An idea occurred to me for a potential Unruly arc. Since there may be people looking for information on how writers, amateur or otherwise, get ideas and since writing down the thought process may help me figure out what I'm doing, here is how the concept is forming.
The idea came to me after watching the Jem and the Holograms episode, "Alone Again". The episode turned into the series' anti-drug public service announcement, which every cartoon at the time was doing, in part to get the money available. The beginning of "Alone Again" had me hoping for a different direction. A new Starlight girl, Laura, who lost her parents in a car crash, arrived at the mansion because the other foster homes were full. Laura is shy and withdrawn, and I was hoping that the ep would go into the other girls learning how to work with her while not forcing her to open up before she was ready.
Since the episode didn't deliver there, that left the idea sitting in my head. Turns out, I do have a means already to explore that idea. Unruly already provides the setting, the Ulrich F. Gephardt Academy for Unruly Girls, which will separate my Laura-analogue from her family without having to drop a meteor on them while also dropping the girl into a strange new environment. And, let's face it, the Academy isn't for girls who can't stand up for themselves.
Next step is figuring out what I need for this story. I have the girl and her basic personality - shy, withdrawn, uncomfortable around others. She'll need a new name just to avoid confusion in the audience's mind with the Laura who already exists. The new girl will also need a reason for being at the Academy. The school is for girls who aren't so much in trouble but who are trouble. Whatever the reason is, it has to be believable with her desire to be alone.
Speaking of wanting to be alone, it's hard to do that when you bunk with three other girls. The new girl's roommates will also have to be developed. That's not really a problem, at least for the setting. Each girl will also need a background, including why they're at the school. I could use the opportunity to add a few more magical students to go along with Fawna and Kristi, plus add some diversity* to the cast.
I also have to figure out what year they are in and when the new girl arrived. I'm hesitant to have her be new along with Laura, simply because it starts looking odd to have so many new students coming in at odd times. A natural time for the new girl to arrive would be Grade 7, like Caitlin, or Grade 9. In the latter case, the new girl is missing two years of socialization with the other inmates, which may help with her not wanting to join the rest of the girls.
Even setting her in Grade 9, I still have to figure out if I want her story to be concurrent with the main plot featuring the seniors that's ongoing-ish or set the story back a couple of years so that the new gril is a year behind Caitlin. This ties into the problem with having the new girl show up the same time as Laura. I'm tempted to place the story two years prior; that way, the new girl and her roomies become the seniors once Caitlin's cohort graduates. The benefit to this approach is that there will be a character in place for the audience when the new seniors debut.
Once I can get the above worked out, I'll still need a plot. Laura's first weekend as an Unruly still had her thrown into the thick of things. Even starting the new girl on the proper first day of class in September, events still have to happen. She may not be prepared for life at the Academy, but her roomies will be ready to show the world, Oshawa, and their classmates that they haven't been beaten down.
* Diversity with Unruly is touchy. On one hand, I do want the Academy to reflect the reality of high school populations today. One the other, these are students who have had run-ins with the law, so adding, say, a Carribean Canadian who ran a ring cornering a third of Hamilton's illegal market is problematic, to put it mildly. I don't want to perpetuate stereotypes.