Justice Wing, Writing Process

⎇001JW: A Brief Mythology of Time, Leather Edition

So how long does all this take, anyway?

Hey there one and all! As we slide into the excitement of May here on Banter Latte — and release Motivation as an ebook to boot — it seemed like a good time to talk about… well, time, as it fits Justice Wing, anyhow.

Spoilers, I should mention, for Interviewing Leather, Becoming Leather, and Defining Leather, albeit generally small ones only reflecting stuff posted here on Banter Latte.

Justice Wing is, at its heart, a comic book/superhero style universe. As a result, we intentionally keep its time and dates fluid, following similar practices not just with the comic book universes we know best, but things like Batman: The Animated Series, which combined current technology and classic and antique cars and fashion to create a sense of timelessness. Back when all this started I tied things to our world’s time and events, but at this point we keep things flexible. The closest we’ve come to defining any of these things officially is in the novel Justice Wing: Plan, Prototype, Produce, Perfect.

(And no, I’m not just writing this to advertise the Amazon stuff. Promise. That said, I’m going to give you every chance to check them out. But I digress.)

In 4P, as we generally call it, we skip around the four major eras of the Justice Wing age of heroes. I repeat them a lot, but for the record those eras are Emergence, Halcyon Days, the Apocalypse Agenda, and In Nadir. 4P stars Broadhead, a prosahuman hero who’s been around for all of them, saving lives and making bad choices, so it became important to specify how many years had passed between each of the flashbacks. That said, fluid time means that I don’t have to reconcile the dates in another, similar book. I will, but I don’t have to. It also means that when I have a contradiction (and I’ve got at least one — Leather’s sister Loredana’s age doesn’t quite work and that’s a problem she’ll have to take up with her primary care physician or her priest because I’m not going to do anything about it) I can smile, nod, and say “yup!”

All that being said, the In Nadir era’s timeframes are far better defined than most, because I use a specific reference point that needs to stay consistent. That reference point?

Well, that would be Leather, herself. So among her other achievements, Leather’s age is now the standard unit of time in the In Nadir timeframe. From the point of her primary parahuman expression on, the major story beats in her life tend to follow four year blocks. Why? Because she was an Olympic caliber athlete, and even if she never went to the games, it’s just the rhythm of her life, now.

So. When Leather was 16, she hit primary parahuman expression (knocking her out of the Olympics, not that she cared because she could lift a motorcycle over her head now), lost her parents, and became a superhero. Four years later, at 20, she fought a couple monsters in a park, got fed up, and crossed the aisle to be a villain. At 24, she was interviewed by Todd Chapman. At 28, she  REDACTED by DETAILS. And at 32 she REDACTED by DETAILS.

Everything else in In Nadir works around these different elements. The only thing that doesn’t work in these elements is the shift from the Apocalypse Agenda’s Era to the In Nadir Era, since that happened when she was going to the Junior Olympics at 14. Which also means that Interviewing Leather comes out 10 years after the Agenda… and the article’s publication drives Justice Wing: Plan, Prototype, Produce, Perfect, which means that happens 10-11 years after the Agenda as well.

So, you may be wondering “who would possibly care about this?”

My answer? Simply put?

Enough people that writing up a 700 word disclaimer disguised as a worldbuilding essay seemed warranted.

Have the best weekend!

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