Wednesday, February 25, 2009


So RL derailed my plans to be "prepped" to write by the end of this month. Which meant not reading my novel, writing character descriptions or planning the story.

Basically I've been so busy with my life that I haven't had too much time to do anything physical for my book. So it's all been in my head.

Despite the setback I have figured out a great deal of the plot and timeline for my story, as well as some political and world elements.

But those shall be locked away in the ol brain vault until I can write things down.

Til next time.

Monday, February 16, 2009

What King Minos Wants; or Figuring Out Your Antagonist

As mentioned a few times before, antagonists have never been my strong point. I can come up with interesting characters and villain [the one dimensional big bad kind], but creating a multi-dimensional oppositional character is tough.

In fact, the first draft of my story relied entirely on the sub-villain so I could avoid thinking about/developing the main villain. Truly a mistake.

So this time, I'm doing it right. On to some notes about my antagonist.

A Study in Antagonism:
Important note: pretty much all of the plot and historical elements pertain to my alternative plot and not the original novel.

King Minos, as that seems like the most logical thing to do. Although he is not a king, he does act as a leader. He is responsible for the "minotaur" object hidden in the labyrinth except, unlike the character he is based on, he wants to retrieve it instead of hide it. He is the reason Vincent (based on Daedalus) fled and is still currently looking for him [despite rumors of his death].

A mentor and a father figure. He is outgoing, charming but in a platonic way instead of a sexual way. A very convincing man. Known for finding and fostering talent. He has a lot of social and political connections but is not directly involved in politics. He is a techophile and has a strong appreciation for science/technology and progress.

A logical and rational man--an intellectual. Not quite a control freak, but he likes to have things go his way. He enjoys perfection and skill. For him, everything is in the details. And he has been searching for a perfect world--or at least creating it. While his intentions are good and genuine, the negative comes in forcing others to conform to his desires.

As a young man, he was fascinated by the few bits of new of technological advancements (far more crude and less frequent than the present). In fact, he aspired to be a scientist himself. His parents, being fairly devout, tried their best to convince him otherwise. It was looked down upon by high society to be an inventor or scientist at the time. When he finally did choose science (medicine) as a study in university, he was disowned. But as luck would have it, he still managed to inherit everything due to a mistake or last minute change of heart by his father. So he immediately invested that large fortune in the further development of science.

His Kingdom
During his years after university he began meeting and fostering frienships and mentorships (Vincent, the Orvilles, etc) with other similar minds. In fact, many of those connections led to projects that greatly aided his country and served to make science slightly more acceptable. Despite this progress, it was still not enough and he decided that the world around him would not progress with the way it was: rigorous laws, anti-tech folk, etc. So he decided to create his own little haven where he could work without conflict. He opened an invitation to the world for those interested to come and create a technological commune. With his fortune be bought an island or large plot of land. It was with the help of Vincent Wells and a few others that he created the elaborate city that would become famous thereafter.

The city functioned as a giant factory/think tank. Everyone had a job and the city was fairly self-sufficient (from agriculture to metalwork to ideas). Some considered it a real life utopia...until things began to change.

Why He Is An Antagonist
What makes this character an antagonist is his desire to create a wide-spread utopia/progressive city based on his current design. Not a horribly evil desire, except that to achieve this he has to control the actions of others. He has to force this upon them. So his utopia becomes totalitarian.

Now the unique thing about this is that the result would be peaceful instead of violent. Still, having your free will--your humanity can be just as horrible or even worse than death. What is peace worth when you can't be who you are?

He was fed up with war, illness and religious intolerance. He was fed up with how progress could have improved many of those things. He wants to show the world that technology really can make man better than he really is.

So that's him in a nutshell. Now all he needs is a name.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Long time no post...

Not as long as most times, just forgot to write in the last week or so [my mind's been preoccupied].

Anywho...January is over. It was slightly productive, but not as productive as hoped. Still here's what I've done:
1. Read 3 books
2. Writing prompts [not as frequently as hoped]
3. Collected inspirational images
4. Wrote an incredibly long list of "what ifs" (for alternate plot ideas)
5. Came up with a few alternate plots

And I've learned a few things about my story...

Based on the original myth...the beginning of the myth (long before they flee the labyrinth)...Icarus' death is due to Daedalus' choices.
He was responsible for the Minotaur's existence, the labyrinth being built, the reason they were trapped inside and the method of escape. While my story is a more modern version, these facts hold true as well. The past plays a huge role and my MC will quickly learn how her father's actions deeply affected her life (at least by the end of the series).

The labyrinth and the Minotaur are as essential to this story as Icarus' fall
The more I think about it, I just don't think it will be a story based on the myths anymore if I dump those two factors. Not that I was going to, but for a little while I wondered if the first story needed to involve a labyrinth at all. But without it, the story seemed pretty paltry. So yeah...those motifs/elements not going anywhere.

I really need to define my villain, even if he/she is not in the first book.
Yeah...that good ol' villain wall again. I hit it. The first draft of my novel truly avoids the finer details of my antagonist and their motivations and I think it's pretty obvious (although I haven't read my novel in a maybe not). So I need to figure out my villains, subvillains, bosses, etc. Otherwise, I'll end up BSing during the re-write, which is not good.

I need to define my world.
I was supposed to do this during January, but it was hard when I wasn't sure where the story was going. World building can sometimes be a "chicken or the egg" scenario as your world can define your characters, but your characters can also define your world. So I put it off until now and I finally think I'm ready.

So yeah...that's all for now. Back to planning.


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