Author's Notes on
Tin Man:
Dragons and Ninjas

There are universes I enjoy without needing to delve into creating fanfiction for them. Hellsing is a great example. So when I initially found some Tin Man music videos on YouTube, I made a playlist. Then the playlist led to reading fanfics that the video makers said inspired them. No biggies. Then I downloaded the Tin Man miniseries to double check some of the fanfics. Next thing I know is Zack Baker had teamed up with another princess and I was buried in the story. Perfect writing storm is the only way I can describe what happened to me with Tin Man: Dragons and Ninjas. I started writing it on June 4th and finished the first draft on July 17, 2008. I can't remember when I last wrote a first draft that fast. And it wasn't a wimpy manuscript, 79,449 words.

I finished the second draft on August 3, 2008 and whittled the manuscript to 71,503 words. Started posting to FanFiction.net that day too, because I didn't want to bother the Yahoo Group of Biker Mice fans with my new obsession. It's a weird hangup, but I just assume people won't like my obsessions so I don't expose them. Besides, the next website update was changing how I share stories, so I figured it could wait until I had a newsletter.

The prefect writing storm drove all thoughts of doing metrics on the story out of my head. Thinking back on it, I have to wonder where I went. It was like automatic writing only I remember stopping to do research. I'm not complaining about it, just noting that it's odd. Now I did make remarks at Intentionally Left Blank and I had to go back and consult them in order to have enough to talk about for the purposes of this Author's Note.

I first noted that this was the easiest writing I had done in forever and a day.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008: This is the way writing used to be

I'm over 19,000 words into the project I started on June 4th. I can't stop not working on it, I can't get it out of my head, the words are coming so easily.

So why is it TinMan fanfiction instead of my original project?

I have no idea. I thought it was going to be like my Hellsing love, where I love madly but no participating. *Sigh* At this point, I've decided to finish it and then get back to my vampires.

Also, I ended up with three theme songs. *Scratching head* I'm not exactly sure how that happened either. I think my muse backed over me with a dump truck.
We'll talk about the music more later. Now looking back, by May of that year, I had just wrapped up a school project that ended up being very personal for me, and made some life choices (things that I had been avoiding mostly). My muse gave me a little time to recover and then chirped "one distraction here ya go!" It turned out to be exactly what I needed, regardless of the timing or the blindsidedness of it.

Technically, Tin Man: Dragons and Ninjas is a crossover. Zack got sent on one of solo-adventures, Lyle is in it, and Allie and Mike make an appearance at the end. I don't know why Zack keeps getting caught up in these crazy adventures, but it's not over with yet for him, because while posting and reviewers wondering what the sequel would be, the muse dropped the explanation for Agmaraa along with a teaser of a scene between Cassandra, Umbriel, Owen, Zack, Cain, and DG right into my lap. I swear she was smirking. But even with those elements, I think of it primarily as DG and Cain's story, with Zack along for some fun.

I was surprised by what all I was able to squeeze into this novel. It is a what happens next and how Cain and DG hook up story. I am an unrepentant shipper of that pair. When I watched the original airing of the miniseries with my father (I was borrowing my parents' cable), his comment when Jeb showed up was "Did they decide the Tin Man's too old for her?" Me: "I hope not; that would be stupid." My father doesn't analyze stuff he watches, so his picking up on that vibe means the vibe was there.

Another element of the novel is the problems between DG and her parents. As Zack rightly points out, she clings to her friends because she's an orphan. But I didn't want to fall into the trap of the birth parents turn out to be hypocrites and hurt DG. Also I wanted to redeem Elmer Gulch. The man hands out one speeding ticket--which DG earned--and the fandom has it out for his blood.

This novel fills holes in Zack and Lyle's friendship stemming from a scene in a story set before this one that I haven't written. Recognizing that clarified a few things in relation to those stories, and I realized that what I have written of Zack's solo adventures hasn't even been published yet. Whoops. I was really deep in the story when I realized DG and Cain were going to meet Allie and Mike, and Zack finally tells his sister what happens to him. Purplerhino coined the term Zackverse as a term for Zack's previous adventures, which I happily adopted. I must fill in the holes in Zackverse so the epic sequel that the muse dumped on my lap will make sense to other readers, but I have no idea when I can start on that.

I'm not the first to come up with DG has dark magic, but I think I am the first to tie it in with ying-yang philosophy. Writing Dragons and Ninjas solidified how magic works in the Zackverse and it fits nicely with the explanation of chi.

I don't have any issues reading other fanfics with DG's mother is named Lavender Eyes, but I started having giggles during Glitch's angsty scene, so I changed it to Galinda. I borrowed it from Gregory Maguire's novel Wicked, but for the character's biography she was named after the original Glinda who Dorothy Gale knew.

Zero's backstory was one big ball of surprise. As I made note of in my blog entry:

June 24: Zero said years

I broke down and bought the TinMan DVD. I was hoping for subtitles to see how things were spelled. There is no subtitles. Isn't that against the law now? You blew the entire budget on the CGI and there was none to code subtitles? Not to complain, I love the CGI but I have found two different spellings for one of the species in the O.Z. and would have liked to find an official version.

And not that this speculation will make any sense to anyone not currently obsessed with TinMan, but Zero says years. I will admit it took the fourth reviewing before I caught on, and it was after I decided to have DG say "years" and then correct herself to "annuals" the proper O.Z. term.
Rewatch the fight between Cain and Zero at the Northern Palace. Since nearly everyone else in the O.Z. says "annuals" (and I spent a rewatch after I bought the DVD just to make sure) this screamed "Zero is a Slipper" to me. Nobody else had picked up on that when I wrote this story, and Zero found himself in a very dysfunctional family after he landed from a natural travel storm. I also enjoyed coming up with a reason why DG lucked across her companions, DeMilo's wagon showing up when it did, and possibly why Cain survived the fall at the Northern Palace.

If you're curious about my thoughts as I was writing and when I remembered to say something, here are the links to all the entries at Intentionally Left Blank:

Music was a whole lot of fun with this novel. Since the whole obsession with it started over fanvids, I shouldn't have been so surprised over ending up with four theme songs that inspired me. Here are the fanvids for those four (hopefully they all still work YouTube can be cranky about copyrights).

"Home" by Breaking Benjamin

"Suffer" by the Echoing Green

"I Turn to You" by Melanie C

"Save This Fairyland" by Angelzoom

Other people in the Tin Man fandom inspired me to make a fanmix soundtrack for Dragons and Ninjas. This soon expanded to fanmixes for all my songfics. This fanmix is slightly different from the others, since I only quoted one song. The rest of the songs to bring the soundtrack to twelve tracks are theme songs for the characters and situations.

  1. ”It Doesn’t Matter” by Alison Krauss and Union Station – DG’s theme
  2. ”Ordinary” by Train – Zack’s theme
  3. "What If" by Creed - Cain’s theme
  4. “Can’t Get It Out of My Head” by Velvet Revolver – Glitch’s Theme
  5. ”The River Sings” by Enya – Raw’s theme
  6. ”Hold Out Your Hand” by Nickelback – Jeb’s theme
  7. ”Suffer” by Echoing Green – DG’s breakdown and Cain’s torture
  8. ”Just Like You” by Three Days Grace – Ichiro’s theme
  9. ”Avarice” by Disturbed – Zero’s theme
  10. ”Save this Fairyland” by Angelzoom – Going into battle
  11. ”I Turn to You” by Melanie C – DG and Cain’s love/rescue theme
  12. ”Home” by Breaking Benjamin – overall novel theme

To download the zip file, click on the album cover images.

Link to the Soundtrack Link to the Soundtrack

Since I don't have anywhere else at the Library to post this fanmix, you may see it in a few places. We've Got An Emerald To Find Fanmix is an alternate soundtrack for the miniseries. It was created for Round 9: Scavenger Hunt Challenge at Tin Man Challenge. It won second place! Because of the rules of the challenge, I have included quotes from the lyrics to hint as why I chose them.

Round 9 Second Place Banner
  1. "Can’t Take It In" - Imogen Heap / DG wakes in the O.Z.
    Can't close my eyes
    They're wide awake
    Every hair on my body
    has got a thing for this place
  2. "6 Underground" – Sneaker Pimps / the Sorceress schemes
    Don't think 'cause I understand
    I care
    Don't think 'cause I'm talking
    We're friends
  3. "Street of Dreams" - Rainbow / meeting the Mystic Man
    There you stood a distant memory
    So good like we never parted
    Said to myself I knew you'd set me free
    And here we are right back where we started
  4. "Wunderkind" - Alanis Morissette / DG learns she's a Princess
    I am a wunderkind
    And I live the envelope pushed far enough to believe this
    I am a princess on the way to my throne
    Destined to serve, destined to roam
  5. "Prelude 12/21" - AFI / captured in the Tower
    This is what I thought, I thought you need me.
    This is what I thought, so think me naive.
    I promise you a heart, you promised to keep.
    Kiss my eyes and lay me to sleep.
  6. "Out of My Mind" – Duran Duran / Glitch's flashback
    Here it comes now sure as silence follows rain
    The taste of you upon my lips the fingers in my brain
    And be gentle as it kills me where I lay who am I to resist
    Who are you to fail
  7. "Back to a Reason Part II" – Trans-Siberian Orchestra / Cain looking for Jeb
    Somewhere in the dark
    Beyond all the cold
    There is a child
    That’s part of my soul
  8. "Roses Fade" - Luscious Jackson / the Cave
    I watched your roses fade away
    the wings came off your back today—
    And I saw all the truth behind
    the pretty pictures in my mind—
  9. "I Still Remember" – Blackmore’s Night / Ahamo and DG's balloon ride
    Do you ever think of me
    And get lost in the memory
    When you do, I hope you smile
    And hold that memory a while...
  10. "I’m On My Way" – Rich Price / rescuing DG from the tomb
    Could you raise your voice up Feeling that hope Together with mine, yeah But I'm on my way
  11. "Real World" - Queensryche / Battle of the Eclipse
    What went wrong, what was right
    Looking back, I never was there for you
    You didn't say, but I know it's true

    I can't find the real world alone
  12. "Where Are We Going From Here" – Blackmore’s Night / Reunion and end credits
    On a long road, miles to go
    Its winding and cold and its covered with snow
    But I ask you what we all want to know
    Where are we going from here...

To download the zip file, click on the album cover images.

Link to the Soundtrack Link to the Soundtrack

Link to the Story Link to More Author's Notes Link to Fiction Teasers