LTDI Update, part 1
One year ago tomorrow, as part of my 1,000th Edit special, I announced to the wiki that I have begun work on a competition story, although I wasn’t certain then whether it would ever see the light of day. On year later, The Legend of Total Drama Island stands at about 85,000 words, plus about 3,500 words of notes (or “trivia”, if you prefer).
This word count actually puts me about three months behind where I had hoped to be at this time, although I think you’ll approve of the reasons. The first is that I have become the beta reader for TDIRM’s war epic, Winds of Change, and also filled in for Sprink as Gigi’s beta reader for the most recent chapter of Life After Lies because Gigi thought the chapter was too violent for Sprink. All told, that’s 28,000 words of commentary, most of which would otherwise have gone to writing LTDI (not that I would necessarily have added that many words to LTDI during that time).
The second reason for my disappointing progress is that, instead of ramping up my writing as I had previously hoped to do, I found another wiki task that has been consuming my evenings/weekends: I have resolved to make time to read and, no less importantly, comment on more of other people’s stories—including, for the first time on any significant scale—
…OC competition stories.
- Lilac’s story, Total Drama Island: For Your Entertainment, which features a writing style not so different from my own (although Lilac denies this) and which I think will become one of the wiki’s classics if Lilac sees it through to the end;
- MrDaimion’s story, Total Drama Island - Take Two;
- Rhonda’s story, Total Drama What The Heck?, which features a mix of canon and OC contestants, including (my suggestion, by the by) Chef Hatchet as a contestant; and
- Chimmy’s unabashedly cartoonish Total Drama Life, which, while rarely updated any more, was the first OC competition story that I started to read as it was posted.
I am also hoping to start reading Shane’s latest story, Total Drama Fiji before it gets too far along so I can give feedback in time to do some good, and I’m hoping to find time to start reading Kg’s OC story, Total Drama Stardom before it gets too close to the end, for the same reason and because I liked his TDI remake so well.
I’ll admit that this is a lot to digest, and it’s likely to push the limits of my ability to keep original characters straight.
One more OC story bears mention: I read and commented on roughly the first half of Sprink’s fantasy story, Total Drama Super Powered pretty much all at once before it got shoved to the back burner. One of these days, I simply must find time to finish it.
On that note, I have a question for you:
LTDI Update, part 2
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking
- Becoming The Mask
- Curiosity Killed The Cast
- Lewd Lust, Chaste Sex
- Mating Dance
- Paper Cutting
- Post-Kiss Catatonia
- Prophetic Names
- Reality Ensues
- Take That!
- The Runner Up Takes It All
- You Do NOT Want To Know
As I mentioned in that first tropes listing, although LTDI will have its share of light moments, it will generally be Darker and Edgier than the original, partly reflecting the fact that I have the luxury of writing for an older audience than the TDI creative team targeted. This is part of the reason for Katie and Sadie’s greater prominence—although I didn’t necessarily plan it that way, K&S are emerging as major comic relief characters.
I achieve a darker feel by three major methods:
- More sexual innuendo/adult situations. (LTDI is rated PG-13 for a reason.) The Duncshine scene I previewed on Valentine’s Day is a good example of this, albeit with a comic twist.
- Mature subject matter. LTDI deals with some pretty heavy topics, including things like teen pregnancy and violent death.
- Playing for drama certain incidents that the original played for laughs.
This last technique is the subject of tonight’s preview.
Preview scene: “Too Close” from The Tale of the First Challenge
Missed an earlier preview? The LTDI talk page has a complete listing with links.
Scene background: Heather refuses to dive for vain reasons, as in the original. She and LeShawna then quarrel, as in the original.
Heather then uttered the Famous Last Words, “Make me.”
LeShawna said no more, but advanced on the dragon girl with grim determination. Heather instinctively gave ground, realizing that she was physically no match for LeShawna and fearing that the powerful-looking homegirl just might throw her bodily off the cliff.
Step by step, LeShawna continued to advance and Heather continued to retreat. So concerned were these adversaries with each other, that they lost track of their position.
“Uh, guys?” Sadie began uncertainly.
“Guys?” Katie repeated, with more urgency, a few moments later.
Heather and LeShawna did not hear their teammates, so intent were they on each other. Moments later, Heather stepped back onto…nothing. She had reached the edge of the cliff.
Thrown off balance, with only her toes on solid ground, the dragon girl fell over backwards and plummeted, screaming, to the lake far below.
“Heather!” LeShawna cried helplessly, instinctively extending her hand although Heather could not possibly have reached it.
Those toes on the cliff, while not enough to support her, may have saved Heather’s life, for they stopped her falling straight down and possibly hitting the beach. Instead, her trajectory carried her slightly away from the cliff face. She still landed well short of the safe zone, in dangerously shallow water, but she was unhurt. Cursing under her breath, Heather scrambled ashore before the sharks could close.
Atop the cliff, the mortified LeShawna breathed an immense sigh of relief, for she understood only too well how close she had come to exacting a terribly disproportionate price for Heather’s vanity.
In the original, Heather later approached LeShawna with a false peace offering. In LTDI, it is LeShawna who approaches Heather.
As the Eagles loaded their crates onto the carts, Heather took in upon herself to direct traffic. Her teammates accepted her leadership, despite some grumbling in certain quarters, because nobody else really wanted the job. Lindsay, having recognized a fellow fashionista, was sticking close to the dragon girl, as she had during most of their brief time on the island.
“Uh, Heather?” came a voice that was all too familiar, yet oddly subdued.
“What do you want, Ghetto Girl?” Heather snapped as she turned toward the voice. The dragon girl’s resentment softened a bit when she saw the hangdog look on her adversary’s face.
“Look, I’m real sorry about what happened on the cliff,” the homegirl offered contritely. “All that stuff we said…none of that was anything a girl deserves to die for. I just lost track of how close we were to the edge.”
Heather answered, “Well, no harm, no foul, I guess. Apology accepted.
“Besides, it turned out for the best. I don’t know what I was thinking, being more worried about getting my hair mussed than about being eaten by sharks, especially after we’d seen that it could happen. I just needed some, er, ‘encouragement’. Your methods were a little unorthodox, but you can’t argue with success.”
“Truce, then?” LeShawna asked.
“Sure, truce. Just tell me one thing, though.”
“Would you really have picked me up and thrown me off the cliff? You looked like you were ready to.”
With a booming belly laugh, the homegirl admitted, “I just might have. But that’s all in the past. If you can forgive and forget, then so can I.”
“Deal,” Heather pronounced. “Now, we’d better get to hauling these crates back to camp. Let’s put that muscle of yours to better use than chick chucking.”
After LeShawna had left them, Lindsay asked her new companion, “Did you really mean that? That you’re going to be friends with Madonna?”
“LeShawna,” Heather corrected. “And no way. She’s going down. I’m not about to forget that she almost got me killed—literally.”
“Then why were you being all nice to her?”
“Have you ever seen one of these shows?” the dragon girl asked her microcephalic companion. When Lindsay confessed that she had not, Heather explained, “There’s an old saying: ‘Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.’ Besides, Homie did apologize like she meant it, so that gave me a good cover to make nice…for now.”
“Oh, I see,” Lindsay said. “I think. But, I’m your friend, right?”
“Of course,” Heather assured the uberbimbo. “As long as I don’t have a reason for you not to be.”