Behind the Scenes 1 - YA Fantasy Showdown

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): All the Right Moves by One Republic.

Today has been mind blowing. Literally. I had to be scooped off the floor a couple of times. I never imagined the kind of response that has happened for the YA Fantasy showdown. It is going on hot, and some of the battles are insanely close. Others have completely taken me by surprise. It. Is. Awesome.

So, to begin this insanity venture (because, really that is what this is. Never underestimate the kind of work it takes to put something like this together, or the kinds of problems that can rear their ugly heads. Murphy and me? Yeah, we are well acquainted by now. He might as well be living on my couch), so we'll start by looking at the progression of just some of the notes that ended up on paper because I couldn't keep all of it straight in my head.*

You can even see some of the notes I took trying to lay out the logistics of how to make the battles work.

Here is a note for the Eugenides vs. Westley battle.

And another side note to myself.

This was another tricky one, listing all of the capabilities of the characters to see who might actually win. This is for Ai Ling vs. Nobody Owens (look, I even made a mention that she likes food. :) Couldn't figure out how to weave that into the battle though...)

(p.s see those cute little doodles on the side? Those are for a character of mine I'm writing. I needed to find sanity somehow). :)

If you look closely you will be able to see A LOT of changes happened throughout this whole process.

For example:

-Edmund Pevensie was not in the original lineup at all. (Yes, I know, a travesty on my part. I don't know where my brain was at all).

-The dates. This was a recent change, haha, actually last night. I realized I had miscalculated the final battle. I had basically four hours to write it because there was no break in between the second-to-last fight and the final round. That was not an easy thing to rearrange at 11:30 PM last night. Sleep and me are buds. I missed my bed dearly. Because we're tight like this.

-Originally it was going to be Harry from Robin McKinley's The Blue Sword and not Aerin from The Hero and the Crown, but Beth put up a very convincing argument why it should be Aerin (I mean, dragon killer against unicorn killer? Can you get cooler than that?)

-There were originally 36 competitors and eighteen rounds. Genius girl here didn't do the math until AFTER she'd sent the invites to all the authors and publicists and realized in the third round there was a person with no one to fight. *facepalm* Yeah... turns out tournaments stacking is a very delicate science. It's almost an art. So, four people had to be cut, and that was brutal for me and the others to decide.

I really wish I had the original sticky note where I wrote down all the potential characters on it. I'll see if I can think of some contenders that were on there that didn't quite make it off the top of my head

Thomas - James Dashner's The Maze Runner
Ender Wiggins - Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game series
Paul Atreides - Frank Herbert's Dune
Lirael - Garth Nix's Abhorsen trilogy (I really wanted to include her, but alas, only one character per series).
Yelena - Maria Snyder's Poison Study (couldn't include her for the same reasons, though her gymnastic skills would have been awesome to see in action).

But a lot were really close. Deciding who made it in was hard. That was probably two weeks of planning alone. Then trying to pair them up so they were evenly matched? Hoo boy.

So there you have it. A first day's glimpse. But there is still a lot more to come. Now get back out there and advocate for your favorite character. :)

* Good luck reading my handwriting. No, seriously.


Anonymous said...

This was a great idea! That looks like so much work putting it together :P but it looks like tons of fun.

Okie said...

Way cool...thanks for the behind the scenes look. You've put a ton of work into this. I'm really looking forward to following it through to the end.

Nicely done. :)

lotusgirl said...

It's wonderful to see a glimpse of your efforts in putting this together. You didn't mention the way cool site you made for everyone to visit though. That must have taken quite a while. I'm amazed at all you've done.

Chimney said...

I was just wondering if you had already asked the authors in advance if you could use their characters for this contest, then why did Robin McKinley ask for her's to be removed? If you can't answer that is completely fine, it is really just out of pure curiosity of why she would change her mind.