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From Prine to Schneider

Posted by Mick on February 20, 2010 – 11:16 pm

But your flag decal won’t get you
Into Heaven any more.
They’re already overcrowded
From your dirty little war.
Now Jesus don’t like killin’
No matter what the reason’s for,
And your flag decal won’t get you
Into Heaven any more.

I’m not necessarily making another political statement there.  I like John Prine, the song came on, it struck a chord, I put it down.

If you think I’m always in control of what goes on here, you obviously don’t understand me.  Or the writing process.  Or at least my writing process.

Speaking of which . . .

I had to step back and take a break from the Mastodon/Dethklok script for a few weeks due to all that work stuff that I’m pretty sure we agreed not to talk about anymore.  As I mentioned yesterday, all that’s over and today I was able to get back in to it.  And it felt good.

Two weeks was too long to stay away.  I had to go back and read through my notes to remind me of where I was, especially the changes I had made to the story right before the break happened.  Once I got caught up, things became clear, and I was able to start outlining scenes for the first half of my A plot.  The A plot has changed quite a bit – most of the scenes will still work with minor changes, but a few key scenes were tossed out and a few new ones added.  How did this happen?

It’s quite simple.  I refer you back to the opening of this piece – I’m not really in charge.  I started with a story idea.  I thought I knew what happened.  That was before I created the characters.  As the characters get more and more fleshed out, they take on a life of their own, and that changes the story.  For instance, the A plot was originally about a man who was driven to solve a mystery involving a series of murders.  He had a theory, everyone was ridiculing him, and he was intent on proving that his theories were correct.

Jackson disagreed with me.  The more I got to know him, the more he insisted that he didn’t care all that much about the mystery.  It was interesting, certainly, but it was a diversion.  Jackson had other priorities, and he nagged me until I listened.  He’s lonely.  He wants to be in love.  He wants to love, and be loved in return.  That’s not really the story I set out to tell, but it is Jackson’s story.  And making that change solved several issues I was having with the story not ringing true.  Paying attention to the character made the story better.

Writing the Jackson storyline is making me slightly insane, though.  I’m using a technique with this story where I create a Pandora station for each of the major characters (I mentioned it here).  Jackson’s station consists of female fronted pop groups.  At times it’s wonderful.  At times it sucks the testosterone out of my testicles through my ears.  And at times it’s just fucking annoying.

Training a Pandora station can be a maddening experience.  You have to remember it’s not about what you like, it’s about what goes in this station. Tonight was a wonderful case in point.  I’m working on Jackson, so I’m listening to Jackson’s station.  And Pandora decides that Judas Priest goes here.  Living After Midnight.  I love Priest, and I love Living After Midnight.  Rocking to the dawn.  Loving till the morning, then I’m gone.  I love that song.  But it’s not about what I like.  It doesn’t go there.  I had to click the thumbs down.  It’s that, or compromise the integrity of the station.  This occurs even when I’m making stations for myself.

Then again, I’m much more particular about my music than most of you.  I love movies, but music to me is like oxygen, necessary for life.  It’s like wine.  You don’t just drink any wine any time you want.  Different wines have different tastes, to be savored at different times.

Music is like wine in another sense.  Most people are drinking the nasty stuff that comes out of a box.  Or a bottle with a screw cap.

American Idol is the Boones Farm of music.

Bob Schneider is a big ol’ box of Merlot.

I’m a snob.  I know this.  I’m a friendly snob, though.  I like that Bob exists.  People with bad taste need music too.

And on that note, I think it’s obvious to everyone that I shouldn’t be talking anymore tonight.  My wife is probably on her way to bed, but I feel like a DVD is in my future.  It might be Kill Bill.  It might be Panda Z.

Be good to each other.

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