Sunday, January 26, 2014

Te Busque- Carmen/Amber's sub-plot with Scarlet & Ruby

I can't say for sure that my backstories will make it in the actual book... relying too much on dialogue and sometimes rambling on for ages... but I've made substantial progress this week.
This also included the first chapter I ever wrote for the story, something I thought I was ages away from, but the vision I had was so strong that I couldn't resist.

The inspiration that got the ball rolling was "Lace and Leather," a track from Britney Spear's "Circus" album.
Talia is campaigning for Amber to become more of a team player, demanding she start including the other VIPs in her routines before she can start working with Emilia, something she really wants to do.
...and to be on the safe side, I jotted down a bunch of notes of things to keep in mind for the future, so it'll be able to tie into the rest of the story better.

I don't have the room in my notebooks to do the same for the backstories, so that's why I'm doing this entry.

For starters, I wrote the chapter, which includes Amber dancing with Vanessa, the two of them having dinner out afterwards and Vanessa discovering that Amber is Carmen... and that backstory is briefly addressed as a teaser for later.
After that, I wrote a scene with them having lunch years earlier, explaining why Vanessa's having a sense of deja vu. They're at the same restaurant, having the same food, wearing stilettos (her suspicions are initially raised because the shoes had been in the back of her closet for years, Scarlet and Talia hadn't even seen them). At this previous lunch, Vanessa is trying to convince Amber (then known as Carmen) to give Talia's new direction a chance and saying how much Scarlet misses her.

So I continued to work on the sub-plot involving Carmen and what led to her leaving the bar with Ruby's arrival.

The back-drop is that Talia is holding auditions for lead dancers. The morning of, Michel and Misha get laid off because the dancers will double as waitresses when they're not starring in routines. Plus they can only afford to pay a small amount of people with the bar being in dire straits.
At least that's the story they get.

Carmen shows up with them for her audition dance, which will be set to "Just Dance" by Lady Gaga. Everything they taught her about cha-cha and samba will be in it.
Alejandro, also judging (and will stay on as the main bartender cuz he's the nephew of the owners), is extremely impressed because this is the first time he'd seen her dance. Talia, on the other hand, is less enthused, saying that she need to learn how to lose herself in the music because to her, it looks like she's doing a bunch of steps. Also, she delivers the blow that Michel and Misha can't even stay on as dancers because she wants an all-female cast.

Ruby shows up amidst this chaos with two of her fellow strippers, saying they heard about the auditions and want to expand their resumes beyond stripping. She takes center stage with her friends as back-up and they improvise their best pole-dancing routine (minus the poles) to "Love Game" or as Ruby puts it "the next track on the album."
I need to work on what that routine would look like without the poles. I mean, it'd be too coincidental if the poles were there on stage already.

The big reveal happens after the routine (because it'd be a little too unfair to Carmen if they saw the routine after learning who Ruby was).
Ruby and her friends are dressed very similarly to Rocket in "Sucker Punch", simple corsets and stockings. While Talia makes her decision, Carmen returns home to let everything sink in. She's unbelievably happy for Scarlet getting her sister back, but she's concerned about the image she's perpetuating. This is made worse when Ruby seeks her out to thank her for looking out for her sister, divulging the fact that she was never treated as badly by their father as Scarlet was.... 

Carmen tries to convince her to come forward with that secret because it could make things worse further down the road. Ruby goes from never wanting to tell her to taking that into consideration.

Inevitably, Ruby is given the position. Talia unveils her plan for the bar to become a club where the dancers perform routines ranging from pole dancing to burlesque to interpretative to Latin and to help boost business and gain more capital to save it (later on, expand it), they rent themselves to clients for the night... these clients are wealthy friends of the Montiels, who will not only help with the financing, but they'll spread word of mouth in exchange for the rented "VIP treatment"... so it's kinda like an escort service.

Carmen sees no other choice but to walk out. Despite the fact she can stay on a waitress and back-up dancer, she doesn't want to associate with this type of behavior. According to her, "none of you have any problem selling your bodies for money even after going through deep shit to get to this point.... how can any of you believe that's ok?"
She looks across the room at Talia, Scarlet and Ruby, taking care not to single any of them out. But after their previous conversation, Ruby comes clean to Scarlet about their father's treatment of them. In turn, Scarlet goes more into the hell she experienced after her escape, bringing her around to remember how Carmen was there for her and she wouldn't have survived the ordeal without her.

The chapter ends with the two of them going back to Carmen's apartment to convince her to come back... but she's already gone. Ruby asks if they can take over the lease under the pretense Carmen might come back for something she left behind... Scarlet knows that's a sham, but appreciates the enthusiasm.

Not all of the pieces fit together, necessarily, but in the style I'm using in my composition notebooks, I'm doing what I can to make sure everything airs out... letting the pieces sort themselves out later.

I got to the end of that part and I felt terrible. Probably because I felt Scarlet's sense of loss. All the what-if's and things she could have done to convince Carmen to stay, how she could have been a better friend. No matter the scenario, her opposition to the sex industry would have compelled her to leave.
Ultimately, her story arc will lead her to become the very thing she despises because she can't abandon her desire for Alejandro and nobody has treated her better than him and the Montiels. What does convince her to come back... will be the back-drop for the scene after Nelly Furtado's "ShowTime".

Right now I'm hoping that my logic is sound because my gut is telling me that I'm very close to starting the actual story... now that I have a better grasp of backstories and motivations. There are still a couple questions left to answer and I need to hone in on the visual content when it comes to my playlist.
I'd been planning on rewatching some of my favorite Paso Dablo routines because that'll be Scarlet and Ruby's department for when they're exploiting their identicality.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

What made Inuyasha an important archetype?

The only reason I watch Adult Swim anymore is to keep up with Bleach... within the year, even that part of my routine will be gone.

College was the first time I gave that block of animation on Cartoon Network a chance. I discovered Inuyasha along with FullMetal Alchemist (both series), Kekkaishi and Bleach...
good times...

Every now and then when I watch on Saturday night, they'll show clips of the various shows featured on the block. Whenever I see any image of Inuyasha, something inside me always reacts.
I still very much adore him and hope to find the strength and decisiveness to revamp my fanfiction turned original work inspired by him into something I can publish.

Sadly, that's a time that just seems too far away. Like Jonas, never seeing the light of day beyond my laptop. It's a combination of not having the will power and the brain power to keep going. Finding the pieces I need to fix to make it one more marketable and the other more my own creation.

When it comes to my sources of inspiration over the years, I tend to fall in love pretty easily. Within a few episodes, chapters or whatever, I know I'm in for the long haul.

Inuyasha took a little while longer. Of course, I enjoyed the storyline, that good old conflict between good and evil, the colorful cast and enchantment of the world.
But I didn't get that gut feeling until some time later. I'm not sure which episode set it off... usually I can pinpoint these things more precisely.

More or less, I found him particularly fascinating/interesting because he's not your typical leading man. Heck, he's more an anti-hero than a hero... earlier in the series, he could be seen a bad guy, but not the most devious by any means.
Up until that point, my male protagonists have been straight-forward or they have an air of mystery to them.

Inuyasha has that air of mystery too, but unlike the other guys, you had to get to know him before finding he was good deep down. I guess you could call that the "tough-guy archetype," acting tough to cover up emotional insecurities. Not an entirely new concept by any means, but the first time I fell for that archetype in a romantic sense.
Not that I see myself getting in that position in real life :-P

Somehow, it's just important to me that I explore that fully in my work in some capacity.
Romance, to me, is self-sacrifice, putting another's happiness and well-being over your own. Being there for another person through the good and bad. Helping them find themselves whether or not they know they're lost. Bringing out the best in them.

Jonas's story had quite a bit of the self-sacrifice in it as well. Nina wanted to do it for Jonas and Jonas wanted to do it because he wanted his world to be rid of evil... because as the reincarnation of an angel, it's in his makeup.

My Inuyasha fanfiction gave me the chance to do the same thing... but with my character who sacrifices herself for his happiness, since his existence saved her life.
And to top it all off, his safeguards came down in her passing. Their own relationship was kinda about that too. He saw her as an equal. She tested his patience on a number of occasions and he realized things about himself he never knew.
Well, that last part is always in my work... love allows the characters who'd otherwise been alone to flourish, to see themselves as more than how they'd been and love leads to them becoming better people.

At least all those things USED to be in my work... but for my peace of mind, I'll have these notes down for safe keeping when I feel I'm ready to return.

It's funny... I have this distinct idea of what I feel romance is... yet I've never been truly in love.