Emotionally Drained

And the plot twists keep coming.

(Minor spoilers for the 6th season of Game of Thrones within. Read at your own peril.)

The curious stability within the Land of Exposition was just that – curious, and ultimately short-lived, as another implosion from the few (unseen) land minds resulted in another shift in the landscape caused by the more radical members of the Real Life Brigade. The scramble to find order amid the chaos has been a challenge, as the timing of this second wave comes at an inopportune time; in a way it almost feels like déjà vu (all over again).

All hands on deck once more, as the task of setting things right begins again.

Nevertheless, the plotting and pondering continue, albeit (still) internally within the confines of the head (keeping track of the filing system there is a tremendous task in and of itself). The aforementioned plot twists flood the halls, meandering through time and space, tying (or at least attempting to tie) the various narrative arcs together into one epic tale of woe, defeat and redemption. One (perpetual) source of inspiration is the current (6th) season/series of Game of Thrones, which has caught up to the source material, i.e. the novels written by George R.R. Martin so now everyone is on a (relatively even) playing field. While the television adaptation deviated (at times) and/or omitted plot lines from the novels (surely the show creators can find a way to work in the Lady Stoneheart arc? Please? The theme of season six thus far seems to the Return/Revenge of the Starks. Also, I hope the remaining direwolves get to exact justice to their fallen siblings.), how things will unfold is only know by the show runners (and the actors involved, obviously). The emotional toll this kind of epic (sprawling) storytelling produces oscillates from joy to sorrow from episode to episode, season after season.

The crafting of such emotional investment (good, bad or indifferent) is a goal to which I aspire, though hopefully the “damage” wrought from telling the MASC Chronicles won’t result in petty, negative complaining from the (imaginary) Fandom. Though there does need to be a balance between the division of joy and sorrow experienced by the (ever growing) cast of characters, else the characters turn into two dimensional caricatures / stereotypes and the narrative arc becomes predictable.

The ideas keep piling up, with internal arguing, mostly between the Muses and the characters themselves – (it’s a meta thing) and the (generally friendly albeit snarky) battles between sub-genres rages on. Fantasy and Steampunk have formed an uneasy alliance over the insertion of Horror amid the Mystery. Science Fiction has stayed on the sidelines, watching to see how the cards fall, hoping to ally with the last sub-genre standing.

It might even be a (meta) tale worth crafting – the “behind the scenes” memoir of the creation of an Epic Saga.

Maybe.

Stay tuned and HOld the DOoR.

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Plot Twist! Revisited

Plot twists appear out of nowhere, and can (and often does) strike at any time, potentially spoiling any progress (however meager and nebulous) already made. Left turns (always turn left!) are unexpected, but sometimes are necessary in the journey of writing an epic saga. Plotting and pondering lead to interesting plot bunnies/ninjas who bring plot twists of their own, perpetuating the notion that stories and storytelling is a constant work in progress, ever-changing and never-ending.

Not that any of the tales within the epic saga that is the MASC Chronicles has been set in stone (or for that matter, written on paper/typed into a Word document).  Much of it has been theoretical, abstract, and mostly mental – ideas born from a random remark,  a passing phrase or quirky question.

(Alliteration returns, once again!)

Anyway.

While not much actual!writing has happened (although copious plotting and pondering has commenced), the relatively mild weather (and curious stability) within the Land of Exposition has led to another quasi-epic plot twist that has ramifications on the overall structure of the MASC Chronicles and for the characters within. The logistics of plotting out the plausibility of this new(ish) twist will be monumental in scope and (just) might serve as a means of tying all (or at least most) of my works in progress together.

It’s a daunting task, one that might not even come to pass, or might get shuffled back into the (mythical) Vault – nevertheless, it’s a notion that just might work, whether or not it makes any sense remains to be seen.

Enough blogging – off to plot and to ponder.

And to plan.

Plan for what?

Spoilers.

Re-Returning to the Land of Exposition

Not so much a re-return, but a re-reassessment of the structural integrity of its very existence.

Things are slowly returning to normal, or whatever passes as normal there – the Real Life Brigade have retreated (somewhat) and going about their business as if the Implosion never happened. Their insistence of returning to normalcy without acknowledging its role in the temporary instability of things, while frustrating and quasi-absurd, has turned out to be a blessing in disguise, albeit an odd disguise for a blessing.

Anyway.

Smatterings of plotting and pondering with the returning Muses and the (more than quasi-sane) plot bunnies, coupled with the relative silence in the realm, has led to quasi-actual!writing (quasi only in the sense that it remains in the internal mainframe and has not [yet] been transcribed/transferred into the external database). The journey back on the path of storytelling, plot mapping, character developing  and so forth has been slow (though I’m sure that will seem to be a gross understatement for those who regularly or even quasi-regularly follow the random musings within this blog).

The different paths down which a narrative arc can travel splinters at various points; the temptation of choosing and plotting out the causal effect of one (or perhaps several) key (fixed?) moments in time is ever present – alternate history / reality is one way a story arc can be “different”, “edgy” or “creative”. It’s also a (fun?) challenge to imagine what might / could happen is <insert event considered a fixed point in time> didn’t happen or happened differently – how history (as we know it) would change the future for the better (or worse).

As originally conceived imagined, the Epic Saga that has now become the enigmatic MASC Chronicles began as a three part mystery series, and now has morphed (evolved?) into a quasi-fantasy / science fiction(ish) / borderline horror (well not in the gory, slasher sense) (melo)drama.

Maybe.

Ambiguity is my middle name (along with distraction, procrastination and silent) – the details (and general overview for that matter) has been few and far between, not because I’m “scared” someone might “steal” it (though at the rate I’m doing, someone else might have thought the thoughts I had and the reverse might actually happen), but because it keeps changing – not on an epic scale (the size of the saga arc remains the same), but little things here and there, which may or may not change the route down which a character’s journey or interaction may take.

The re-return to the Land of Exposition is fraught with doubt, indecision and the urge to find the source of the omnipresent aroma of bacon. Whether or not any resolution, conclusion or epiphany will actually!happen is open for debate.

And thus an order of nachos and a pot of coffee have been delivered – let the plotting and pondering resume.

Again.

Words, Words, Words

It all comes down to words.

Words dispensing dialogue and imparting information (the alliteration ailment returns) comprises the foundation of storytelling.

Why it’s so challenging to string together enough words to create the story is a mystery in and of itself. Of course, the trick is to assemble a logical sequence of words in the right order so sense can be made of the narrative arc.

So, the (curiously counterclockwise) spiral into that murky pool of perpetual state of non forward motion continues. The aftershocks from the Real Life Brigade implosion created concurrent ripples within ripples within the time/space continuum, leading to more internal plotting and pondering and not so much external actual!writing. In that hopefully-not-so-fatal free fall, characters, sequences of events and narrative arcs are in a state of reassessment, as the remaining quasi-sane plot bunnies bounce haphazardly down the rabbit hole, hoping for clarity.

In other words, not much has happened since the last installment of this (hopefully) amusing blog.

Running in place (or rather pacing in concentric circles) has never been more frustrating (yet mildly healthy – at least calories are being burnt). Conversations between the existing characters have waned, as plotting scenarios have reemerged, reverse-engineering plot structure, rearranging sequences of events to the point where effect and cause orbit one another, sometimes colliding in strange ways.

The quasi-inspiration for the title of this week’s blog stems from my continuing fixation for Sunset Boulevard (both the original 1950 film and the 1993 musical adaptation). For those who have read my theater blog, and for those who know me well, Sunset is one of my all time favorite films and musicals. In the film (and musical), Norma Desmond the protagonist/antagonist (depending on how one’s perspective) is/was a silent movie star who rails against the introduction of “words, words, more words!” into films and mourns the loss of the “gold of silence”.

Of course, the comeback return of my fixation for this film/musical was the recent concert production of the musical adaptation at the ENO (English National Opera) starring original Broadway star Glenn Close. As I was unable to make the trip to London to see the production, which ended its limited run today, I’ve been listening to the various cast recordings of the musical, and musing upon the value of words, and its impact on telling story. I’ve struggled with writing believable (i.e. non melodramatic) dialogue and usually spent much of my actual!writing time (if I could find any) fixated upon description and internal monologue, letting the exposition “speak” for the story.

There is a kind beauty in that “gold of silence”, as dialogue from the mouths of the characters) can be (consciously or unconsciously) misleading -but then again, that might the point of the story.

Not that there has to be a point to the story.

Or to this blog entry.

But that could be a story in and of itself, waiting to be written.

Oh crap.

Back to the Plotting and Pondering Annex within the Land of Exposition.

Perhaps the quasi-silence there will help.