Thursday, June 26, 2014

1 + 1 =

Last week, I talked about where I get ideas for my stories. I’m continuing that, because I thought I’d walk you through a ‘new’ idea, so you could get a glimpse of ‘my brain at work’.
A few days ago, Hub and I went to the movies. We don’t go often, and when we do, we tend to see 2 movies. This time, we saw “Edge of Tomorrow”, followed by “Maleficent”. Something of a mixed bag.
In “Edge of Tomorrow”, the Earth is invaded by aliens, and the Hero - a military reporter - pisses off a general, then finds himself on the front line with no training. He survives long enough to get the safety off his weapon and kill an alien that kills him. He awakens the previous morning, assigned to the front lines without training. Each time he dies, he returns to the previous day. Just as in “Ground Hog Day”, the Hero must figure out what he needs to do differently to get out of this time loop.
“Maleficent” is the tale of Sleeping Beauty told from the point of view that Maleficent was not evil, just mis-understood; portrayed as evil by humans who related the story after the fact. I have often heard that villains don’t see themselves as evil, so this re-telling did not scar my psyche too badly.
The next morning, I had (some) memories of an interesting dream that involved people, each with some super-human power. There were 2 groups, unable to agree and constantly battling. When they died, they eventually returned to life, but not necessarily on the same side as before.
I took the bones of this dream and added different bits and pieces to see what happened. Reincarnation and exceptional people. Did they remember their previous lives, that they were ‘special’? I decided they did, but not until adulthood, when flashes of memory would start coming to them. They not only might change sides in the Big Argument, whatever it was, they might not have the same power, either.
I chose a protagonist, during a life when he lived a few decades. Now, what kind of setting? Science fiction? That was too broad. Modern paranormal? No, they’d just be another group of comic book characters.
Fantasy post-apocalyptic! In a world where magic and the fey exist, cities and castles were reduced to rubble during the Great War. Generations later, the War Magic is finally beginning to dissipate from these places.
I sketched out the basic story line in half a page of 20-pt font, devoted another page to other background info, like names and special Talents, and started my rough draft. I have 2000 words done, which is not bad for 2 days of stolen moments. I don’t have an outline, because I haven’t answered some important questions. I’m stumbling around, creating background and conflict as I go, which is how I originally wrote (before I figured out what an outline was), and many others do.
And another story is started.

Like I needed another character whispering in my ear, another story to be written! I can hear my characters laughing, and my muse asking, “Who said an author’s life was orderly?”

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