It’s that time again—time for another status update and sneak preview of my TDI remake, The Legend of Total Drama Island (LTDI). This preview is the fifth in a series to tide you over until LTDI is ready for its official launch.

LTDI Status Update

As I noted in my anniversary post (as opposed to my first story’s anniversary post) I have had to move LTDI’s target launch window back from the spring to the summer, and quite possibly beyond, because the story is going to be so long. My best guess is that LTDI will be at least 200k words when finished. There’s no free lunch, and a high word count is the price of a richly descriptive style.

By comparison, my other great work, which is currently the wiki’s longest page, has 115k words including peripherals such as the glossary.

The next preview will be sometime around the end of April.


Because I have had to move the launch window back, and quite possibly not for the last time, I may compromise a bit on my policy of not posting chapters until I’ve finished writing the story.

If I don’t split it somehow, the first chapter is going to be very long—almost certainly the longest chapter in the entire story. As in the original, the first chapter has little more than the character intros, but I don’t intend to blow through the intros the way some competition stories do. Despite the fact that I’m using the canon characters, I will be introducing them as if to an audience with no prior knowledge of TDI.

Because the introductory chapter is so long, I may not wait for the official launch to post it. Instead, I might post it as soon as it’s ready, in lieu of a regularly scheduled preview, to give people time to digest the long chapter before getting into the regular posting schedule. This brings us to the first poll:

Do you want the character intro chapter posted before the official launch?

The poll was created at 01:02 on February 15, 2011, and so far 14 people voted.

As anyone who has been following the previews knows, I am changing the team names because I never liked “Killer Bass”. I recently got to thinking that I might change the camp name, as well. Not that I have anything against “Wawanakwa”, mind you, but I recently encountered another name that might work well:

How about “Camp Teotwawki”? This has the same sort of Native American sound as “Wawanakwa”, but is actually the acronym for, “The End Of The World As We Know It”.

Either way, both names will probably appear in some form. If I end up keeping “Wawanakwa” as the official camp name, one of the campers is likely to unofficially dub it, “Teotwawki” at some point. Conversely, if I go with “Teotwawki” as the official camp name, there will probably be a reference to “Wawanakwa” having been the original name, or “Wawanakwa” might be retained as the name of the island itself.

This brings us to the second poll:

Which name should I use for the camp?

The poll was created at 01:02 on February 15, 2011, and so far 13 people voted.

Earlier previews

Tonight’s Previews: Three Tales Of Love

How hot do you like it?

Steamy: the NoCo scene from The Tale of the Awake-a-Thon

Background: This preview was originally meant to give you the first taste of how I will generally be using the poetry that appears in LTDI. As it turned out, though, the unscheduled preview that I posted last week gave you the first verse extract.

Cody had been an early casualty in the Awake-a-thon. Having slept for a time, he was now awakened by someone nibbling on his ear. Not only that, this unidentified campmate appeared to be spooning him.

Cody at first entertained the thought that perhaps Gwen was having her way with him. That fantasy crashed and burned when the nibbler spoke softly…in a male voice!

In a fluidly athletic move that no one in camp—least of all Cody himself—would have thought him capable of, the technogeek was on his feet in a flash, spinning around and instinctively assuming a defensive crouch. On the ground before him, right next to the spot where Cody had been sleeping, was Noah.

Previously lying on his side, the bookworm was now propped up on one elbow, his head raised and his eyes half-open. Looking toward Cody, he said:


Then Noah sank back to the ground, his eyes closed, and he began to snore.

Cody relaxed. Noah, it seemed, was “guilty but not responsible”. He had clearly been dreaming.

Why does my lady eye me circumspectly—
With piercing glance, as though she would dissect me?
I swear by heaven, and may God’s truth protect me,
I shun that vice of which she may suspect me.

The sky will flood to harvest corn and wine,
The air engender tangled elm and vine,
The sea throw game to huntsmen from the brine—
Before the sins of Sodom count as mine.

Satisfied that he would not have to defend his honor, Cody now recalled what the sleeping Noah had whispered into his ear. A name had been on the bookworm’s lips—a girl’s name. Not just any girl’s name, though, but the name of a girl on the island. A common name, to be sure, so it wasn’t clear whether he had been dreaming about one of their campmates or someone in his hometown, or perhaps some celebrity.

Cody resolved to find out, if he could. Noah was not known to be crushing on anyone in camp. If he was doing so secretly, that might be a useful thing to know.

(NOTE: The verses are a partial quotation of a poem from The Carmina Burana (“Songs of Beuern”, a Benedictine monastery in Bavaria), which is described as “the last great outpouring of medieval poets who spoke Latin as fluently as their native tongues.” In the poem quoted, a scholar studying abroad defends himself against his girlfriend’s accusation of homosexuality.

Steamier: “Any Port in a Storm” from episode to be determined

Background: Duncan suggests, not for the first time, that Courtney is into him. I haven’t yet decided which episode will have this scene, although I do know that it will be no later than the boot camp episode. Fans of the TV Tropes website may recognize the “Take That Kiss” trope.

“So, you really think I’m crushing on you?” Courtney challenged. Not waiting for an answer, she turned to D.J., who had overheard part of their argument and had succumbed to the temptation to find out what was going on.

D.J. suddenly found his arms full of warm CIT as Courtney leapt up onto him, twining her legs around his waist to overcome the height difference, and treated him to the steamiest kiss in her repertoire. When she finally let the gentle giant come up for air, Courtney began to nibble his ear and told him, in a breathy whisper too soft for Duncan to hear, “Play along.”

D.J. did not have to be told twice. He still didn’t really know what was going on, but he had a hot chick in his arms and an invitation to get physical. Neither of them was currently hooked up with anyone, so it wasn’t as though they would be cheating. What would you have done?

At first, Duncan looked on in amusement. After another lingering kiss, D.J. noticed that the delinquent was still watching. As the gentle giant nuzzled Courtney, lightly scruffling her cheek with his beard, he asked the other boy, “Yo, dude? A little privacy?”

Duncan had every right to be there, and if it had been only Courtney, he might have stayed to see how far she was willing to go to back her claim that she had no interest in him. Duncan liked D.J., though, so with a “thumbs up” gesture to the brickhouse, Duncan left the putative lovebirds to their business.

After two more long, languid kisses, Courtney again whispered in D.J.’s ear, with the same breathy, sultry tone, “Is he gone?”

In response, D.J. turned around so that Courtney could see for herself that Duncan had departed.

(the scene continues, but the rest is too spoiler-y)

Steamiest: “Strange Bedfellows” from The Tale of the Boot Camp

Background: The boys and the girls are in separate cabins from the beginning, as in the canon TDA. LTDI retains the party during the boot camp challenge, but the events leading up to it will be at least somewhat different. How different, I’m not really sure, because I haven’t written that scene yet.

It was very late when the party finally wound down and everyone retired for the night. After the lights went out, an alert observer might have noticed a slim female form slipping into the boys’ cabin.

The next morning, as Duncan began to awaken, he sensed that he was not alone in his bed. His semiconscious mind, still in that no man’s land between dreams and reality, began reviewing the previous night’s events as best it was able. The party had been fun, a break from the game all the more welcome for its spontaneity, but had it really been that wild? Duncan didn’t recall bringing anyone “home” with him. Had someone spiked the soda? No, he didn’t feel hung over, and he doubted that anyone in camp had access to “date rape” drugs, much less the inclination to use them.

Lying on his side, Duncan was now close enough to full consciousness to operate voluntary muscles; so he opened his eyes, half-expecting to see Courtney. The delinquent had no lack of self-confidence, and he had always suspected that Courtney protested too much when she repeatedly claimed that she wasn’t into him. Indeed, the more she protested, the more he assumed that she would gladly give herself to him on any reasonable pretext.

When Duncan finally managed to retract his eyelids, however, he immediately saw that his bedmate was not Courtney. Lying in his arms, clad in a filmy negligee and with a contented smile on her face, was—

With a cry of alarm, Duncan hastily lurched away. Tangled in his blanket, he fell out of bed and landed flat on his back. His bed had sheets hung around it, thereby turning his lower bunk into a proper canopy bed to give the lovers a bit of privacy. Duncan’s hasty evacuation had pulled one of these makeshift curtains from its moorings, so at the moment, the delinquent could see nothing but bedsheet. As Duncan struggled with his linen bonds, Hatchet’s wakeup call sounded. The other boys were already awake, though, thanks to their comrade’s unorthodox rise-and-shine procedure, which had also pulled his bedmate onto the floor.

After a few moments, the Juvenile Hall alumnus managed to extricate himself from the pile of bedding. Regaining his composure and what remained of his dignity, Duncan lost no time confronting his fellows.

“All right,” he demanded, “Who put the pixie standee in my bed?”

No answer was immediately forthcoming, because the other boys were too busy cracking wise:

“Does Courtney know about this?”

“Getting a little cardboard on the side?”

“I think we can safely say that he’s not afraid of standees anymore.”

“Finally given up on Courtney, have we?”

After these wisecracks had run their course, Duncan repeated his question in a threatening tone. The other boys protested their innocence, for innocent they were. Duncan and his “band of brothers” would not learn the truth for some time, but a confessional spot in the finished episode would insure that the viewing audience was not so mystified.

(the scene continues, but the rest is too spoiler-y. Happy Valentine’s Day, Sunshine.)

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