Behind the Writing (Professor Mishap)

***May Contain Spoilers***

The origin for Professor Mishap’s Fantastic Invention came out of the first meeting I had with Justin about Adventure Worlds.  The initial idea for the blog was a series of continuing stories all taking place in the same universe but in vastly different locations, each location being akin to a genera.  At least that was my take on what Justin came up with.

Justin is a big fan of pulp (something I wish I knew more about) and he wanted to try and capture the essence of the old pulp adventure stories and serials.  He hoped to create a place where one person could create a story and characters and other people could use something from that story as a jumping off point for another story.  If you’ve read the about for this blog you can see where we were going with it.  You could take the cabbie from Professor Mishap and tell a story of how his life was changed from his run in with Reynold or even a totally different story.

It was under this plan that I got the idea for and started writing Professor Mishap.  In fact you can ask Justin and he will tell you how rude it was that I started scribbling down ideas at the meeting.  I was trying to create a location that could be the location of dozens of stories, and characters that could be taken by others and used in new stories. The rest of the writing process was a jumble of fevered scribbling at coffee shops and long periods of single sentence days.

The creation of the blog was a big mess which gave me lots of (probably too much) time to finish the story.  I had an older story that I retooled to be used on the blog (Splashing in Puddles) and I figured I could put that up with Justin and Christian’s first stories and have more time to work on Professor Mishap.  As it turned out we all had a bad case of laziness and it was months before any of us were ready for the blog.

Once day I had an idea (it was my turn) for the yet unused blog and send a hideously long facebook message to the guys about creating a writing collective.  We could support each other by unofficially link all of our individual blogs together and use Adventure worlds as a spot where we can all post our short stories.  That way there will (in theory) always be something new posted and we can kick each others’ butts if we are not producing.

Pulp-O-Mizer_Cover_Image

Make you own!

I guess I should get back to taking about the story.  The whole idea came from the name gravity ball.  I didn’t even know what it did yet, but I thought it sounded cool and pulpy.  The characters came out of clichés.  Someone had to have made it, hence The inept and contemptuous Professor, and someone had to have an adventure with it (this is Adventure Worlds after all) so we get the abused and hopefully endearing Reynold.  The rest of the story came out of me trying to get Reynold into and out of as many difficult situations as I could in 3000 words.  The huge chunk of time it took to actually finish and then type up was rather appalling I know, and I think the story suffered a bit for it.

Because I write my stories by hand, the first draft sat in my notebook for a long time waiting to be typed.  If you follow the blog regularly you’ll have noticed my musings on that before.  I tried to use the typing process as a first edit, and other than a few typos and grammar gaffs it seemed to work.  I think my story is much better for the extra work.  I’m not sure where Olive came in for the initial idea, but her presence in Reynold’s thoughts was cut down in the edit.  It was getting way off topic and he was getting needlessly mushy.  The scene with the thugs was expanded by a sentence or two too.  I felt like I was rushing to finish the story when writing it and it felt similarly rushed.  I think I managed to slow it down without ruining the pacing too much.  There were other smaller changes, I reworded a lot of the lab incident and Reynold’s initial escape, but nothing else major changed.

I do wish I typed it up a lot sooner though, because now I have taken a big break from writing my next story and it is feeling all out of joint.  I hope to have part one of that done by the middle of April.  It depends on if I have learned my lesson or not.

I feel as if I have totally skipped over a ton of stuff (Christian’s write ups are so much better, and he doesn’t ramble nearly as much).  I hope people will ask some questions in the comments and I can go over them there and cover anything I may have missed.

P.S. Thanks to Alanna (from http://allegoryofalanna.wordpress.com/) for catching the typos and spelling mistakes I missed when I published.

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2 comments

  1. Great work Ben. It adds a whole new dimension to a story (IMO) when you get a bit of the thought process which went into creating it.
    On a side note, I’ve been known to ramble plenty lol.

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