Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Dream Savior and the Manolos

Every plot I think of is difficult to explain let alone write. I have been trying for the last few days to see if I could explain either one of my main stories in a few paragraphs and I cannot. I can't even find a place to start since every aspect of the story needs another to help explain it. I am not even sure a writing class could help me with this. I mean maybe some stories are just not supposed to be told.

The story I have been dying to tell for the last fifteen years or so takes place in that split-second moment between just sleeping and dreaming. I play with the idea that, if dreams are black and white for most people then there can be an entire dimension to our dreams occurring in color that we never see. In the moment we go from our color reality to our gray dream world, there is a chance for possession by a demon. Our nightmares are sometimes possessions by these demons.

The story centers on a character I call “The Dream Savior” for lack of a better name and it is here where the story flies off the handles and gets impossible to explain. If I simplify the story I lose the point of it. It is this character and his main nemesis that creates the entire crux of the problem: it is impossibly convoluted. I can only try here.

The story is a prolonged origin story of the Dream Savior (I am just going to say “Dreamer” from now on). In essence, this is not the first Dreamer and not the last. They are destined to fail and, in their failure the next one is created so, by telling the demise of this Dreamer I am also telling its origin.

OK, Now it gets weird. I was not sober when I thought up this story all those years ago for the record, but I have never forgotten it. It is haunting me in certain ways, but is more taunting me with the fact that I cannot tell it to anyone in anyway that makes any sense to anyone other than me..

The Dreamer's main function is to battle the demons possessing our dreams and collect their evil which he feeds the Manolos. The Manolos is a creature made up of humanity's acts. It is good when mankind is overall good and evil when mankind is evil. It is a mirror of our times. It is the Dreamer's task to maintain the balance in the Manolos by keeping as much evil out of the world as possible.

To the Dream Demons the Manolos is a god. Like the Dreamer, they know the central rule of mankind: good left alone will die while evil ignored will grow. If the Manolos were to escape and be free of the Dreamer, the evil in it would overcome the good and the Dream Demons would have their leader, be rid of the Dreamer, and have free reign over humanity's souls.

The “mythology” of the Dreamer goes as such: the Manolos will escape. The Dreamer's task at that point is to find and return the Manolos to the Dream Realm. The person whose mind the Manolos possesses while it is free is the person chosen to become the next Dreamer and the current Dreamer is punished for allowing the Manolos to escape. Destinies are not always fair..

The punishment for losing the Manolos is that the Dreamer is cursed to forever spend eternity as a mocking bird perched upon the leafless oak tree. The mocking bird is there to guide and teach the new Dreamer, but they are usually bitter and jealous of losing their power and provide little help. They only provide help to keep the Dreamer around as long as possible. Their fates are tied since only three mockingbirds may exist at any time. When a Dreamer fails and transforms the oldest mockingbird dies.

Now the story would take place in two realities eventually, but would start off in only one: the Dream Realm. This setting is composed of a vast desert encircled by a continuous mountain range. The only other object in this desert is a lone leafless oak tree, which is where the mocking birds live. Each grain of sand making up the desert is a dream. They are every dream that ever was or that will ever be. Time does not exist in this reality.

The other reality for the story would be the human world. The Manolos escapes and possesses the mind of a nine year old girl. He slowly drives her insane as his evil grows and forbids her to dream in fear of the Dreamer finding him. Since she never dreams, she drifts far from reality and slowly becomes trapped in a “waking dream” where the Manolos gains full control of her; wake or asleep. This would be the subplot I suppose. There is more to it, but mystery is needed.

I guess that is the story in a nutshell. It can go anywhere I choose in any time I choose since the majority of it takes place in people's dreams. The story would follow the Dreamer in his battles with people's nightmares in his search for the Manolos. I have the main plot points down pat, I just don't have any filler at all.

Any ideas? Please be honest: the blunter the better. “It sucks” would not be out of line. Even posting this now I fear that it is just the silly writings of a 22 year old that has just stuck with me for so long that it sounds good. Ask any questions you may have please because it will help me see where the plot is weak.


Scary Monster said...

Let me sleep on it and get back to you tomorrow.

Anything that's been pestering you for as many years as these thoughts have, need the attention of a long weekend and a couple of bottles of yer preferred booze.

Kanrei said...

Sleep well on it and beware the demons =D

Variant E said...

Can I play one of the disgruntled mocking birds when it goes into movie production?

I actually read the whole post carefully. I usually fly though fast but I like different ideas and so I took my time. I was trying to see if I understood the point about the dream savior's role of having to round up the Manolos that escape but at the same time not knowing anything because they are the "new guy" partnered with a bunch of bitter "old guys" in the form of mocking birds.

Now, I'm a little fuzzy on the whole mission of the dream savior to retrive Manolos but while at the same time only one (the current Dream Savior) is allowed to leave the "desert of dreams" to accomplish their mission. Also, if the "desert of dreams" place has no time, then what is the criterea for a failed mission if not time? What determines that they get turned into a mocking bird?

I guess it's Monday. I actually like the idea. I'm not sure I have enough to understand that it all ties together and makes sense but I think you have something there. You should pursue it or perhaps you'll be the mocking bird!

Kanrei said...

WOW! Thank you!
See what I mean about a twisted and really hard story?

The mockingbirds cannot enter dreams because they have lost that power.

I can see a weakness now and thank you. I am not sure how the Dreamer knows his role as protector/keeper of the Manolos yet. In my original story it just sorta was his job. There does need to be some explaination atleast in my head before I start writing that part I see. Never thought of it before actually.

The Dreamer is not the only one who leaves the desert in dreams: the demons do it as well as the Manolos. The only ones without the power to enter dreams from the desert are the Mockingbirds. I may not have explained that part.

then what is the criterea for a failed mission if not time? What determines that they get turned into a mocking bird?

The fact that a mission is needed is the sign of failure. TIme is a factor in the other realms. I only meant that all times co-exist in the Dream Realm at the same time. There is no "past" or "future" there. Ceaser's dreams are there next to Reagan's.

I do need much more explaining I know. This story really may be beyond my abilities.

Serena Joy said...

Anything that one can think up is worthy of taking it as far as you can. You clearly have some fairly strong ideas about this story and a sense of direction. I say run with it, play it out, and see what develops.

Variant E said...

I think you are fairly close. You might try to use a technique like mind mapping to sketch out the relationships and rules of your world to look for holes in it. I love original ideas but I hate large logic holes. I'll give you an example. In the movie "The Rock" Sean Connery's character supposedly retraces his escape route from Alcatraz but in a reverse order. He goes through this complicated sequence to get through a burning furnace and then simply opens a door for the rest of the team with him. The logic hole with this plot is that if he had escaped by going the other way, why would he need to go through the furnace in the first place if he could simply unlock the door and go through it as he just did?

The only reason I bring up the mind mapping or sketching is that in your comment reply you said right at the start that mockingbirds cannot enter dreams, they have lost that power but then later in a paragraph said that the mockingbirds are the only ones with the power to enter dreams from the desert. Either this is conflicting or I've misunderstood because I'm not grasping the entire storyline. Sometimes it is worth playing devil's advocate with your plot/rules to see if they hold up. A good one will; a poor one will require too many repairs and bandages to make it solid. Your idea is worth the investment in my opinion.

Kanrei said...

I said they were they only ones without the power I think. Either way, that is what I mean. This is going to be a hard story to tell. Could be the story of my life. I hope I am not stealing any ideas though. I cannot think of anything that I could have. Dreamscape and Sandman share similar themes so I need to check those stories out more to make sure I am not just rewriting something I read somewhere else long ago.

Roxan said...

I like it. These days it's almost impossible not to at least edge into a previous idea. The thing is to make it your own.

Kanrei said...

Thanks Roxan. I have seen so many movies and read so many comics that I am just nervous. People love to sue nowadays.

I am leaning towards trying to script this into a comic. I think the potential lies there over a novel or movie.

Camille Alexa said...

I don't know what kind of writer you are but for many, it doesn't matter how detailed your original outline or plan is; once you start writing the thing in truth, it takes you where it will (some call us pantsers). I think you've mentioned before that you've already experienced this phenomenon.

So. Try this:
Take the idea, the kernel of the story, and start writing toward it.

Keep writing no matter what, because (and this is not mine) a writer writes. Sure, he does plenty of other things too, but mainly, he writes.

Set aside the agonizing; set aside the detailed outlining; set aside the self-doubt, and just write. Force yourself to write and write and write until you find the end of your story. It may not be the end you predicted.

You can always rewrite, expound, expand, but you have to start. You have to push through when/if you stall out. And you have to finish. Don't agonize over what these things mean, just write according to those three rules first (write, keep writing, finish) and all others only after.

Sorry I can't be any more helpful than that, but I think it has to be said. It will be worth it, no matter what.

After the finished product you can offer it up for critique if you wish. But, as many are fond of saying, finish the damn novel already.