Stage One

Yesterday, before doing any gaming, I made sure to get some writing done. I needed to type up my ideas to keep on my schedule. This was done while being mildly distracted by family activities, but I got done what I set out to do.

Ultimately I picked out four ideas, and two additional ones as alternate selections (more on this later), and wrote down what I needed to look at for inspiration as a start for getting into the project.   I also typed out the ideas, knowing I’d think over them overnight, revise them today, and develop the premises.

One thing that happened, late last night, was that two of my story ideas were too similar. They were both fantasy-based stories. While one was in an urban setting and had a horror-supernatural vibe, the other was in a fantasy world, and that was really the only main difference.

Both MC’s were investigators, solved crimes, and had contentious relationships with their bosses. I’m not sure these ideas are different enough to warrant being written at the same time.

I may give this a day to mull over, but I’m sure I can merge these two, and pick one of the alternate choices (also urban fantasy). I feel the alternate idea is vastly different from either previous screenplays.

I also looked over genres of the chose screenplays. It’s mainly a variation of fantasy, actions/adventure, or supernatural, so I need each of them to stand up on their own without blending into each other.

To keep each story distinct, I need to add strong themes to each story, and hold to them. This will come from the MC’s personal conflict, and will likely evolve as the story is written.

This is getting complicated already. I like that.

Happy creative endeavors.

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My Precioussss

I don’t quite nuance that title as well as Gollum does in the Lord of the Rings films, but that was the aim.

As I continue to research, write, and learn, I noticed a lot of my characters are very much blank slates to a point that things happen to them, as opposed to them making things happen.  My characters can and should be active and not passive in their respective worlds.

That said, some of my characters are all inadvertently in melodramas (bad things happen to good people).  For example, in my novel, the MC (main character) is a dancer, but really doesn’t do much—other people cause the trouble. He just happens to be in nearby, and gets dumped on. No fighting back, and barely even a snappy line or insult.

The one time he was active is when he was placed in a situation where he had the option to run or fight. He chose to fight. I LOVED that scene. Totally my fault for the lack of an active role, though.

The MC was too precious to me to be active, OR to have true flaws to address and explore within the story. This is killing my stories from the inside. It plays a part in why I sometimes stall time after time on projects.

Let’s face it, I can procrastinate with the best of them—I’d clean my room before I spent the day writing (my personal flaw).

Ironically, the one melodrama story I worked on, has a very active character doing bad things while struggling to maintain the façade of an upstanding man of the town.  His actions cause problems as opposed to waiting, and he reacted to events. Dude has so many flaws, I was like this is good.  I have to know more (my nosy self).

Perhaps I should view my other stories as melodramas, and then I will dare to break them away from their precious, protected blank slate. I’d like to move forward in writing. A bother has to evolve creatively.

As always, happy creative endeavors, and don’t get stuck like I did.

Sixteen

Yesterday was a day without heavy distractions, which is a little odd for a Friday. I decided that I should take out pen and paper and write. My first thought was to simply list the projects I was working on and define a premise for them.  This was simple enough.

As stated before, the premise is a fleshed out idea that is one or two clear, concise sentences.  There’s another step in this that I wanted to see which was a few simple questions I’ll post below.  The questions would also help me stay on point, see where my thoughts were at that moment on the concept.

One thing pointed out to me is that if your premise sounds confusing, or if your audience doesn’t understand it, then  t needs more work.  As per my own word, writing is rewriting.

The questions for me were:

  1. Who is the MC (main character)?
  2. The MC does what and when?
  3. Where does this event/journey take place?
  4. Why is the MC on this journey?
  5. How does the MC go about this journey?

Writing this down felt complicated, but some of the things were easy to jot down. For example, I knew some of the characters have names, or I used an X as their name.  I knew their situation.

Wrote it all down. I pushed for the five premises on paper, then looked at my story list, and pushed to sixteen premises put down on paper. I’m very happy I did that, but the work can’t stop here.

Now part two of this will be to type all of this out because this is where rewriting will get done as needed.  Once I get a stronger feeling that the material is clear and concise, I will be doing more research. This will lead to even more revisions, but I’m down for that kind of challenge.  I feel good when I push myself further because I want to get it all written.

As always, happy creative endeavors.

The Old New Script

Recently I reviewed my script I wrote for a fantasy TV show. Now that I have some lessons under my belt on writing better, I decided to look at the main character  (MC) and see what I thought.

The MC: the new, resourceful and cocky lawman in town who aims stop supernatural crimes, and not take anyone’s BS.

This is an ensemble story, he really shapes the pilot and how we see the world.

The second MC: Talented, aristocratic snot whose family pays a steep price for his escapades, and he must now stay obedient in order to prevent them from even more hostility.

Third MC: Insufferable, unorthodox  know-it-all who loves his secrets, and his authority unquestioned.

The fourth MC: Confident, bold, and witty librarian who would rather spend time out in the field rather than with old books.

I had other characters that appear, but I wanted the identify the “primary” four who I could describe into a sentence or two.

I did have one antagonist.  I was trying to figure out how to described him.

Antagonist 1: Brilliant chemist with a sadistic streak, and great contempt for the wealthy.

This is what I’m revising. Happy to look at it again, and at least get a handhold on the characters.

Genre Challenges and Ideas

For the record, I did get some writing done yesterday. I had an idea for a character’s background, and added it to my Moleskin. I was constantly interrupted, but still managed to get it down. So that’s a good thing.

Also spent time contemplating genres and ideas. I tend to skewer towards the fantastical, and that’s fine. I was curious if I could create works in other genres as well. This is me simply having some free time to debate what I could do outside my favored choices o genre.

I also began to think of a horror-themed TV show because why not? Partly I want to know if I could scare myself, but I also like supernatural stories and dark theme, but never thought to put it into a show or a film.

I wouldn’t be unprecedented. Several supernatural shows have horror built into them. Supernatural comes to mind, as does Charmed, American Horror Story, and X-FilesX-Files used to have some scary episodes back in the day.

There was a Dracula TV show–the actual title escapes me, but it had an unintentional, light camp aspect to it, which kind of pulled it away from horror.  I see they were going for a supernatural dramatic vibe, but it was kind of lost in the mix.

Happy creative endeavors.

 

The Final Four

In another chapter of my character building, we come to the final four.

Not really the final characters for my story, but I wanted to create more characters while paying a pun-ish reference to BSG. Yes, I realize it was a “final five,” but if you add the MC you have five.

The MC (main character) is the second son for those who have been following my progress through creating the story.  I also want to keep the character descriptions down to two sentences or less.

Ex-Girlfriend: She is ironically free-spirited, and unintentionally cruel, but always in the second son’s orbit. She discovers she wants to around him more for what he can do, less than she wants to be with him.

Ex-Friend: Typically goes after what he desires no matter the obstacle. Lost the MC as a friend when he started sleeping with the MC’s now ex-gf.

Friend 1: Hard worker, and very passionate about career and goals. She is good friends with the MC, and values loyalty and trues among peers.

Friend 2:  Is burnt out from life and people, thus becoming more and more cynical. Keeps making mistakes that have a ripple effect, and needs help he’s not open to.

 

Monsters

Someone once pointed out that I have an attraction to bad characters, and they were in many ways correct.  I have a creative taste for silliness, dark themes, and monsters. I don’t know how all those work together, but I enjoy writing with those themes in mind. Now I find myself thinking about more surreal and absurd ideas, which isn’t bad for me.

This introspection, in part, is me forcing myself to be creative again, and think about what I want to write and see.  Back to my title theme, I do like monsters and bad characters. Bad being malicious, petty, and vindictive characters.

Monsters, are just that, creatures, who can at least give a point of view for a story. Not 100% sure where it comes from, other than I loved mythology since I could read, and the villains always seem like they’re having fun in some films and books. The poor protagonists are kind of there being victims, and I loose interest in them.

This doesn’t explain my childhood fascination with superhero, and heroes of myth. Though heroes tend not to be victims, are stalwart, brave, and face some hardcore challenges. Perhaps I should accept that to write better characters is to embrace what appeals to my creative writing tastes.  It may also explain why some characters are harder to write for than others.

As always, happy creative endeavors.