What am I actually doing?
Writing this blog entry, of course.
...A full ramble anyway!
In spite of that being the thing I shouldn't do until after class!
Anyway. More specifically. Something I've been on-again/off-again working on is actually followthrough on something which I posted on this blog. I created a song a while back, Villain Song. And I wanted to create a Disneyesque (classical cartoon animation rather than the new 3D style--may or may not be hand-drawn, works either way) musical which would feature that song as essentially its second song.
I had the general idea of a narrator establishing the base world, how the heroes had started off already winning, leading into their opening song, with the main villain being grumpy in the background, switching to being the perspective character, delving into his life, and when he got fed up enough, launching into the tirade which inspires the villainous uprising, coincidentally making him the main villain.
This? Nothing new.
Also not new? The general idea I had for the protagonist. I always wanted to play around with the idea of a trans protagonist. I wasn't sure what kind of trans protagonist I wanted: agender, bigender, transwoman, transman, various others I'm not as familiar with (but probably should be), but trans all the same. I wavered on whether the protagonist would be genuine nobility or not, as both would have their upsides and their downsides.
Upside of no nobility: not as cliched. More relatable, even believable. An average person coming to the conclusion the system wasn't right, and with a drive to change it not out of birthright, not out of devotion, but out of a genuine interest in doing the right thing.
Downside of no nobility: I was aiming in this setting to subvert cliches, sure enough, to create an actually realistic world, yeah...but I still wanted to maintain some aspects of the fantastical worlds we've come to know and love, and a royal blood connection is an easy way. It also gives a direct motive to the villain and ties him to the hero--with the hero having a claim, that's an actual threat to the villain.
Ultimately, I compromised on nobility, and had the child be a distant cousin of the royal family, an infant, but whose legitimacy is questionable. Furthermore, this link would remain unknown to the protagonist, only suspected as a possibility from the genre-savvy antagonist. That seemed like a fair way to get the best of both worlds: not a direct link, with the actual link being only vaguely relevant, and neither the protagonist nor the antagonist really caring about it, with both motivated by other factors regardless.
As for the question on trans, I ultimately decided for the sake of other interactions that I created today that, yes, even though it may be a bit on the overdone side for me at this point, I'd make the protagonist a transwoman (and a lesbian). We'd get a montage of her growth at various points, with her surrogate parents doing the best they could to help her, along with her slowly coming into her identity: not in the sense of royal blood identity, but just identity as a person, basically the antithesis of that.
In short, she actually has reason to not accept, to not acknowledge, her birthright, because it's a source of conflict to her identity. She only begins to consider it in the story for the sake of convenience, a means to an end, and not one she's satisfied with. She already knows she might not even be that person anyway, so she doesn't want to pretend to be that person, and yet, thanks to the setting, people are desperate and want that last descendant of the royal line to exist out there, and that can get her supporters, get her followers.
Most of this existed already. Some of the new aspects I created today were other characters. For instance, a succubus assassin, hired by the antagonist to kill the hero. Now, the antagonist has access to the family records. He knows that they are ambiguous at best, but is genre savvy enough to suspect that there was inevitably a survivor who would turn hero. He knows the birth gender of the child as well. So he made sure that the assassin in question wouldn't fall for the victim, yet could still get close to them and kill them.
He essentially had tryouts then until he found a lesbian assassin. How did he test this? By making himself a target. He anonymously hired the assassin in question with himself as the target. She's of course surprised--even knowing of the assassination, he shouldn't be able to have stopped it. He has a full harem, after all.
The villain at this point points out that in spite of having a full harem, he has no heir. She thought that was to prevent the heir from usurping him. While he points out that is accurate, he also explains he just lacks interest. She questions why nobody's tried incubi; he says they have, but the result's the same: he can and has partaken in that particular vice, but he derives no pleasure from it. (In short, he's asexual.)
I basically wanted to give depth to all the characters in question, start to finish. Another character I created was essentially a religious guy struggling with his faith, as he had trouble with the idea of the world being meant to be what it is, having a crisis in his belief and yet still trying to preach.
I also went into some depth about the world, both pre-uprising and post-uprising. Basically, the pre-uprising world was stereotypical high fantasy. King ruling, adventurers adventuring, merchants traveling, monsters defeated by the heroes, crushed in a decisive battle that the opening was celebrating.
The post-uprising world was one where the villain knew he couldn't rule indefinitely unless he changed things, so he made a "the strong will rule the weak" ruling: not discriminating off of race/status/etc., albeit discriminating off of ability. The strongest get to be eligible for tests of loyalty to serve the villain. He incentivizes the merchants to have him as their ruler, convincing them that their profits are higher with him ruling than anyone else. And with people/monsters constantly fighting each other, nobody can really challenge him.
I really like it as it's a brilliant idea, but it's never to be since it'd require me to essentially have my own studio: animators, voice actors, the whole works. Ah well. It's a nice thought.