Friday, December 5, 2014

Location, Location, Location....

       One of the most daunting tasks of my thinking process (I tend to overthink...a lot) is that I need to be pretty precise in how I describe things.    I learned a long time ago through honing my writing craft that description should be organically and weaved within the story.     You don't stop and smell the roses, you continue to walk and breathe in the fragrant aroma of your mom's flower garden.    I also have a bit of an issue with the fact that I can't really travel and see the locales that I write about.

        Take the High Sierras (which seems to be the most common place for Timber to have trouble...) for instance.    As an overzealous writer, I just don't want to stick with vague descriptions of flora and fauna.   It's not that I want my readers to develop a degree in botany, it's just I don't want someone with a degree in botany to chuckle if I happen to describe a tree that belongs more in the central region of the Americas rather than the Northwest region.    The same with animals that may inhabit the region.    I want to ensure that I don't do simple slip ups of describing a general variety of fish that may not actually be predominant in the region.     And, there are variety of species within a common family of fish, and sometimes may even have a subspecies that is inherit to a specific region.   It's that level of detail that often may cause me to lock up and get writer's block (irony considering the posting...I suppose).     Again, I don't want to try to make a normal reader an expert, but I'd rather not have an expert flora and fauna person chuckle at the fact I can't get my regional animals and plants right. 

     I suppose it may seem mundane and trivial to some for a writer to fret about such things.   If a reader of my book has an opportunity to travel to the High Sierras, I want them to have that sense of deja they've been to that spot.    And, well, hopefully not so much that a reader might think that Timber might walk up and say "hi" (since you know, wolves are still very much predatory animals and not dogs...a contention I have to deal with in my story...).  
        But, I believe it's part of a writer's task to take people away to somewhere they've never been.   And, with actual true specific regions, it's a daunting task to get everything just right.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Outlining the path for which the wolf walks...

      The thing is in the creative process of the story that I like to develop a point a to point b and then the end.     Usually most writing advice I've ever read is that one must have the end before they can start at the beginning. 

      I actually do have an end.   The one thing that seems universal between all the different ways that Timber's introduction to Snake Eyes meet:  It's apparently in a mountainous region and that Timber is in some kind of trap or trouble and Snake Eyes is there for the rescue.

       To most people, writing a story up to that point should be easy.    Just as there has been many different ways GI Joe has been written for film, cartoon, and books (comic and print), there too can many ways I can have Timber eventually come to his inevitable meeting with Snake Eyes.

   I'm not going to attempt to write this for any specific continuity.    In fact, I hope it reaches across the board to fit into the stories of what has been done and what will be done.

    Despite the fact I'll be writing the majority of this from Timber's view point, I realize that "wolfspeak"  is not going to be everyone's cup of tea.

So, I will have humans in there, and a connection to GI Joe.      Now, I will guarantee that there will be no trope of Snake Eyes meeting Timber before that fateful day in some overly hackneyed way.

    If one takes a moment to research (as I did) about the area of the High Sierras where Snake Eyes found Timber, then one would know that the wolf wasn't really around that much....more like Coyote Wolf hybrids, or just plain old Coyotes.    In fact, the wolf hasn't really back in the US for a very long time until recently one decided to cross the Canadian border. 

    If this is going to be a story about a pack of wolves that aren't really suppose to be around the area that they are roaming, then it seems a bit logical to have a reason for their presence.

    And, that's where the military comes into play.

 And, how Timber's connection to GI Joe will be established...

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Packed house

In the beginning phases of my outline for Timber's story, I naturally had to address one main thing.

He was once a part of a pack before GI Joe (I wouldn't do anything as over-the-top as Cobra creating cloned wolves...). 

So, I had to give them names and personality to match...

First of all Timber's parents

Skookum Tyee (nickname of Scooty), the alpha male

Wildflower, the alpha female

And, his sisters and brothers...

Leloo, the seemingly vain quiet prancer...she is also the most ghost like of her pack.   

Highball, she is the opposite of  Leloo in behavior....wildly active, vocal, and playful, and has an unusual coloring patch of fur that shows her namesake.

Whistle Punk,  the seeming male scout of the pack.

Queen Snipe, the female alpha of the litter.

Itkus, the male runt of the family.  

And Timber makes 6 (and I wasn't seriously attempting to get to that number for the pack...).

I was debating halving a 7th wolf just like the Seven Samurai, and I may still find room (after all I can't lay everything out for any reader that might happen upon this).     If you wonder how I came to the names, The Chinook Native American tribe was close to area where Snake Eyes would eventually come to meet the Timber Wolf of the High Sierras.    As logging is part of the culture within that area, it seemed to make sense to have a balance of those two aspects of the region.

As I am an avid lover of word play, I believe Timbers name has actually two distinct twists.   He has a very unusual but haunting howl (he has timbre),  and that he tends to fell any prey he comes across (which gets him his cult like status among the people, particularly the loggers, around the area). 

More to follow....

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A howling commando is born...

     As a kid in grade school, I read Jack London's White Fang as part of my curriculum.    I suppose it was always a staple of North American literature classics, and it was one of many books that help stir my creative nature of  writing.     I considered the fact that a writer would try to get into mind of a wolf and write from the animal's perspective as an amazing thing.       I've always wanted to write a more modern take on this classic, but had issue finding a proper ground for a story.     After all, I didn't really want to repeat a classic.   I wanted a spin.  

       Enter the spin through another staple I had as a kid:   G.I. JOE.       I've always being naturally drawn into the partnership that a certain ninja had with a wolf for a brother-in-arms.      It occurred to me that Timber never really had a solo story, never really had an origin beyond his simple fateful meeting with Snake Eyes.   I wanted Timber to be Batman to White Fang's Zorro.

      And, here it was, I found  a proper ground for my wolf story.    A way to place a pack of wolves back into the more modern High Sierras, a way to link it to the crazy background of G.I. Joe.
    A background story, an origin story...

   One that I am building as I write this blog, and then will publish...

Walk in the Path of the Wolf....