This month at Apex Book Company, I talk a little bit about something I feel is crucial to ensuring your story is your own — perspectives. When I’m worldbuilding and mapping out my plots, I also include something that happens a lot in romance — what the character believes and fears.
Just recently, I had the chance to apply this to a flash fiction piece-turned-short story called The Legend of Aeneis that I submitted into the atmosphere. The premise was about how a group of priests conducted a ritual they believed would save them from an impending attack. Thinking that uber-ancient technology or magic is the end all and be all is quite common in our culture, but it’s not always true. In this case, it definitely wasn’t.
Here’s a quote from the article:
Perspectives are one way to achieve the characterization. I just got done watching Season Five of Doctor Who, and I was reminded of how the Doctor’s view of humanity affects and shapes what he does and how he sees the world. Each alien race in the series has a different view of humanity, and for our own stories understanding that perspective — and why they believe and feel what they do — is crucial to ensuring an alien race is distinct yet something we can relate to. — SOURCE: Writing Prompt: How Would an Alien Describe a Human at Apex Book Company
I hope you get the chance to check this out. For more writing prompts, the Donald Maass Literary Agency has been offering some excellent ways to dig deep and find literary treasure. You can also follow the president of their agency on Twitter @DonMaass.
While the primary bulk of my time is spent writing these days, I often need a creative break. For that, I turn to something crafty and fun. (In this case…Cthulhu…)
I have in my possession a blank My Little Cthulhu with two victims, which was designed by John Kovalic. If you don’t know who he is, you may recall some of his projects including popular games like Munchkin and Apples to Apples, as well as several comics/toys/stories/etc. including Dork Tower and Doctor Blink.
How could I resist the call of the blank Cthulhu? The only thing is, I’ve painted toys before and I was never happy with the way they turned out. I’m kind of a precision line girl so it really screws me up if I can’t get the look I want. Since I’m an amateur when it comes to art, I’m still trying to figure out what materials work best while working on my drawing. (Let it be known that perspective is my biggest problem right now.) My friend Leanne Buckley was very supportive of my need for “art therapy.” It’s extremely relaxing to have play time and do projects like these for fun. Call it a guilty pleasure! I have a LOT of respect for professional artists and I’m often inspired by them to tinker in my spare time.
My solution here was to figure out what design I wanted to paint before I
wrecked touched the figure. Matt (my fiance) thought it might be cool to paint a dreamscape on Cthulhu’s big head. So, the idea with this picture was to merge the cute take on Cthulhu that John had designed and play around with a possible dream. (Yes, those are bunny slippers, the full-size image was too big to scan. DOH!)
If it “worked,” then I’d use the theme to paint on my blank Cthulhu. If it didn’t, then I’d try something else. After going through this process, I’m not sure how easy it would be to wrap around some of the straight lines, but drawing this was a blast. The base image was drawn using a set of Micron markers; I used Paint to color in the blocks. No fancy tools for this chica.
Ugh. I seem to have Cthulhu on the brain these days. Well, that and King Arthur, but that’s best left for another post, for another day. Back to my words!