Investigators’ Club

So since I have this blog I thought I might talk a bit about what I’ve largely been working on for the past few weeks. The two stories that hopefully you have read and the third one that is a work in progress, the investigator’s club.

Mostly this started because doing nothing except editing my novel, Archon, was becoming a real drag. I also had all of these character concepts floating around in my head and no real idea about how to fit each of them into their own story. Then I looked at a lot of urban fantasy out there and I realized that most of it seems to revolve around singular  protagonists, often speaking in the first person. So I thought it might be fun to put together a sort of team of all these half thought out paranormal investigators I had rattling around in my brain.

So really, the Investigators’ club is about characters. So lets talk about them.

I’ll go in the order that they’re introduced in the first story so we’ll start with Oroitz. I chose his name because it’s the Basque word for memory and as a character he is largely defined by his memory, or more accurately his lack of one. I drew inspiration from characters like Jason Bourne and Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce’s character from Memento (a movie by Christopher Nolan (director of the Dark Knight trilogy (a movie series about Batman)))). I also based some of his characteristics off of Thomas Carnacki, one of the first real occult detectives in fiction. Think a cross between Sherlock Holmes and the Ghost Busters and you get Thomas Carnacki.

The idea for Oroitz having a book that contains knowledge of everything also kind of comes from Carnacki where he had this book called the Sigsand Manuscript that he seemed to have memorized and that also seemed to contain everything you could ever want to know about ghosts or whatever. I thought about what a book that had so much knowledge would have to be like and then thought about what it would be like to have all of that in your head and boom, Oroitz.

Anyways enough about what I stole to make Oroitz, let’s talk about what I stole to make the other characters. Let’s talk about Alan.

Alan is part of something I love to do in my stories and that’s blend magic and science. I also based him on the internet phenomenon known as “Creepypasta”. For those of my readers who don’t know what that is (hi mom and dad!) it’s basically horror stories that sometimes have accompanying images. I got this idea in my head of someone who looks into all of these stories, flushing out the truth and battling the monsters. Shunned and mocked by the very internets he protects!

Also, personality wise, I’ve probably put more of myself into Alan than I have any other character. He has many of the same hobbies and interests as me and he also has a few of my quirks. On the other hand he’s also a bitter little misanthrope who hates and mocks the very inernets he protects.

Then there’s Miranda. She’s actually an older character of mine that starred in a short story I wrote a while ago. I think my sister might have a copy? Because I sure don’t. At any rate she is the result of my frustration with the consistent negative stereotyping of mermaids in the media.

No not really. But she did stem from my noticing that mermaids in stories usually only have three things they can do. Frolic, drag unwary seamen to their watery graves, and pine for having legs. So I thought, what if the mermaid already could give herself legs, wasn’t a serial murderer, and wasn’t into the whole frolicking thing? What’s a half fish half girl to do?

Because of the way my mind works the only logical answer was battle evil.

Also, if anyone who I have not already told can tell me why I named her Miranda in the comments I will totally give them a no-prize.

Last but not least there’s Flora. She’s the result of my thinking, what if Vampirella and Harry Dresden had a kid? I you don’t know who either of those character’s are do a Google search.But do NOT do a Google image search, especially not for Vampirella. Just don’t.

Did you do it? You didn’t do an image search did you? Ok let’s keep moving.

So Vampi and Dresden have a kid, but instead of being a typical half vampire where they have a vampire’s strength but none of its weaknesses (i.e. every third female protagonist of an urban fantasy novel ever) she’s powerless and frankly kind of timid.She has to survive in a world she has no choice but to be a part of with only her knowledge and wits to help her survive a million things that could tear her to pieces without any effort.

But then my brain only works a certain way so I turned her into Batman.

 

Judge, Judy, and Executioner.

So I came across the trailer for the new Judge Dredd movie today and it got me thinking about those comics and how they’ve influenced my writing (the Archons are basically toned down versions of Judges with religious overtones instead of fascist ones). Specifically it made me think of the archetype of a character who is judge, jury and executioner. I’m not just talking about a character who takes the law into their own hands but a character who is the law (sorry).

While it shouldn’t be a surprise that this archetype will show up as villains in dystopian works it’s also surprisingly prevalent to have it with a neutral or even heroic portrayal. Why is that? Well, there is an escapist aspect to it. The idea of a lone individual, morally incorruptible, willing to cut through all the red tape and legal loopholes and dispense pure unadulterated justice. Were such a person to exist many people would be comfortable to have that person watch over them. There is a simple narrative aspect to it as well, it’s convenient. It’s convenient to not have a character have to deal with regulations or paperwork or due process because then the writer doesn’t have to deal with it, and as an added bonus neither does the reader.