Prelude to The SCHEDULE

Well, having called in sick to work the last couple of days while I and the rest of mine suffered in the ancient Chinese “Hell Of Two Families With Many Children All Having The Flu In The Same House” (thrown out of the final script of Big Trouble in Little China) I didn’t get to work on the Schedule until tonight.  But before making the actual Schedule, I first had to make a list of all the things that needed to be Scheduled.  Without further ado, here they are:

Art design sections:

General design style: artistically unique expressions for basic elements
-wood
-water***
-fire
-fabric
-stone

Character design

-Main Characters
-Secondary Characters
-World-fill characters

Environmental design

-Basic environmental theme for each continent
>>Flora
—plains
—tropics
—desert?
—beach
—cave
>>Fauna
—insect-like
—bird-like
—at least two stages of:
>>>>land herbivore
>>>>land carnivore
—unique lifeforms (storyline-specific)

-Cultural design theme for each continent
>>architecture
—rural architecture
—urban architecture
>>fashion
—rural fashion
—urban fashion

–Individual city/locale layout
>>>Unique buildings/attractions
>>>Map (if necessary)

(all of above for underwater environment as well)

World Map

Vehicles (Continent specific)

-General ideology/design evolution for entire world
-Culturally specific forms of following:
>>Boats
—small/personal
—Commercial/pirate
—Large commercial/military
—Unique (storyline-specific)
>>Subs?
>>Aircraft?
>>Rideable animals?
>>city/village ground vehicles
—multi-person transportation
—farming use (carts, plows)
—military

All this must be integrated with story development, which must also be scheduled as much as possible!

*****

Now I’ll be the first to admit that something incorporating all these elements comes out sounding a little “Let’s make a role-playing-game!”  I don’t want my beautiful vision bogged down in ridiculous junk like making sure all my background flowers have the same number of petals and can be artistically traced to the chemical production of gunpowder in their story world.  But what I do want is a story world with realism and a consistent quality of its own, as well as a template of content I can drag-and-drop from once the actual pages of the book begin to be drawn up.  By the way, is “story-world” a real English phrase?  It should be if it isn’t.  It’s a useful term.

Anyway, I don’t want my vast audience of supporters and critics to think that you can just build a magical world of beauty by encyclopaedically crafting every buttonhole and sword hilt and devising every single word of a fantasy language and birthing entire bloodlines of kings and commonfolk before you even really know what your story is about.

Oh, wait…  That’s called the Lord of the Rings.  Okay, so you can, but let’s just remember that Frodo was not scientifically designed; he was a work of the heart– of the story giving itself to you without asking for it!  The sentence “under a hill there lived a hobbit” (or whatever) was just a daydreaming scribble, and therein lay the magic and attraction of the whole setpiece.  Descend from soapbox.  All I’m syaing is that I pray my story, though I know and shape its bones, will drape itself in flesh not of my own artificial prompting, but of the story knowing what it needs to be by itself; of the Muse descending upon the toiling note-taker; of God breathing a sweet breath into the pouch still a-mending.  But first those bones…

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