Monday, May 9, 2011

The Catalyst that Sparked the Project

A lot of my close friends and family members that know about my writing project usually ask me, “How did you come up with it?” after I explained the concept.  Honestly, the story isn’t as amazing as one might think but for today’s report we will dive straight into the birth of Agent M: Project Mabus.

                Not too sound cliché but, It all started in early 2003.  I was working on a pair of different projects.  One of them was an idea for a new comic book series (that’ll hopefully see the light of day soon) and the other was a fan-fiction project based on one of my favorite fighting game series, The King of Fighters.  Both projects were taking up all of my creative resources (as well as earning my undergraduate degree) so any and every idea I had, good or bad, was written down.

While writing fan-fiction was taking up the bulk of my time I began developing more and more characters for this superhero comic.  One character in particular had struck my fancy.  I wanted to create a unique antagonist for my heroes to fight and in this case, it was going to be an F.B.I. Agent.  His goal was to apprehend the heroes as vigilantes and in order for him to do so, he would definitely have to be able to handle all of their unique abilities.  After thinking about it more, it started to sound like a bad idea and I had the feeling that it was going to be scrapped.  Little did I know, inspiration was waiting for me at my local movie theatre.

Being a huge comic book fan, I couldn’t wait to see Marvel’s newest release Daredevil.  My brother tagged along and we entered a semi empty theater at 10:45 am to enjoy the show.  Sadly, as many of you may have already heard, Daredevil isn’t all it’s an Oscar worthy film in any stretch.  During the film, I began listening to the music more than I did the actual story itself.  I’m much more inspired by a good song than any piece of writing (stories for another time) and so while I was sitting there in that theater I began plotting out the entire background for that one F.B.I. Agent that would have originally never seen the light of day.

The world I created for him became so incredible that my imagination went into overdrive.  I began seeing the merit of telling this story beyond the scope of a comic book and into something able to handle its magnitude.  Using the songs from the Daredevil soundtrack, I plotted out specific scenes of the story and set up this world that I have now created.

Weeks after I had the spark, I was inspired yet again from a pair of films (this one I didn’t actually see but only heard of), Aeon Flux and Ultraviolet.  Both of these movies had one major thing in common, strong female protagonists.  However, these females seemed weird to me. It appears the only way to write a convincing female heroine that kicks a lot of ass is to have them be brash and silent.  Why? I asked myself this numerous times.  Why can’t anyone write a convincing female badass akin to Bruce Willis of Die Hard or Jason Statham of The Transporter?  This question was resolved by looking back to my favorite film of all time and one of the strongest female protagonists that has ever existed, Sarah Conner.  Using her as a reference, I was able to build the foundation for the other protagonist in my story.

Finally, and probably equally significant, the original series was never going to be titled Agent M.  After building the basic elements of the story, The Catalyst was the working title of the book but after a few weeks of consideration, I thought it was kind of a weak brand name.  It’s instantly recognizable and known.  Therefore, there is no mystery to it.  When you hear Agent M, there’s an aura of ambiguity which completely fits the tone of this series.

Well, there you have it; the origins of my novel idea (pun intended).  Inspiration has many forms and thankfully, I never stopped developing my ideas.  Had I gone ahead and tried to publish my original manuscript, well…  I don’t think I would be nearly as confident as I am today.  Patience was definitely needed and thankfully, it’s one of the few things I have in abundance.


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