Journey Into Writing Part 1: My Influences
I started this blog to chronicle what I was thinking and what I was going though at the time I decided that I wanted to write. I’ve since given up on my dream of becoming a writer, but continue to get ideas, and from time to time write a short story.
So it Begins…
I started writing down my ideas into a word document that I kept on my portable hard drive. It contain snippets of ideas, from science-fiction/fantasy, to thrillers. My influences ranged from TV, books, movies, video games, even everyday life. I wanted my first novel to be grand and epic, a large scale interstellar love story, with a plot twist.
I decided before I started writing to flesh out my universe, to make it real, yet different. In our universe, stars emit deadly radiation, in my universe, that didn’t happen. Humans lived on Titan and Triton, not Saturn's or Neptune’s moon but planets much like earth. Titan was highly advanced, while Triton was more a medieval like world. This came from my love/hate relationship with technology. A few people on Titan where frustrated with technology begin apart of everyday life, and decided to leave for another habitable planet. Triton was simple, and computers where no where to be found. Triton would accept food and supplies from Titan which was delivered by a space transport(the only technology allowed on the planet).
Interstellar matters where handled by the U.G.C (United Galactic Council), covert operations where handled by CISA (Central Intelligence and Security Agency). Let me explain the CISA. Imagine if the CIA and the NSA where under one agency, the only difference, it can do what it wanted when it wanted. It was Edward Snowden’s worst nightmare. The agency contained many member’s in upper management, one of them, named Pam. I choose that name as a place holder until I could come up with a better one, also I was watching The Office(See?, I wasn’t lying when I said TV was an influence) and envisioned Jenna Fisher as the character. She would call upon an agent who was dark, disturbed, and dangerous. His name, Charles Whitfield, a killer who didn’t want to be a killer. Charles is an amalgamation of Solid Snake and Jason Bourne. He was an expert fighter, could speak several different languages, and efficient at his missions.
Spy biographies and CIA history played a huge role in developing the CIA/NSA. The entire existence of the CISA came from reading Beyond Repair: The Decline And Fall Of The CIA. In it, the author goes though point by point where the current CIA fails and how to fix it. Those fixes are implemented in the creation of the CISA.
The overall plot was interesting, a data leak at a remote space station resulted in highly classified files begin made public, one of which caught the attention of Pam. A covert mission was taking place on Triton, which because of the relationship, shouldn’t happen. A few names where gathered, one of which mentioned Pam’s superior officer. She decided to put together an off the record mission, so she calls Charles aboard his private craft to investigate what’s going on. Upon arriving on Triton he would witness King Bernard, whose name was mentioned in the files, kicking his daughter, Annabelle out. The name Bernard also came from The Office(Andy Bernard). The King blamed her for this current situation. Bernard wanted a larger kingdom, but it would take time to achieve it. He decided to work at it, only to find out his wife Queen Jasmine (named after a plant) was pregnant. Soon afterward, Jasmine would die, leaving Bernard alone with Annabelle. He couldn’t manage ruling and taking care of his daughter at the same time. His dream was slowly dying, and nothing he could do about it.
Charles follows her, and over the course of the novel falls in love. He then discovers that Pam’s superior officer would help Bernard get his new kingdom if Bernard helped the CISA implement technology on the planet. This plot came out of the Edward Snowden leaks that happened in 2013, and Snowden even makes an appearance as another character in my novel.
Everyday life would play a role in my story with my two friends. You see in college, I was enrolled in Software Engineering Technician (2 year program) and my friends Jamie and Jim(not his real name), where in Software Engineering Technology (3 year program). I finished and decided to take Networking. Over time I came to dislike the program and people. It felt like my friends were on another world, and I was excited to spend any time I had with them. The best I can describe how I felt was, if you ever watch WWE, and slowly over time you realize that your favorite wrestler is being phased out, he was slowly going into retirement, the era was changing and no longer was he going to make regular appearances and eventually, said wrestler wasn’t going to show up anymore. The day came when my friends weren't there anymore. The new friends I made in Networking were nothing like the ones in Software Engineering. Over the course of the story I wanted Charles, Jamie and Jim to drift apart, in the end Charles would finally reunite with his friends, but it won’t be easy.
It’s at this point that I stopped writing, because all I had where ideas, and they weren’t getting anywhere. I encountered several issues, developing aliens was among them. I wanted my aliens to look like ones from Mass Effect.
I’m sure the creators spent a lot of time developing and creating these aliens. The issue was, mine didn’t look unique or different, and were oddly human. Another issue was, I could mange or comprehend how a planet would go about security when large space craft could come and go at will. The problems where stacking up and no solutions were in sight.
Without these influences my universe won’t exist, it wouldn’t even be worth writing about. What influences do you have ? Are your character’s amalgamations? Does life play a role? Let’s hear them in the comments.
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