Next angle, though, would to bring in adaptability. Over at Fan To Pro, I write a column, Lost in Translation, that looks at adaptations, reviews, and remakes and what makes for a success with them. I could use this year's NaNoWriMo to create a work that can be easily adapted. Let's look at my contenders.
First up, the Brazen Hussies. As mentioned before, the Hussies' setting is already defined. The cast could become an issue, as could the format of the storytelling. The idea with the Hussies is to show several levels of the command structure and how they deal with the events of the story, from the Regimental Commander on down to the grunts on the front line. Added to this is the concept of the mercenary unit being all women; Hollywood tends to treat female leads as a rarity, especially for action and war movies. This becomes a solid strike against the Hussies through no fault of their own. A mixed gender cast may work better, but would require a rethink of the entire premise.
Next, Beaver Flight. The setting right now is just a loose idea, with details filling in as needed. However, since the setting is also local space (i.e, Earth, the Moon, and environs), a lot of it already exists. With a smaller cast, a television adaptation is easier, and Canadian content can be met if needed. The theme song just needs to be licensed. Special effects may get difficult; right now, the main base is on the moon, with a lower gravitational pull than Earth. That could be handwaved or, if needed, moved to a space station with the proper rotation. (A space station can also become stock footage for scene breaks, if desired.) CGI will be needed for the powered space suits, but the suits can also be turned into collectables. Yes, I am considering merchandising for the story. Action figures, dolls, miniatures, gaming, posters, anything that the fans might even think of wanting. Despite the lack of male leads, I figure Beaver Flight has a better shot of being adapted over the Hussies, if only because the story can be turned into a movie, a TV series, a comic/webcomic, a gaming supplement for an science fiction RPG, and still maintain a cohesive story.
Can Mecha Academy top Beaver Flight? The story shares the same setting as the Hussies’; in fact, MechAcad came first. The format is similar to JK Rowling’s Harry Potter – a year by year look at a group of students, though in a different setting and without magic. The risk of adaptation is the same. If the first book of the planned series is filmed before other books appear, will liberties taken cause problems for adaptations down the line. MechAcad also would work better as a TV series than a movie at this point; several plot elements will get woven through the narrative to be wrapped up either at the end of the novel or in a future title. The reset button will be broken; order would matter, and traditional broadcasters aren’t at the point where they want all their offerings to be set in stone. Cable, on the other hand, doesn’t care. Series like Dexter, A Game of Thrones, and True Blood thrive on cable. Working against a cable deal, though, is the young adult approach MechAcad needs. The cast are young adults, just stepping out into the wider world beyond secondary school.
The Brazen Hussies have fallen back in the pack. Given that there’s a lot of character work to be done and no audience as of yet, the Hussies will be set on a back burner. The idea will still be around and can still be worked on, just not this November. Beaver Flight and Mecha Academy are still evenly weighed. The final decision will have to find another factor first.