So, I tried really hard really hard to write a Character Sketch for Skye that I could be really proud of, but no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t figure out a way to encompass all facets of her character–feelings, physical description, likes and dislikes. I finally resorted to something that I know and am familiar with (even though it earns me little to no money): a short story. Yep, I’m writing a short story in the world of Project Skye with Skye as the protagonist in order to nail down her character–how she looks, how she acts, how she responds under pressure. I do intend to market the story, but even if nothing comes of it, I’m hopeful that it won’t be for naught. The goal is to take what I’ve learned int the story and transfer it a novel length work–hopefully, the character work that I do with the story will translate into a deeper understanding of her character so that I can work with her on a longer, more intensive work.
Jonny Quest “movie idea” as Inspiration
A white back–late 90s, early 2000s–the character of Jonny Quest became hot again. He was a character created in the 1960s, who along with other Hanna Barbera, had a resurgence of popularity in the early/mid 80s and again in the mid/late 90s. A live action movie was mentioned in the trades (my library used to have a subscription to Variety, a movie trade magazine & remember seeing mention of in there, if memory serves), but it never came to pass. I remember thinking how cool it would be to write the movie adaptation of it, and as I’ve seen all the episodes, for both the original and the subsequent sequel series, I set about developing a “plot line” for the “movie.” I really liked the original title sequence and wanted to update that for my JQ “movie,” so I developed this elaborate flight intro sequence around Air Racing (yes, alert readers can see where I’m going with this). Well, the movie never happened, Hollywood (for now) has lost interest in most Hana Barbera projects (the two live action Scooby Doo movies are probably the best known movies that came from that collaboration) and even if it had, as an unknown writer with no written or produced feature length scripts, Hollywood wouldn’t have been beating down MY door for the idea anyway. I never used that flight sequence or even wrote it down–it has existed in brain all these years.
Lester day I realized that I would never be able to write a traditional character sketch for Skye–that I was just beating my head against the wall. Instead, I turned my attention to what would happen if I put her in a stressful situation–maybe not the one I’d been working on for the novel, but another one. In fact, what would happen if I put Skye, instead of Jonny Quest, into the scenario I’d devised all those years ago for the “movie.” Well, I tried it and . . . it worked! I’ll have to check with my Writing Consultant, but Skye seems now like a living breathing person, a fully round three dimensional character who has wants, drives, needs, and feelings. She emotes, she feels, she does everything a good protagonist should do. Again, maybe I’m too close, but not only did I finish the first major “plot element” before I stopped writing, I was also able to outline all of the rest of the plot elements out to the “climax” of the story, which I left intentionally vague for myself (I have a feeling based on her character what’s going to happen, but I want the ending to feel “organic” and not overly plotted).
Still Committed to Project Star
Yes, I will be working on Project Star as well (where, o where will I find the time?), but I simply HAD to stop and draft Project Skies. It was necessary (IMO) to understand Skye’s character and without it, I don’t think that the novel would ever get off the ground.