Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Kestros Development Diary 3: Dressing the Dictatress

At present I'm trying to think of a suitable opening line for the prologue. I've written dialogue for several chapters but not in the proper order. Dialogue mostly comes naturally, rolling with a mild 1960s tint of 'Gee' and 'Boy', but distant narration is harder to pen. It opens with a brief visual-and-textual description of the world, explaining the context of the opening scenes which depict some heavy brutality.

This is a story about...

What's this about anyway?

A side-note about the design of Kestros.


Herein is sixties girl group THE CAKE performing You Can Have Him. Watch it.

Oh I know - the freaky dancing, the audacious outfits, the bizarre Star Trek set, it's easy to laugh at. But this is one of the best performances I've ever seen. I keep going back to watch it again. Jeanette Jacobs, the stunner in the green suit, is part of it. The way she stays motionless while the others really get into it - looking the whole time like she's about to cry. It adds this edge to it, sort of enchanting yet vaguely discomforting.

Information on her is difficult to find even in the vast internet world.

She had epilepsy, medication for which may account for the static performance. (Naturally this was the sixties, so most people seem intent on shrieking about drugs whenever seeing the above video.) She was close friends with Jimi Hendrix and apparently suffered some sort of breakdown after his death.

She died in 1980. She was thirty years old.

So there is this depressing halo to seeing You Can Have Him, and particularly hearing Baby That's Me.

Actually there is an undertone like this to a lot of the music from the era, like there was something seriously unpleasant lurking behind the wonderful sounds. A lot of the singers were hooked on drugs, one of the best songs is a disturbing defensive stance on domestic violence, and one of the biggest names in music turned out to be a lunatic and murderer. The music becomes incredibly haunting to listen to. This is the element of the time I want to recapture and represent - something sinister in a carefully maintained facade of glamour. The story exists within a time where the veils are on the verge of falling and all Hell is about to break loose.

Oh yeah, back to the Kestros design - can you see why it's a good idea to write this? Off on a tangent of a side-story...

Jeanette was a large inspiration in the visual redesign; the hair, expressions - not so much the clothes (Jackie Kennedy, there). Yeah, that's it. That was a lot of history for a small note. I just wanted to write about THE CAKE really.


The element of knowing too much about the grim history of this pop culture is related to how I'm writing. The climax of the story sees the country being decimated by a savage war with many of the pampered elite being torn out of lives of luxury and civilians forced to fight for survival; a sort of 'new world order'. The result of this is that - as the writer (I'm not sure what effect knowing this would have on the reader) - all characters are viewed as fated; killing time as they draw closer to some serious unpleasantness.

This has been achieved by scripting scenes in reverse. Twists of betrayal, murder, torture and battles have been written before most of the characters have even been established. It's probably the worst way to write, I know, but it does allow a different way of seeing the characters from the start. It almost makes an empathy for the unpleasant ones.

'This is a story about revenge, moral decay, power, etc.'


'This is a story about how one person attempted to destroy the world'?

I don't know.

Maybe I should write the ending first so I can find out what it's actually about.


Graham said...

Hello!Very good blog!
We can send people from oficial blog of Jimi Hendrix's Fanclub
to your blog?
Leave your link on my blog

Jay said...

Thank you for the offer but to be honest this is probably the only time Jimi Hendrix will be mentioned here so it would be a little disappointing for his fans, haha.

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