Friday, May 19, 2017

Worlds Collide

I randomly came up with the best analogy the other day. I was trying to explain what I was talking about last time, about needing the perfect words and the best sentences in a story that anyone's going to read.

It's like building a brick wall. You only want, good, high quality bricks. You don't want a brick made of Styrofoam, or Jell-O. That's going to make holes in your wall. You don't want a poorly constructed story with holes in it.

Granted, my original explanation had a lot more swearing in it. I try to behave myself on here, for some damn reason.

So I've had a poll running for the past couple of weeks, and I didn’t quite get the volume of responses I'd hoped. But that's okay. The votes are in, and it's a three way tie between Subterranean Fiction, Occult Detective, and Romance. Which means I have to combine all three.

What does that mean? Well, let’s take a look at what each genre is, with the help of Wikipedia.

  • Subterranean Fiction: a subgenre of adventure fiction which focuses on underground settings, sometimes at the center of the Earth or otherwise deep below the surface. The genre is based on and has in turn influenced the Hollow Earth theory.
    • Examples: Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth, Dante Alighieri's Inferno, Jeanne DuPrau's The City of Ember.
  • Occult Detective: a combination of tropes of detective fiction with those of supernatural horror fiction. Unlike the traditional detective the occult detective is employed in cases involving ghosts, curses, and other supernatural elements.
    • Examples:  Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files, DC Comic's Hellblazer (you may know the movie or TV versions, Constantine), TV series Angel and Moonlight, both of which involve vampire PIs.
  • Romance: stories with a primary focus on the relationship and romantic love between two people, and must have an "emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending."
    • Examples: Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Nicholas Sparks' The Notebook. I don't think this one takes much explaining.

It's an interesting mix, to say the least. And I've got some ideas.

So the first thing that Subterranean Fiction makes me think of is Journey to the Center of the Earth. Obviously. The second thing, well, JQA and the mole people. So I don’t know if there will be mole people in this, but that's a possibility. At the moment I'm imagining kind of a Sleepy Hollow (the 1999 movie) vibe where an investigator is sent to, uh, investigate some strange happening. That happen to be at the center of the earth.

There's a very 19th/early 20th Century science fiction feel to it. Like, if it was contemporary, it would have to be very scientific and logical. Meanwhile, in 1895, HG Wells created a time machine, and in 1901, put some men on the moon, science be damned. In 1912, Edgar Rice Burroughs put a civilization on Mars. Science fiction was much more fanciful. And maybe that's what I want.

And that says nothing of Romance. That should simple enough to shove in there. In course of character and plot creation, where I usually say, "And these two people will not be getting together," well, I'll just not do that. I'll let them get together. I guess. If I have to.

Also… vampires. I'm just thinking about where occult and subterranean overlap, and it seems to be at creatures who can't handle the sun. Of course, this could be a case of Our Vampires are Different where they're not exactly vampires, but are what our legends are based on. I don't know, I'm literally making this up as I go.

So I have my work cut out for me. I have to rewrite that other thing I was working and then we're jumping into this madness with both feet. Points will be awarded for style and form.

I'll see you Tuesday.

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