Tuesday, February 23, 2010

No updates - but some things done

Well - it's been a while since I've updated this project, and it's mostly because I got stuck - and then didn't work on it, and things like that. No new artwork, no more writing yet, but I was doing a lot of research. Basically, you get stuck and stop when you don't know where to go next, which means you likely haven't plotted out your story yet.

This was true for me - it wasn't plotted out, I didn't know where the characters were headed or what they were going to do. Plus, it a variety of cases, I didn't know some of the main characters, in particular the antagonists: who are they? Why are they trying to stop our protagonists? What are their purposes? Well, I had to figure that out.

And to do that - well, I had to go back about 2 or 3 thousands years ago to build up a back story. Yikes, I know. What do I know about all that stuff? Not much, I discovered, and my story's believability hinges on this back story being accurate, interesting and unimaginable at the same time. I think it's going to work out, especially after learning everything I have so far.

So, here's my bibliography so far:

First off, in the craft of writing itself, I have been through a couple of books, happily.
  • Stephen King wrote a great book (right around the time he was hit by a truck and temporarily crippled) On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft which was a lot of fun to go through. A lot of very interesting insights on how he works and how he's grown over the years. Funny anecdotes, plus the trials and tribulations of being a starving artist. Will I write like Stephen King? Well, I'd say: I could only hope so, but at the same time, I'd like to have my own voice. I like how he takes very interesting moments and concepts and transforms them into dangerous and frightening situations to frame a story around. I really like that.

  • Syd Field is the staple book for how-to screenplays. Thus, The Screenwriter’s Workbook: is an apt title. I am still considering whether I want to develop this as a graphic novel, a screen play or a novel just yet. Not sure what I want to do with it - besides the tremendous amount of time it would take, the graphic novel idea would be really fun to finish (probably not nearly as much fun to produce, though).

  • Karen S. Weisner's From First Draft to Finished Novel which has a lot of good information for writing a novel. In my experience, this should be a staple for anyone interested in creatively developing an idea of any kind. Whether it's a television show, a screenplay, a novel, or a short story. This book impresses what's most important in telling a story, no matter what your medium.

  • Linda N. Edelstein’s Writer’s Guide to Character Traits to help develop characters > I've been using this quite a bit to help develop characters in The Extent, as well. Lots of point-form information that lists the characteristics of people in certain situations, all from a clinical psychologist. If anyone were to know characteristics better, it would be her. The important part after this sort of research is to apply the "Show, don't tell" philosophy. Yes, the hero has these characteristics, but how do you show them in your story?
  • Richard E. Rubenstein's Aristotle’s Children: How Christians, Muslims, and Jews rediscovered ancient wisdom and illuminated the Middle Ages was a great book on science burgeoning out of the dark ages. A very fascinating read about the ages I'm interested in writing about in the back stories. Specifically, it views how scientific information transformed many different faiths (not just Christianity).

  • Jeffrey J. Butz's The Brother of Jesus and the Lost Teachings of Christianity provides a very interesting secondary perspective on the life and times of Jesus and the Jewish world of the first century. This is probably the most important book I read of the bunch. I want to recreate an important Biblical figure for the purposes of moving my story forward, but I have to reimagine what we know about him to build a new legend and mythology for my story. That means you've got to know your stuff, or else things look and sound sloppy. When it's someone this important at a time in history where Christianity was founded - well, it's got to be believable.

  • Michael Grant's Nero which was about one of the Roman emperor's back in the day. There was a great fire in Rome back then, and he murdered a bunch of Christians in the name of justice. Some tertiary research came out of this novel. If you didn't know that the Romans genocided different religions at any given moment throughout their reign, well, you would after reading this. It was like religious groups were lambs, and the Roman citizens were polytheistic gods. Basically, the Romans had to sacrifice religious groups to appease the denizens.

  • I finished a fascinating book by David Klinghoffer called Why the Jews Rejected Jesus, providing a lot more context on the Middle East during the first century (and quite a bit before that, too). All very valuable information for the founding mythology of my story.
So - while there haven't been any updates - there is progress going on, namely research. Though, I'm taking a sick day today (I feel like garbage) so I think I'll try and apply some of the research into story today. If I can generate a believable and interesting back story to build up a legendary end game that I'm hoping to do - then this should be really awesome. And progress can be made.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hey there, I am glad you have taken the time to leave a comment. Thanks - I am looking forward to reading it.