Hi there. I know many (read: 2 or 3) of my friends ask me about my progress on the old novel. No, I don't really have any new pictures. In fact, I'd taken a break from writing Capeless.
"But Bagels, how can you do that? Capeless is your labor of love!"
The reason I keep taking breaks, re-writing, and editing the crap out of Capeless before I've even finished the entire first draft is, simply put, I have no idea what I'm doing. Every time I work on the story, I find myself asking, "so what?" and "why would anyone read this?"
Let me tell you a tale.
I watched Les Miserables last week with my beautiful wife, and it's one of the best movies I've seen in a long time, and a fantastic work of fiction. I'm reading the book when I finish Hunger Games. I realized I don't have a meaty antagonist. Upon a quick google search, I found Kristen Lamb's Blog entry on the antagonist, how to make one, and what they really provide a story. Fantastic read, and I recommend it to anyone who likes fiction (and tearing it apart like we do here at home).
Kristen Lamb and Victor Hugo finally forced me to answer the questions:
"What does Ruth (my protagonist) want? What does the Puppetmaster (my villain) want?"
After I sat and pondered, and some talking with the wife, I realized that what all Ruth has ever needed, and what she has at the end of the story, is a sense of control and actualization, of impact on the world. At the beginning of Capeless, we meet Ruth as a whining girl who simply reacts to the world, being its victim. At the end, Ruth has become a woman with power, though she possesses no superpowers. At the end, Ruth realizes that people aren't always powerless, controlled by their environment. Sometimes, all anyone needs to do is step up and take control, and create action, to change their world.
Now on to the Puppetmaster, who I actually probably have to develop more than I've developed Ruth. I need to make a powerful villain, or I'll keep asking, "so what?" I think PM needs desperately to control, to sate his lust for power. But why? Why does he need to conquer? What is missing (apart from Christ, but as he's a necromancer who makes a pact with a devil, so that part is obvious) in his life that causes this desire? What in his childhood inspired this need in his adulthood? Why isn't being CEO of a media conglomerate enough for him? What does the demon get in return? For that matter, what would really happen if he succeeds?
I realize I didn't answer those questions because I was afraid to think too hard. Isn't that stupid? Sometimes I'll think hard for days on how one single panel will look, and I can't even answer the really important questions.
So I should mention that Karen's blog also inspired me to start blogging again, and really start getting my creative juices flowing. Shameless plug.
Until next time,