Sunday, October 28, 2012

"Rescue Me" because I'm "Losing my Mind"

Both quotations are Daughtry song titles.

How I feel about certain things comes down to two parts: how good they are functionally, like they are solid in their design.... and the other part is, obviously, made of my personal biases and how much I just melt into something that I enjoy.

Maroon 5 and Daughtry are on different sides of the spectrum if we're talking musically...
or maybe they're the same...
but I melt into how much I love both of their musical catalogs for different reasons...

with Maroon 5, its mostly Adam Levine's vocals that do it for me... I knew even before I declared myself a fan that it was something special and certainly different than what I was used to... not a lot of strong falsettos and high tenors in music these days...
and occasionally I go crazy for something musically or melodically... how certain notes sound

with Daughtry, while I find Chris Daughtry's voice carthatic to the point where I feel comfortable singing to it and sometimes go beyond it (I stick by Adam Levine's range best I can)... what really wins me over is all in the solidness of his songs... not just the beginning/middle/end, but also because of chord changes... the rhythm of the drums and the vocal delivery... all of it feels so good to me... they say sound is produced by vibration, but I feel like my inner tempo vibrates to Daughtry when it comes to my favorites...

I'm sad to say none of them are singles... well, except for "Over You" which I believe to be a perfect speciman of a song with the simplicity of the design, but also because the chorus is catchy as hell... rhythmically... I can't really explain it better than that

it's either when he's shouting at the top of his register to proclaim something or even the higher range by itself without raising the volume... that's a common ingredient in my favorites aside from the core melody... to which I say he hasn't led me wrong yet, every album has that somewhere in it...
I'm golden as long as somewhere between 3-5 songs have that where I usually dont need the rest of the album ;)

I guess the word for what I tried to describe above is "Passion"... when he make those passionate proclaimations... you kinda wanna wish more guys felt so strongly that you believe them without a second thought

I am thinking... that I have a short story that I kinda want to write...
in conjunction with two things, although I'm not sure how they are going to fit together...

the Daughtry compenent are those two songs, which I love to tie together... kinda like they are two parts of one story... one being the B-side of the other and the bridge going into the final chorus of "Rescue me"... screams to me that this is the end of the album...
it has 2 songs after that and on the bonus edition, it has 4 after that... but I usually stop after 10 songs because... don't really need much more than that... the songs afterwards are good, but they don't stimulate me quite the same way

Some songs I listen to, in general, beg to have a story behind them... something that I can personally work with...
I feel that way about a couple songs by Taylor Swift, but I'm having trouble putting together pieces for "Sparks Fly" and "Enchanted"... the latter is beyond picturesque but so far my feelings and my mind haven't coincided to put something together... I think it'll take the right experience to hash that out

Strangely enough, I have had it happen a couple times... where I either have played a song on repeat so I could actually listen to it (too much background noise) or I have it on my iPod but when it gets uploaded the first time, the glitch happens where 30 seconds in, the next song downloaded begins and I hear nothing from the other song again...
those strangely become favorites without me really knowing why

"Heavy Metal Lover" was one... once on repeat, never turned back ;)

"Losing my mind" was a song I couldn't wrap my mind around for a while. I would listen to it, hear a humming of something in my head, but the connection wasn't made for a while. I got it on my iPod... felt compelled to get it reloaded on there... and after that, it just became what it has been

It comes across as very short, but its nothing short of passionate... I get overwhelmed listening to it sometimes... at the peak of emotion, especially at the end, its like... WOW... knocks the wind out of me and I can't breathe almost to the point where I can't breathe [without tearing up a bit]

The emotionality is overwhelming, but I love Chris Daughtry's pitch at that peak... and also how he ends his notes... as in, I cannot imagine it being done any other way

in conjuction with a dream I had last night, which I already see taking on a different shape than originally shown to me...

I saw the beginning, middle and end of this song... kinda like three parts of a love story...

The first verse where he says "never thought a train going any place could have changed my life"... talks about meeting this girl on a train, its love at first sight for him and the whole time he's in the city that day, she's on his mind...

I see time passing going over the chorus...
kinda like this was a chanced meeting that he doesn't want to get away from him, or he'd seen her around but hasn't had the courage to talk to her... I'm not sure...
I see one of those cheesy montages where he's walking through an old town, kinda like the old west, but without the cowboys and period costumes... kinda modernized... but obviously its deserted like some of those sets on "Glee" where there's a song playing...  time transpires so when the last night is hit, you see its nighttime

Then I had the clever idea to make it into kind of a duet, obviously putting myself in the other role, with female vocals this time around... doing the 2nd verse and doing the chorus at night heading to a park bench thats an old conventional bus stop... doing the impassioned plea seated
Which suggests that I'm the one who's seen him around, kinda where this connects to the dream I had... whoever my counterpart is, he's one of those guys I've crushed on over the years and always feel miles away from because we're from different social circles...

The bridge features a split screen... he fades in from the left... I fade in on the right... we trade off lines... we're at our different locations, at night...

we trade off impassioned pleas at the final chorus... sing "I'm losing my mind"... where I'm getting on the bus at my stop and he's running to catch the bus that's just come through his deserted town... neither is singing "I'm losing my mind" the final time... but at the height of it, he gets on the bus, we see each other and rush into a warm embrace

about as romantic as a motion picture :-P

I can see this song playing out as how me and this guy I'm into meet... and/or possibly how we get back together in the end

It's not often where I have lividly vivid dreams... so vivid where my mind is a ready participant or I can actually feel things from a multitude of angles...

my desire to see "Perks of Being a Wallflower" have rubbed off here, obviously... because in spots, I saw myself in Charlie's (Logan Lerman) shoes... where being lonely terrifies me to the point of pertification... and Sam (Emma Watson) and Patrick (Ezra Miller) are my closest friends...
I can't really distinguish who my BFF was... whether she looked like Emma Watson or not, I'm not sure... but what was clear was him...
my mind said Phillip Phillips, although I couldn't quite imagine why
my eyes said he kinda like Aaron Fisher, "Hero#1" who recently did a piece on 20/20 and released a book
my heart said it was the last guy I had a crush, that I thought be the "best friend" I would fall in love with and marry

Until I realized there was a giant plothole in my dream, the title woulda been "Baby Daddy"...
based all around the fact that, based on the relationship I have with this guy, there is no way that statement can be true... and I really don't see it coming about any other way...
The whole dream alluded to harboring this secret and finding the courage to tell him the truth...  never mind the fact I have trouble stringing a sentence together around him...

The dream kinda felt like being in a movie that was currently running... the beginning was gone so I don't know how I got "knocked up" in the dream...
there was a bit of a middle that worked on establishing the relationship between me and these two people

Alluding to this was one scene where we went out to dinner, there was a glass of red wine at my seat, that I proceeded to pour on the table in a steady stream... and I mopped up with a napkin. The looks penetrated my skull but I didn't watch their expressions... meanwhile my mind outside of the dream is asking me from the POV of reality "why didn't I just ask for a soda or something instead?"
appearances change quite a bit in another scene where my mind (outside the dream) knows I have the appearance here of Mae Whitman as she appears in "Parenthood" (which I never saw, only previews of it), but blonde... and I tell my mom when I run into her about what's going on and I think the dream ends with me finally telling him the truth... and its all good...
obviously we weren't together or it wouldn't have been this whole dilemma

Despite where my mind has been for some previous story ideas, I don't see sex being a part of this story any place... plus the obvious relationship between me and him doesn't indicate that to be a believable possibility (and I don't think I want to bring immaculate conception into a college setting... fiction is about making stuff up but you gotta at least stay within bounds of reality)

So the "Knocked up"/Baby Daddy storyline will become that combination of Daughtry song titles... in that its one of those stories about what you would do if you knew you only had a short time to live...

I don't know what kind yet, but my character's condition will be terminal illness...
the setting is a college campus somewhere in NYC. I live in the dorms while he shares an apartment with his sister, who is my BFF...

It's one of those cases I know too well... I've harbored feelings for this guy for a long time and I'm always finding reasons not to tell him... all while not knowing that he feels the same way about me... that's what the scenes I saw in the dream kinda told me where he wasn't just generous, but he was warm, kind and just about everything you could ask for in another person.

Two scenes stand out where he kinda reads my mind and what I want is compassion from him and to either feel important or included in his plans

I'm meeting up with the two of them. I'm catching up with my BFF, while aware that he's in the vicinity. A couple of times, while drowning out the conversation a bit, I'm thinking about saying something to him. I have this picture in my head of him hanging me from behind.
Then out of the blue, he approaches me, opens up his arms and I rush into them. There was such an unbelievable warmth there I couldn't believe it transcended the actual dream... that's only happened maybe a couple of times in my life...

we're talking about later, apparently the plan is to go back to his place. I ask where it is and he says its D4 on some street like Sussex or something random, but I get that its a street in the city, not on campus... and I can't put the words together that I can't get there because I don't have a car or way of getting there. But I also don't want to be without either of them for the whole night so I find myself on the verge of a meltdown, not unlike one Charlie had in the "Wallflower" book when Sam and Patrick were away for a holiday or something and he hit the bottom of his loneliness, couldn't contain it...
like in the previous scene, my ankles are buckling, but here I fall to them just into a deserted street... He then offers that I come to dinner with them

I thought about not including it, but the wine scene seemed too significant in the dream, how it was kind of a slow-motion thing, the wine pouring out...
maybe my character is dying of terminal liver or pancreatic cancer... therefore I can't drink

Things like that...

so the whole short story is agonizing over the idea of telling him that I love him before I die and its too late to do so... but of course the nervouness was unfounded cuz I felt the same way...
I'll see if I can string that together within the next couple days.
In the meantime, I'm about done working out my numbers system for ranking my top 101 movies

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Overcoming a Pitfall with Rewrites

When I started writing for my warrior's tale, it was a random occurence. An idea popped into my head that I wanted to explore for myself. Plus it had been a while since I wrote that type of story. About a protagonist overcoming a foe and I'm betting there's something extraordinary brewing. In other words, this is something that would only occur in fiction.

After getting down my prologue, I got a few lines of dialogue. I established that my protagonist, Cassandra, was injured in this battle so badly that she almost died. If that wasn't enough, her persistence to righ the wrong is getting in the way of that. So I decided that she needed to be placed in a medically-induced coma.
When I was writing from her POV, I didn't worry too much about creating a whole story. That's kind of what this exercise has been about. I'd added a few sharp images that came to mind in a steady stream of consciousness. Perhaps in the long run, what I wrote in that perspective might work, given her lethargic, ailing state.

A couple of long weeks passed. I wrote a couple of bits here and there, all in the same place. I take my neighbor's dog outside in the middle of her workday and I spend about an hour with him in the house. I've used that time to read, but also write if something on my iPod generated some great imagery.

I figure that if I keep writing in the same place and it's routine enough, I can get somewhere with this.

I thought that maybe I could use this coma as a time to do a little background. All of it was from her perspective, this time in complete, complex sentences.
I realized today that there was so much coming out of my head, in so many directions, that this is merely going to be a draft.
Revision is my greatest enemy and one pitfall I've happened into frequently as of late is I start writing things from that stream of consciousness. And it is rarely focused. What I started doing after a while is adding more to the persona. Starting to give something of a backstory for her. I'd been thinking that she's sounding more like Soi Fon in her relationship with the princess. But there are some tiny differences here and there. I haven't fully fleshed out what they are.

What I have done is that I think I might have a name for my princess.
"Snow" was her codename, going from the wheelhouse of Sode No Shirayuki, who I could describe as a snow princess. I'm sure a few might think it's too similiar to Snow White, who has gotten a helluva makeover recently... between Ginnifer Goodwin in "Once upon a time," Lily Collins in "Mirror Mirror" and Kristen Stewart in "Snow White & The Huntsman"...

But I started to think about the name "Kaname." It's another name from Bleach and it is actually the first name of one of three defected Soul Reaper captains. Kaname Tosen embodies the strong silent type persona, although I find myself irked in a few occasions when I look at the guy. Is he blind or something? What's with the eye cover he always has on?

Whenever I see the opening credits (per this recent season, which has probably been going on for 3-4 months now), I think in terms of his first name rather than last... almost forgetting his full name :shrug:

Anyway, I just looked it up to see if it'd be okay for a girl's name. Someone on Yahoo answers apparently was thinking the same thing because she asked if it'd work as her name for her Japanese class. She got the name from the series "Full Metal Panic"... which I haven't seen, but I heard its good

Supposedly for a girl, "Kaname" means gorgeous bud or blossom. I think it could work.
(Yeah, it's pretty evident in some of my work how crazy I am for Japanese names... it sucks my college didn't offer Japanese, I would have been interested in learning some, if only to impress the socks off a lot of people)

Yuki is "snow" in Japanese... and apparently the full name Sode No Shirayuki means sleeved white snow or falling white snow
It doesn't give me that same fuzzy feeling, so I think I will keep "Snow" in there as is.

I wrote an instance where Cassandra says how Kaname has tried to talk her into dropping the formalities, but she can't bring it in herself to do so. Her explanation was something pretty vague and somewhat ridiculous... like nobody really talks like this in real life. She said that proper conduct is what separates people from animals and goes on to refer to the people in her neighbor as animals.

Some more borrowing going on... Rukia and Renji grew up in the Rukan District, which is like the Soul Society slums, the worst neighborhood.

Today, I went into the bit about formalities and I started writing a few things about coming from this rough neighborhood where she suffered through a lot of abuse... most I believe was physical, maybe because something about her separates her and makes her out to be different than everyone else. She's trained herself to be stronger and stealthier so she can avoid those circumstances.
Then I started to add a little bit about how Princess Kaname sent out a decree that she wanted warriors to do her bidding in different areas of the region, dealing with conflicts and disputes and carrying out her orders. I'm not quite sure yet why this sudden change of heart when she already has some 250 bodyguards, who Cassandra notes for their brawn rather than their intelligence (noting that whenever "Rasputian" comes for a social call, he gets by them and automatically knows where they are despite the palace being so large... in the altercation she figures that magic "a forbidden dark art" is the reason behind his strength).

She and Ren (who not only looked out for her on a few occasions but they are the only other ones they have in their neighborhood) trained for months to even be considered for this program where you get trained in a series of combat as well as recognizing poisons and antidotes... which suggests that there have been assassination attempts or suggestions that they are not too far away... with unrest in the region and such).
Somehow, I see her as being the one that Princess Kaname specifically picks to be her personal protector... and there's a reason for that that I haven't quite figured out yet.

Anyway, I got through all this, realized I was getting out of order and decided... I could explain all of this from Cassandra's side of things as something of an outline to work with, but when I do this for real, I'll use the backstory and turn it into a different piece of material.

I've gotten a few emails already mentioning workshops and tips for the annual event of NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month... which translates to writing 50,000 words in 30 days and the trick is finishing.
I wonder if it would be cheating if I worked on this story for it specifically even though I already have material kinda started.

One of these years, I think I'd like to try it out. Right now, I think I have too many ideas going on that I can't drop everything to do a brand new one... but I'm too far alone everywhere else where I'm not quite ready yet.
I figured that I'd do this entry to kinda remind myself where I am with this at the moment.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Animé Inspirations/Influences

Since the very beginning of my writing "career," if you wanna call it that... I wouldn't define it as such until I've either secured an agent that will stick with my work no matter or I've published something on Amazon... both of which are currently in progress

When I was 13 and recouping from back surgery, writing helped me get away from things. By this point, there wasn't pain to speak of, by December, I was over most of it. But I had a dream, filled in the blanks and started a series of Pokémon fanfiction as my own way of wish-fulfillment.
If something was on my mind, good or bad, I put it in there and dealt with it. Of course I was living in my own little fantasy world, so there weren't a lot of real-life implications. It did help me blow off some steam... I'll leave it like that.

A lot of things I've written came from the genre or developed from it or otherwise influenced.
Sailor Moon worked its way into my early work with its talk of reincarnation and spell-casting.
Miyazaki's "Spirited Away," as I must have said a million times on this blog already... was the final puzzle piece that turned into Jonas's story. Part of me will always secretly know that it was something of a fanfiction of the movie that had a lot of different sources mixed together. Fanfiction in that Nina was a newcomer, like the beginning of the movie before the spirit world comes into place, I derived from that for my starting point. And the rest was answering the question: if Chihiro and Haku met again in her new life, how would it go down?

Of course Jonas blossomed into his own character that was the combination of a dozen things. Haku was one. There was a little of myself there, maybe a lot more than most characters I wrote about early on. A little Harry Potter, I guess, with the backstory that Jonas grew up without his parents... who died under mysterious circumstances. Although I still don't entirely buy that. And there was a little of Darien from Sailor Moon... when I tried to come up with a sketch of what he would look like, we have that. Jonas has more going for him than just being a prince that came from Earth, paired with Princess Serena of the Moon Kingdom.

One story I recently took back from someone who tried to make profit off it on Amazon... started as an InuYasha fanfiction, but I liked my character too much to let her stay in that capacity.
Ironic that I wanted her to move into her own element, her own world so I didn't completely lose her... but at the same time, she dies at the end of the story.

Bleach, I love... and still do, even though it has gotten so convoluted and side-tracked by different story arcs and such... you get the feeling that it's never going to end. Luckily, word is that it has ended in Japan somewhere around 340+ ep's. I think in America, we're up to 270+... so still have a ways to go yet.
I really do hope that the series ends with Aizen getting defeated once and for all. I am so sick of this guy sending all his minions to do his dirty work for him (not quite as bad as Naraku from InuYasha, mind you... I'm really hoping that the animé gets picked up again and the rest of the manga can be translated for us fans to see)... but Aizen has aspirations of universal domination. Not just world domination, universal... like the Earth and the Soul Society realm and beyond

The most recent side-tracking arc... soul reapers' swords are called Zanpakto and they work together in this symbiotic unit. Each Zanpakto has a spirit living in it with its own name and set of powers.
A character Muramasa emerged and cast a spell to free all Zanpakto spirits from their swords and brainwash them to act out against their soul reapers. I started into it, wishing it was a really quick thing that came and went... it lasted for at least 5-6 MONTHS... geesh, I was thinking we'd never get back to the main story arc... and we're still kinda there... hopefully we'll stick it out until Aizen is defeated... then the rest can be filler for all I care :-P

It got a little easier to take on when the Zanpakto were waking up and once again allied with their soul reaper partners... then I really started to like a bunch of the characters...
it was the same with a bunch of the soul reapers. When you first meet them, you kinda see them as enemies because they're trying to keep Ichigo and his friends from achieving their objective... saving Rukia from her execution... after they started to kinda accept Ichigo and the others as allies, I felt freer to get to know them a bit more.

So taking all these Zanpakto into account.. the main ones as well as the ones that defected and became evil spirits (as their soul reapers were killed in action)...
the total cast of characters for Bleach has to be around 110-120.

That's a lot of characters to keep track of.

Thanks to anyone still with me at this point... not that I usually write these with an audience in mind...

I've been thinking about influences from Bleach in particular... that might work their way into my "Warrior's Tale"... the unofficial name... Cassandra has a few more dimensions than that, but she does have the heart and soul of a warrior. Make no mistake.

I've been playing around with a few influences... characters in animé I want to channel into my work, between how they look to one aspect of their personality that I love...

For my I.F... invincible foe, there are a few things I'd been putting together as far as his desire goes, his goal... why is he so bad, how did he get that way... etc, etc.

I had this vision of Rasputian in the historically inaccurate Don Bluth version of Anastasia. At one time, one of my favorite movies.
In the beginning of the film, the Romonov family is having a celebration of some kind. Rasputian arrives in midst of the action and curses the entire family. Don't remember exactly why... I think it was because he was banished or something like that... there's more to it than Maleficient in "Sleeping Beauty"... she was pissed because she didn't get invited to this big royal ball... I'm sure there's more to her character than simply that motivation.

After looking it up, he was banished for treason and sold his soul to the devil to get revenge.

It's a few more little, but I think for the moment, I.F. will be given the code-name "Rasputian"... not entirely sure if that's the name I'm going to sign off on, but here's the scenario I have in mind.

Cassandra is enlisted as part of the princess's royal guard. While she's learning about what life is like at the palace, getting to know the princess on a personal life... they develop something of a special bond... there are a number of years where "Rasputian" makes "house-calls"... he shows up at the palace... either asking for something that can't be granted or he's vowing revenge.

Not sure over what just yet... I'm thinking it's because her family trumped his, which used to be in power and now he could be the only member left of his bloodline... he only becomes into power when he goes into black magic or some sort of magic with which he only brings ruin.
The scenario I have in mind, or rather just came into it... the princess is run out of the kingdom by his magic and Cassandra comes with her as her primary source of protection

Something happens along the way that's connected to Cassandra's childhood friend Ren... the princess is kidnapped and/or presumed dead. Cassandra nearly dies avowing her revenge on "Rasputian"

Because I don't see a lot happening with Cassandra now being put into a long-term herbally induced coma... each time I think about waking her up some undetermined amount of time later... she's the way she was in the first part I wrote after the prologue... fuming with anger and hatred, two things that are counterproductive to her healing process... hence the long-term coma...

I was talking to a friend about how they use flashbacks in some movies to tell stories. Like Slumdog Millionaire was a good example of this...
you have the main storyline with our hero getting interrogated by the people running the game show because "You're poor, you can't possibly know all these answers so you must be cheating"... he tells his life's story through flashbacks, each of which references a question he knew the answer to.

It was a very good 50/50 exchange...

In the past, I've worked with reincarnation and lengthy prologues. Both don't go off quite that well.

This time, I might do something a little different. My plan with Cassandra is, while she's in this coma, the next couple scenes are flashbacks from what her duty was serving the princess, helping to give exposition to the overall plot... but I want to make it so neither part becomes more interesting than the other... so that one is plain boring and you forget all about it, or you want to leave one to experience the other

That's where a lot of movies find fault, telling stories via flashbacks... you forget all about the present or better yet, one aspect bores you to death where you can't wait to get away from it

When I was starting this entry, I had another idea, but I'm not entirely sure if I want to follow through with it.
Of course the princess is gorgeous... she's a true lady, delicate, beautiful, very pleasant and gentle, but she does know when to be serious... not that she's a complete flake either.

Back to Bleach, there are a bunch of characters I'm thinking of bringing into it in whatever capacity that needs to be filled.

Rukia's Zanpakto, Sode No Shirayuki, is said to be the most beautiful of the Zanpakto. She's something of an ice goddess.

Also not to be underestimated... although I still find myself questioning Rukia's strength as a Soul Reaper.
It always seems like she's matched up against difficult foes that she is unable to overcome on her own.

I had this idea that a) the princess, despite popular belief, isn't dead and b) she has a lot of power and could handle herself just fine... so a lot of what Cassandra has done seems to be all for a rouse...
that, plus the fact she's been feigning her death this whole time... that's something unforgivable to Cassandra

The bond between them, I'm deriving a little bit from a series of flashbacks on Bleach.
In the story arc with the rescue mission for Rukia, there's a battle between Captain of squad 2, and leader of the stealth force (they have the speed and capabilities of ninjas), Soi Fon and Yoruichi

From what I gathered from the flashbacks, Yoruichi held the position Soi Fon does now. Soi Fon was her personal guard. She was all serious and Yoruichi told her not to take things so seriously. At one point, Yoruichi disappeared and never came back... she went somewhere and Soi Fon was angry because she couldn't come along.

Based on what else has transpired throughout the series, I might have an idea as to why Yoruichi left. Had something to with Keisuke Urahara (a former captain) getting banished from the Soul Society and defected to Earth...
another long story...

oh wow... I guess I kinda forget the fact Yoruichi was a princess of one of the royal families, but she chose another route aside from just the royal succession.
Soi Fon became a bodyguard as well as an apprentice.

It'd be a really wicked twist, wouldn't it? The princess being alive and as able-bodied as Yoruichi and Sode No Shirayuki

hmmm yoruichi shes awsome

I definitely see the elegence of Sode No Shirayuki, with the purity of her white kimono. But something of a kindness in Yoruichi.

As for Cassandra, here are the sources I'll be deriving from to inspire me:

While I was doing my search, I knew there was someone else I had to add to the list. I had mentioned in passing that there was a character from the Avatar series, whose appearance came to mind when I was conceptualizing Cassandra. They're not going to be exactly the same. I don't know enough about Mai (for some odd reason its pronounced "May" in the series... when it's "My" in every other animé I know) to go beyond appearances. I just know that she and Zuko were an item until he left town without telling her. Not the best way to break up with someone, lol... especially when she can kick this much butt while any "bending"

Soi Fon

She takes her position extremely seriously, very disciplined. Doesn't have a lot of patience for things that get in her way (one of these things happens to be her lieutenant, who can somtimes be a bit of a coward).

Cassandra has her drive, for sure, but I don't think she's nearly as hardcore about what she does. And that's saying a lot. There's a lot to be said about how strongly you want to play/write certain characters. How far is too far in any given direction?
It's really tricky, but I'm sure I'll figure out a balance at some point.


The majority of the influence here is going to be focused on her relationship with childhood friend, Ren.
She has a similiar no-BS attitude, but not nearly as hardcore as Soi Fon.
I'm sure I'll channel a little of both characters, taking the best out of both for this particular storyline.

and just for a little fun and because I'm kinda on a role. Although I won't be making any connections from a physical standpoint (rather his relationship with Rukia), I'll add a picture of Renji, whose personality will serve to bring further inspiration to the character of Ren... hence, the similiar names

I see Ren being on the other side of the coin opposed to Cassandra. He is about not taking things quite so seriously all the time, but when the chips are down, he knows when it isn't a good time for being laid back.

That's all I have to go on at the moment, really... a few key relationships... but I need to figure out my backstory, the relationship between Cassandra and the princess... I need a name for her, if only in "Rasputian" for my villian

Friday, October 12, 2012

"Heavy Metal Lover" makes for a vivid imaginary

Sometimes it's best not to question where inspiration comes from... but this is one of those cases where I'm overly grateful.

Amidst Nelly Furtado's "Loose" album, there've been a handful of others tracks I'd been listening to help me put some things together for "Te Busque."

[awesome picture, the only thing this post was missing ;) ]

Considering the female empowerment theme that the story has, or at least I'm trying to make it about that, rather than the other way around... Lady Gaga's been a huge part of this playlist I'd been working through to inspire different scenes.
I'd tried to make it a fine line, that everything Furtado is Talia's main storyline... or vice versa... but there have been a few tracks from Gaga (aka Mother Monster) that have been creeping in.

Alejandro is an easy choice because the song felt like a great send-off for one of the characters and for the hell of it, I'll give him the same name.
But I'd been considering over and over about how "dark" I want Alejandro to be... I'm almost to the point where I really don't want to make him a villain at all... that he's just a friend that "benefits" from Talia's line of work. Of course he encourages it and they work together with this business that she kinda started with the Montiel Brothers

I'm starting to think that maybe Alejandro came into the business because one of the brothers died and his dying wish was that he teach him the ropes of what he now calls "the family business"... even though they'd only been in it for a short time, I'm thinking a couple years.
There is something of a "mobster" mentality there and I kinda see Italian New Yorker/"Soprano" types playing these guys
and to be fair, I got the name Montiel from Dito Montiel, whose life was brought to life in the film "A Guide to Recognizing your Saints" based on his autobiography/memoir... I wouldn't count it among my favorite Downey films because it's a little dramatic, he doesn't have a huge presence in it and when he is in it, most of the acting is non-verbal. Really great non-verbal acting for sure, but it was like his work in "The Soloist"... it was hard to think of it as him playing a role rather an reinactment of something that really happened... you see less of him in it...

That's my Downey side-track for the day...

Based on the themes of a lot of Gaga's work, the gears in my head started turning with a bunch of them. Right now, I have a bunch of the songs in pairs and sometimes these pairs include songs by multiple artists

One example is this one song from the Furtado album that's all in Spanish, No Hay Iqual... Choreography came to mind the first time I heard it for the opening part of the song. Then there's a Green Day track that has me thinking the same choreography because it has the same count and amount of measures in the opening of their song and the title fit right into the piece.

"No Hay Iqual" is all about sensuality, sexuality and desire... so I can easily see it being your run of the mill performance with Talia front and center with her girls Scarlet and Vanessa backing her up. Something of a tribal dance is what I'm thinking.
I imagine this as her 2nd encounter with the new guy in town, Juan Paulo, or for the ease of my typing, J.P. ...he sees her on stage, once again enamoured by her beauty. She sees that he came and she ducks out on him.
Maybe this is the point where she tells him what she really does for a living, or he at least finds out about it. "Extraordinary Girl" is about a girl who can't seem to escape her fate and he wants to help her do so.

I've started to pair Karmin's track "Hello" with "Heavy Metal Lover" for similar reasons... the choreography... like I see some of the same movements going on during the chorus of both tracks...
although they don't have much in common thematically.

Now for the Gaga-inspired combinations:

in the 3rd act, Emilia goes on to dance during a VIP night despite Talia's wishes. She gets picked by one particular nasty customer to where the encounter escalates to attempted rape. J.P. saves her life and he takes her to Talia, despite the fact she and him aren't speaking at this point. Alejandro stops by and is horrified that he encouraged Emilia to dance that night. His words to her were that Talia was being overprotective and she can't always be so. She admits that she was wrong to hold her back and that she should have been there to at least support her.
Somewhere along the way, its revealed that Amber was the one behind everything... to fracture ties between Talia and Alejandro because she secretly wants him all to herself.

so as a show for Amber's benefit:
Emilia performs "Monster" to bring to life what happened her that night, but as a way of stepping away from it and becoming stronger.
Then Talia performs "Alejandro" to make it seem like the two of them have "broken up" despite the fact they were never officially a couple

That's a huge part of the final part of the story.

I'd played around with "Dancing in the Dark" and "I like it rough"
earlier, I was wondering if I want to move that combination from the first act to the final act... that it wasn't about Talia, but about Amber

"baby likes to dance in the dark, but when he's looking she falls apart."
the song is about being uncomfortable in the bedroom unless its in total darkness... and perhaps a fear of sex itself because it brings out a lot of vulnerability in people...
images have come to mind before about a montage of Talia bedding her clients, but when nobody's around, she torn up about how she makes a living... most of the time she's strong and comfortable about it, but deep down, she wishes she had a better path to pursue.

"I like it rough" kinda speaks for itself... the other side of the coin... kinda says "don't pity me, this is the way I like to do things and that's that"

It's funny how I've written previously that Scarlet and Vanessa are Talia's besties and closest cohorts and quote "Amber and Scarlet are mentioned in passing, but only in a couple of scenes"...
they really get to spread their wings in the 3rd act, which may be the first time I really write about the shows they do.

Which brings up my final Gaga-inspired combination:

Everyone has their own specific number that they do on their VIP nights. This is where my affection for the film "Sucker Punch" comes in.
According to Ruby, their numbers are personally tailored to bring to life past experiences... and they either show things as they are, personificiation or they show how things change and move on from that....

[all three tracks are from the "Born this way" album]

Emilia opens "Government Hooker"... which I can see having similiar choreography to group number "Love Game"... except its a little more erotic and provocative... it's a little rusty and unrefined compared to the other two, but they'd been doing their numbers for at least 3 years

Amber, who I can see being portrayed by someone like Jamie Chung (who played "Amber" in "Sucker Punch") or Naya Rivera (Santana from "Glee")...
does "Bad Kids"

she's obviously playing the bad girl here, channeling Santana for sure... wanting to be the center of attention... somewhat ironic considering Gaga wrote it for her little monsters as her way of saying that its okay for them not to be normal, brace your weirdness and all that...
but Amber comes off as a princess to be revered... a showman that dismisses the intensity of her subject matter, makes it less than what it is...

I swear I must have a list of 20+ songs I'd played on heavy rotation since I'd been putting this together... a bunch from "Born this way" obviously... at least 5 tracks from the Nelly Furtado album... Love Game, I like it rough ("The Fame"), Alejandro, Monster, Dance in the Dark ("The Fame Monster"), G-Spot & Sex Shooter (both written by Prince)...

I didn't know what to make of "Heavy Metal Lover" the first time I heard it... there was a lot of autotone in it, so I didn't know if I took it seriously at first... I think my unexplainable love for it came from one time where I couldn't hear it too well so I put it on repeat... from there, always been a huge fan

if you listen to the lyrics, they're extremely provocative and strongly suggest that an orgy is about to happen...
listening to it today, it was like everything in my head lit up and images started to come in attention to the choreography I have set for the chorus...
I see exotic red lights that flash in time with the beat and after a certain point, they stop flashing and just grow and diminish in intensity... if it was a more upscale place, there'd be lasers... but I see those red lights. I see Ruby wearing the "hooker" uniform Rocket (Jena Malone) wore in "Sucker Punch"... some red, but mainly the top has some black leather and she's wearing these black stockings...

Her performance is extremely sexy, hot and sensual... as time in the song passes, the girls start to band together on stage where there's a lot of physical contact almost to the point they're in a lip-lock... oddly, the racist thing I've come up with to date with any of these performance numbers and Talia isn't even at the helm of it.

My imagination went on overdrive as I drew on the similarities and differences between Ruby and Amber... they're similar in their backgrounds, but took on different sides of it... and the two can't stand each other, which is why they only perform one night together...

I see Ruby and Scarlet (twin sisters, btw) having a similiar relationship as Sweet Pea and Rocket do in "Sucker Punch"... sisters that are super close... Rocket ran away from home and ended up at the asylum... Sweet Pea followed to keep an eye on her, but unlike Rocket, she got along with their parents, so she really didn't need to leave

I also see a little bit of "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" being thrown in there too... in a very minimal way...
Harmony Faith Lane and her sister Jenna were living in unpleasant circumstances somewhat glossed over in its introduction... Jenna was repeatedly molested by their father, Harmony got her into foster care before she left for Hollywood to become an actress...
part of the storyline comes in that Jenna ended up dead and Harmony wanted to prove it was a homicide rather than a suicide...
but unfortunately it was a suicide...

a little of that is figuring into my head a bit with this... Harmony made a comment after finding her sister dead was that she never forgave her for leaving her...
Ruby & Scarlet lived in similiar circumstances, both were abused by their father. So they planned to run away. When they try, Scarlet gets away and promises Ruby that she'll come back for her... 
she never did... but a couple years later, Ruby turns up at the venue where all the girls work and perform...

Ruby insists that Scarlet doesn't need to blame herself for not coming back and that she's okay with how things turned out.
Yes, that is demented, that she was okay with the abuse and molestation and all that... but she takes strength from the fact she survived it while bringing her past to life on stage...

Amber, meanwhile, was in a group home where "you name it" happened on a frequent basis... and in fact, what she went through is even worse than what Talia went through... but what's worse, really... the actual abuse or being taken advantage of and ultimately being made a fool... from a psychological standpoint, what Talia went through was pretty F'd up too...

I wrote that Amber left the group home when she was 18, took a job as a waitress at the venue... Sirens' Cove or whatever I wanna call, still haven't figured that out... and after a couple years of watching Talia getting all that attention on stage, she wanted a piece of the action. Even though she spent a couple years denouncing her past and trying to make a clean break from it... old habits die hard, I guess, especially when there was a point her teen years where she felt like she was heralded as a princess... a term that Talia absolutely hates and will royally flip out on anyone who dares to call her that

Amber is sadistic in that she glosses over a few things in her dances, but very deep down, she's hiding some heavy stuff darkness

also noted that Ruby is the most candid of all the girls... she told Emilia about her past and how she chooses to view it in her dancing...
the case often is that the girls don't ask about each other's pasts and volunteering information is the only way they learn anything.

Ultimately I think that Talia doesn't want Emilia involved in the business because she doesn't have a past that haunts her like everyone else. There's no need to subject herself to that if she hadn't already lived through it... when things like that happen, it changes you and there's no going back to how things were before.

And the more I talk about this story, the more demented it sounds... girls choosing to sell their bodies for sex because it's all they'd been taught how to do things... not all hookers and prostitutes come from that nor do they use it for these particular reasons...

I know next to nothing about all the above, but it doesn't stop me from having huge bursts of imagination when I listen to music... that had to be one of the coolest things I've ever experienced...
Makes me kinda wonder if I'll ever get around to writing the actual story rather than going into all these impromptu brainstorming sessions