Sunday, February 27, 2011

Idea #2: Addressing It

Yes, there will be pseudo-puns related to the concept in the title of each of these idea posts, because I have no clue of project titles yet. It is entirely possible my choice will be influenced by which I can actually come up with a title for.

Like some writers, I also have a gaming background. My introduction to Dungeons and Dragons was third edition with an absent-minded knowledge hound of a wizard named Evairyn Malkor. I had a blast with Evvie, and the interaction with the other characters was great. At one point, another player and I decided that Evairyn (an elf - yeah, that will change ;-)) was the grandmother of her character.

(Some of you may recognize this name. For a while, I didn't want to use my real name / email address on some sites, so my alt email was EvairynMalkor. I've also used it Evairyn as a handle on a few places where Aiara was taken or unavailable due to brevity or such not.)

Evairyn's skill level in Arcane Lore was such that occasionally, I would roll to see if I recognized the monster, villain, spell ... I'd look at the obscene total number of roll + skill ... and then I'd look at the gamemaster and say, "Okay, tell me what it had for breakfast this morning." It became a running gag. But Evvie herself was very unassuming and self-effacing. (Off-camera, she had a fiance who was very like-minded. They would spend long nights researching together. No. Really. Researching. That's not a euphemism.)

To keep Evvie company, I've tapped an archer character I played - for significantly less time, but long enough to get a good feel for her. Keldrys Whitehand (called so due to the tanning hazards of almost always wearing gloves) is a good foil - almost, but not quite, a polar opposite.

And to completely switch up settings, I'm eyeing a concept where each season has a House and particular attributes associated with it. Individuals and kingdoms align themselves with Houses, in addition to being influenced by them as the year naturally progresses. I have a really intriguing take on magic, which I am arbitrarily keeping under my hat right now. ;-)

The plot involves the pair meeting on intersecting missions, getting arrested due to Evairyn's meddling in a royal matter, and then being pressed into the hunt for a "secret weapon" of a rival kingdom. The question of "why them?" is not arbitrary, but it's also not revealed early on ... twists, turns, hopefully enough to make it at least interesting. I need a bit more structure before I'd start writing, though.

My main concern is balancing the saturation of such a sweeping setting element - too much, and the story disappears under House-related details; too little, and it becomes lip service. Again, I'm also concerned about this looking like a stock plot on the outside. To be honest, though, I could actually go for a (fairly!) straightforward adventure plot ... and some of the later material would definitely kick it up a notch.

As a lesser aside - no romantic subplot. I just now (literally) thought of a way to work one in, but I'm not sure I'd want to, as it feels spurious rather than organic.

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