March 12, 2006 Cinque Trilogy Manifesto
I’ve been doing a lot of work on the project formerly called The Boy Trilogy. The first break through was finding The Boy a name, Cinque.
The idea began as a list of things I didn’t like about [popular fantasy series] I decided that the world really didn’t need any more lists or sour grapes, so the list became a manifesto for my own series.
- No Destiny Plot-hook I don’t think anything cheapens a character’s struggle more than giving him a destiny. Someday I will write a story where the hero is told that he has a great destiny before him. He then proceeds to quit his job and sit in his living-room playing Halo all day long while events work themselves out without his influence until, finally, the resolution just falls in his lap.
Cinque is a talented, exceptional kid, but whether or not he makes something of himself is up to him and the choices he makes, not predestination.
- A Modern American Mythology No dragons, no dwarfs, no elves, no swords in stones. Too often fantasy writers pull all their influence from Arthurian Myths or Tolkien. It’s all been done, done to death.
This starts with Cinque’s ethnicity. I elected to make his mother African-American, because since they weren’t about to bring most of their own culture with them to this culture Black culture is the only culture created within the borders of The USA. Music, comedy, movies and on, Black culture is American culture.
And I made his father is a redneck, because that’s how the rest of the world sees us.
- No Binary Morality I’m done with the labels “Good” and “Evil”. You can’t just draw a line down the center of the real world like this so to treat the ethics of a fictional world so simply is childish.
And almost as bad:
- No Magic vs Science Most fantasy magic draws it’s influence from Dungeons & Dragons rather than folklore or modern schools of thought on the subject. Grant Morrison blended magic and science seamlessly in The Invisibles. So well that I see magic in terms of science.
- Any Metaphysics Will Be Heavily Researched I’ve been reading a lot of strange books lately.
- No Fucking Orphans! Batman, Harry Potter, Spider-Man, King Arthur, Luke Skywalker, Annie, Tom Sawyer, Oliver Twist, James Bond- the list goes on and on. Fiction writers must hate parents.
Cinque’s family will be a big part of his story. He lives with his mother, maternal grandmother and older cousin. His father isn’t around at the start of the series but will have a huge influence as events unfold.
- An End in Sight The world doesn’t need another padded out series of thousand page novels. [Do you hear me, Robert Jordan?]
I’m aiming for three books at about three hundred pages each.
I’ve got most of the first novel outlined. A little more research on East St Louis’ school system and I should be ready to get my prose on.
Goal: To have the first part of the first novel (~100 pages) finished and printed by Comic Con. To justify the Pro Pass.