Another Fine Day

A while back I mentioned how I tend to write bad things happen to good people in a trope-like manner. This issue keeps popping up for my main character’s in stories to a point that I realized main characters (MC) were perfect, flawless people.

The end results were that I got stuck on their respective storylines.  Conversely, my secondary cheaters tended have plenty of issues to resolve in a story.  It may beg the question that the MC is truly not the MC in the story, but the secondary should have that role. They earn it in spades, really.

In the spec pilot, I realized the secondary character would need an arc to tell his story. He generated a lot of questions I couldn’t answer immediately, but it needed time to reach a conclusion. My MC did not.

I took pen to paper, and wrote down my MCs, and what I thought, in my stories, was my MCs’ defining traits. I then took a moment to and scrub out their perfect stances. I never wanted a perfect hero. I wanted to tell my stories. I’ll have to keep working on being a better writer.

Happy creative endeavors.

 

Advertisements

Getting Back In Order

There will always be chaos going on around me. This week is no different.  For the record not only did my allergies give me some hell, my Mom got sick. This meant taking her to the ER to make sure she could get some immediate medical attention.  I’m glad we went, as she seemed to be getting worse, but the trip and treatment helped her out immensely.

On a side note, while we were waiting for her to be called, I pulled out my Moleskin, and wrote some ideas down for a dramatic comedy I said I wanted to start.  At the very least, if this idea has to go on the back burner, I can go back and look it over and make revisions as needed.

Mom is on the slow road to recovery, and I need her to relax and remain calm.  By her own nature she wants to be up and about, and that’s not acceptable to me.  The reason is a day ago she didn’t have energy, and now she wants to multitask.  Since I’m home to assist her, I feel she should simply recuperate.

That said, I spent a lot of time hearing my name called over, and over, and over.  A brother was on the go, and had little to no time to get himself together a way that was writing-intensive.

When I got up today, it didn’t dawn on me to do my blog. I haven’t even had a glass of water and I need to drink a few glasses.  I should eat something too, and figure out what i want for dinner.

As always, happy creative endeavor.

Get It Done, Darn it!

I was trying to write about how I was looking forward to revising material for the novel. The content was sweet, thoughtful, and faced multiple revisions. Then I deleted it.

Why?  I was laboring too much, and if the material is to unabashed, progressive, and creative. I must act, not hold back, and do what needs to be done to make an entertaining story.

That said if the main character is naive, innocent, and these are defining traits, then he’s not truly passive. I simply have to break his traits. By that I mean I’m going to break, destroy, and ruin those traits for him.

He’s going to get some choices, where he can run, hide, and hope it all goes way, or he can man up, and get his life under his control, and it won’t be easy, or pretty.

So everything can and will fall into place.

Why? Because he’s my hero. Right or wrong, he’s going to get through his journey.

Happy creative endeavors.

Writing Exercises

Today I came up with random character descriptions to see if I could make main characters (MC) who weren’t too passive in their own story.

Let’s see:

  • Broke, drunk ho who needs to pay off gambling debts over having a good time.
  • Slacker who hates his job of preventing the apocalypse from starting.
  • Witless, vain romantic who causes drama and heartbreak everywhere they travel.
  • Shameless social climber not afraid to stab friends in the back for personal gain.
  • Reckless blabbermouth who feels satisfied spreading gossip and lies.

As I said, these are random character ideas, just to get me in the mind of making characters less passive and more active in their own stories.

If I had to modify these, I would add some goofiness to them, really because I like goofy things, and have a hyper imagination. By goofy I also mean weird and fun to me.

So:

  • Broke, drunk ho is desperate to pay off gambling debts to slug gangsters and vicious loan roaches who want their money, or they’re gonna feed the MC to the angry ants.

Mind you, I find this totally gross, however, I wonder if I can make that work.  It’s not on my “to do” list of stories, but it’s funny to keep my mind to work. It’s all super random and needs a lot more work, but this is part of the learning process.

Happy creative endeavors.

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.

Know Better, Do Better

One of my talents, as a writer, is to have a sense of humor in my stories. I tend to mock behaviors, attitudes, culture, and whatever subject crosses my imagination.  Humor engages my imagination, and it can be entertaining to poke fun at such topics.

I noticed when writing, a notion–which never fully left me–is the notion that humor isn’t the route to take with my writing. That said, I often fail hard at trying to be seen as a “serious” writer.

By “serious,” I mean writing in a sterilized, boring style, stripped of humor, and intolerant to anything that has aspects of entertainment or enjoyment.  I do this while being so ridiculously ineffective in storylines that in part, end up drying out.

I sorta mocked myself in this moment. I don’t mind self-deprecating humor, but a brother needed to be in on his own joke.

I wrote, in previous posts, how I was bad a creating protagonists/main characters because I made them safe, or they lived in a bubble. Part of making better characters, for me, is seeing where I undercut them—and myself. I wasn’t doing them, or myself a favor.

Creativity is a learning process, and if one develops a strength, then one should see the skill, acknowledge it, and explore it without killing your own asset. Self-sabotage is a beast, but in this case, learning and growing from these mistakes will help me improve my craft.

Writing will always be rewriting for me, however, I’d like the idea, premise, research, outline, and first draft of my stories—in all mediums—to start off with the authentic vision and voice this artist allows his talents to shine through without killing the creativity.

Frankly I can and will do better from this experience.

As always, happy creative endeavors.

Damaged II

After the previous post, I looked at each of my characters to see the direction I steered them towards. A lot of my characters stated as an extremely passive. They didn’t act or react to their situations, nor did they reach for a goal, which is bad for story and character progression.

I also previously wrote that it seemed like “damaged” characters (manly from soap operas I used to watch) made things happen in storylines. Those characters with passion seemed to have the freedom to act. When some of these cats got knocked down, they got back on their feet, and tried a different approach.

The above actions are typically what I see with villains in many stories. They could be earnest, aggressive, and assertive. They didn’t simply react, they acted, they had goals, and no one was getting in their way. If you did get in their way, well, you were bound for trouble.

Heroes should be this way as well, and this may have been a blinding factor for me.

In soaps, many heroes (not all) can be passive, unsuspecting, and clueless to the world around them. The hero defined the genre of melodrama, which is, bad things happen to good people. To me, a soap opera hero didn’t have to do much in the story other than be the constant victim of a damaged character.

It’s only when the hero’s caught onto what was going on in the world around them, was he or she able to react, but it’s always at a late, late moment. By then the villain has made attempts to get their goals, got thwarted, and took a different routes to get what they want. The villain has had far more time to for character development and growth. The villain pushes the narrative with great urgency and strength.

Some villains typically do what the hero should be doing in a given story, which is make things happen.  It also suggests to me that the narrative theory is that those only who have desire act in a devious manner.  If you are bubbled and pure you will persevere though simply being good.  Total rubbish.

I believe characters must be active in their own story or they will be supplanted by another more engaging characters.  This may also explain the appeal of villains as secret MCs in storylines.  Think of how flat some storylines are when the hero and/or villains are cardboard. It’s what I’m doing right now.

As always, happy creative endeavors.