A (Mini) Tour of the Land of Exposition [Part 3]

As the (mini) tour of the Land of Exposition comes to an end [at least for the moment, as I’m more or less making all of this up as I go along], a spectacular rainbow appears in the sky, a harbinger of progress and hope after a non-specific period of thunderstorms and perpetual fog. While mentioned in the previous entry that the weather in the Land of Exposition is always ideal, it should be noted that “ideal” is a relative term, usually determined by the overall mood / mindset of the Writer(s) in residence. So, there is always the possibility of a myriad of different weather patterns in specific areas at any given point in time (and space): a thunderstorm amid clear skies or a blizzard in the middle of a desert, or humidity amid freezing temperatures. Despite these ever-changing weather patterns, the Land of Exposition is/has been/always will be a safe haven for Writers, Plotters and Ponderers… well, except that one time when there was a skirmish of wit between Bob, the quasi-friendly (gender fluid) ghost and Tony, the bombastic (gender fluid) poltergeist, who were vying for the title of Grand Pooh Bah of the Plot Bunnies (a title vacated by Dave the shifty specter, amid a bizarre plot doping scandal… but that’s a story for another day…), which led to a (literal) Rumble in the skies and on the ground and caused some (minor) structural damage to the West Wing of the Character Development Inn. [Tony was voted the winner after a few rounds of spirited  improv. Bob has been resentful over Tony’s questionable impressions, but they’re both OK with how things turned out.]

But I digress.

Meandering about the Land of Exposition, other landmarks appear – the Vault of Discarded Ideas, where the Archivist tends to forgotten/deleted plot ideas, character quirks and AU scenarios; the Valley of Musical Inspiration, where the Music for the Muses is stored, with its state-of-the-art sound system and headphones, and the Sphere of Negativity, where the Writer can wallow in and vent their bouts of desperation, depression and despair without judgement.

Finally (?) there’s the oft-mentioned, quasi-famous FanGirl Meter (patent pending) – an intricate, complex mechanism, situated high upon the hills (alive with the sound of music) in the Land of Exposition, believed (by several) to be the progenitor of all that which lay within the Land of Exposition. [I’m not even sure if that makes any grammatical sense, but it sounds cool, so I’ll keep it as is]. The FanGirl Meter (patent pending) is an impressive fortress where ideas are fed into its matrix to determine the plausibility of said idea, and whether or not it is too cliche or OTT [over the top] to any sensible reader. There are various settings, divided by genre, with specific settings specific to writers who regularly visit the Land of Exposition and developed a rapport with its inhabitants. Embedded into the FanGirl Meter (patent pending) is an encyclopedic repository of pop culture references and fandom OTPs [one true pairings], along with the basic plot and character structure of (almost all) Western literature as a basis of comparison. While (highly) subjective, the FanGirl Meter (patent pending) has a (pretty) good record of spotting overly gushing prose, blatant Mary Sue/Gary Stu self-insertions, and other fangirl-ish qualities. The FanGirl Meter (patent pending) has its own (quasi-autonomous) Council of Muses, including the Grammar Queen, the Inner Editor, and the Drama Llama (to name but a few), who hold court and make semi-serious proclamations to those who heed their sage wisdom.

That’s probably not the best way to describe the FanGirl Meter (patent pending), but it’s more of an internal, personal vibe, depending on the data fed into its data core, ruled more by instinct and intuition than concrete rules and regulations. So while there’s the “(patent pending)” disclaimer attached to the Meter, there’s not an exact science to its inner workings, but more an artistic sensibility, unique to its creator (namely, me.).

So, that’s pretty much the (mini) tour of the fabled Land of Exposition (or at least that’s all I’ve dreamt up thus far). As mentioned before, there will be sometime in the near future (maybe) a full(er) story cycle about the Land of Exposition and the (colorful) shenanigans that have gone on there.

As lightning strikes the clock tower (again), I bid thee a fond farewell from the (slightly overcast yet breezy) Land of Exposition.

Next week kicks off yet another round of Camp NaNoWritMo, of which I plan on participating with a *gasp* new story, totally unrelated to any of my WIPs (more details about that next week.)

TTFN!

Love, all ways.

Advertisements

A (Mini) Tour of the Land of Exposition [Part 2]

As (quasi) promised in last week’s entry, a continuing, (quasi-thorough) tour of the Character Development Inn: each of the 36 rooms is decorated with period-specific furnishing (dependent upon genre) with a definite color scheme. The walls are sound proof (for the obvious reasons) and the windows shatter resistant; some rooms have plush (hypoallergenic) carpeting, while others have varnished wood flooring (creaking effect optional). The luxury suites include a functional (also period-specific) kitchen, fully (custom) stocked bar (coffee IV can be provided upon request), and meditation alcove, along with the usual amenities. Also, each room has every (conceivable) type of writing implement – from (sharpened) quill pens and (self-filling) inkwells to state of the art computers (Mac and/or PC) and everything in between.

Recreational drug use and smoking of any (and all) kind is NOT permitted within the Character Development Inn, to ensure maximum safety and security. However, for those who require these stimulants for the advancement of their craft, there is a separate, designated area on the far side of the Land of Exposition where these substances can be ingested/partaken with (relatively) little judgment.

[Once again, 98.7% of this is made up off the top of my head – quasi-random ideas direct from my brain space, down through my body and out from my fingertips. Whether or not any of this gets incorporated/mentioned in any of my works in progress remains to be seen.]

Anyway.

The other briefly (yet self-explanatory) mentioned inn amenities – the gym, the library, restaurant, and grand ballroom – are pretty much what they normally are at any other five-star hotel.

To make a long story short (too late!) just about every conceivable perk any writer would/could ever want/need/desire is provided – and if there is anything missing, comment cards are also provided to ensure maximum productivity and creativity.

Moving on.

Down (once more) the road from the Character Development Inn, located at the corner of Inspiration Road and Distraction Boulevard, the just-make-up-off-the-top-of-my-head location of the aforementioned inn, (with its exact [equally made up] mailing address 24-601 Nightbird Lane, Ricepaige, SB, 10086), we meander the twisted (every way) paths found in the Land of Exposition, where the Plotting and Pondering Annex can be found. It’s a (relatively) new addition to the inn, where plot (bunny) holes of varying depths and widths dot the area. These were put in place for those writers in need of acute (or obtuse) inspiration outside of those from the (usually friendly yet sometimes eccentric Muses). Each plot (bunny) hole is meticulously labeled [for informational purposes] and cordoned off [for safety reasons] with metal barricades of moderate height. Moreover, there are several reliable (and equally safe) methods of emerging from said plot (bunny) holes, depending on one’s preference: rope ladder, elevator, transporter.

As we venture further into the Land of Exposition, different pathways (of varying degrees of terrain and foliage) branch out – one path leads to the Contemplation Lake, where ideas and such linger in its placidity; another path leads to the Discussion Pond, where ideas and such mingle with other ideas to (possibly) create new ideas. It’s basically a quasi-separate retreat where introverts and extroverts can feel comfortable.

As mentioned (I think) already – the weather is always ideal, and the dangers from the outside world are minimal, though Bob, the quasi-friendly (and gender fluid) ghost, likes to stir up some mischief every now and then within the halls of the Character Development Inn (though he/she has yet to venture into the Plotting and Pondering Annex, where Tony, the bombastic (and equally gender fluid) poltergeist has taken up residence and proclaimed himself/herself Grand Pooh Bah of the Plot Bunnies.

And once again, the Cloister Bell tolls and the Muses (along with Bob and Tony) require foodstuffs and extraordinary amounts of attention. Moreover, I have actual!writing to actually!write.

In the next (and perhaps final installment – as most great story arcs are trilogies or multiples thereof), other (not yet thought of) areas within the Land of Exposition will be explored, including an exclusive (!) look into the (in)famous FanGirl Meter (patent pending).

TTFN!

A (Mini) Tour of the Land of Exposition [Part 1]

There’s a place tucked away in the depths of the shadow dimensions of a parallel pocket universe, where time and space are shifting on a quasi-regular basis, and things are never quite as they seem. A place where change is inevitable and order is an illusion. No one knows how to get there, yet (almost) everyone finds themselves there at some point in their lives. For some, it’s a brief (rest)stop on their journey; for others, it’s akin to the Hotel California: “you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave”. Then there are those who might never find this place, despite (or because of) their efforts in searching for this mythical/mystical paragon of a Utopia.

Then again, maybe it’s all just a state of mind.

This is a place where ideas are created and destroyed, a place where left turns are prevalent to “boldly go where no man one has gone before”.

Welcome to the Land of Exposition.

Maybe.

~~~~~~~~~

For all my blathering about the Land of Exposition and the various locales within – the Character Development Inn (with its excellent coffee bar), the quasi-new Plotting and Pondering Annex and other places no doubt mentioned in passing (I’d probably have to go back to reread past blog entries to recall any of those) – I might as well (attempt to) present a brief, quasi-guided tour of this mystical/mythical land that is otherwise known (in certain quarters perhaps) as my personal Mind Palace.

[Quasi-disclaimer: At this point, I’m basically making up everything as I go along, and no doubt regular readers of this blog – if there are any out there – will note any description inconsistencies from those aforementioned previous blog entries, as I don’t have the time to research what I’ve already imparted about this place aside from what I can remember off the top of my head. As stated earlier, things here are always in flux, yet one day someday, I’ll get around to making all of this Canon.]

So, where to start? Let’s see – there are no formal marked roads in and/or out of this realm, people just show up (and sometimes leave) whenever they need to be there. It’s almost like the Room of Requirement from the Harry Potter book series, except it’s not (specifically) located in a grand castle cloaked from the general (non-magical) population.

I think.

Anyway.

One of the prominent features in the Land of Exposition is the (fabled) Character Development Inn, where (obviously) characters are created, enhanced, altered, shelved or (in rare cases) expunged from existence. It’s a cozy place, with a crackling fireplace, a well stocked (coffee) bar and  gourmet restaurant where all types of cuisine (real or otherwise) is available at a moment’s notice. There are 36 rooms (nine of which are luxury suites) all with reliable high speed wi-fi enabled (though Netflix, and certain social media websites are password protected and require specific high security clearance to access). There’s a fully equipped gym (and on-site personal trainers) and an Olympic sized swimming pool and adjacent lounge area. Of course, there’s a TARDIS sized library (it’s SO much bigger on the inside) that has universal lighting turned on 24/7 (so there’s no need to count any shadows), and a grand ballroom with a splendid (Secure!) chandelier and luxurious staircase leading down to a immaculately tiled dance floor (all the better to tango upon).

The staff are well versed in many languages, chock-full of random (and sometimes) useful information and are open-minded (to a point) regarding the content created/altered/destroyed within its halls/walls.

There’s even a quasi-friendly (gender fluid) ghost lurking about – for no apparent reason – who can help or hinder depending on his/her whimsy. He/She likes to be called Bob.

As the clock tower strikes, the mini tour has come to an abrupt end, as the Muses (another quasi-friendly fixture at the Character Development Inn) are waving their arms about in a haphazard fashion, demanding attention.

Again.

Attention must be paid.

Perhaps in the next installment (should there be one, and it’s quasi-likely there will be), there will be a further exploration into the Character Development Inn, and there might (!) even be an in-depth tour of the quasi-famous and almost notorious FanGirl Meter (patent pending).

TTFN!

Themes, Genres and Homages (Oh My!)

Creating a theme is among the key elements in writing a story – it shapes the narrative arc, provides motivation for the characters and (maybe) imparts a moral [“Wheel of Morality, turn, turn, turn – tell us the lesson that we should learn”]. Picking a genre in which to write contributes to the whole theme creation thing, though those elements can (and often do) intersect and overlap, creating a new genre or sub-genre.  Paying homage to an existing work (whether it’s another novel series, TV series, or film) is tricky – putting too much effort in the homage could be misconstrued as “copying” or (even) “stealing” from the original source material. Figuring out all of these elements, and finding the balance is the fun hard interesting part of the writing process.

As mentioned (at great exhaustive length) throughout this blog, I’ve (more or less) remain in the Plotting and Pondering Annex adjacent to the Character Development Inn in the Land of Exposition. Thinking more about the overall, “big-picture” narrative arc and the repercussions (positive, negative or indifferent) of the actions the characters make and the situations in which he/she find himself/herself, than of the minutiae of the actual!narrative (though for all this plotting and pondering, I should be able to actually!write several stories across the [still] three part series saga that is my Grand Opus). Amid all this plotting and pondering (and some actual!writing) is the incorporation of themes, the juggling of genres, and the interpretation/twisting of homages to existing works.

Considering the (apparent) lack of originality in books, films and TV shows these days (there are far too many sequels/prequels, remakes and reboots-with-younger-actors), perhaps structuring a story or narrative arc based (loosely) on existing works is adding to the Reboot Syndrome that has infected (most) Hollywood movies and TV shows. Then again, highlighting/incorporating elements of existing (popular) works (almost) guarantees you an in-built audience, or at least initial interest. On the other hand, the homages I’ve incorporated in my works-in-progress are not the typical “popular” works that would garner a large fanbase (well, maybe a niche audience – albeit a dorky/nerdy/geeky one). Among my (other) interests are musical theatre, British drama/comedies and mostly anything/everything from the 1980’s – of which play a quasi-significant role in the Plotting and Pondering, though to keep it original (and not a blatant ripoff, of which that aforementioned-in-previous-blogs First Draft of the mystery novel I wrote had written many, many, many moons ago was guilty) I inserted an obvious (I hope) plot twist in the tale, which hopefully will make the story interesting. And readable.

Anyway.

This is yet another blathering blog entry of whatever musings cross my mind at the moment – i have no idea if any of this makes sense or whether or not there’s an actual point to the 400+ words extracted from my head. Nevertheless, the (Grand) Tales of the Adventures in the Land of Exposition is formulating in my head as I remained sequestered in the Plotting and Pondering Annex, and might be actually!written concurrently with the actual!writing I should be doing anyway, which is almost turning out to be a quasi-homage to the upcoming Pixar film Inside Out (though I dreamt up the Meta Series before I even knew about the plot for Inside Out – I think). Then again, Inside Out reminds me of the 1990’s TV show Herman’s Head, so…

Another case of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey?

Maybe.

Back to the Plot and Pondering Annex.

Again.