June 24, 2010
I linked to a story on the Huffington post yesterday that went over some of the likely hot trends to hit teen fiction after Twilight made vampires superstars again. Some of the suggestions, like cyclopses, were clearly jokes, but some of the first suggestions were ghost and angels.
Uhm… I’m seriously re-evaluating Charcoal Streets.
I feel like I did when Avatar was announced. WAY back when, back in middle school, I had a whole series of short stories that featured cat-like humanoid aliens that lived on a moon orbiting a gas giant in a nearby star system. They were technologically advanced but very nature-oriented. And now I find out that angels and ghosts may be a new trend? Do I really want to join the pack if Charcoal Streets gets picked up in the next year?
Like I said in yesterday’s article, using established mythologies can open up a world of themes and story possibilities. Miguel, Micah, the Blue Lady, and other creatures I’ve yet to reveal work by their own rules. Some of these are explicit, others are subtle. There’s a definite hierarchy, and they’re certainly much more durable and powerful than regular humans.
I mean, how many of us can take a kick to the fruit of the loom and not flinch?
The advantage of using established creatures means you don’t have to come up with the rules of magic, the biology, or any of that. As much as I enjoy doing things like that, it does waste time and you get wrapped up in minutia. Instead, human mythologies are already full of creatures that are rich in history, stereotypes, and story potential.
Why did I choose angels and ghosts? Why not switch to something more unique?
Because they work for my story. At least… to a point. My angels and ghosts are decidedly not the angels on Valentine’s Day cards and cathedral stained windows.
I want a story set along the US-Mexico border. The myths and legends here are angels, demons, ghosts, things intimately tied to religion, especially Catholicism. Using that as a starting point, I alter the rules of the Charcoal Streets universe to match the story I want to tell.
I can tell you right now that the angels and spirits won’t have white fluffy wings, be impossibly beautiful, or quote cookie-cutter Touched by an Angel affirmations of faith and hope.
I’d like to think Miguel’s lines already crushed that possibility.
More than a year ago, I said to a friend that I wanted to write the anti-Twilight novel. Now, I face the real possibility to joining a slew of novels with angels and ghosts and being labeled as another face on the bandwagon.
Now I REALLY have to make this unique.
- Neil Gaiman, a god amongst men, makes a great point in this article where he says books should not just be great writing. They should tell a story. You can be the greatest grammar expert in the world and still have a horrible imagination. Gaiman is proof that you can be both… Oh, to be Neil Gaiman…
- I know there’s no sound in space, but you have to hear this to believe it. Scientists took the magnetic flux of the sun and recorded it as music. It’s very haunting.
- Some intrepid skydivers managed to take a photo of the space shuttle launching… from the top.
- (sigh) Not only does Texas want to make same-sex marriage a felony, but they want to ban strip-clubs and pornography. If they go after Dungeons and Dragons next, I’m moving.
- Is this a great ad, the GREATEST ad, or a shameless exploitation of a national tragedy?
- You may never have heard the name “Edith Shain,” but you’ve seen her for years. The nurse being kissed by a sailor in the iconic WWII photograph “V-Day in Times Square” recently passed away. Still, the moment where a total stranger celebrated the end of the war in the Pacific will forever live in our history books.
- This newspaper needs an editor who’s worked in print before.
- A Gucci employee built a thermonuclear reactor in New York City. Amazingly enough, he’s actually the 38th amateur physicist to achieve nuclear fusion.
- Oh, I am entering this thing. Wizards of the Coast is running another “Don’t Split the Party” contest. They will fly you and five friends to GenCon and give you passes if you can convince them that you and your old D&D group should be reunited. Justin, Jian, Chris, Wes, John… The Lastoria Campaign will live again!
- I always knew cats were demonic little furballs, but I’d never seen one speak Abyssal before.
- And finally, breaking news on an epidemic sweeping the globe.