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.
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?
Back to the Plot and Pondering Annex.