Friday, November 01, 2013

NaNo Day 1

Alright here it is, the first day's work on my NaNoWriMo novel. I tried this last year and it helped hold me to task... for the first 9 days anyway. My Birthday is November 9th, and to make matters worse this year, I'm going to Hal-Con on my birthday. I'm really not going to be productive for 2-3 days. With that in mind, I'm pushing myself for the first 8 days. The usual goal is 1667 words a day, factoring 3 days of lost writing time and trying to make up for it at the start, then every day I'd need to write 2292 words. Last night I did 2299! Holy Shit that's a lot! I'm used to writing short stories of that length over a longer amount of time cause I procrastinate like hell. Damn, I love this story idea and I still have more that I want to write today, but I'm holding it for tonight.

I'm going to be posting as I go every day forgive me for this one, but I'm disabling comments on these entries. Don't get me wrong, I love feedback and comments, in this case though they would only serve to distract me and cause me to second guess myself.  Finally, this novel is of course Copyright © 2013 Steven Lake & Engen Books. Word Count: 2299
World Domination & You: A Beginner’s Guide For Aspiring Supervillains

What's In A Name: No one's Afraid of Johnny Sunshine
The Look: Dress For Success
The Laugh: It's About Standards
Income: Blackmail, Extortion & Ransom
Big Plans: Today The Earth, Tomorrow The Moon!
Minions: From Henchmen to Test Subjects
Secret Base: Location! Location! Location!
Gadgets: Supercomputers & Giant Lasers
Boobytraps: Lava Pits vs. Shark Tanks
Heroes: Dealing with those pesky do gooders
Monologuing: The Dos and Don’ts of Bragging
Escape Plans: Needing A Solid Exit Strategy

    So you want to take over the world? Of Course! We all do, that’s why we got into the Super Villain game in the first place. Well that and the piles and piles of money! There are a few things that you’ll need to know to get started and this guide is here to help you on your way to greatness. Now you might be asking yourself; “Who is this guy and what does he know about taking over the world?” Well I could tell you that I’ve done it twice now, but you won’t believe that. Surely if I did it then it would have made the news. In theory, yes it would have made headlines, if the governments had let it. Lousy bureaucrats ruining all my fun… Anyway, point is, yes I have brought the world to its knees twice now and I was compensated handsomely to give control back to the so called “rightful people.” You want proof you say? Well, remember that “Russian Meteor” that you read so much about? That was no accident, that was my Atomic Magnet! I threatened to make it rain meteors unless they paid me, and after that little demonstration, my account at the Cayman Islands 1st National Bank swelled!

Point is, I’m willing to share my knowledge with you so that you can start building your own organization to reach the lofty goal of World Domination! It will take time, hard work, determination and money to get there, but we can do it. In these pages you’ll learn about building funds, recruiting henchmen, the best secret bases and dealing with good guys who will try to stop you. All that and much, much more, right here at your fingertips. You’ve already taken the first steps towards a career in villainy by buying this book and I thank you for that and for your contribution to my cause. Unless you stole this book, in which case, good for you! You’ve got the right mindset. Also, you should know that a tracking device, embedded in the book cover, activated when you stole it and my legion of robotic minions is even now closing in on your location. It won’t do you any good to run or throw the book away, the tracking device scanned your DNA and the robots have locked onto you that way. While you wait, feel free to continue reading. It will pass the time and you can learn all about the things that you could have done, had you survived to become a Super Villain.

For those of you who won’t die horribly in the next few hours, let’s get down to business. It’s time to learn the tips and tricks that will start you on your way to fortune and infamy.
Are you excited? I know I am! Let’s go!

Steve Lake
AKA: “Retired Overlord # 608”

What's In A Name: No one's Afraid of Johnny Sunshine

Now you might be thinking “What’s the big deal? I’ve got the world conquered, who cares what I’m called?” First of all, you should. Care about your name I mean. Obviously, you don’t want to use your own name. What good is launching a campaign to take over the world when anyone with a phone book or an internet connection can look up your name, address and other assorted good ‘n plenty and rat out your location to the proper authorities. You need an alias, something powerful. Something memorable. Something that reflects your own personal style and awesomeness.

Take your time, give it some serious thought. This is going to be your moniker, the name that will strike terror into the hearts of the people. The title that will command respect in the underworld. Try to avoid using “The” if possible, though there are exceptions. Also anything to do with “Black” or “Dark” or “Shadow” or “Evil.” These lead to generic, forgettable and often laughable names. “Dr” is always a good way to start, you can even do online courses these days to earn the title, no more long hours slaving away in Evil Medical School like some other villains I could name. Same thing when using “Esq” though the Evil Law Society might make you prove that one, no good bunch of pencil necked, paper pushers… where was I? Right, the name. I cannot stress enough that this is something you need to get right.

Look at some of the greats of villainy; The Master, Dr. Doom, Mr. Sinister, Professor Moriarty. All awesome names, fearsome and memorable. Even Sindley Whiplash inspired dread back in his day. True, their deeds helped enforce their well deserved reputations, but the names stand out and are remembered with just the right amount of reverence, respect and fear. Conversely, when names go wrong, they can go very wrong. No one remembers Barron Violent, no one trembles at the mention of Tweeg! Then there was that fiasco with the Peculiar Purple Pieman of Porcupine Peak, but we try not to talk about him.

You can exploit that loophole from England and by a small piece of land and claim the title of Lord or Duke, those can work nicely, but don’t follow the example of Duke Mayhem, that one still causes laughter at Evil Conventions. Then there was the guy who tried to carve his name, in giant letters, into the moon, but with 19 letters in his name I don’t know how he was going to make it fit on there. Good plan, bad name, and where is he now? Forgotten! That’s where. So many wannabe villains start out with the very best, worst intentions and then they fade all too quickly into obscurity because they got this detail wrong.

I know it seems like I’m beating a dead horse, a fun party game to be sure, but I can’t stress enough that you do not want to mess this up. No one is going to take you seriously if they can’t take your name seriously. No one had names now like they did in the old days. The Hooded Menace, he took a chance with that one but boy did it pay off. I remember when Lord VonRake and Wu Fang teamed up, oh the havoc they unleashed! It was a glorious time to be an up and coming Evil Genius!

While we’re talking about names, let me bring up a couple of equally important items; monograms and insignias. While not quite as make-or-break as the name, these things have to be right. One letter of your name overlaid on the world can work. Same with your initials on a fist. Things to avoid include, hearts, rainbows, butterflies and pretty much anything happy or uplifting. I know I shouldn’t have to bring any of that up, common sense would tell you that no villain would use any of those things. That was true up until The Velvet Unicorn tried to make a go of things. We’re all still shaking our heads of that unfortunate debacle. You want to keep it simple, something that looks nice on a letterhead as well as on the patches on your minions shoulders.

Your name, along with your insignia, go hand in hand in helping to build your evil brand. Brand recognition is what it's all about, cementing your name and legacy. Taking your place with the giants of nefarious history. So, to sum up, take your time picking a name, make it memorable, make it fearful and make it something to be remembered. You don't want to end up like The Dark, Shadowy Master of Vile and Evil Things! Who was he you ask? Exactly!

The Look: Dress For Success

They say that clothes make the man, or woman for that matter, it isn’t just men after all who can be Super Villains. No discrimination here, no Sir! or M’am! To look the part, you have to dress the part. The right outfit will make you feel more confident, more capable and that increased confidence will in turn inspire those around you. While jeans and a t-shirt is fine for minions and underlings, a leader has to stand out and look like a person in charge. There are always exceptions to the rule. One of the greatest, modern, evil geniuses wore a plain black turtleneck and blue jeans. But even dressed like that, he had a commanding presence that won’t be forgotten. But again, he is the exception, not the norm. You want to “Dress to Kill” as they say, though you won’t be doing any of the actual killing per se, that’s what hit men are for.

Now, Clothing. A suit is always a good place to start. Something nicely tailored, we never but off the rack after all. If you have the option of a vest, take it. A three piece suit looks classier any day. Plain, solid colours work, but pinstripes are sharp. The shirt should be silk, no exceptions. Unless Egyptian cotton is available. Ok so the shirt should be silk or Egyptian cotton, no other exceptions. Period. You’ll want a tie too. Oh sure you can go with a Chinese collar, but that just looks more casual. You’ll need to learn how to tie a full windsor knot, a half windsor looks sloppy. If you’re too busy with plans and schemes to learn, then hire someone who knows how to tie them and put them in charge of your wardrobe care.

Maybe, just maybe, you don’t want a suit. Ok, not a suit person. I can understand that. Maybe you want some uniformity between yourself and your minions. Well, nothing is more uniform than a uniform. Something like an Army dress uniform, or something Naval. Those are some classy uniforms, all the brass buttons and belts and rank pins. Then there's the hats! Naval Captain’s hats, or British Air Force hats! Those are amazing and always command attention.

Now there’s something to talk about, hats! Too many people, not just aspiring villains, make the mistake of either going without the right hat, or picking something totally ridiculous. First of all, if you see a Trilby, burn it! Too many pretentious, wannabe “hipsters” these days are wearing those and trying to look like a million bucks when it just makes them look like a jerk in a five dollar hat. You can even build a command structure around your hat choices. I can see it now, you as the boss, wearing a fedora. Bowlers for your under bosses and managers. Homburgs for the hit men. Poor-boys and Salt n’ Pepper hats for minions. Ranked by hat! My God that’s amazing! Are you taking notes on this? No wait! I am. This is my book after all. You’re just reading it to profit from my wisdom and I profit from your wanting to profit when you bought this book. It's a win, win situation really. I’ve definitely got to put that into practice though. Now I’m learning along with you, isn’t that Fantastic?!

Now you want to have a couple of hats on hand, one for everyday wear, one for when it rains. You want the same style hat in a few different colours as well, black, grey, blue, maybe a white, just to compliment your suits. Also, you want a really good, warm hat for winter. Think Russian. No one knows winter like those guys and their fur lined hats are the very best things to have. Formal looking, commanding, there’s no question that you mean business and that you’re in charge.

It might seem like I’m spending a lot of time rambling about hats, well, I am. But it all goes towards the look. The look of being the man, or woman, at the head of an organization. The right hat compliments your clothing choices as well as being functional. Picture yourself in your suit or uniform of choice, can you see it? Good. Now, picture that along with the suit, you’re wearing a baseball hat. How does that affect your look? You look comical now don’t you? All possible authority washed away by a cheap looking, casual hat. See how important is it now?

Alright, enough about the top of your head, let’s talk about your fee. By that I mean footwear. Shoes are the most important part of your outfit, besides having to look good, they also have to be comfortable. Besides your underwear, shoes are the article of clothing you'll be wearing the most. Even more than pants. Trust me on that, but don’t ask. You’ll have to find that out for yourself. Now, shoes, and boots and sneakers. All have their place and time to be worn. Shoes for business meetings, boots for winter and for visits to construction projects. Sneakers for sneaking, I mean that. Sometimes you just have to get your hands dirty in this business and chances are you’ll be sneaking around somewhere. Don’t believe me, then ask a minion. Then kill him so the other minions know not to approach you for a casual chat. Have to maintain order after all, can’t have the minions thinking they can be all buddy buddy with you. You’re the boss, but there will be more about minions later, now back to clothing.