WIP project blanket box

I found this prompt list on Pillowfort that I thought would be fun to do: Creative WIP Project Blanket Box. "Blanket Box" is a Pillowfort-specific term for this type of prompt list, but I admittedly don't use my Pillowfort account for much... so I'm setting up my blankets over here instead.

I was wanting to start dumping some of my OC content onto this blog anyway, so this seems like a perfect, completely inorganic way to do it. I have some preliminary information about this project on the Earth 2 page of my OC website. (If you're uninitiated, Earth 2 is my jokey name for the setting in addition to the temporary name for the project, which is still untitled.)

Think quick! It's the dreaded elevator pitch icebreaker: explain your WIP project in less than three sentences! Bonus points if it's the most horrendous way you could've possibly described your project.

Man (who is also an eel) picks up an unconscious kid (who is also a bug) on the street, gets dragged into a wacky wild road trip to help her find her brother (who is also a bug).

Introduce us to your setting. Does it have an aesthetic or prominent genre-feel to it? What makes it unique?

The setting is a coastal city in the American Pacific Northwest region, with the time being vaguely late 2010s-early 2020s. It's... I mean, it's basically just Seattle, but not literally Seattle because working with real locations is weird and I don't want to do it.

The main difference between Earth 1 and Earth 2 is that giant animals exist and can be a pretty big inconvenience. Some of those giant animals are also people who call themselves shifters. Most shifters are pretty well assimilated into human society, but a few try to live outside the view of the government and humanity in general.

I've seen some advice about avoiding urban fantasy because it's too hard to try to justify how magic could exist in a world so similar to ours. Fuck that. I do what I want. Don't think too hard about it.

Introduce us to your main characters. What are their stand-out characteristics?

Farah: A 14 year old isopod shifter. She lost her parents a few years ago and has been moving from city to city with her brother since then... except now her brother has gone missing, so she finds herself in a real pickle. She is concerningly optimistic and cheerful despite her numerous predicaments.

Ian: A 27 year old eel shifter. He'd be in the running for worst person to talk to at a party, except he wouldn't be at a party to begin with. If you implied he'd ever go to a party, he'd say something unnecessarily bitchy and uncalled for.

If you had to pick one song or instrumental piece to best represent your project what would it be? If that's too strict, what genre of music do you think would best fit your project?

Think 90s punk and grunge blasted out of the shittiest speaker known to man. The Offspring's album Americana is the first one to come to mind as far as general vibe goes. We're just here to have fun and eat people and have fun!

What genre(s) or theme(s) does your project fall under? Get as specific as you want.

Like I said earlier, this is an urban fantasy story. As is usually the case, that's just a thinly-veiled excuse for writing about other stuff: the themes focus on grief, belonging, and how much control we really have over our lives, through the eyes of two people who have clashing views on all of those things.

What sparked the idea for your project? What made you decide to begin working on it? Has your project changed since it was first inspired?

Ian and a few other characters have existed for almost 15 years, but they were either floating in the void or part of other scrapped projects. I made Farah 2 years ago because I thought forced parenthood would be good for Ian... and then it spiralled out of control from there.

The project has been evolving since day 1. It's very much an ongoing thing, not something I had a clear-cut idea for from the beginning. I try not to get married to my ideas so it's easier to cut stuff that isn't working.

Do you have an end goal in mind for this project? Is there anything you want to achieve during/with your project? Or are you just enjoying the journey of creating it, unsure where that will take you?

I've thought about turning it into a comic or visual novel, but I have no clue if that'll ever come to fruition. I'm just chilling. I still need to finish filling in the gaps in the story, so let's focus on that first!

I've been writing the bits and pieces that I have for the story like a combination of a novel and a screenplay, but I don't think I'm very good at writing fiction on a stylistic level, so that would never see the light of day.

What's one of your favourite things about your project?

I've really enjoyed working on the emotional aspects. I like writing the dynamics between people with contrasting personalities; I've pushed that to an extreme here because I wanted to ramp up the potential for conflict (and boy, is there conflict!). So that's been really interesting and fun and painful.

Also, I haven't had any teenage characters since I myself was a teenager, so I've had fun getting into Farah's head as an adult. A lot of it is just me thinking really hard about being 14 again, but my day job requires me to be around high schoolers all day, so that has helped with fleshing her out too.