Sunday, 30 December 2012

CREATING A VILLAIN: Part 2


In the first post we created his base nature - '… his base will be greed – a desire to attain more and more, which becomes a passion driven by his will and ego, to become greater than the gods and he does this with utter detachment, considering himself above his peers. Our villain seeks to play the world like chess pieces, in an effort of supremacy and domination, with himself at the top of the hierarchy, powerful and ever living...’ We also gave him a little back story - '… his earliest memories are of the orphanage where he grew up...' but there are other aspects still left for consideration, such as, physical traits, appearance, name, ability, stage synchronisation and preferred grass roots MO.

Next let us consider some physical traits, appearance and ability, these are mostly aesthetic in nature but they also play a part in the outcome of events within this story; we will also consider his preferred grass roots MO. For now, let us not consider his race or region of origin, since this will depend on his 'stage synchronisation' and also because it is of marginal importance in this story. I want this villain to have about him an air of strength, force and power, and I will attempt to do this in part via his physical traits and appearance. For starters, let us give him brown deep-set eyes, a flat nose, a strong jaw and short hair. This villain is no stranger to battle and so his physical appearance will be hardened and built, his height is of little relevance, save descriptive power, so we will make him medium height; say 5”11' but let us also add a scar to the right side of his face, which will have its own story to tell.

This villain has a base nature that sets him up to be an effective mastermind and so he will be highly intelligent, shrewd and somewhat cunning. He has little interest in the creative arts but is fascinated by science and the arcane arts, seeing them as the perfect means to a much desired end. However, he has one major shortfall, which is also a result of his base nature – hubris. That said, he is an individual who doesn't mind getting his hands dirty and he swings his broad blade, cutting down his enemies with great prejudice; however, he prefers others to do his dirty work for him.

As a result of his interest in science and the arcane arts, he is somewhat practised in magic and employs the best men and women of science in the known world. He has within his command certain technologies, which have been combined with magic to create weapons that are years ahead of his peers, assisting him to further his goals. Although, he is not a lord of any land, he is feared and respected by many monarchs. Lastly, let us consider his MO, once again this is a facet of his character and I won’t go into much detail because this also adds the air of mystery to the story. It will be part of the journey of discovery for the protagonist within this story. That said, I will say that he is only interested in himself and all his actions are tailored towards increasing his power and influence, and he proceeds to implement his plans and actions, with complete disregard to human life; that is to say, he cares very little for human rights.

So now we have beefed up this character and I hope after reading these two parts, you feel like you know this villain, even without him being named. His name, region of origin and story synchronisation still need to be determined but to keep this short, we will consider these another time. I hope you have enjoyed reading this as much as I have enjoyed writing it. Like I mentioned before, this story won’t be complete for some time yet, simply because I am currently completing others. If you haven't already done so, you can find my stories and more information on my site: www.lunchtimetales.co.uk, simply follow the Lunchtime Tales links on the homepage to read online, or visit my FaceBook page at Lunchtime Tales.

All the best,


Pthasse Amadeus

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

CREATING A VILLAIN


 Welcome back all!

I hope you're all enjoying the Christmas holiday and there's is still the New Year to come! This piece is about creating a villain for one of my fantasy stories but I would like to tell you a little more about myself first.

I created characters and stories for the first time as a child and this continued for many years, however, I stopped for a while to complete my studies and I didn't write my first complete story until 2009. Before then, as a child, I constantly made comics with my friends and family but my drawing skills weren't anything like they are now. I studied and became very good at technical drawing and then I met an artist, and I learnt more techniques to improve my creative work to what it is now.

It wasn't until after I completed my studies that my writing evolved and reached a state where I was confident that I could describe an idea in written form. That was when I wrote A Tale Of Tales: Advent (available online); with that novella, I also decided to apply my drawing skills because I felt that it added value, especially if my readers knew that I produced that cover myself, from pencil through to digital. Since then, I have worked to continue developing my skills and I believe that I am still improving, and my process for story creation is changing. My intention is create a masterpiece as a written book, TV series or even film, and so my journey continues...

That said, I have been mulling over a completely new story and I have reached the point where I am now creating a villain. The story is set in the pre-1800's, as a fictional lost fragment of history. I don't want to reveal any more because the story is still in a state of chaotic flux in my mind; that is, it may very well change.

Anyway, I figured it might be interesting to read the mental process behind the creation of a new villain, which in this tale is one among others. That said, this one needs to be unique; so, let us begin. I have already set a stage (Historical Earth-scape pre-1800's), which has some fictional 'patches'. The character needs a base, a foundation, just like a building; but in this case ideas will suffice. A good starting point is simplicity at its core; greed, lust, desire, envy, rage and of course ego; or perhaps others like resentment, faith, love, will, passion, detachment, etc. Although these are simply words, words convey ideas and they can act as building blocks towards creating the greater idea; i.e. in this case, the villain.

It is my opinion that even the most psychopathic of villains will have a logical process that can be perceived (by yourself or another), which is obviously also morally questionable; even stark raving mad can fit into this category. Simply because the actions produce results due to the madness, whether right or wrong. For this character in this story his base will be greed – a desire to attain more and more, which becomes a passion driven by his will and ego, to become greater than the gods and he does this with utter detachment considering himself above his peers. You can see here the facets of his core that sway him away from the benign, particularly his delusion of grandeur. Now the next thing is to beef up these core traits and evoke an outward personality.

In this case, I am referring to the application of his core ideals; in one word, why? Aka his background story but I would like to proceed a little differently. That is, starting from the goal, the envisioned end result and working backwards. This villain seeks to play the world like chess pieces in an effort of supremacy and domination, with himself at the top of the hierarchy, powerful and ever living. Right, so now we have an idea of the his goal but we still don't know why... This can either be hidden and revealed later or initially revealed at the onset of his appearance in the story, or even partially hidden. The later is my preferred model and so at this point, I will only say that his earliest memories are of the orphanage where he grew up, which allows a long time scale for other character influencing events to occur. In his case, events that made him become the person that he is, at the time when the story is told. 

Now the internal workings of the character have been created but there are other aspects still left for consideration, such as, physical traits, appearance, name, ability, stage synchronisation and preferred grass roots MO. In order to keep this short, I will cover those another time. I hope you have enjoyed reading this as much as I have enjoyed writing it. This story wont be complete for sometime yet, simply because I am currently completing others. If you haven't already done so you can find those stories and more information on my site: www.lunchtimetales.co.uk or visit my FaceBook page: Lunchtime Tales.

All the best,


Pthasse Amadeus

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Words and Language

Language can affect the frame of mind and even the perception of an individual. The way of thinking can be different for people of different regions speaking different languages. This doesn't mean that language alone is solely responsible for the variation, though it too plays a part.

Consider taking a typical man from NY and placing him in Saudi or India. Assuming that he knows nothing of the language and people, such a man would feel like he is in a different world. Under the further assumption that he picks up the language then he will become aware of the differences in culture and social paradigm. Further still, if this same man (or woman) were to return to NY; upon reflection he will understand the nuances and differences in social paradigm and frame of mind of these two worlds. Perhaps, it can be said that language and culture form a framework for a ‘world’, where the different dialects create slightly different microcosms. Since language and culture can be linked and indeed they can also be linked to words, which in turn influences perception. Ultimately, the perception of a world by the viewer adds ‘levels’ to its definition… It is said by some scholars that ancient tongues have power beyond basic communication, Kabala rites are performed speaking Hebrew but agreement with this idea is not unanimous.

There’s a man who observed that written and spoken sounds could affect water, considering that like our planet we are mostly water, the implications of this idea are obvious. Again this idea isn’t generally agreed by the scientific community but perhaps there is some truth to it… This man wrote ‘love’ and ‘thank you’ on containers of water and after the experiment, when the water was viewed with a dark-field microscope; it showed different structures of water in comparison to the control image of regular distilled water. He also claims to have repeated the experiment with thoughts and spoken words, rather than written words. You can find more on this on ‘What The Bleep Do We Know’. Perhaps this is a good example of the power of our thoughts and words. Consider for a moment that each word is a choice; each word communicated is a choice made and each choice made is an event acting on a state, i.e., each choice is the conscious kinetic unleashing a potential causing a change. The measure of this change will vary from choice to choice or perhaps not; perhaps all this, this perception is merely an illusion...

Monday, 26 November 2012

THROUGH THE EYES OF ATTENBOROUGH

#sirdavidattenborough I recently watched a few documentaries on the Eden channel, which were narrated by the legend of life documentaries himself; Sir David Attenborough. These documentaries covered life in the undergrowth and the lives of insects, etc. It is fascinating how well designed all creatures are, take for example the arachnid family. Spiders started off laying traps and not just the usual ones (cobwebs); one remarkable one was the Trap Door Spider. This spider lays what I can only describe as trip wires and once it senses a vibration, it pounces on its prey. Then there is also a species of spider that steals the food from another larger spider web… However, I found the story of the Ants the most remarkable. These fellas can accomplish anything! They can kill prey much larger than themselves and most of us know that they build intricately well designed and ventilated homes. But that’s not all; they seemed to instinctively understand the importance of working together, with individuals performing specific tasks. Take for example the soldiers that protect the other Ants during a migration up a small hill, so that if any member of the army fell, then they would be caught by the interlocked soldiers. These creatures are very well accomplished at what they do and in a sense they also farm other creatures, like termites. Needless to say there is a lot that we as a society can learn from these small creatures. Then of course there are the flying creatures, the insects, such as Dragon flies, May flies, etc. Did you know that the Dragon fly lives a good portion of its life in the water and when it emerges it forces air into its wings to unfurl them, after crawling out of its outer skin? For some of these creatures like the May flies, flying makes up a tiny part of their lives. They can’t feed and have about 30 minutes of flight time from stored energy, with one singular purpose; mating, and then they die. The drives for life seem much more simplified; feeding and mating. I remember seeing this species of fly that gripped the female by her neck while they mated, and then he removes anything that may have been left by a previous mate. Even the mating rituals are interesting by themselves; it is up to the males to be the flamboyant ones, colorful wing patterns etc. and the females make their choice based on the males’ performance. This isn’t so different from our species, save that our females do more ‘prettying up’ than the males but for the most part the choice is still the females, this is a similarity across the animal kingdom… But I think I have gone slightly off point. All these creatures have been so well designed for optimal survival, tailored to their needs, this of course is not a new mechanism but it never ceases to fascinate me. After watching the documentaries, I now see house flies and spiders, etc. in a different light. There is a lot of beauty in our natural world. © Pthasse Amadeus 2012

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Freedom And Choice

I have often wondered about free will, our right to do whatever we want; a freedom to choose what we will. This freedom is a curious notion - I think. Simply because by accepting the truth of free will, I must also accept that I am free to be good or bad; to persevere selfishly or selflessly. Our institutions have worked hard to present laws and guidelines, towards knowing right from wrong; but whose right is right and who decides what is wrong? Perhaps freedom (free will) has nothing to do with right or wrong but if that's so, then is free will a gift or our curse; leading every so often into confusion. It is within the right of a 'Good Samaritan' to help others, as much as it is within the right of a tyrant to commit murderous acts. However, the fact that those actions are within their right, is unrelated to good and bad, i.e., the choice is what leads to 'good or bad'. So what is good and what is bad? More so, who decides? Ultimately, it is human morality but how does morality come into play? It is possible a combination of factors, external and internal, mould an individuals sense of morality, and together with experience we can build a framework for discerning good from bad, right from wrong. But is that framework everlasting? Is John's perception of good the same as Jane's? Will Jane's wrong be the same today as it was twenty years ago? It seems that the human collective acts, in this sense, as a compass where a majority 'vote' discerns right from wrong, and institutions are established where learned individuals settle disputes of right and wrong. This is all done while accepting our right to choose to do; our right to be human. Perhaps these institutions are less necessary than we believe them to be... Now, in our modern era, these institutions have great command over what is right and wrong, which in some circumstances hampers free will and another's sense of good. But this is as much a good thing as it is a bad thing... An institution is not a separate entity, we the constituents form a part of them in one way or another; granted this may be in varying degrees, the next statement is still valid. We the people are the ones who decided and will decide, regardless of the notions and frameworks. But this once again raises the questions that were asked earlier in this post. Perhaps an individual's free will in its most primal from, leads to a choice between two things, to be selfish or selfless. A wealth of words are said, categorising the selfish or selfless acts that are good and those that are bad. For example, a revolutionary pushing for what is perceived by the individual as positive change, can be branded a criminal and therefore bad; even though the act was selfless. Another example is a single individual driven by ego and selfish needs, who succeeds in peacefully ending a major dispute. That act although driven by selfish needs will be regarded as good; still these choices are a result of our freedom to choose. Perhaps this freedom to choose is more a curse than a gift, a confusion in itself or perhaps not. Maybe it is each individuals task to understand good and bad. That said should we be all good or all bad? Either scenario is unlikely because they are intricately connected with choice and there is always the choice. Just as there is the choice to read the words of this post, or to agree or disagree with its idea. Both aspects of this choice are important because they form part of our experience, so that we can make better choices. Freedom presents a primal choice of polarity, good or bad, using the moral compass developed by internal and external forces, I choose to be good; most of the time... © 2012 by Pthasse Amadeus

Changes

The Sun is always shining but sometimes clouds block out its light. However, with time the clouds will pass. This is the eternal truth. Change is the one true fundamental constant of our Cosmos. © 2012 by Pthasse Amadeus