Monday, January 22, 2007

Pulling it Together

Everything is made of bits of something else. It is inevitable, until you get down to the nitty-grittiest little building blocks. For material objects the parts are easy to identify. For something more ethereal or ephemeral, it is a different matter altogether. This is true of a story. There are influences, research, inspiration, and my always-favourite taint mucking up all of it from as many directions as there are stars in the sky. There are characters, and plots, and themes both intended and unintended. There are lessons, morals, and pointers on growth and the human condition… Say what?

Didn’t you know? Every story has to be an ABC After School Special. Well maybe not that blatant, but pretty close. It’s time to pull out the segments of “Sailor Moon Says” and start writing. First we need a character to act as the main character and be the focus of everything as well as be the one to learn something important from whatever encounters/situations the story is about. This main character has to be totally likeable except for one flaw, but it can’t be a terrible flaw that might make the character unlikeable. This flaw will be the focus of the growth that character has, the root of the lesson to be learned about life or love.

The growth that this character has/takes/makes can be invalidated in so many ways and they must be precluded from being a part of the story. Such invalidations include major harm or irrevocable death being visited upon the main character, being unable to learn from the situation that is the focus of the story, some other character pointing out the answer to overcoming the flaw that the main character has, and the worst, the main character being an s.o.b. and unwilling to grow or learn.

These are the other things that must be pulled together. In fact they have to be the driving force of the story otherwise it is a completely useless exorcise. There can be no entertainment without education. There can be no writers without vast knowledge of psychology or having great wisdom and having learned many lessons without just being told that something must be a certain way, or just understanding it when they see it in other people. So crack the textbook, get out there and do all sorts of stupid things so you can learn valuable lessons, and watch everyone like a hawk.

Mood: aggravated.
Music: The Sign of the Cross by Iron Maiden and Breathe a Sigh by Def Leppard.

Iron Maiden: The X Factor
Buy these at Amazon.ca
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Def Leppard: Slang


P.S.: I’m being about 75% facetious above.

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