Tonight, my friends, I would like to relate a rather sobering event that happened to me recently in regards to my novel. Specifically, I want to discuss a particular scene that has been fomenting in my mind for quite some time now. It is...or rather, was...one of my "darlings" and this is the tale of how it died.
This particular scene was never meant for the first volume of my planned series. Truth be told, I'll be lucky to finish the first novel let alone anymore. However, I like to dream big and, as such, I have plans for at least three novels and then an ever progressing tangential series afterwards. The scene I am referring to would have likely been at the end of book three or maybe one of the later volumes. You see, I'm not normal. No, no. I know it's true. I tend to dream up the ending of a story first and then the beginning. The true work comes with all the fiddly bits in between.
This, then, was a idea that came to me at some point about two years ago. I have been cultivating it in my mind ever since. It was a glorious thing really. At least, it was in my mind. The protagonist, Darragh (pronounced "Di-re"), stood alone atop a rocky scree with only a few loyal retainers behind him. At the foot of the hill is an army set against him as his stalwart friends. Now, here's where I thought it got good. One of the companions was a drummer (e.g. - colonial English regimental drummer) who begins to tap out a folk song. I even went so far as to write the first two verses of this song. I won't pester you with now, but the tune was set to a traditional bag pipe melody called "Scotland the Brave". Why in this wide universe I chose that particular tune, I cannot tell you. My mind should probably never be left to its own devices, really.
Anyway, so here are our heroes facing certain doom singing this folk tune to a single drum. I should mention here that Darragh is holding a furled flag. As our hero finishes the second or third verse (he isn't singing loudly, just enough to see the steam trail into the cold air from his words), he hears others begin to join the chorus. Much as with the video above, other instruments/voices join in over time as allies that Darragh thought were denied to him begin to show: Fife and drum first, followed by deep horns, and finally trumpets. As the last echoes of the song fade away, Darragh thrusts the flag staff into the gravel allowing it to unfurl. In my head it was magnificent.
And then, I happened across a movie called "Dragon Blade" starring Jackie Chan.
Now, for the record, I am a fan of Jackie Chan and his works. However, not every movie can be a home run. I mention this movie because at the end of it there is a grand fight scene. Now, some of you may have seen this movie or have guessed at what is coming next. There was Mr. Chan with his plucky band of heroes standing on a sand dune watching as four other un-looked for ally armies came to the field. Did they sing as well, you may ask? Why yes, dear reader, they sang and played their instruments (gongs, horns, and trumpets) as they charged down the dunes towards the enemy. So there is Mr. Chan singing a war anthem amid a well choreographed battle scene.
It was horrible.
I still play my version of this scene in my head, but not nearly as often as I once did. I am thankful that I saw the movie before I committed my scene to the page, but it's a sad thing to see such a seemingly beautiful dream wither on the vine. I will, therefore, chalk this experience up to the hubris of the creative mind and let this darling die.
Oh, Mike! Creative HUBRIS is what I do so well! So sorry it happened to you. I like your version of the scene much better -- certainly, it is more vivid!ReplyDelete
We all do this! Hollywood steals the good stuff. Use it anyway.ReplyDelete