Plotting and Pondering (revisited)

More plotting and pondering about the plotting and pondering about the plots and plotting the ponders. As the Game of Genres winds down (as the 6th season of Game of Thrones nears the end) the path of coordinating the complicated compromise continues. The dust has settled within the Land of Exposition, though the Real Life Brigade blithely deny any involvement in the latest round of shenanigans, preferring to go about their business as usual. The Muses and Plot Bunnies are in deep discussions about next steps and sorting through the Archives.

The meta quality of the blog entries thus far blur when the story about writing the story becomes a story in and of itself, one (for the most part) created spontaneously and with little editing before its thrust out into the (cyber) world… Does anyone really use the word “cyber” anymore when writing about things online? I have no idea.

Anyway.

The (quasi-solid) decision to blend the different genres to tell the Epic Saga that is the MASC Chronicles has brought forth a melding of (somewhat) old ideas with (relatively) new ideas, including some (recent) happenings taken from the Real World. The foundation remains (mostly) within the Mystery camp, straddling between the borderline between Cozy and Hard Boiled, with tinges of fantasy, a smidgen of science fiction and a foothold into Steampunk; a (tiny) hint of romance might creep in (the “fade to black” route, with subtext and innuendo – I’ll leave it up to the fan fiction writers to pen the NC-17 versions), along with some (plausible) melodrama and a cliffhanger or several.

Clearly, Game of Thrones has been an influence in this not-so-unexpected (plot) twist in structuring the narrative, though the MASC Chronicles will (probably) not be as violent or heart-wrenching, though that can change, depending on the needs of the narrative, and the character’s journeys to self-discovery and to their destiny.

Slight digression (spoiler alert): Got around to watching “The Battle of the Bastards” and it did NOT disappoint. House Stark has reclaimed Winterfell (though RIP Rickon – I suppose his death was inevitable, but he should have zigzagged, instead of running straight across an open field, with archers behind him ready to shoot him down) and House Bolton is no more. Though, despicable as he was, Ramsay Snow Bolton was a master of the mind games, and used it to his advantage; he deserved to be killed in that manner – poetic justice, for once in the Game of Thrones universe. As for his (paraphrased) comment to Sansa that “he’s a part of her”, I think it’s figurative and not literal (or at least I hope it’s not literal). Sansa has changed a LOT since the beginning of the series, and it’ll be interesting to see if it’s truly a change for the better, or a pawn in the machinations of the original master manipulator Petyr Baelish / Littlefinger, who of course, was the catalyst for (almost) everything that has happened in Westeros thus far. I’m looking forward to “The Winds of Winter” (the episode, and eventually the next novel, whenever it’s published) – since season 6 has been the Return/Revenge of House Stark, I’m really hoping for Arya make it back to Westeros to cross off more names on her list. If Lady Stoneheart doesn’t appear (I’m still holding out hope she will) I’d love to see Arya, as a former Faceless Man-in-training, use her newly acquired skills to infiltrate House Frey as a version of Lady Stoneheart (a la the Ghost of Hamlet’s father, which would be fittingly Shakespearean). King’s Landing will most likely burn – Cersei is mad (in every sense of the word) enough to use all that wildfire to be rid of the High Sparrow (who is, quite the Engineer). Also, I really, really hope we find out where Gendry ended up (though given the fate of the characters who returned to the series after a long absence, maybe it’s better if he’s still rowing in the open seas…)

End of digression (for now, at least).

The urge to write a variation of Game of Thrones (or rather the A Song of Ice and Fire series) is strong, as it’s an archetype used in many epic sagas – the hero’s journey to battle the forces of Evil, overcoming impossible odds (never tell me the odds!) and restore Order to the Universe. It’s been used countless times in every media, with varying degrees of success. Nevertheless, I’m hoping the (slight) twist in perspective in the MASC Chronicles will render the archetype a new and (hopefully) exciting Saga.

I also intend to actually!write several volumes before going through the rigors of publishing, so the readers will not have to wait (too) long for the next installment.

In closing: a milestone crossed with the writing of this entry: the word count for the weekly ramblings and musings has crossed the 100K mark. So, had this blog been an actual narrative story (in a way it could be interpreted as such), it would have been two or three full length novels (or a host of short stories/novellas).

And it took a little over three years to reach this point.

Here’s to the next 100K (maybe I’ll get around to actually!writing it and writing about it here).

TTFN!

 

 

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Game of Genres (Part 3)

The plotting and pondering ponders and plots on – the pieces are falling into place (kinda) as the Grand Mashup shakes up the battle ground / playing field of the (meta) Game of Genres (as the track “The Wars to Come” from the Game of Thrones Season 5 score plays as I write). The proposal of a compromise between the feuding Genres to co-exist is a welcome relief for all, though the logistics of coordinating the peace is the tricky part.

And the quasi “fun” part, as it’s become quite evident to those following my quasi-random musings and meta ruminations during this (rather) long journey through the Land of Exposition that I have a penchant of complicating things when it comes to the art/craft of  storytelling. After all, the epic saga that is the MASC Chronicles began its life as a short story and grew to a 3 part, 36 book series, all of which is (still) in various stages of development.In the end it’ll all make sense, and will hopefully be one that will be worth all my plotting, pondering and quasi-random (often meta) musings.

The Land of Exposition is in a state of quasi-normalcy, with the Real Life Brigade making (somewhat reasonable) demands that keep the staff at the Character Development Inn working past normal hours, expecting their needs to be satisfied over all others. Other than their propensity for persnickety petulance (alliteration has returned!), they have been keeping to themselves (though the veiled threat of undiscovered land minds is omnipresent).

Anyway, I’ve quasi-caught up with watching the Game of Thrones episodes I missed (though the Tony Awards were AMAZING – fantastic musical numbers, heartfelt speeches, and an absolutely brilliant host – I hope James Corden is a regular host for the Tonys (and YAY Hamlet  Hamilton!). The narrative arc of Season 6 thus far is shaping up well, with loose ends being picked up and address (well, except Gendry – is he still rowing? Where is he? Rickon finally reappeared, albeit for a few minutes, though now a hostage of Ramsey Bolton). I do hope the remainder of the series as a whole) is the Return/Revenge of House Stark. Once again, I’ll miss seeing the next episode “The Battle of the Bastards” as it airs due to another great clash of titans (i.e. Game 7 of the NBA finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors), As the only cable-equipped TV will be preoccupied, I will be watching Series 3 of Endeavour (on PBS) instead, which aired in the UK  months ago, a (welcome) return to my Mystery! roots.

But I digress.

Clearly, I should be actually!writing instead of blathering on about TV shows, but then again, scripted dramas are a kind of storytelling, with its twists and turns. The “problem” is that I’m much more of a plotter than a pantser so a whole lot of strategy and use of flow charts and such needs to take place before any actual!writing actually!happens.

The journey has been long, and I like to know (relatively) where I (and the narrative arc) is headed.

It should all make sense in the end.

And it should be a good ending (or beginning, depending on one’s perspective.)

Wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey.

 

Game of Genres (Part 2)

The (internal) plotting and pondering continues, with some quasi-coherent ideas, as the Game of Genres (copyright pending?) rages on (albeit in a quirky, not-so-violent manner). I missed watching last week’s episode of Game of Thrones, as the sole TV hooked up with cable was being used to watch Game Two of the NBA finals; I was watching the Drama Desk Awards live via Theatermania anyway, so I would have missed watching the episode anyway. I won’t be watching the next episode either, as the Tony Awards are on, and for the first time in recent memory, there won’t be an NBA finals game on that night (so there’s a chance this year’s Tonys can have a high viewership, especially with Hamilton as the odds on favorite to win a slew of awards). While the fantasy/science fiction nerd in me is strong, the (musical) theater geek is stronger (and takes precedence whenever a conflict arises). I’ve been a fangirl of live theater far longer than I’ve been a fan of (most) science fiction/fantasy series (though Star Wars has been an influence and love before I discovered musicals and live theater).

But I digress.

Anyway.

Normalcy is slowly returning to the Land of Exposition, as the figurative (and literal) chessboard within its landscape reveals its relevance to the narrative arc and character development of the MASC Chronicles and Other Works-In-Progress. The troops of plot bunnies, plot ninjas and Muses have declared their allegiances (at least for the time being) and the plotting of strategies has begun. Wizards, vampires, detectives and other genre-specific beings are descending to the Land of Exposition (and filling the rooms of the Character Development Inn, so business is at picking up, despite the sometimes “odd” requests from its patrons). The urge to meld all these (seemingly) unrelated elements together into a cross-genre, mind-imploding Epic Saga is tempting (and would avoid the impending emotional drama of a civil war), it might be too overwhelming a concept.

Then again, it’d be Something (Completely?) Different (I think).

The trend to reboot, revamp older stories is prevalent, and it seems original story ideas are scarce these days (or rather, no one is willing to “bet on” something unfamiliar to the general public, which is why there are so many movies that are sequels, prequels and/or remakes (usually with younger, prettier people) or (near) carbon copies of trends (TV shows with lawyers, doctors, vampires, zombies, “reality” TV, etc.) Some succeed more than others, while new(ish) ideas are not often seen on mainstream (American) media.

Mild disclaimer: this quasi-mini-rant is my impressions/opinions on the trends in the USA – I think Game of Thrones is the only current American TV show I follow, as most of the TV shows I watch are mainly British ones. Not too surprising, as I’m a Anglophile at heart, I get annoyed at all the American remakes of British shows – mostly because the opposite doesn’t happen as much (at least to my knowledge), as American TV shows air (as is) in the UK. The British versions are usually better than the American attempts, and most UK series (usually) have fewer episodes within a series/season than their American counterparts, I value quality over quantity, so long as the writing is top notch.

Anyway.

A mash-up of ideas and crossover story arcs are popular now, especially with the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), so perhaps a literary version is not so far fetched.

This notion changes the Game of Genres as it stands now (hopefully for the better).

This could be a new thing.

*off to plot and ponder this somewhat new plot twist*

Game of Genres (Part One?)

Another week of (internal) plotting and pondering has led to a quasi-epic battle royal which will determine which genre gets to sit in the Iron Throne prevail as the main genre of the (elusive and intriguing) MASC Chronicles.

Clearly, Game of Thrones (and its source material, the A Song of Ice and Fire novel series) have branded its mark in the plotting and plotting progress process and become an influence for the narrative structure and character development, though there will not be any of the gratuitous violence or sexual themes in my stories. Well, there may be a little of the former, but none of the latter (at least for now) – after all, the prevailing genre thus far is Mystery, and most mysteries include murder, so there will be a degree of death and destruction at some point in the saga.

Anyway.

The plotting and pondering within the shaky surroundings of the Land of Exposition, still reeling from the latest (covert) skirmish from the Real Life Brigade, has been enlightening. The implosions from the second wave of (previously hidden) land minds  revealed a giant chessboard upon which the pieces began to converge. Or rather, the plot bunnies and Muses began to ally / rally toward a Genre Leader, as the land minds created a rip in the fabric of the space / time continuum and allowing these Quasi-Random Ideas to cross from Their World into Our World.

I miss Doctor Who (as I listen to the specially created iTunes playlist containing music from Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, Sherlock, Poirot, Inspector Morse, etc., aptly named “A Game of Detectives and the Doctor”, the mind wanders.)

As (briefly) mentioned in the last blog entry (and probably mentioned in passing in other entries), the other genres from which the tales within the MASC Chronicles can inhabit include Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror and Steampunk (though Steampunk could be considered a hybrid genre, as it’s a mix of Alternate History and Science Fiction). Romance was eliminated (ironically?) Red Wedding-style, though fleeting  supporters of the genre have downplayed their Fearless Leader’s mantra and settled for subtlety. Mystery remains the ruling Genre, though its hold is somewhat tenuous with the infiltration of the other genres, fighting a (figurative) battle on several fronts, making backroom deals and shaky alliances.

The (fictional?) characters within these tales are ensconced in the (quasi-merry) War; while some have broken out of the limbo of uncertainty and declared fealty to a genre (or several), other character teeter on the knife’s edge of actual existence, oftentimes feeling displaced and disoriented. The FanGirl Meter (patent pending) has gone haywire from the overload of possibilities, and in need of an Upgrade. Then there’s the internal skirmishes within each genre of which facet of that genre should state its case for the Final Decider (i.e. the Writer… which is me, or at least I think it’s me – after a while I’m not sure if I’m the actual creator or just another character in the Epic Story that is Life).

But I digress (sorta).

All this meta talk of plotting and pondering has led to a cascade of ideas, some of which make sense, while others feel the need to speak their minds before disappearing into the night. The urge to unite (if tenuously) all my works in progress is still an option, along with the “behind the scenes” tales of the creation of the Epic Saga, of which this very blog (or the majority of its entries) is a critical component.

Or I could just be making all this up as I go along – the Roads within the Land of Exposition are broken, and the paths meander quasi-aimlessly to parts unknown.

But that’s another tale for another day.