It's all stupid, this inspiration, because it is guiding me towards the task of completing my children's fantasy novel, because those, if you didn't know, are getting published like hot cakes these days (do hot cakes get published? I'm sure I've seen a picture in a magazine or two. Then again, am not entirely sure that I know what a hot cake is...). Then you get movie deals, and, acc. IMDB which has a pic of Cornelia Funke on the set of Inkheart, you get to *be on the set* (in case of Funke, get to see the galacial [spell check says this isn't okay, but it's galacial like a galaxy. One L. Must be correct] hotness of Brendan Fraser [I don't even look up the spellings of names anymore, because I just drop so many.]). I want to be on set. Am v. jealous because, quite frankly, am not hugely impressed by Funke's other works and am not entirely sure that the Inkheart book on which the lovely film was based isn't an entire work of crap. Thusly, I need only publish a children's fantasy book that is part of a trilogy or more, and shall then meet sexy movie stars. Le sigh.
In any event, have begun to recognize that necessary changes must occur within my crappy novel for it to be on the less crappy level of those getting published and turned into movies with attractive stars. Am now studying a few classics, new and old, though am not including Alice in Wonderland on grounds that it is secretly a philosophy book nor Wrinkle in Time because I cannot stand the author reading her own book on the audio version because, for the love of Pete, she has an ugly voice. Mean though it may be, had I the chance, I would not possibly take the opp. to read my own work because, simply, actors in possession of lovely voices will do it for you. (Dragon Rider was narrated by Brendan Fraser.-- just looked up spelling btw). Anyway, I am now looking at:
1The Neverending Story- Michael Ende
2Peter and the Starcatchers- Barry and Pearson (not a movie yet, but WILL be v. soon)
3Harry Potter (the first)
4The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson #1)- Riordan (upcoming movie)
5Howl's Moving Castle- Diana Wynne Jones (as in Ghibli movie fame)
6James and the Giant Peach- Roald Dahl (I really liked the movie tho' I do not know if it was successful)
7The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe- Lewis
8The Princess and the Goblin- George MacDonald (Which has a film, but ought get another soon, I should think.)
Now, let us see if we can find patterns.
Family: James (6), Harry, and, obviously, Peter are orphans, which is popular amongst heroes. However, Whatshisface (1),Sophie (5- oh, but her stepmother is the living parent. Hrm. That is unique, isn't it?), and Irene (8) are each missing just the one parent. Plus, they are all under the age of 18. Hrm. My heroine is a senior citizen- fail. Furthermore, apart from Sophie (5) and the Narnian kids, are only children. Percy (4) discovers half-siblings along the way, but I think that is merely on account of his dad being a god and all. Hrm.
Conclusion: Probably need some orphans without siblings, and preferably one or more child near the center of the story.
1Neverending- Bastian (aha, I remembered it) goes to the bookstore, and steals the book. The story mostly takes place in the book... I don't remember much about that hero, save his horse, and that he probably is an orphan.
2Peter- Massive character intros, background, and a quickly forward-moving story line. The kids get aboard the boat where the adventures take place. (Just wondered where my copy of Peter Pan has run off to..)
3Harry- THE PAST (this seems a common theme in movie versions of a lot of these books). Baby Harry is dropped off with the Dursleys. The reader is v. confused.
4Lightning- We get info on some strange circumstances surrounding Percy and weird things start happening. V. fast forward-moving plotline.
5Howl- We learn, from the nameless narrator, that Sophie is destined to fail and get a full look at her past leading up to her employment in her dead father's shop. Also background info on the eponymous Howl.
6James- Backstory on poor James and how his parents are eaten by a rhinoceros. He is sent to live with his aunts. We quickly learn how much his life sucks.
7Lion- The kids are on their way to live with their... great uncle? or something. We don't get much backstory, actually. They're mostly just curious. Oh, AND Lucy makes her way to Narnia... app. in the first chapter.
8The Princess and the Goblin- We get a lot of info about the past of the kingdom and the demeanor of the princess from a nameless narrator, who supposes things aren't quite as they seem.
Conclusion: Options =
2 Fairy-tale like narrative beginning
3 Fast forward-moving plot!
Magical Elements: With Harry, Neverending (in the book within the book, anyway), and Howl- the sky is the limit magic-wise. Anything can happen because these are magical worlds. A lot can also happen in Lion, because Narnia is magical as well, but there are limits to this magic (ex. Lucy must use the gift salve given to her if she wants to save people, but sometimes she is too late, and if she runs out, it's simply gone). Lightning also has seemingly limitless magic, but only for those who are gods or demi-gods, or are somehow related to the whole mess. Even Zeus, however, cannot save his daughter's life, but merely can turn her into a tree (they tell you this early on), so even the gods are limited. In Peter, magic exists but is special, and hard to find. I think that the fairy dust is the only magical thing, in fact, though it is not called that in this particular tale. And only v. special people even know that magic exists, which is Harry Potter-esque. I think the only magical elements in James are the growing/talking bugs and the growing peach. Other than that, having one's parents eaten by a rhinoceros seems a bit magical. As for the Princess and the Goblin, the existence of goblins suggests a lot, but really there isn't much magic apart from that provided by Irene's grandmother, who is a ghost, I think (?)
So, you can get magic from:
a) magical people (wizards, witches, etc.)
b) magical creatures
c) magical objects
d) magical places
In mine, the magic comes from a person but is directed at objects. Hm. V. confusing.
1Neverending- Atreyu (the hero in the book Bastian reads) has his horse and gets help from many people along the way. Though the horse seems to be the only continuous companion, though, Atreyu ultimately faces his challenges alone.
2Peter- He has Molly, who's like Wendy, except her name is Molly, and I don't think she has brothers. She might be the real hero actually... it's hard to tell because they are both v. important. So, I guess you have an equal status partnership thing going on?
3Harry- Obviously, we have Ron and Hermione, though Harry faces final battle all alone with the other two stuck behind.
4Lightning- Percy has Annabeth and Grover, plus a few other people with one person who betrays him in the midst. Um, there are two final battles? One is actually alone alone, the other has Annabeth off to the side, just kinda watching, which isn't half so lame in context.
5Howl- Actually, Sophie's pretty much alone a lot of the time, but lives with Howl, Calcifer, and Michael. But her curse makes it so she can't tell anyone what's ailing her, so...? I think Howl fights the final battle but Sophie ends up saving him AFTER that, which makes her unique.
6James- Um, he has the bugs. They all work together because a big theme is teamwork, though James has all the master ideas.
7Princess and the Goblin- I don't remember! Um, I think that Curdie's the big hero in the end, though, but he MUST have help because he's against an army of goblins. I think the king's army helps... But Curdie figures out their weak point, yay! I'm sure the Princess does... something? to help.
Conclusion: If you've got an army of baddies, like mine has, then the main character needs a lot of help, though can beat major baddie alone?
Ugh, it is late. I will think more on this later, and probably start the rewrite. Yugh!
BTW, finished Letters from a Young Poet. Now reading Inkheart in attempt to become magical-writing genius. Wish me luck.