Some Inspiration for RISE and FALL
Have you ever heard the phrase “Cool motive, still murder” from Detective Jake Peralta of Brooklyn 99?
How about George Lucas talking about villains needing to feel that they are correct in their worldview? That way there is something real to them?
Then there is this gem from CS Lewis:
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
Agree or disagree with his politics or faith, the characterization of these for-your-own-good-tyrants is 1) found in the world today 2) really scary. Imagine if the Terminator thought he was saving Sarah Connor by killing little John in utero, he would be even more relentless for her sake and he would be a hero when his task was accomplished.
I really dig this Kansas song called The Pinnacle and it actually inspired a story idea. Maybe it inspired the villain for this story. It’s hard to remember, as it was a few years back. Anyway, I have had this idea kicking around for a long time and I have so many ideas for it that I even have a sort of prequel in mind before I get to the main story. The thing is, I don’t want to write the main story and then the prequel afterward. I almost like the idea more as a series with a long in-universe gap between stories. Maybe it will be a duology set decades apart. I am not sure yet. From a certain point of view, the two stories can simply be defined as the rise and fall of the first protagonist. From here on, I will simply refer to these stories as RISE and FALL. I came to this concept because as I worked on the story I settled on a theme that will be examined by being true for the villain and the protagonist of RISE. RISE Hero is a foil to FALL Hero.
RISE and FALL Brainstorm
In short. RISE tells the story of Kan, “The White Knight” from the Flying Fortress. He is a deluded villain who does some actual good and has some interesting points, but is still evil. RISE will see Kan (Kan Sez) and a motley crew enrich themselves by assassinating kings and warlords who would be kings. They start with really wicked people and work towards kinder, gentler nobles. FALL tells the story of Laz as he struggles to cheat and hustle his way to landing a blow against the unstoppable figure in the Flying Fortress. Kan is a hero who becomes a villain and Laz is a rough character who takes down that villain.
I don’t know how large Kan’s crew is, but that is something I can decide later.
For now I will bullet point all the ideas I have for this story. Since RISE and FALL are in the same world, I’ll throw out stuff that will be in both or either
Magical Mutants – There are some people born in this world with certain innate powers. Their magical abilities are unique and can be exercised like a muscle, so they can grow or atrophy. These individuals are seen as gifted and the powers are considered divine blessings.
Flying Fortress – who doesn’t want a flying fortress in a story? I know that doesn’t describe me. Most of the times, theses things are sprawling. I am thinking of the Death Star and Laputa, but I was actually thinking about something a little more modest. I also have a notion that because this is a world of limited mechanical technologies, the unique ability of the fortress to fly is due to some combination of pulling all the worlds magical and natural assets together into this otherwise impossible feat. I almost want it to be something done out of vanity more than anything else and have a cruel hidden edge to it.
Hard Magic System –
Local Deities –
Mid Fantasy –
Everybody Dies –
Fantasy + Heist –
Play the hand you are dealt. I hear themes should be formed as questions, so I guess the question that RISE Hero and FALL Hero struggle with is: how will you play the hand you are dealt?
BEGINNINGS and ENDINGS
How does RISE begin and end?
How does FALL begin and end?
The designation of “WIP” stands for both “Work in Progress” and “Writing In Public” as I will be publishing and updating these posts as I write them. I might mark off each update to track my progress. I started messing around with this some time in January 2021.