A Thousand Words A Day

A writing journal _____________________________ PROFESSORBLOG@HOTMAIL.COM

writing: _ Christian Writers _ _ NaNo _

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blogs: _ Lorie Rees_ _Itinerant Iconoclast_ _ Rita's Ravings _
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Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

Reader, writer, podcast listener, and TV watcher. And real nice guy.

Monday, July 28, 2003

I had a great dream a few night's ago. I have been thinking long and hard about next November's Na No Wri Mo book, and had a dream or two about it. And you know that weird twilight between waking and sleep? I spent some of that time thinking about the book, and made some good progress, the least of which may have been with my confidence re: the ability of my idea to become a novel. I love it to think about something when you don't intend to be thinking about something, you know? I am very intentional about my thoughts, and am a little too self-aware sometimes if you know what I mean . . . but those moments of freedom when my subconscience has something to say to the rest of my waking mind is a truly glorious moment.

The book is based on a segment on the NPR show "This American Life," where they looked broadly at the topic of super heroes and super powers, and in an incredibly respectful way, if I may say so. Anyway, one of the "acts" was a discussion / man on the street segment about which super power you would rather have: the power to turn invisible, or the power to fly. I think that these are two of the more classic motifs, as opposed to super-speed or magic rings . . . with all due respect to Green Lantern and Flash, of course. It turns into a bit of an "Unbreakable" type of story, except the character is more aware of his powers and more intentional in using them

So in the book, a strange being of some kind will come to our main character (no name yet -- that is a job I need to work on) and give him a choice of the two super powers. He will do what i would do if given that choice -- select invisibility, then recount the effects (the good, the bad, and the ugly effects) of this choice over the persons life. There are a range of details I have not worked out yet, let me be honest about that. For example, the most findamental issue: How old is he when the choice is given and when the story ends?

But the reason I think this can be a good Na No Wri Mo novel is that I don't need to do much research and there is so much comic book stuff in there that I can riff on that without thinking too hard about it.

Some of the things I have thought about and concluded (or that could be potential scenes or issues) are:

The guy is a ocmics fan and works everything through that prism. He reads books to get ideas on how to behave. We figure the guy is kind of a geek of some kind, but I don't know how much of one to make him. A Lone Gunman guy from the X-Files, or Kevin Smith, or me, or what . . . Why this guy? What about him makes him the right candidate for this? A reference to Green Lantern being selected (Hal Jordan) to take over the sector for the Guardians of the Universe. He had no fear, but what makes this guy special. Maybe it is random, or that he concludes that it is. Does that add a measure of responsiblity to what you are doing, either way?

The guy tries to develop a code, but realizes how dumb an idea that is. No none else lives by a code.

He does not have kids because of questions about whether his genetics are messed up by the power.

The strange being is some kind of combination of a work that Neil Gaiman would come up and { insert cool comic artist here } would draw . . . other than that, there is no otherworldly concepts. Everything else tkaes place in this world.

How does invisibility work anyway? Can he see himself? Does he need to wear clothes-- and do they become naked? Does he need to be naked?

The guy is NOT going to dress up in tights and become a "super-hero" . . . there are practicalities of this to consider and in really would not work. But what can he do with invisibility? He will be a combination of a selfish person (looking at naked chicks, of course) and selfless (helping people in little ways when he can) . . . but actual "superhero" work is out of the question. He really can not go into formal police type work, either. He tries some kind of PI work, but fails the tests? Can't shoot straight? Is not that smart?

Does he have a sidekick, or at least a mortal helper. Here I am referring to P. N. Elrod's Vampire Chronicles and the relationship between Jack Fleming and the guy whose investigations he helps.

The guy needs a job, right? Or is he a drifter, a homless type of guy drifting from one thing to another? What kind of schedule is that that one needs to live and go with this type of power? What about the mental anguish. Does he have a psychologist or a lawyer, someone in whom he can place his trust with no fear of recourse. Does he drink and tell his story to hookers and bar tramps? Does he do the Wolverine thing (from the movie) and go into fighting or the circus or some place where he can actually use his powers, such as they are. Does he become a magician, using these powers to amaze and impress? These are things to think about.

Does he have a faith? Is he Nightcrawler from X-Men or Daredevil, someone with a faith, or just a regular guy drifter. Does he become a faith-filled man because of the encounter with the "angel" -- what does this encounter do to the guy. Drive him to drink?

References to Unbreakable, Mystery Men, the other "powerless" heroes (of Batman, Daredevil, Captain America), the DC versus Marvel thing, Spawn, Stan Lee, the "dumb power" heroes (Atom comes to mind, because of the impractical physics of the whole thing) . . .


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