Tuesday, October 18, 2016

How We Got Here

I would have written this last night, but, uh, video games were happening. I'm not going to get into that. Suffice it to say, Battlefield 1 is pretty awesome.

Anyway, I was actually thinking about this last night (early this morning) when I went to bed. It's a matter of what I guess you'd call narrative order. I'm sure there's an actual term, and maybe I'll look it up later. What I mean is the order that the story is being told in.

Now, if you want to get technical, the story of Des Mackenzie begins in 1964. That's when he appeared in the world as a very much not vampire little baby. But we're not going to start there. That would be ridiculous. Things don't really get interesting for Des until the late 80's. He starts a band, they put out an album, things are going good for them. Well, until they aren't, and most of them die in a plane crash. Except for Des, but he doesn't make it very far and more or less wakes up a vampire.

But we're not starting there either.

We're starting nearly thirty years after that. I still don't know the plot, but I've been doing a lot of reading, and basically there's this idea that you have your main character, with their plans and thoughts and beliefs. And then you have an "impact character" who somehow goes against that. This character will try to get your protagonist to change in some way, and whether the protagonist does or not, well, that depends on the story.

So where we're starting is the moment that those two characters meet. And in true Mad fashion, it's going to be a little violent. And by "starting at that moment" I mean right at that moment. Well, like thirty seconds before it.

The question then becomes, "What about backstory?" What about it, indeed! I'm not going to just info-dump his whole history all at once. Because that's terrible. So I get to tell little pieces of it, here and there, until the whole thing is revealed. This approach might be because I've been watching The Vampire Diaries a lot, and that's what they do. But it seems like a good approach. You give just a little information, enough to answer some questions, but little enough that the reader wants to know more. It keeps them reading, and that's kind of the whole point.

But how will I know when to introduce each piece? Honestly, I'm hoping I'll know when I get there. I think each fragment of backstory should somehow relate to what's going on in the present. I did that once in a story, albeit accidentally, and it was kind of awesome. Now we'll just see if I can do it on purpose. I'm definitely going to need an outline of some sort for this one.

And a plot. I'll definitely need a plot.

See you Friday, when I probably still won't have a plot.

1 comment:

  1. I am missing out on stories for video games VIDEO GAMES
    NO story time because of videos wtf Just kidding I can't wait for story to unfold where will MAD's imagination go next.