Writing Fan Fiction as Character and Plot Exploration

Posted on by Rob Stenzinger

An A-Team of My Own

If I were in a position to choose a team of heroes from any genre in any medium, I could easily see myself running through a checklist of favorite stories and recruiting the protagonist from each. That's how I started this exercise, but not where I ended.

Meet my A-Team

An A-Team of My Own (Rob Stenzinger's Quest for LIAQUEST6).png

Gore Burnelli, head of the Burnelli Grand Family of the Commonwealth Saga is the defacto team leader. Once human, Gore is now nearly all machine. His skin is a reflective gold tone that contains advanced nano technology, force feilds, super computing, super strength. His wealth has intergalactic reach. Running his empire takes most of his focus, unless his immediate family is in danger. Then he's super bad-ass glowing golden Iron Man weilding martial arts with metal and force-fields.

I chose him for his vast resources, super capabilities, and his almost heartless pragmatism because that would be an interesting connection with my next character. In the story, Gore represents human adaptivity and strength with the question of how far is too far to adapt and change when you face an enemy in battle.

Toru Honda from Fruits Basket. She's an extremely emotionally intelligent young woman. All who get to know Toru come to respect and love her strength of her empathy and heartful dedication to all those around her.

I chose her to represent the difficulties and benefits of caring about all creatures. She'll be either infected by an alien or mentally linked with one early in the story. Throughout the story, the alien will try to overtake her mind and will.

Piccolo, an alien from Namek who long ago crashed his spaceship on Earth. Once a feared villain, he's now ally with Earth's powerful gathering of heroes - the Z fighters.

I chose Piccolo because he was once a very malcontent deadly self serving force - who eventually found connection to people and planet he crashed. Piccolo will need to face his internal demons while trying to tolerate the extremely different personalities of Toru and Gore. Plus, Piccolo can find ways to hold-out and possibly win when the odds are extremely against him.

The External Conflict

What can bring these characters from such different worlds together? Alien invasion. As to how they come together as a team - I see it as Fate instead of actual "we have a mission for you" recruitment.

  • Toru is now a scientist studying alien cultures - she's searching for how different alien species develop and show love. Her base is attacked as an initial assault by an alien that recently discovered the human race.
  • Piccolo was meditating under a waterfall and in a deep meditative state - awakens a deeply hidden source of inner strength. He starts teleporting all over the world where there's people in danger - blipping in and out rapidly from one place to another. When it seems he gets it under control, he blips one more time into the middle of the alien attack on the remote science base where Toru is stationed.
  • Gore rarely travels to places outside his vast property holdings. When he does, it's almost always due to paying a visit to his eldest daughter who happens to be at the research base. She funds the operation and has asked her dad and others to visit to discuss a new discovery.

Another Quest

What started this exercise was another Lean Into Art Quest, "An A-Team of Your Own". The Quests are a growing collection of mini-challenges facilitated by Jerzy Drozd and myself. To participate, explore the available quests, take one and and post a link to your results. Then Jerzy and I critique and discuss the results on the next episode of the Lean Into Art Cast!