Thursday, October 07, 2010

Thursday Thoughts

I just started working on the character profiles for my reality TV project, with the goal of starting for Nanowrimo in November. I'm dealing with an interesting problem: because the individuals from each country are the primary if not only thing the reader will see, they need to be representative of their origin ... but I don't want to "normalize" them to the point where they're the stereotypical Thanocian, Sarrlander, etc. Their behavior has to say "I come from country X" and "I'm individual Y" and potentially do it in a single scene. And I don't want to spend a lot of words setting this up, because the elimination style of the novel means that some of those people won't last too long.

A further issue I'm worried about - and I'd welcome feedback - is the opening. Traditionally, on these shows, the first episode does a lot of brief-clip introductions of characters, but I'm concerned it will get heavy and info-dumpy. I also toyed with doing a "casting" where the weirdest, most unsuitable folks breeze past - hoping to play up the humor - and someone we're rooting for doesn't even make it to the competition. I've only seen this once in actual reality TV, so though I have "Casting" jotted down in my structure, I'm undecided if I'm going to do it or not.

Next step for me is a short story, probably the last before Nano starts. It's another Ishene / Kemel story - this one involving time travel to the future and broaching the issues of whether or not the past is still immutable ... if the past you're looking back at is your present.

The more stories I write about these two, the less it becomes an adventure featuring them, and the more it becomes an adventure about them. Ishene's nature was important in my first story, but it was essentially a quest (sort of). The second story revolves around the death of Kemel's sister and how he deals with the fact that they can't change it, and it's also largely about their budding friendship - but it's still more about the mystery. The third story had other facets, but a pivotal point in the story was one of Ishene's shortcomings and the temptation to change it. This fourth story (whoot! Four) promises to be a lot about emotion, desires and her late fiance ...


Cherie Reich said...

Oh, if you're on the NaNoWriMo site, add me as a friend. I'm bookworm0753 there.

As for the problem with the characters, I can see the difficulties there. I tried to do a roleplay that was similar to Survivor, and it was difficult, but then you're dealing with people, so that complicates things even further.

To set up the story, you could consider something like they do on Big Brother. They show each player receive their key and packing to leave their family. You could do brief snippets of each character, so the reader will know a little about them and then jump them into the competition.

Lindsey Duncan said...

I'm not on the site any more, I admit - it was too overwhelming to keep up with! But cool to know someone else doing it.

Oh, Big Brother does prequel clips as well? That's good to know, thanks.

My model has been the skill-based shows, primarily the Bravo model (Project Runway, Top Chef) ... I haven't gotten to Big Brother, though I am wincing my way through the current season of The Apprentice for research purposes. ;-)