Wednesday, December 07, 2005

#115. Origins of Repose of the Eidolon, Eddie Guerrero

So, here that account is, a week later:

The origins of Repose of the Eidolon do not end at last year's Colinaude, the Angry Avenger. It began as a sort of Bhagavadgita, the Hindu epic that detailed a dialogue between a common man heading into battle with the disguised God Krishna. That's exactly what it was for most of the twelve months leading into the actual writing, since I'd had the notion from the completion of the original story, wherein the retirement of Cotton Colinaude, the Eidolon, was related. He still had much pain, and the follow-up, the name of which was also an early development, was meant to explore that, as much if not moreso than the first installment had detailed the pain of the path that had led him there. In October, when NaNoWriMo began gearing up again, I visited the official forums and introduced a topic on superheroes, where I first realized there was more to this story than just the conversation I intended between Colinaude (the so-called god) and a still-unformulated common man (Arjuna in the Indian work). Drawing on another great world religion, I realized I could tell a Job story just as well, just easily, with the framework I'd set up. Job, after all, spends much of his time, not just losing everything, but having a conversation with God as well, attempting to make reason out of all this. He's not just a man with great patience.

So from there, I added two more stories, that of Alexander the Great, which I became familiar with by the end of the month through Oliver Stone's unsung masterpiece Alexander, and Jin Sun Woo, from another masterpiece, television's Lost, through his plight described in the episode "...In Translation." Both very much helped to shape the central character of Balthazar Romero, who had his own delusions of grandeur, as well as actions he very much needed to rationalize. From this pinstripe I hung the destruction of his dreams (Job) and the illumination of his life as well as every other (Job/Arjuna), not only with Colinaude but a collection of characters, some already establshed (Hopper) and others newly created (Tekamthi). The mythology of the city these characters inhabit, Traverse, continued, as it had in the first story, to inform on every development, as it secrets slowly revealed themselves. In addition, several characters were put into the spotlight so as to illustrate particular elements important to Balthazar/Colinaude's journey.

...And yeah, so we arrive at the paradox of the story, that Balthazar is eventually revealed to be, in all actuality, Colinaude himself. This was not the original intention. The attack of Lotus was, but not its particularly dire consequences, the apparent death of Balthazar roughly two-thirds into the story. This occured around the time professional wrestler Eddie Guerrero unexpectedly passed away. When a death like that happens, you can't help but take renewed stock in the meaning of life, how you can't always count on everything to always be there, even if this particular element was never more personal to me than a favorite performer in the carnival of sports entertainment. I decided, on the day I read of Eddie's death, that I was going to bring that notion to life. I was going to kill Balthazar Romero, the main character of my story. Nothing would make it so obvious.

As it happened, the attack of Lotus was scheduled around the same time, so I took advantage and did the deed right there and then. This might be be accurately reflected in the "publishing" dates on the story blog, because I had been compensating around that time, making up for missed days (there was a total of two at that point, and never another after) by stamping a date with a "Forthcoming" message on a day I couldn't actually deliver and going back later with the edit feature, which didn't leave a mark saying it had been so edited. The illusion was that I was keeping track just as I wanted to, while I really wasn't. I had gotten myself into a trap. I'd set out, as I had last year, to write so many words a day, which might not have been a problem if I hadn't missed a day or two along the way, but I missed those days and thought the only way to compensate would be to try and write two chapters on given days, which I was able to do, but not enough. I eventually realized if I just stopped trying to write within the original daily wordcount, I wouldn't get into so much trouble, and that's how I made my way to the finish line, that and renewed determination to not skip anymore days if I could help it, and I didn't have to.

Speaking of wordcount, there was also the matter of not having a proper word processing program for most of the month, as I've mentioned before. In the last leg, I was finally able to remedy that, with the help of my sister (God, I don't mean Colinaude, bless her). It was in this way that I learned the wordcount program I'd been using all this time was not entirely accurate, but there was plenty of time to compensate once more, which I did, and by the time I compiled all of the material for a full count, on the Tuesday before the final day of the exercise, I did not have to sweat the extra couple thousand I needed, because I had already long since abandoned the thrifty mindset that had initially doomed me. What's more, I found it was not so hard writing. From the deathj of Balthazar onward, I found I had plenty to write for, and could improvise just as well when needed. Several character vignettes came about this way.

It probably didn't hurt that I walked a lot in November. It gave me plenty of time to think.

All of which is to say, as planned as this story was, it was still mostly improvization, on most accounts. I'm glad I was able to compensate. I'm glad I was able to win, again. Thanks to NaNoWriMo for the motivation.

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