I think I've figured out what I need to do. Since for the first time my audience is divided, I believe the only right thing to do, at least for the time being, is cross-posting. I will probably post from DW and cross-post to LJ from there, and then go to LJ and edit the posts with different icons, since I assume it will only cross-post with the default icon? We'll see. (Hey, look, it posted with the same icon both places! Awesome.) Some entries will still be DW-specific, like if I want to post more silly song lyrics like I was doing earlier, but otherwise they will most likely be cross-posted for now.
It is so surprising to discover that while Leonardo remains my favorite Turtle for the 1987 series (as he is in all branches of the franchise), I believe Michelangelo is my second favorite for the 1987 series. He always irritated me through the years, even as a kid. I didn't remember the 1987 series too well, but he irritated me in my sole Archie Comic. I don't recall if he irritated me in the 1990 movie, however. But then he drove me nuts in the 2003 series.
I don't know if I mellowed out or what, because he didn't irritate me when I watched TMNT, nor in the Platinum Dunes movies (yes, I actually like those). And last summer when I watched the few season 1 episodes of the 2003 series that I have on DVD, he wasn't too much of a pain. Not a favorite, but he didn't absolutely grate on my nerves. Although I think most of my aggravation with him came from season 2 and beyond.
I found him less annoying but still kind of a pain in the 1987 series, and I'm still a little irritated with him in some episodes (like where he blasts the radio really loud while the others are trying to sleep, WTH), but a combination of writing for him in my stories and interacting every day with ThickerThanLove, a huge Michelangelo fan who brought new perspectives to the table, has seemed to result in my seeing him with new eyes. I didn't find him so annoying anymore in some episodes, like Nightmare in the Lair. When I like a character enough, I tend to forgive their faults/be amused by them/be exasperated but not turned off by them. And I seem to have mostly reached that point with Michelangelo. I never in my life thought that would happen. But considering that he's the friendliest/most forgiving of the Turtles, he's the one who ended up bonding with Baxter the most, so he's ironically the Turtle I write for the most in my stories. It's hard to keep disliking him under those circumstances. I was already starting to feel differently about him from that, and then it happened even moreso with the daily new perspectives on his character from my Michelangelo fan friend.
I owe a lot of important things in the stories to her, too. Like when Barney was so obsessive about not failing in The Golden Goose story and that led to him doing some things that have haunted him ever since, she noted how his attitude set him on a path that could definitely lead to him snapping and going psychotic someday. I thought about that and realized that while I certainly could do that, it wasn't what I wanted for him. And that story became a turning point in the opposite direction. He hit rock bottom from what he did in that story (encasing Michelangelo in gold with the goose's powers) and from that point gradually improved instead of spiraling out further. He believed more than ever that he deserved to be with villains and that he absolutely was one, but ever so slowly, his conscience and Vincent and Baxter worked on him and he started to turn his life around. And there's so many other things, little suggestions for dialogue or plot twists, or sometimes big plot twists; some stories would absolutely have not come together without her. I don't think I could list all the ways she's made my stories so much better.
The other day we were musing on our "rules" for writing stories set in 1987 verse. I said that I figured my only rules were things I would not do to the characters, similar to how I feel about pretty much every fandom. But since TMNT 87 is so wacky, there are a couple of things slightly different for it, rule-wise.
Like, I think my main things are something as follows:
- Absolutely under no circumstances will the characters unnaturally change ages, either younger or older. I think this honestly upsets me more than any other trope the series did. And it's not just a matter of how the series did it; I just really have a thing about characters being forced to be other ages than what they are, either physically or mentally or both. (That said, I have got a giggle from how both TMNT 87 and Get Smart handled characters behaving like kids while not looking like them. But I still wouldn't write even that much into the trope.)
- Likewise, no shrinking/miniaturization.
- I'm actually not as repulsed by growing big (50-foot Irma, etc.), but that said, I don't want to write it regardless.
- No broken bones or stomach wounds. I always cite having watched that Sesame Street arc about Telly's broken arm as the reason why I won't break bones. And my research on stomach wounds when I was trying to save the canonically stabbed Mr. Ecks is the reason why I say No to stomach wounds. (So probably, if I did research on other things, I might end up with a lot of other scenarios I would say No to as well. Heh. Or else decide, "Screw reality; I'm doing it the way I want it!" if it's something like a knockout, but it's pretty common in fiction not to treat knockouts like reality anyway, so I don't feel as weird for that.
- No loss of senses. Especially vision, but any sense-loss is a big no-no. (Characters can become shellshocked/not talk after something traumatic, but the ability to speak will never be removed from them.)
- While Channel 6 characters were often collectively the victims of weird stuff, Baxter likely will never be part of that if it would mean he'd be out of commission/needing to be helped for the entire story. Like when I did the Relaxatron fic and the Channel 6 crew ended up super relaxed and funny and unhelpful, Baxter escaped that fate (because Barney didn't want to do that to him). The stories are largely to develop Baxter and Barney's characters, which wouldn't be accomplished by Baxter being in weird states for the duration. And then it wouldn't be as much fun for me, heh.
- On the same lines, while it is totally encouraged to make fun of Shredder-tachi, Barney is exempt from this aside from some amusement over some of his temper tantrums. (Even that seemed to lessen, however, and the temper became a more serious issue for the most part. Which wasn't how I planned it; it just happened that way.) When Barney worked for Shredder, weird things didn't happen to him even if they happened to some or all of the rest of the group.
- In other words, Baxter and Barney are both to be treated as serious characters.
- Characters turning into animals is a necessary evil for watching this series, but I will not do it unless I'm fixing a mess canon made and didn't fully clean up (like Irma and Vernon's rat transformations lying dormant and still being able to be triggered).
- That said, characters will only ever be anthropomorphic/mutant animals. No "real-life" type animals are acceptable. Donatello Trashes Slash is one episode I've only watched once, mainly because I can't stomach Vernon and Burne turtles. The designs were really ugly and that only made it worse. (And probably now that I've brought it up, I'll end up trying to brave the episode one more time....) Bye, Bye, Fly I avoided re-watching for ages. I only feel better about watching it for Z/Vincent. Otherwise, I doubt I would.
- Characters don't die for real. (Of course.)
- The power of love is awesome. I still love to use it to redeem characters/get them out of places like Nightmare Land/get hysterical characters to calm down, etc. Barney is a neuropsychologist, but I can't see myself doing a whole lot with his knowledge of legal drugs as I've never used that as a way to calm hysterical characters down, etc. (Hysterical characters can be calmed down by the love of a family member/friend in my verse.) Of course, I've also never written problems that pretty much only could be solved by legal drugs in reality. Naturally, the power of love can't fix everything, like Shredder's brother will never manage to redeem him, but for characters who are good at heart, yeah, it works on at least some important things, like breaking through mind-control/possession and/or getting characters to fight to live.
- No magic, please, unless it's absolutely necessary. Let's use science instead. Even The Golden Goose in my verse is supposed to be science-based and not magic-based. One thing I love about the 87 series is that magic really wasn't a factor. Yeah, I still don't like magic and only use it as the means to an end if I have to. But for this series, I can use science to that end instead, so yay.
(I know/(knew?) someone who was always really exasperated/frustrated by my love of "The power of love" and preferred magic to fix things. But meanwhile, I was exasperated/frustrated by that, so I'd say it all evens out. Heh. Anyway, I eventually got so I was hesitant/wary/leery/worried to use the trope, but these days I'm encouraged to use it rather than discouraged. LOL. Go figure. I love that.)
- Even though we're using science, let's also not try to apply real-life science to situations that just can't happen in real-life (unless somehow it amazingly would work in theory).
- And since TMNT 87 pretty much said "Screw the rules!," let's hardly ever bring real-world logic in in the first place. LOL. Like, characters can be frozen in blocks of ice and then unthawed without the need for hospital stays or extreme methods of warming up. Gradually increasing the heat and burrowing into blankets works fine, LOL. (And loved ones holding them close.) Since I've expressed before that I like "instant gratification hurt/comfort" rather than recoveries that drag on and on for ages, the attitude of TMNT 87 works really well for me and I can do pretty much whatever I want without worry over not doing what's realistic.
It's funny how for years I avoided the series both because it's funny and because it has tropes I don't like, and now I totally embrace it while instead being more leery of revisiting the 2003 series. On the one hand, I'm pretty much burned out on dark things and prefer things that make me laugh. Of course, on the other hand, I was always upset by what was happening to the 2003 Baxter, even though I didn't particularly like that version of the character since he was sane but evil. I still thought he didn't deserve the horrifying things that kept happening to him, and by this point I'm so horrified/repulsed/disgusted/appalled by that that I honestly don't know if I could ever feel like revisiting most of the episodes after the worst stuff starts happening to him.
I've heard it said in some places that 2003 Baxter is 1987 Baxter done right. As far as making him a major player through the series, I'll agree. As far as what happens to them, I completely disagree, except for the fact that 2003 Baxter actually has some hope of a decent body by the end. As sickened as I am by the fly cross-fusion, 2003 Baxter's fates are physically far worse. And as far as personality, I don't think one can compare too far, since while yes, they're both arrogant/think they're awesome, 2003 Baxter is sane but evil and 1987 Baxter started out trying to be honest, as far as we can tell, and his life turned upsidedown when he trusted the wrong man. He didn't know what Shredder really wanted the Mousers for, as shown when he commented "That guy must really have a thing about rats," and I'm pretty sure Shredder was the one who stamped Baxter's name on them so he would get blamed when the city got torn apart. Baxter was just trying to start out, after all; he was living in a broken-down factory with shattered windows. I highly doubt he really had a company called "Baxter Stockman Inventions." Shredder probably made it up. I don't think Baxter was completely nuts during the early season 2 episodes, but his sanity was clearly teetering on the brink judging from the first episode of such. (And Curse of the Evil Eye showed him finally snapping and not putting up with the abuse anymore.) And then his sanity was completely gone after the cross-fusion. No, being nuts doesn't make the horrible things he did right, but I do think it gives him more sympathy. Plus, one has to remember that he was cross-fused with a fly and the fly's brain was clearly taking over more and more with each episode. That was obvious even without anything being said, but Baxter said as much in Bye, Bye, Fly. So he had both cracked up in general and another mind was eclipsing his. He just couldn't win.
(Also, is it a little immature of me that when I saw someone giggling over the fact that Z's energy-generated body looked naked, my response was to laugh back with basically, "Of course he's naked; that's obvious. But he didn't design it to be anatomically correct, LOL." That is to say, that person found it amusing he was naked, I found it amusing that said person was so amused since there wasn't anything that needed to be censored. And I don't mean I said anything to the person; I've never interacted with said person. But that was my mental response from afar, shall we say. And the point is briefly brought up in the stories when he decides to wear clothes.)
And wow, I went off on a tangent. That's what happens when one doesn't update for a while, I guess.
(Also, yay, DW does have a Saved Draft feature! Didn't realize that.)