Sunday, January 25, 2015

Chapter Three

This chapter is all about who. Who is your story going to be about? This information will affect my log line, which sits at "A crown does not make a king" at the moment.

Now this log line tells me anyway, that my story is about someone who maybe doesn't have a crown yet, but I already know the story, so that assumption might be too easy. At any rate, it's about someone who might find becoming a king a less than smooth road. 

The bulk of this chapter was a discussion of such an aspect from the movie maker's point of view. Blake Snyder went to great lengths to point out many actors fall happily into certain genre, but that to write your script with a particular actor in mind for the lead is the very worst thing you can do. I'm sure you all have certain actors who whenever you see them, you almost always go see the movie. Sandra Bullock has to be my favorite actress, and a Russel Crow among a handful of others are my favorite actors.

I must confess, most of my main characters are written with Karl Urban in my mind. However, I know full well that never in a million years would he be able to play in one of my movies. Most of my main characters start out in their teens - few of them extend far enough to where he might be able to step into the part. That said, he still gives me an imaginary figure. I can imagine him as a gangly teenager, his turmoil of emotions carefully hidden behind his dark eyes and his smooth face.

Once you've decided on who your story will be about, you need to then figure out why he has to do what you're planning on him doing. To keep things simple, primal is the name of the game. Keep it primal, meaning the most basic of emotions. Survival, hunger, sex, protection of loved ones, and fear of death, are the most basic emotion we can all identify with.

So let's apply this information to my book. Young Harris goes off to learn how to become a king - kind of a vague goal, but he fully intended to come home and apply what he learned. He wanted to follow in his father's footsteps; it was a matter of honor. As time went along, he began to realize how bad things were at home. Only then did he realize how important it was that he not only return home, but that he return with enough strength to set things right. Now, honor did not make Blake's list of primal emotions, but I still think we can identify with the desire to set things right, especially when this act alone will serve to protect his family as well as every other family in the country. 

Now I have a who and a why. Is it enough? We'll have to see. 

Now back to the log line. Blake insists on an adjective to describe the protagonist and an adjective to describe the antagonist. I was reluctant to do the antagonist because the man was very much an unseen entity until the latter half of the book, but I'll give it a shot.
A naive prince heads off to learn what it means to be a king, only to discover that he'd escaped the cage. Now he had to figure out who held the key.
I don't know - maybe. Time will tell. What do you think?


1 comment:

William Kendall said...

I can see how, from that line, your antagonist could be unseen until the latter stages of your book.

Karl Urban's who I've envisioned as an antagonist character for a future book, a character who's an Irish terrorist.