--> Disney, Roddenberry, Rowling, Lucas, Katz
You are now entering an enchanted realm of ancient wisdom and knowledge . . .
When you open a new book, when you start watching a new movie, when you access a new location in the Aquarian internet, you are a visitor entering a new world.
Any visitor to a new world is looking to be engaged, to have fun, to be enchanted. If you love what you find, you will be a devoted fan in that playground. We all have our favorite playgrounds. We are all adoring fans in someone’s magical world of enchantment and mystery.
Walter Elias Disney named his original playground “the Magic Kingdom.”
Gene Roddenberry’s world is named Star Trek.
Consider also Jo Rowling’s world of Harry Potter: how very European, reminds one of Hans Christian Anderson and Wilhelm Busch, among others.
George Lucas ultimately named his universe Star Wars, after several other names were considered and discarded.
George Lucas and Gloria Katz weaved the magic of Star Wars and Indiana Jones. “Who is Gloria Katz?” you say. Gloria Katz provides the Midas touch that makes the first three Star Wars movies special. She adds the secret ingredient to the special sauce. Gloria is responsible for Princess Leia and Marion Ravenwood (Indiana Jones series), Carrie Fisher and Karen Allen doing the honors. Feisty, independent, resourceful women. We most certainly could use more of those characters.
And so we shall.
I have been reflecting deeply, and often, on the science fiction stories that inspire me to provide the highest standard of excellence to my story universe. A few of them:
Back To The Future
Men in Black
The Last Starfighter
The Adventures of Pluto Nash
The Emerald Forest
In Star Wars, the characters wind up in enemy territory. In hostile territory. Captured. Inside the Imperial star cruiser. In the belly of the beast. And think of all the family relationship links between the characters, revealed over time.
In Total Recall, the people on Mars are fighting a mafia-style, Banana Republic dictatorship-style administration led by Cohaagen (played by Ronny Cox). Their salvation lies in a fight for freedom from a monopoly on oxygen. At the conclusion of the story, overblown and ridiculous as the story treatment is, free oxygen is provided of all things by the unwitting discovery of an unknown alien technology that has been there all the time.
In Pluto Nash, the characters get help along the way from a limousine with an English accent reminiscent of C3PO. What is it about English accents that makes these characters so endearing? Maybe one of my characters will have an English accent. Certainly if there is a movie made, must include an English or Aussie or Kiwi accent.
Scenes from these movies flash through my head as my mind works on the plot, the Central Destiny story which will bring the characters together and unite them in a common cause.
Your visit to this magical place in the constellation of story worlds has landed you in Roland’s Universe. Several names are still under consideration, including The Academy (of Life) and the core curriculum, Life: A Field Manual. Eventually it may have a permanent name, who knows at this point. It’s a mystery: cue Mission Impossible theme song.
What makes Roland’s Land of Enchantment, Mystery, and Ancient Knowledge special is the internal consistency of the mythology, for one thing, and secondly the close alignment with the natural order.
A fantasy world should have internal consistency: it should follow its own rules. If a fictional world doesn’t even meet that basic requirement, it isn’t even credible or plausible. But it doesn’t have to be aligned with the real world. It can be completely fictional and quite obviously made up.
For a story universe to have longevity and durability and power, it needs to have a solid foundation. What more solid foundation than reality and the natural order: how things really work.
Any story or mythology has to take into consideration reality in order to be believable and in order to be impactful. Without a foundation in how things really work, any story will lose power and force, not to mention durability over time.
What if we had a mythology, an enchanted universe, which closely matches the real thing because it is based on reality?
How about a fable and parable for life as it exists today. A mythology, or story universe, that captures life in this world as it actually is, not as someone hopes or fantasizes that it is.
A story world based on reality.
(1) For example, who is writing the story of the pandemic? Anybody? My wife and I, completely independently, both dreamed of the pandemic as a tiger. Where did the tiger come from? Why is the tiger out in the open, out of its cage, suddenly and unexpectedly? Did someone let the tiger out? Did it get out on its own initiative?
In a country being run by a front man for a foreign mafia, perhaps that criminal leader of an historically and supposedly free and democratic nation creates the environment in which a worldwide pestilence becomes unleashed.
(2) How about an Indiana Jones story for the 21st Century. The world is full of people like you and me, people like Indiana Jones and Marion Ravenwood, engaged in the high adventure of searching for ultimate success. Mastery of the human condition is the prize of prizes, the pinnacle of goals, as the Germans say, “Die Spitze der Spitze,” the Best of the Best.
The quest for the right storyline is like an Indiana Jones adventure, or Quaid trying to make sense of his identity (Total Recall 1990), or Truman trying to understand his world (The Truman Show), or Alex Rogan being catapulted out of his trailer park (The Last Starfighter). It is like being on a treasure hunt.
Right now I am entertaining several plots.
These storylines are getting a hard look.
The foundation of an Academy with faculty, administration, students, and core curriculum (Life: A Field Manual) is all present and accounted for. At this point, the only other certainty is that the Book is also a Movie, with an orchestral soundtrack. Turns out what I am producing is a package deal, a combination Book and Movie and Soundtrack. The other night, while driving, what came to me was scenes and flashes from the Movie. These visuals are much easier to see than to read. In one sequence of images, I found myself presenting clearly and powerfully a concept that will never work in print. If a picture is worth 1000 words, then how much is a moving picture worth, a video scene?