars. This matches with the fact that gargoyles have only a thumb and three fingers on their hands. (mi)

Lexington is a special case. I also think that gargoyles of his particular style would likely always be small, as they simply don't have the wing area to support a larger heavier body. (mi)

Split winged gargoyles would also be unusual cases, such as Desdemona/Coldfire. I wish they had given us a better shot of her wings.

More about breeding... in Timedancer, when Brooklyn encounters Pandora the Gargoyle again, there is the comment made that with an unmated female, any unmated male that could chase her would. I take this to mean almost base-instinct responses. If the female doesn't focus on her mate (or one particular unmated gargoyle), then it's like an 'open flight'. The best and strongest and fastest that can catch her gets to pass his genes on to the next generation. Given that it doesn't seem to me that female gargoyles would just LET anyone breed her, friend, clan brother, stranger, whateva... that base instincts to breed would take over and she and her 'mate' would be driven by biologic needs, at least temporarily giving in to basic drives. A pretty heavy mix of pheremones, hormones and the like would likely need to be going on, both to drive a female gargoyle to do this, and to entice unmated males into chasing her. (td)(mi) The policy of all children of the clan don't belong to any set of gargoyles also fits in well with this idea. There would be no stigma of 'unmated pregnancy' among Gargoyles. Given how tied to the natural world they are, when it's time to breed, well, that's just how it is.

In my eyes, love and children and the like actually played a pretty important role in Gargoyles. Goliath and Demona in the past were very affectionate on film. They had a child. Xanatos and Fox are affectionate with one another (kissy kissy!) and they also had a child. Angela arrives and the Trio all try to win her as their own. Brooklyn is always after the ladies too.

To that end, it's surprising that it seems that you don't ever see the Gargoyles kissing. At least not that I can remember. But it makes sense. How would a gargoyle like Brooklyn, or some of the unnamed gargoyles from Scotland with beaks, kiss? Instead, it seems that they did a lot of cheek and hair caressing as forms of affection. Going with the whole 'primal instinct' thing, I'd imagine that while they didn't kiss one another, nipping could certainly play a role! Good thing they 1: have tough hides and 2: heal everyday.

I can see how with the increasing human contact and ideas into their society, those gargoyles that could indulge in affectionate kissing would do so. But poor gargoyles like Brooklyn are still out of luck, even if in the TD stories, he tries to kiss. Puckering up and giving a smooch, okay. 'Frenching' however, probably not possible.

Another inconsistency that I'm not sure about is that (s) says that eventually the Manhattan Clan goes back to the 'traditional' way of raising children. Albeit, in such a small clan with only one canon (two with Brooklyn and Sata) couple, how could the kid NOT figure out who were his parents?

In (td) the future clan that Brooklyn and Sata encounter, they raise individual children with their families. The one alteration is that one couple did not have children when they could have, because the egg would have hatched 'alone'. Brooklyn and Sata's children hatched out of synch with the rest of the rookery though, which again engenders the idea of individual parents caring for their children. This changes the dynamic of the family unit though, and what do with children who either lose their parents, or have an unmated mother. How will this affect the social dynamic of a clan?

Personally, I think a mix would happen. Individual children would KNOW who their parents were, and said parents would obviously care more for their children than others, but the hatchlings would likely be cared and loved for by everyone in their extended clan family. Orphans would be cared for by the clan as a whole. Those with a single parent would have no hardships or suffer no stigma, because again, the clan as a whole will still help raise all the children. (mi)

Well, that's enough for today.

Original Character: Hauli

Hatched: 1952 A. D. Kenya (Africa)
Joined Manhattan Clan: February 2007

Traits: Contemplative and quiet, very strong, often indulges in gentle teasing. Slow to anger.

Description: Milk chocolate in color, about the same general build and size as Goliath. (Broad through the chest, well muscled, slightly smaller than Goliath.) Along each side of his head, two short blunt triangular horns provide a bracket for shoulder length, dark yellow hair. His brows have a single small ridge. His face is broad, with wide lips and flat cheekbones. His wings are the 'classic' shape, with a single wingclaw and three wingspars giving it the classic bat-wing shape, the outer folds black, the inner folds a darker brown than his skin.

Habits: Forgets to talk in English sometimes, sometimes finishes open ended statements of others with his own irreverent remarks.

Genesis of his name: HAH-oo-lee is an African name meaning Strength (or so says the internet). He earned that name by being the largest and strongest hatchling in the rookery the year he was born. He is actually, the largest gargoyle of the African clan.

Significant Attachments: Future mate of Toto. Before he meets Toto, he is the lover of Ijaba (and father of Ijaba's first child). His clan leader Ehioze and clan brother Chimalsi also have deep ties to Hauli. He has something of a bitter rivalry existing with the clan second, Pili.

He has not had any significant reactions with the Manhattan Clan other than Toto to form either positive or negative associations.

He is grateful to Brooklyn, knowing that Brooklyn is the one that saved Toto from the destruction of her home and brought her forward in time.

He accords Goliath the same respect he would offer to Ehioze.

He treats Ariana and Graeme with the older brother roughhousing and wry affection that he would use on young gargoyles in his own clan. (At the time he joined the clan, Ariana and Graeme would be, if I did the math right (and who knows), gargoyle teenagers.)

He calls Fox 'Mbweha' (it's Swahili for Fox, so says the internet), and treats her with great respect as she saved his life in one story.

Significant Flaws: He broods too much, especially early in his relationship with Toto. He is slow to anger. He also feels that the tempermental Toto can do no wrong (although he does stop her from lashing out at others with her anger) and finds her erratic personality 'endearing'. He is overly protective of his mate.

African Clan Information:
For the plot of my story between Toto and Hauli to work, I needed a clan that was not on the World Tour. So I made up one in Africa. Where would a large clan of gargoyles be in Africa? Kenya specifically? Marsabet National Park of course!

They speak Swahili and are regarded by those few locals that know they exist as Jungle Spirits (kichaka pepo: Which roughly translates from Swahili to 'Jungle Spirit'). They consider the park their protectorate, and work to protect the animals within from poachers.

Most of the clan, including females, are tall and broad, larger than 'average' gargoyles (such as Angela, Brooklyn, Sata, Gabriel, Demona and Toto, more along the height and breadth (if not weight) of Hudson, Broadway, Coldstone/Othello). They tend towards dark skin colors, as opposed to the almost pastel colors of the Manhattan Clan and others, including all the colors of brown possible, dark red, dark blue, gray and near black.

Due to some fluke (possibly associated with inbreeding associated with being so isolated), the clan has significantly fewer females than males and all the gargoyles in the clan share some similar traits, namely the short triangular shaped horns (single or double) and the 'classic' shape of their wings. They have avoided some of the worst aspects of inbreeding due to the fact that the clan is relatively large and most of the females pick different partners for their first child than later ones with a chosen mate, leading to continued genetic diversity of the generations.

Bad Information Disclaimer: I am not a researcher. I have no idea if the National Park has both savanna and a wooded area where the clan is. I have no idea if human villagers would live in said Park. I have no idea if two days is how long it would take for a gargoyle to trek from the Park to Nairobi. I have no idea if my use of Swahili is correct and accurate. Then again, tell me how historically accurate a Viking assault on a Scottish Castle in 994 A.D. is? That's what I thought.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Original Character: Toto

Hatched: 562 A. D. Caledonia (Scotland)
Rescued by Brooklyn (Timedancer) in 596 A. D.
Timedanced Time: Approximately 5 months.
Ended Timedancing: New York, Central Islip July 1999
Joined Manhattan Clan: February 2000

Traits: Short temper, average strength, speed, agility. Sings well.

Description: A pink-rose colored gargoyle, leanly muscled. Her wings are a purple-pink on the back, a dusty-rose on the undersides. She has a single wingspar at the end of the wings, giving them a lean square appearance with a slight flare at the end. She has two wing-fingers, instead of a wing-hand or single-talon. Her hair is purple. She has a small knee-spur.

Her jaw is more angular than 'human', and she has both brow ridges and horns. Her brows have two small upswept curves towards the outer edge of her eye, and one downswept curve at the outer edge. Her horns start at her temples, going upwards in a gentle ~ shape from temple to the back of her head, the ends curving in towards one another, creating a broken coronet appearance from behind.

Habits: Forelock always falling into her eyes, she pushes it out of the way a lot. She hums or sings under her breath when she's distracted, or when she's lonely.

Genesis of her name: The most significant portion of her travels with Brooklyn took place when they wound up in Kansas City. When Brooklyn tried to explain 'We're not in Kansas anymore' to her, by explaining about Dorothy and Toto from the Wizard of Oz, the gargoyle took the name Toto as her own.

Significant Attachments: Currently mainly just Brooklyn, who was the only person she associated with after the death of her clan. Though Goliath is the clan leader, Toto often looks to Brooklyn for direction first, then Goliath.

She regards Hudson with respect, as she would a Teacher or Elder from her own clan.
Brooklyn's children she treats much the same way she treated the hatchlings from her own clan.
Sata she regards with the respect she gives the clan leader's mate.

EDIT: In a later story, Toto winds up in Africa when she needs to find a mate (after reaching physical maturity and coming into her breeding cycle). There she meets Hauli, who will become not just a temporary mate for the purpose of breeding, but becomes a significant person in Toto's life.

Significant Flaws: She acts first, thinks second. She does not view humans very highly, and tends to have a callous disregard for their frailty, especially when she's not paying attention or it's a criminal/villain.


  • Timedancer: Brooklyn dreams he's in a Looney Tunes cartoon. Bugs Bunny tries to tell him the Gate transported him to parallel universe. Now that I have the premise, I just have to figure out what to have him do there.
  • Toto: Toying with the idea of having her cut a music album (yet another ploy of Xanatos' to improve the image of the gargoyles, and make money). Not sure if I'm making her be too much though.
  • Toto: Given the future seen in Timedancer at the Eyrie Tower, I'm trying to make the reason Brooklyn wound up bringing her to Long Island in 1999 (and losing her there) is that she's going to be the gargoyle that sets most of those events into motion. The stories I've written thus far (but not posted yet), deal with some of these things already.
  • Toto: Delving into her past. What was her clan like? Who does she miss? Why does she sing? Was she always this quick to anger, or is this something that has come about from the destruction of her clan? How exactly DID her clan get destroyed? Sure sure, death by daylight, but... why?
  • Timedancer: There is so much room to play with his travels, that I can't believe I'm having trouble thinking of new material. But I am. I think the problem is I can think of short little things that he could be doing, but I try to write 'episodes', as if they were going to be seen on TV. And some of the things that would be giggle-worthy to write about aren't what I'd picture being seen on Gargoyles the TV Show. Granted, I've already written some things that wouldn't be seen on Gargoyles the TV Show necessarily, so I suppose I shouldn't let that stop me. But I want adventures.
  • Sata: I really need to get her down. I find I'm avoiding having her talk or do too much, because WTF do I know about samurai? And her katana and her wazish.. wazti... wakizashi (I had to go read Out of Joint again to find it mentioned)? And when do you use -chan, -san, -sama? Oy.
  • Ariana and Graeme: There isn't much written with them in it (in fact, just the first two parts of 'Out of Joint'), so it's hard to figure out their personalities. It seems Ariana is a merry girl, and Graeme your typical boy.
  • In my OC stories, I have a female gargoyle out of sync with the rest of the gargoyles in the clan. Actually, none of the females of the Manhattan clan are currently in cycle with one another. I'm using the premise of once they hit 40, every 20 years they have a 'breeding cycle', as intimated by what I've read, with usually a single egg laid. So there's Sata, Angela and my OC Toto that are all at different cycles. Will they sync up? Meaning that one will cycle early, one late, one on time? Kind of how real life human women that live together sometimes start to cycle together? And do I want to deal with that? The show dealt with 'mates', 'children', 'family', so why can't I?
  • Where will Toto find romance? It's Disney. There's always romance somewhere. An Avalon gargoyle? An out of clan gargoyle? I can't see her with Lex, so that's out of the picture (besides, Weisman once said in an interview that he thought Lex was gay...) Should I have her somehow go to Avalon and have Graeme grow up and let her fall in love with this Brooklynesque gargoyle? I don't really like that idea. It seems a little trite to me. 'I can't have Brooklyn, so I will have his SON instead! Muahahaha!'. Yeah, no.
  • Oh yeah, and what would happen to a gargoyle that gets trapped up in the far north/south, where it's sun for 6 months and dark for 6 months? Do they stay stone for 6 months? That would... really suck for them. But 6 months of darkness, they'd have to deal with injuries that can't be healed in stone sleep, or at least not very well without the solar energy of the sun replenishing them. And they'd have to eat more...
Time to ponder.