Lois (kalalanekent) wrote,

Little Secrets 1st Round of Answers

The answer to the following questions: How and why and when did the character of Kala come about?  Why did you decide to blend SR and the original movieverse?  Essentially, how was LS conceived?

Well, waaaaay back when Lois was about 12 years old, she saw the movie Superman II (the Lester version).  At that ending, with Lois asking Clark to get her a hamburger with everything at 9 AM, Lois the coauthor immediately thought "PREGNANT!"  That spawned the idea in her head of writing a story about Lois Lane being pregnant with Superman's children.  Lois herself is the older sister to a pair of twins (Tiffany and April, if you're reading this, HI!), so she thought it would be cool if the famously independent Lois Lane had to deal with the challenges of raising twins.  And she decided to make them a boy and a girl.

That idea, called Legacy, involved Jonathan and Kala Lane growing up in a world without Superman.  When they're fourteen years old, their father returns to Earth, and the story went from there.  If any of you have read the story Son of Superman, you may recognize one of the sources of inspiration.

Lois never really wrote Legacy but it kicked around in her head for years.  When Superman Returns was announced, with the story of Lois being a mom, it brought Legacy to the front of her mind all over again.  She read every spoiler and watched every video blog she could get her hands on, and all of that just inspired her more to write her own idea.  In June of 2006, before the new film was even out in theatres in our area, she sat down and wrote the prologue - Lois Lane's first-person account of the morning after her breakup with Kal-El.  On June 28th, she posted it at Bluetights.net and later that same day, she and I saw the film together for the first time.  I'd been saying all along that Jason had to be Superman's child, and I was vindicated. I also really liked the movie, much to my surprise - I was never a Superman fan.  I learned quite a bit of trivia from living with Lois, but I was never part of the fandom.

For a long time it had no title - the thread there is actually called "Intro to New Fic" - and Lois toyed with the idea of continuing the story.  We talked about it, and she got some advice from other authors on BT and FF (home of THE SUCK still).  The first chapter - with the birth of the twins - was put up on BT on July 14th, 2006.  Having seen the movie at least twice by then, and having picked up all the promotional goodies we could find, Lois was set to write it her way.  We both had some issues with the film - we read the parody online, and it raised some valid questions.  Particularly about Lois Lane's behavior - we felt she gave in too quickly, and her anger - her very valid anger at Superman - came off more as bitchiness and whining that the true Wrath of Lois that it should've been.  

I was still just talking to Lois about it at that point, I hadn't gotten involved.  So when she wrote chapter one, it was a revamp of her old idea that came from the original movieverse.  But since we had a perfectly good movie sitting out there with tons of fans clamoring for fic, she changed the name of the male twin to Jason, and instead of having Superman gone for fourteen years as in her original idea, she changed it to six to be closer to the movie's timeline.

Superman Returns itself is set as a vague sequel to the original movieverse, so we never really saw Little Secrets as being a blend of the two.  It was just how we would've done the movie, if we had the chance - if we'd been the screenwriters, essentially.  Same idea (which has been around for a while - what if Superman and Lois Lane had kids?), slightly different take.  We really wanted to run Lois Lane as Margot would've played her.  While I refuse to bash Kate Bosworth's performance here, I do feel that the role needed a slightly older and more formbidable actress.  After all, Lois Lane has to be a strong enough character to stand up beside Superman, the original superhero, and LS was written to showcase Lois Lane as she existed in our minds and hearts.

And by then, it was "our" minds.  Chapter Five marked my involvement in the story, and by then it had a name (thanks to the Superman Returns soundtrack) and the untitled prologue had also been named.  Lois has never been able to write from a man's perspective, so I stepped in to help.  It was supposed to be one chapter, but I soon got swept up into the tale.  We set out to do a brief - BRIEF, like 150 pages - rewrite of Superman Returns just to show our version of the characters and to show the twins.  We planned to resolve the conflict at the end of the movie fairly quickly by giving Richard a noble death, and move on to the story we really wanted to write: Heirs to the House of El.

But then, as you noticed, things happened.  We fell in love with the characters.  I fell in love with Lex, and I wanted to make him the best villain he could be.  And along the way we fell in love with Richard to the point where we couldn't kill him, which is why Lana was brought into the picture.  I also heard waaaaay too much about Smallville's Lana Lang (Kristin Kreuk), so I wanted to write Lana as the virtuous Midwestern girl she should've been.  And the resolution of the conflict turned out to take much longer than we planned - had to get the four main adult characters settled into their relationships, and to deal with repercussions through the various families.  All of sudden we were writing an epic with no end in sight!

Of course, we did finally come to the ending we had planned all along - Lois and Kal-El getting back together.  For a long time we weren't going to write the wedding; Lois thought it would be jumping the shark.  But you can do that in the final chapter - those moments that kill a series can still make a fine ending.

Now, about Kala specifically: in every story Lois works on, she manages to write a daughter or daughter surrogate for her character.  (Kala would recognize Willow from Forsaken, Breannan from Dark Rising, and Cassie from the Chronicle as her cousins, in a sense.)  This reflects her real-life desire for a daughter.  It seems like everyone who plays with the idea wants to give Superman a son, but she wanted to give Lois Lane a daughter.  The twins idea gave them one of each, and allowed us to play with the relationship between mother and son, mother and daughter, father and son, father and daughter, brother and sister, as well as the special bond between twins.  

That interaction between Jason and Kala was one of the main reasons our award-winning OC is so necessary to the story.  LS is basically all about Superman not being alone anymore, and we didn't want Jason to be a retread of his father - the new Last Son of Krytpon.  No, he's one of a set of twins, and he has never been alone, not even in the womb.  He has Kala and Kala has him, and it's that bond (and how it can be frayed and rewoven even stronger) that we'll explore even further in Heirs.

The idea for Kala has been around since about 1990, when Lois started thinking about Legacy.  And yes, we always planned for her to go Goth as a teenager.  When I came into it, I added my own little touches.  She was intended to be very much like her mom, but I think I'm the one who decided that she would have issues with being compared to Lois.  And the more we worked on LS, the more defined both twins' personalities became.  Jason's personality came a little bit from SR, but Kala's recalls Jonathan from the comic Son of Superman.  With a healthy dose of her creator's own psyche added in.  She's stubborn, smart, a bit of a dreamer, and rebellious as can be.  She's also a little bit melodramatic, she craves affection and attention, and she's prone to pessimism.  Which of those come from Lois Lane and which are from Lois Joos are hard to tell - there's a reason the author was named for the character.

I think that might answer everything - if not, comment here.  And if you have other questions about LS ask them here too - I'll reply.  :D  Thanks, ladies!
Tags: little secrets q&a

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