Monday, July 7, 2014

Story Creation, or Hey, my brain isn't working, so I'm gonna play with another idea!

Ok, so I'm completely stalled on my latest project, Bronze Age Kylli. Like, brain is a lump of organic matter stalled. I'd be furious if I weren't so damn numb. All part of the process, I guess, but I want to be creative, damnit! I need to be. I don't want to drop everything and start yet another new thing. No, not interested. There's a lot of world, and I've developed some of the major historical storylines in broad strokes. I know that the history doesn't progress like Earth's, not with the dip into the dark ages, nor is it going to step back in technology or ideology the way that Europe, and even China, did. Or at least not for the same reasons.

One of the fun things I did when I planned this world is that I made mythic time central to the development of cultures, technology, and other such things. "The Seasons of the Gods are not the seasons of man." Suffice to say, there's a rhythm to the ups and downs of this world, Lura. And that rhythm drives Story.

What I'm thinking about is Steampunk Kylli. It's the same character I'm working on in Bronze Age Kylli, but aged three or four thousand years, more or less. I've always wanted to do this story, and *SPOILER ALERT* I know how she becomes mostly immortal. It's kind of that challenge about immortal characters, how to portray them not bored. Michelle Sagara/West tackles immortal boredom in pretty much all her series, as does the Eddings in their works, and so on and so forth. Everything I've read emphasizes retreat, retread, and otherwise that whole gray-out been-there-done-that-factories-full-of-t-shirts attitude. So I'm asking a different question. Why aren't gods bored? (Yes, some are. But They don't count for this question.) They see the same shit, different day. What makes them so different? And how can I incorporate that idea into a Story world?

So, how does a quickly rising technology, i.e. steam engines, the beginning of electricity, gas, coal, and other such era goodies, collide with The Seasons of the Gods, and how does Kylli's long, long experience with such rhythms set things to spinning? Set all of these things in the Season of War, and what goes boom?

I'm so glad I've done so much worldbuilding not just with this character, but the histories and mythic time, and the mapping, and all these other tidbits. I actually have more to work with, and I don't need to come up with everything from bare bones. By eliminating choices during worldbuilding, I've set myself up for a lot better storytelling potentials.

So, now I need to wander off and push some of this brain sludge out of the way, and start piecing together a story. I do have the high concept idea, The Shapeshifter Wars, which is basically Madagascar invades Australia. Or something goofy like that. Very meta. We'll see if it sticks. I suspect it won't. But I've got to start somewhere, hmmm?

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