Another thing to be aware of is that the issues are getting longer. Even in the first dozen issues, I started realizing that I'd cut some off short and make an effort to go longer. The next few, though, go into more detail, more dialogue, and get longer. I hadn't started writing in NaNoWriMo, yet, but I had a few years of entering the Anime North fanfic contest. Writing came far easier at this point.
Ms Funke has turned into a bit of a running gag. She has a poor memory for names. She predates Prof. Trelawney in the Harry Potter novels; the absent-minded professor is a well-known trope. Nasty is a better artist than she thinks; the redhead has a confidence problem that the Consortium is already aware of. Once off balance, though, Nasty has trouble coping. What was supposed to be a simple work has cascaded into a situation where her flaws are on, or will be on, display.
A bit of insight into the social circles of Fieldson appears, too. Cynthia and Rusty don't get along, as seen by the drop in temperature in the washroom. Cynthia is good at keeping secrets; she'd make a great mastermind if she was a villain. She is also good at social manipulation. Cynthia wields gossip as a weapon.
A side note here - Nasty, Rusty, Cynthia, and Emily all have red hair, as do Cinder and Ember. It wasn't really my intent to have that many redheads; it's starting to strain belief. Red hair is relatively rare; I tended to be one of at most two students in a class with it. Here, though, we have four students with red hair of different shades. Rusty got her nickname from her hair colour; she kept it because she feels her real name, Jane, gets lost too easily in the crowd. Back in New York, though, Nasty is the only named character with red hair. Maria's is black, for the record.
As Nasty's world collapses around her, she gets to deal with a new complication - a father figure. Not mentioned at any point in previous issues is Nasty's father. Maria is a single mother; there is no "Mr. Giuliani" anywhere. It's a plot point that will be addressed, but not while Nasty is in Rochester. Beyond that, Nasty now has Martin acting as her father. Neither really know what to do from experience; they're running on best guess. With the suggestion of counselling (read: a way for me to explain Nasty getting calmer and less swear-y), Martin and Nasty get to leave and fumble their way through being a happy family.
The tape - TIVO was still in its infancy and not available in Canada* and VCRs were still common when the issue was first written - is the Pyro Twins' message to the mayor of Rochester. Nasty goes full MST3K on it; she has zero patience with the antics. To be fair, I wrote the Twins like that on purpose, to contrast against Nasty and her more serious approach. Not quite at the level of Batman versus the Joker, but I needed a bit of lightness somewhere. Right now, the Twins' abilities are more informed than anything else. They haven't had screen time in action.
The rest of the issue had Nasty juggling several elements from Fieldson, with Christine and the drama club, and Rusty and the art project. Once again, Nasty gets placed into an uncomfortable position, one where her natural instinct - smacking someone - won't work. Nasty has some maturing to do. She's getting there, but there's always room for improvement.
Coming up tomorrow, the Pyro Twins attack!
Saturday, over at MuseHack, how to repair the Star Wars prequels, with an eye on how to prepare for your own project.
Coming soon, more NaNo prep work, introducing two new story ideas, and more Traveller work.
* Canadian cable companies tend to be on the trailing edge of the tech curve.