In trying to find a good story to spotlight this week, I was referred to Conceptfan’s work. Reading several stories, I was struck first by the quality of the writing and second by the variety of characters and settings showcased across stories. (I even found some Conceptfan haikus, which are completely freaking rad!!! I didn’t know we could submit poetry to the site and will be posting some myself at some point! Probably a story poem. And maybe a villanelle. But I digress...)
As I worked my way through some of this treasure trove of content, one story, in particular, caught my attention. The first line? “5,000 before our story begins...” Okay, so kicking off a story 5,000 years prior to the start of the story instantly had me intrigued. I mean, I’ve never seen a hook quite like that before. :)
Reading further, the setup follows an alien meteorite to earth. The Macguffin, clearly. Then the story jumps ahead 1,000 years, laying out a harsh natural setting that provides an unusual ambiance for a superwoman story. I enjoyed the freshness of its approach. The woman who finds the stone wrestles a tiger, establishing that it gives her strength and invulnerability in a rather unique battle scene. But just when you think things will get rolling with her, she loses the MacGuffin… to a cat!
3,900 years later, the story resumes, eventually evolving into a pirate tale. This time a man finds the stone. The narrative continues to follow the journey of the stone through a few more twists and turns until it comes to a pirate attack. It isn’t until this moment that we are introduced to the story’s superwoman.
One of my favorite elements is the way in which Conceptfan plays fast and loose with perspective changes between the characters, giving a twisty, serpentine feel to the narrative. On occasion, I shift perspectives without a chapter or scene break in a third-person story, but I’ve always tried to minimize those moments for fear that it will make things difficult to follow. Conceptfan, however, has no such fears, doing it liberally, and it really works for this story.
Sliding into Monika’s perspective, it introduces her thoughts first. Then, it shifts back to Jerald’s perspective to see Monika’s appearance through his eyes. The perspective returns to Monika as she takes advantage of his distraction, gaining the ring for herself. From there, the story launches into a series of detailed, slow-motion action scenes from Monika’s point of view that do a wonderful job of making a relatively passive superpower – invulnerability – rather interesting.
I hope you take a moment to read and (re)discover the wildly creative and unusual tale of...
(additional note: this story was part of the first-ever workshop held at the old Supergirl Incorporated)