"Welcome to Japan, folks. The local time is . . . tomorrow."
- from 30 Minutes Over Tokyo, The Simpsons, Season 10

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Movies and Inspiration

I have this habit that when I watch a movie I really enjoy, I usually have one of two reactions.
1. That is the best movie in the world, I wish I could write a story as good as that.
2. I want to write something like that.

The last movie this happened with was Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. So I spent about a month outlining a pirate novel, called The Emerald Dragon. It's about a girl named Teague, the youngest dolphin shapeshifter, and the Emerald Dragon, a statue that controls fate. Of course I didn't get much past the first chapter because I went back to working on Kitsune.

The newest movie this happened with was She's the Man, and I kind of got two stories out of it.

The first story's about a character I played in a fantasy role-playing game about a young noble lady who gets mad at her parents for trying to force her into a marriage with a proper noble. She's not too keen on the idea, so she uses a magical medallion to disguise herself as a man so she can enter the jousting tournaments.

I've been wanting to work on that story since we stopped playing that game because I really like the character. Unlike most of my female characters, she's very strong in a quiet sort of way, at least while she's female. But, when the game ended, she was in the Afterlife after having carried one of the other character's dead body out of some underground vault. I don't remember exactly what was going on, but I do know that it was very important for my character to win the other character's respect. Mainly because he was the closest to seeing through her disguise, and she didn't want anyone to know what was really going on until she was ready to reveal it herself. (Which if she had her way wouldn't be until she found a man worthy of her.)

But rather than starting that story at the beginning, with the girl getting upset about her parents trying to set up another arranged marriage for her and then her using the medallion to disguise herself as a man, I wanted to start the story closer to where we stopped playing the game. Which is in the Afterlife. Only something went wrong. Because instead of being a female in the Afterlife, she's male. And she finds herself falling for the rogue-assassin whose dead body she had carried until she died.

The best title I have for this right now is We Fell in Love in the Afterlife, but I think it's a little too long.

Though for whatever reason when I start putting it to paper, I ended up making the main character a high school girl from the 21st century who somehow travels to this fantasy world where this young noble lady lives. And in the process of figuring out how to get out of the girl's body and back home, she ends up needing to learn how to joust and falls in love with the rogue-assassin. I don't think the two character concepts mesh very well, but my brain seemed to think so.

The second story I started working on is called Catfight, at least for the time being. It's also another story I've been wanting to write for quite some time. This one has to do with high school, tae kwon do, love letters, and girls fighting over the same guys. Unlike pretty much every other story I have ever written, this one has absolutely nothing to do with the supernatural, sci fi, or fantasy.

I haven't written much in either. But I want to work on Catfight until June, when I plan to go back to Kitsune.

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