Friday, August 31, 2007

Deeper and Deeper

In Madonna's #2 Billboard hit Deeper and Deeper, she echoes Julie Andrews in saying "When you know the notes to sing, you can sing most anything." And this, I realized, was how I approach creating stories.

The "notes" I refer to involve the amount of background material I gather for most aspects of a story concept I have in mind. When a concept hits me and I decide that it would make a great story, I do sporadic research and make a mind map in my head. If you didn't already know, a mind map is an organizing tool akin to thought training. But instead of a "train of thought," you're creating a "network of related thoughts."

As I build this network of thoughts, ideas for plots come about, and it becomes a matter of finding the best plot and the best subplots, and linking them into a story framework that intrigues me enough to make a follow-through. I also get launch points for building characters, their background, and how they'll figure into the story. I find this activity, the "story building," fun and frustrating at the same time.

It was only recently that I began to really focus on storybuilding, since the stuff I've done in the past had a rawness to them, especially with the short-story-and-not-a-graphic-novel One Night In Purgatory. Maybe it's that part of me that wants to up the ante, taking whatever I know to the next level. Here at work, the buzzword is buong-buo, placing importance in the completeness of a concept, and this is what I'm looking to achieve with the Zaturnnah sequel.

Sometimes, when I'm taking a coffee break, a character will tell me to change the way he or she says a certain line, or give me insight on why he or she would react in a different way in a given scene. Character would go, "I think my reaction here was a bit too much. I won't be that melodramatic." And then I'd ask, "Would you be more understated, and use sarcasm instead?" Character answers, "I know I'd be fuming, but I really like that original line you wrote. Maybe you can fix it just a bit and lessen the controtions on my face when you draw me. I'd think I'd be more frustrated than angry." Sometimes I'd agree, but more often I'd ask for a compromise, since I would need to manage the emotional flow across the story.

Yes, it can be a schizophrenic experience. But I find it to be more creatively rewarding, since I know I won't be stuck with two-dimensional characters. Moreso, with a flat plot. The deeper I go, the more possibilities I have.

Finished writing the second chapter. I'm excited.


Jonas Diego said...

So are we. Can't wait to read it! :D

Carver said...

Jonas! Heheheh... pressure. Pero I'm liking how the story's turning out.

Ian said...

I for one, am looking forward to reading the sequel and will wait for howsoever long it takes for you to get it to your satisfaction.

Great art moves at its own pace. :)


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