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Trivia / A Gem in the Rough

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  • Creator's Favorite Episode: According to the story’s Tumblr, “The Seastone Cage” and “The Gauntlets In The Sand” are Drillmaster’s favorite individual chapters in A Gem in the Rough.
  • Doorstopper: There are currently over 440,000 words in this story and the second part hasn’t even finished yet. With a total of five parts to this story planned out with a sixth in the planning stages, this story is going to end up being rather long!
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  • Orwellian Ret Con: As with several fan fictions, the story he had quite a few revisions along the way. The author is a High School English teacher, so he is very insistent on scouring his work to be as grammatically correct as possible. In the story proper, there have been three major changes from when the story began: changing Vivi’s name from the established “Nefertari” to Oda’s finalized spelling of “Nefeltari” before changing it BACK to “Nefertari” when Oda corrected it again, changing Garnet’s dialogue so she would not ask any questions, modifying the names of Steven’s video games to match up with the established games in the show, completely rewriting Luffy and Steven’s personal talk at the end of “The Dream Island” to make it seem more natural, and adding Vivi into the ending of “The Call on the Private Line.”
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    • Damian’s love of puns started out as this before it grew into a character trait.
    • Nearly every song written into the story was picked at random by the author based on a whim of what could work thematically and could be reworked lyrically while planning the individual chapters. The only exceptions to this for the story as a whole (so far) were “We Are The Crystal Gems,” "I Am The Very Model Of A Cunning Tiger Millionaire," “Miss Valentine,” "Jolly Holiday," and the 4kids rap.
    • The friendship between Peridot and Robin, surprisingly enough. What started out as a simple conversation between former opponents became the driving force of Peridot’s character development throughout her initial experiences on the Grand Line.
    • The debt between Nami and the Baroque Works Trio was introduced purely because it was commented that the amount they sold the Golden Crown for was far too low. Thankfully, this was perfectly in-character for all four of them and allows for an interesting side plot to play out over the remainder of the story.
  • What Could Have Been:
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    • Damian was almost given the name Tomisaburo after Storm Shadow from G.I. Joe: Renegades.
    • Fusion was not even considered when writing the story until reviewer Skysword mentioned it. Within two chapters, the original intent of Luffy bringing Steven, Damian, Sanji, and Petrea up the mountain was axed to introduce Lufven. This was due to the imminent introduction to Chessmarimo and how he is clearly Chess and Marimo standing on each other’s shoulders, giving a thematic tie-in to his introduction.
    • Steven was intended to sing a song on the ride to Rainbase inside of Banchi’s wagon. While Miss Doublefinger would be unnerved, Mr. 1 would secretly love it but not let anyone know.
    • There was originally supposed to be some kind of fight scene with Mr. 3 in Alabasta, first against Connie and Steven and then being shuffled to Sanji. In the end, nobody fought him (except Genevieve off-panel.)
    • A Gem in the Rough was supposed to end after the Beach City section, fulfilling the complete Hero’s Journey for Steven and the narrative set in place from the beginning. The decision to continue the story was made during “The Fake King Of Alabasta,” and subtle hints for where the story would go were placed in subsequent chapters, such as the ominous legend that Cobra tells Pearl.
    • Instead of Garp being the one to intercept the Straw Hats after Alabasta, the original choice was Kuma, who would have used his abilities to send the Straw Hats to Beach City. This was changed after it was pointed out that Kuma’s powers wouldn’t be able to do that, leading to the introduction of “P.C.M.”
    • More time was planned to happen in Beach City, including more time with Sadie and Smoker and a subplot about Peedee getting close to Sanji over a love of cooking. This is partially why Sanji is not given much to do in town besides messing around on Steven’s computer.
    • Neither Greg nor Genevieve were intended to have Devil Fruits during the planning of the story.
    • Gems Without Measure; A Pirate’s Treasure was originally intended to start during Water Seven, with Steven being brought in as a peer mediator to stop Usopp and Luffy from fighting. This was scrapped due to the importance of the duel for Usopp’s character growth and the idea to begin with the Davy Back Fight.
    • Phil was not going to be a part of the Davy Back Fight when it was first being planned. It was only after F-ckthesystem125 reached out to the author (who had mentioned that he was inspired to write a One Piece fan fiction after he came across his story) that he was able to work him into two separate parts of the story
    • The “Ocean’s Dream” arc and Movie Seven were not in the original plan, but both were added to give a new look at the characters for the former and for a last breather arc before Water Seven.
    • While the aforementioned “Jolly Holiday” song was planned for the Steven/Connie date scene, the author has admitted that he almost took out the song, as he was afraid it would be too distracting and take away from the scene. Cyanide Oreo, the story’s official artist, convinced him to keep it in.
    • Petrea, Damian, and Genevieve were originally supposed to return to Water Seven with Franky, getting him to empathize and feel bad about taking the Straw Hats’ money without realizing that he did so, but was replaced with the traditional Franky first appearance and the twist ending where the Baroque Works Trio snuck aboard the Puffing Tom dressed up as Marines.
    • Genevieve’s Color-Color Fruit powers were originally going to be a bit different. Originally, Genevieve would be able to create pure black or white “Color Traps” from her hands (like paint) and send them flying at her opponents, with the color then being able to altered from afar based on which attack she was using. This was changed during the writing of the chapter when the author was inspired to use Genevieve’s blush marks as canvases after wiping away formula off of his infant duaghter’s cheeks as he was feeding her and realizing how interesting of a concept it was (especially since it tied in to an earlier idea that her blush marks would grow or shrink based on emotion).
    • The ending of “The Call On The Private Line” was actually one of the first things written out over a year before it was published, but certain things needed to be modified. The idea of Peridot calling Spandam was intended to at first just be her using a Marine’s discarded Den Den Mushi until he realized that Spandam wouldn’t be able to hear the call until it was too late. That was where the author’s idea to do what Peridot did during “The a Week Of Sardonyx” and amplify the call on every channel possible, namely through Den Den Mushis. This would have culminated to flashes of various pirates like Shanks and Crocodile listening in and viewing their reactions. All of this changed when the author finally got around to reading This Bites! and realized that doing so would be incredibly similar to the SBS of that story. As such, it was reworked to make it only able to do so thanks to an external energy source overpowering Peridot’s contraption from what it would normally be able to do and to only showcase the most important groups of listeners: Smoker, Tashigi, Vivi, Karoo, and the Gorosei.
  • Word of God: The Author Commentary and Tumblr often give ideas of what the characters would think about certain situations and character interactions that has not come up yet. This ranges from minor trivia (like which Disney movies would the characters enjoy the most) to material that has been intended but hasn’t been overtly stated in the story (like Petrea being canonically bisexual).
  • Write What You Know: The author has admitted that, while he is not a fan of writing romances in his stories, that the relationship between Rose and Greg as well as Nami’s advice to Steven for his date with Connie are based on his own relationship experience with his wife. Coincidentally, Greg gave very similar advice in “Steven’s Dream” on the same subject, which aired after “The Three Syllables” was written.
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