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January 22nd, 2002

Renaissance Manic

Having a wide variety of interests can be a good thing ... after all, it enables you to take ideas from one field of study, and apply them in new ways to a second field of study, and suddenly you've invented the refrigerator or something.

On the other hand, it can suck mightily, because whenever you want to do something, all the other things you also want to do get in the way.

Take, for instance, my recent much-discussed desire to write some fantasy. What I'd really like to do is put SJ and NN on hold for a while and just crank out another fantasy novel (which would, hopefully, be better than my last fantasy novel and maybe even be publishable). However, I've rather abused my poor readers with hiatuses over the past year.

I now see the brilliance of the mini-series or a graphic novel, from a creator's standpoint. It is something large enough to tell a story of depth ... without becoming the ever-hungry monster that a permanent series is. I think, before too long, that at least one of my strips will migrate to a paper-periodical format, so I don't have to come up with something new every day.

I do one, and it's done. If people like it, I do another, and it's done. I can keep on doing more as long as, well, I can keep on doing more -- but I'm not married to it, and I don't have to constantly have it on my mind.

I wonder if I've got what it takes to be a career novelist. I can write well enough, that's not the problem ... the problem is coming up with strong enough stories. I kinda like the idea of keeping one of my current comic strips and publishing a novel every other year or so. I don't know if I can pull it off, but it bears thinking about.

-The Gneech

A Few Random Notes

The following is a transcription of random notes I've been jotting down as I brainstorm.

Dramatic thrust - chase - WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT???

Dragons as intelligent dinosaurs?

"Wyrms" vs "dragons?"

Tablets written with secret knowledge of existence ... guarded by ? to keep them away from uppity mortals

Werewolves? Sphinges? A race of shapeshifters?

Mentor ... never ages, was never young ... timeless "master" ... cold and indifferent ... a dragon?

Broken sword / sword in stone / reforged sword motif? Sword-in-stone as unclaimed personal potential?

Clerics with tattoo of third eye -- "spirit eye?" -- all seeing pyramid?

Three high priests (god-kings?) rule an empire from a high tower; they maintain control with a magic crown that gives the wearer amazing clairvoyant powers over great distance; they have a network of acolyte informants and agents throughout the empire; on any given day, one of them wears the crown in turn, having power over the others (so no one of them will lord it too much over the other two)

King with a secret vault of gold ... its source is a magic spider that weaves a golden web

Lady of Swans ... Lady of the Lake ... Swan Cloak that enables flight

Winged support character ala Yue from Cardcaptors -- chased by gargoyles/harpies? In a race? Hero with magic talismans ala Clow Cards? Necklace with limited number of magic gems, each gem with a different power?

Necromancer king -- simply orders his dead soldiers to rise and fight again! Only way to win the war, is to kill him directly

Daedalus? Anti-Daedalus?

"If the ring quest required a pact with demons at the cost of one's immortal soul, the grail quest was a pact with angels at the cost of one's mortal body." --David Day, "Tolkien's Ring"

Nazgul-type as anti-hero?

Need something more original than "Kingdoms of good unite against dark lord, film at eleven."

# # #

"What would you have me do, then? Strike them down? Take the crown of rule for myself, and become just as much a tyrant? Such a role isn't for me."

"You're wrong -- the very fact that you don't want the role makes you perfect. You come from a land that has no kings. You come from a land where the only law is 'live peacably!' You don't hold the nobility in the strange awe that the people of this land do. You come from a land in which a lord who mistreats his vassals doesn't stay a lord for long -- because they won't stand for it! People must have rulers; it is the nature of man. The only thing that can be done ... the only thing that works ... is to minimize the damage those rulers can do, and to make sure at all times that the best person you can find is wearing the crown."

"No. You ask too much of me. My life is my own, and I mean to keep it that way."

# # #

-The Gneech

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