Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sketch: The Riddle(r)

I got precious little done today. I did manage to get over my distrust of technology and make almost a dozen forum posts, one for each chapter in the Silver Age story. Not sure about the site's readership, but I guess I signed up for the possibility, so we'll see where that goes.

I did do some more thinking on the 1861 abductee in the town of Diablo Canyon. Among the "heroes" possibilities, there was actually a Town Drunk mentioned. I thought about that, and wasn't sure if the character, we'll call him Rupert for now, if he's actually a drunk. Drinks, sure, not sure how else he would cope with the event of being abducted. I mean, people don't really have a lot of language to describe it now in 2013, and alcohol was used to cure everything from pain to strange lumps. So, that's one question: how does Rupert cope, with not being able to articulate his troubles, not being believed?

I also had the thought of a nurse practitioner of sorts, but I thought that Rupert might be nigh on useless to do any kind of work. But I hadn't really thought it through. I mean there are functioning alcoholics, why not functional alien abductees. Maybe he keeps it tucked back, way back, behind all the bravado an 1861 American male might have (and I'm sad to say, I didn't even consider the abductee to be a woman. chauvinist I). And it's not to say that this caregiver is necessary or depending on how Rupert is coping. He doesn't have to be an invalid for her to be in the story. She could be a confidante: the one person who entertains the possibility, a friend, a saint, a spouse, a family member. I can feel the story opening and closing, like a lens, to incorporate this other person, and even other people, depending...

Another idea I keep coming back to is the 1861 alien. I don't know exactly where, but the "little green man" idea doesn't seem so radically old, however every culture has their bogey man. Back then, sadly, it was the "other." The strangeness of the foreigner, weird cultural science, and "barbaric" tribal practices. The Indian. The Negro. The Chinese. Except, of those three options, it seems like only the American Indian had teeth. Take people in the night and ride off, never to be seen again kind of teeth. Whether or not they did, or could, isn't the point. The point is they were feared. So, if a man in 1861 was taken, experienced weird figures with strange shapes, weird lights, and odd artifice, being abducted and drugged up by Indians seems like the kind of explanation a rational person might come up with. Then again, there's nothing to say that Rupert is a rational man...

In any event, this is a glimpse into my process. I have a lot of questions when I sit down, and as I go to answering them, checking them off, I find bones, and after the bones there comes flesh, muscle, ligaments, veins, organs. I'm reminded of the scene from the Fifth Element. What I'm saying is eventually I end up with something that can walk and talk, and the hope is it can kick serious butt and even handle a few gunshot wounds. Falling in love with Bruce Willis is optional.

So, after some hours of brainstorming, what I have is a concept name. Yeah. Some days you hardly work, and some days you work hard. I tip my hat to you, Wednesday. Well played. 

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