Southeast Location

I took a few days away from working on my series that was inspired from my jokes, and after yesterday’s blog post on story styles, I felt inspired to revisit the concept with more thoughts.  Let me also add that I will have to do some research, so we’ve gone into a new stage.

As per past posts the story revolves around a man who has global influence, and is trying to work with his dysfunctional family.  My initial thoughts is he was trying to find his voice. That still holds true, but I think he has a new role he’s trying to please a lot of people while remaining true to himself.

I think the MC/hero/protagonist starts and LLC, and it grows like wildfire. His mom is in charge of the business as she manages him, the finances, and the demands.  She has become the an influential person who is the closest to her son.

Location was another aspect I worked on.  The story takes place in Charleston, SC (or outside the city). This is personal, as I am from the south, and I know this region well.  The main setting is the business which is set in a restored southern mansion.

Needless to say I need to brush up on businesses, and southern mansions, because I’d like for this to be a strong aspect of the series.   This also made me think of ideas for the series.

Below are some notes I made as thought this out:

  • Getting sued.  I know it’s an LLC, BUT I imagine people want access to the MC unfiltered.
  • The MC has a unintentional monopoly no on can match, and this sets some people’s shorts on fire.
  • People want favors at the MC’s expense.
  • People want Mom’s favor and try to bribe or blackmail her,
  • MC has to learn when to say “no,” and not being a people pleaser when the business has policies he and his mom are ironing out.
  • Mom and MC are having issues over policies.  Some she insists upon, others he insists upon.

Tomorrow I may post something I found to be a problem: I want to create some other relatives that have positive influence on the MC.  I’m thinking an aunt (Mom’s sis) and a Uncle (Dad’s brother) who may or may not work for him.

As always, happy creative endeavors.

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Story Swagger

Yesterday, I tried writing a post about how mood and emotion affect the narratives, characters, and overall aesthetic of the text. It was too long, and didn’t say what I meant. So, I gave it a lot overnight thought.

To give an example of what I mean, a show like Pushing Daises has a fairy tale (or storybook) like quality that is repeated in the visuals, characters, and narrative elements.

Or a film like Bram Stoker’s Dracula was described as an “erotic dream” which did have an impact on the style. It also included a lot of fairy tale elements but that’s another topic.

Last night and this morning, I thought of things like noir, and horror, which definitely make viewers or readers feel a distinct emotions.  Noir was dark, depressing, and had a particular style to the lighting. the characters are a distinct and you had types (hard luck heroes, femme and homme fatales, etc.).

Horror has a basis with fear being the main theme, so elements focus towards that emotion.  The aforementioned Dracula film was steeped in horror, which twisted the erotic aspects into the fantastical, grotesque and frightening.

As a writer, I wondered, and still wonder if style (which incorporates mood and emotion) could and should be at the forefront of my mind as I work on a project.  Also what style am I trying to convey with each project.

It sounds overwhelming, but I think what makes some story distinct and memorable is that they had their own swagger, and internal logic.

No Support, No Tank…Yet

Since everything is a story in itself, and serves for inspiration for whatever anyone may do, let me tell you of my adventures in gaming–namely Paladins.   Paladins is an online multiplayer FPS (First Person Shooter). Similar to MOBAs, but it’s in first person. It’s closer to Overwatch than it is to Smite (Hi-Rez makes both games Paladins and Smite, BTW) .

I started the game a while ago, however abandoned it for a while. Yesterday was the day to get reacquainted.  Why the abandonment? I was playing multiple games, and this one was frustrating me.

I was frustrated because even though I was equally new, the team composition was always off. Everyone wanted to be the damage dealer or flanker. We had no one playing support (heals and/or protection),  or tank (soaks up damage and could stay on the point).

The formula was simple, a support could help keep the tank alive with heals, while the flanker and damage dealers picked off the enemy team.  Since I was too logical for my own good I would either play tank or support, and it annoyed me because if I was the tank, I had no back up. If I was the support, the enemy flankers could pick me off. No one stayed on the point to capture it.

So I returned to the game, to be refreshed and try my hardest to make do with what I have to go with.  Many of the games, the same thing happens. No tank, or no support. I still play both roles, but not at the same time. This is a for better or worse deal as I’m determined to enjoy the game and get the basics down.

Now image if these were people critical to your team, and they all want to be the top damage dealer and score kills (success, sex, or wealth). I say story motive.  Also quitting a team or abandoning them because you’re frustrated with your role.

Paragon V 43 Misadventures

Yesterday was psyched when the game, Paragon which got a major visual update and characters adjusted, however as I played, complications ensued.

First the lag was UGLY. And by ugly I mean the character’s stalled, attacked seconds later after I pressed buttons. Even worse, when I backed or moved, there was a jump cut, and I was in a position I wasn’t supposed to be.  Very frustrating.

In my first game, my team didn’t really play well together. I was support (Phase), and I was ready to test out my utility deck which was about healing the team, wards (for enemy reveals), and using my kit for more heals.

It was comically awful, as I was destroyed several times, and lag didn’t help, but we made it to win. It took that late game build and  the team learning to work together.  My heals, and their damage was the right combination.

I played another game (Zinx), hoping the lag was done, but the game crashed…twice. I immediately logged back in, each time, of course, to complete my match. but I STILL got an AFK (away from keyboard) AKA you abandoned the team warning. Needless to say it was time to stop playing the game. This was disappointing as well as frustrating.

So this morning, Paragon developers puts out a patch for the game. This will hopefully make it a bit more playable than last night. I’ll test it later this evening. Despite its flaws, its a fun game, and it looks AMAZING.  Paragon team don’t let me down today. I’m all excited to try again.

Sugar Rush

Well, the other day I decided to make some sweet tea. We were out of sugar, so I had to go buy some and then it was time for some sweet tea.

The formula is pretty simple.  Hot water to a large container with sugar.  Let the sugar dissolve, then add the tea bags. Let it steep for a while.  Afterwards, slowly add the tea to a pitcher with ice and water. Tea completed.

Well that day I didn’t move fast enough for a family member–who wanted tea, like yesterday. Well, he decided to make it. I didn’t worry or, care until I tasted it, and then I  noticed my newly retouched sugar bowl was mighty empty.

So I asked him how much sugar he placed in the tea.  He gave a modest amount, but that tea was over-sweetened, and I couldn’t drink it.  So I had to go back, and steep two more tea bags, then add it to this pitcher. Therefore the tea is far stronger than I wanted even with more water, but it cut down a lot of the sweetness.

I am so salty now cause I’ve wasted sugar and tea correcting someone who thought they were correcting me. I suppose I should move faster to make the tea, but how the hell is it supposed to steep if I don’t allow it to have time to steep?

I’m not buying any more sugar this week, or tea bags. We’ll just have to drink water if we run out of both.

Happy creative endeavors.

Softening the Villain

I write this with two particular villains in mind who I thought were the most interesting characters in their respective films. I’m speaking of Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty, and Darth Vader in Star Wars (original trilogy). Both characters held a lot of mystery and a particular brand of evil that was interesting to watch unfold.

What I did notice is when both characters became the central character of their own films, their stories and characters changed, and in many ways we saw they were not evil, but misunderstood, and that has in effect, cut off their true potency.

When I first talked about both characters, I suggested they were more like tragic heroes with a fatal flaw. They had desire, motive, and they made things happen.  Both Maleficent and Darth Vader paid the ultimate price for their actions. Only one of them remained relentlessly evil, while the other had a change of heart.

That said, when looking at the film, Maleficent, we see that Maleficent is the victim, and it is her trust that is betrayed. This betrayal turned her into a spiteful person, who acts out of malice and revenge.

This is a completely different character from the original, who was pure evil, didn’t give a damn how you felt, she was going to do as she pleased.  Granted that would make for a dark live action film (kids may be scared of her), but let’s be honest, she was the mistress of all evil. That’s a huge part of her appeal.

In the prequels of Star Wars, we get to see Darth Vader as Anakin Skywalker. It could be argued that it was only after Obi-Wan defeated Anakin, and left him to die in Revenge of the Sith is when he really turned evil.

Up until that point, Anakin was cocky, murderous, and extremely petulant. After he was defeated, humiliated, and left to burn alive is where he suffered, got angry, and realized the totality of his actions–which had been vile, and sadly this did not make him regret who he became. I would dare say that’s when the story starts.

Maleficent’s origin film allows for her to be re-branded as a dark heroine, while Darth Vader’s origin attempts to depict his tragic fall from hero to evil.  For the purpose of the Maleficent film, the character’s evil roots were purged in favor of a more kid-appealing villain, while the Star Wars prequels took a route to fill in gaps.

Both de-mystified their strongest characters with mixed results.

It’s Not About Me

I write this, searching for a title, then I realizes that it is about me.  Or its not about my ego. What I keep going for is writing on a daily basis to keep me pushing forward. When I don’t have much to say, I still end up wanting to put something down.

Earlier today it occurred to me that I need to get the rest of my ideas in order, otherwise I’d be slacking off. At some point I need to see my writing evolve beyond the stages of plotting, planning, and revisions. It needs to be published and/or produced.

The obvious is always, “keep writing,” however I should add to it, “and keep pushing and evolving as an artist.” I do love the process, and sometimes it does feel like a hard grind, but there needs to be some payoff beside me struggling.  Some light at the end of the tunnel.

Odd to feel at odds with writing, yet that’s what’s happening.

As always, happy creative endeavors.