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19 October 2010 @ 09:37 am
NaScreeWriMo - Setting and Visual Motifs  
This is one of the exercises I do, because brainstorming these specifics, especially what visual motifs I plan to use, is a great way for me to generate plot, as you'll see toward the end of this, as my stream of consciousness hones in on a good idea.

-Small Romanian village, early 1700s, nestled in Carpathian Mountains --> isolated especially in winter when snow blocks most of mountain passes.
-Ruled by tradition --> there are very specific ways that things are done.
-Everyone knows everyone else's business; no secrets --> an almost claustrophobic atmosphere.
-Hierarchy of wealth big deal --> prince in inaccessible castle, few very wealthy merchants, priest and church wield huge amounts of power.
-Villagers very superstitious, all intermingled with a very devout Catholicism --> verging on magic at times.
-Most villages/towns built around town square, central meeting place --> this one built around cemetery.

Visual Motifs
-Death has to factor in everywhere.
-Cemetery needs to be creepy --> opening set piece?  would establish tone --> open on a funeral.
-See animals butchered (remember story from Helter Skelter about microphone picking up sound of knife scraping against bone as they talked --> disturbing.)
-Illness --> everyone's pale, weak.
-Winter --> nothing alive, nothing growing --> dead flowers, black leafless trees.  Bleakness.
-Places with fires or hearths become places of safety --> fire = life.
-Contrast between cold stone and warm wood, between wealth and homeyness --> opulence carries risk, danger.
-Height = risk, moving up into mountains.
-Wolves seem overdone, but are legit vampire thing.
-Corruption through wealth = corruption of humanity (vampire).
-Not just death --> corruption, things being rotted, falling apart from center.  Opulence and wealth just a mask.
-Do I end in castle or cathedral?
-Why does tiny village in mountains have a huge church?
-Or could end in chapel in castle, best of both worlds -->to preserve Gothic tradition.
-Or chapel up tiny inaccessible mountain staircase above castle --> back to height, reversal from usual descent into hell.
-General creepy associations with Catholic iconography --> back to corruption.
-Priest most powerful, prince/duke subservient to him --> wrong, cant from normal.
-Everything slightly off, unheimliche, unease.  Attraction/repulsion.  Things just aren't right.
-Relics in church --> what if relic introduced vampirism?  Vial of blood. 
Holly: UB A&R drinkinhollywobbles on October 19th, 2010 03:09 pm (UTC)
I think that's a great idea, getting these sorts of things things in mind and on paper before you start writing. My favorite books/movies tend to have very strong visual themes and imagery throughout.

It sounds sort of "duh" when I write that out, but that tends to be one of my main problems with crappy writing, especially fanfiction. It's so often just faceless people talking, no world built around them, no visuals. (Haven't read your fanfic -- it's probably fab. I should read it sometime even though I haven't seen B5.)
Shannon: bsg adama profilekungfuwaynewho on October 19th, 2010 03:32 pm (UTC)
Yeah, and I think it's especially important for film. It's also a good way to externalize character stuff, since I can't write "so-and-so was feeling sad or happy or angry" and you also don't want to tell the actors how to play a scene if the dialogue's not explicit. So visual things can add a lot.

Hee, you could probably follow my high school AU. I can't believe I'm writing a high school AU. What the hell.

(Gah, that icon is gorgeous.)
Holly: Bill bwhollywobbles on October 19th, 2010 04:06 pm (UTC)
Ha, the one time I had to write a script in college I was FRUSTRATED BEYOND ALL BELIEF. I ended up including way more than I should have about what was going on in the italicized... directions... part. Yeah.

Ooh, I will have to check that out when I get home from work.

Isn't it? Guh. Someday, when I have photoshop, man.... (Btw, you offered months ago to send me your disk sometime, and I've been thinking. I'd love to borrow it after I have my art school aps in and have more time to burn. Is the offer still open?)
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on October 19th, 2010 08:18 pm (UTC)
Oh God, you should see my first few screenplays. DREADFUL. I had no idea what to put in and what not to, and my first few professors were from the more is more school. I was including the kind of thing you maybe think of when you're doing early character studies and you're trying to flesh people out - like, IDK, this may or may not be an actual example, but if they used to play violin or something even though they never once refer to music throughout the entire script. Like I would just stick stuff like that in, because I didn't know any better.

I'd be happy to send you the disc! I wouldn't want to tempt you, though, so tell me when. ;)
Hollyhollywobbles on October 19th, 2010 08:57 pm (UTC)
Heee, thanks! (This reminds me - I had someone ask to snag an icon I'd made for the first time this morning. I was hoppity skippity bounce bounce all over the fricken place.)