In a recent article, I noted that a lot of my, um, knowledge in writing comes from running a writing forum. But my writing career started by writing Bionicle fan-fiction. Bionicle fan-fiction is actually rather different from most other fan-fiction, as only 80% of it is shit, the other 20% isn’t that bad and some of that 20% eventually gets made into canon when judged by BZPower moderator Bonesiii (the only person to know more about Bionicle than the creators of Bionicle’s lore) in contests. Alright, the sexy romance stuff (even MY pseudo-romance stuff) is always shit unless it’s Hewkii and Macku (or, at a push, Jaller and Hahli). Anything with Tahu and Gali is automatically 100% fucking awful because they’re siblings, and they’re not even the best coupling as they’re polar opposites. Even Lewa would be a better partner for Gali, and he’s an idiot.
On top of this, in Bionicle, parallel universes are canon, meaning you can write about whatever you want, and, within reason, it could still be counted as plausible.
With this in mind, I created the Bohrok-Kal’s Ramblings – a stupid as fuck story where the six least favourite characters of the Bionicle franchise bicker, argue, complain and rant about pretty much anything, while pissing off canon and OC characters alike and generally getting into some sort of trouble. Adventures included stupid things like killing zombie Toa, selling badly made mind-control devices, arguing over who has the better taste in video games, having home-made lemonade selling contests, getting into a strop from losing said lemonade contests and traveling into another universe and accidentally killing the first Dragonborn because of being in a bad mood from losing lemonade-selling contests.
Why did I choose the Bohrok-Kal? Well, apart from my own personal bias, they’re very unpopular, even now, and I wanted to make them seem less like unlovable cloned monsters.
“Hang on Medic, this has fuck all to do with anything! Shut up and let me write!”
“Sounds like Medic’s completely lost it.”
“Wait, that first random speaking guy is right! Where’s the TF2 stuff?”
“Yeah! Bionicle’s stupid anyway.”
Hold your horses, darlings. This DOES have to do with Team Fortress 2. Just wait a bit.
Because no one ever gave me any decent criticism on my writings outside of “your work is shit, it should be more like the most popular guy’s stories!”, I did whatever the fuck I wanted with my beloved Bohrok. On top of this, I had a character capable of ripping holes in space-time. Nuhvok-Kal’s elemental power is gravity, and we all know what insane things happen when people go around messing with that. Then there’s things like the Olmak, a powerful Kanohi (a mask to the rest of you) which is capable of accessing any alternate universe you can think of. OF COURSE I was going to end up doing Bionicle and Team Fortress 2 crossovers.
Thing is, it is all stupid. The two really don’t go well together, unless you make Bionicle characters emulate TF2. The best stories I wrote came from the quieter interactions between characters. We all know that a day fighting in Teufort is going to be incredibly hectic. We all know that fighting a swarm of Bohrok is hard. We can already imagine that.
One of my favourite stories I’ve written is a Particularly Cake-Filled Story. It’s actually the second version of that story, the original consisting of some sort of humanoid baking a cake for Lehvak-Kal (the one who flew into space), but the plot didn’t make much sense. This version though makes more sense and is, well, a nice combination of action and what people do in their spare time. The reason I like it so much is that it feels homely, plausible even.
My point is, it’s incredibly easy to imagine any of these characters doing their jobs. We know what they do. But seeing them live the rest of their lives is interesting too. It opens up way more information about them. If we didn’t see how Heavy looked after his family in A Cold Day In Hell, or how he played cards in Poker Night at the Inventory, we’d all just see him as yet another gun-using maniac. That’s boring though, and I despise boring.
I’ve come a long way to make a very small point, but that’s the beauty of all of this. It’s the little things that matter. After all, what’s more enjoyable, rushing through something, or taking it slowly, savoring every bit?
And that, my friends, how you ramble.