Friday 26th January 2018
My friend came over this evening and we had an evening of watching The Defenders on Netflix. It was a fun evening of silliness, fart jokes and I actually really liked seeing the Netflix Marvel Universe come together (Don’t even start me off on how excited I am for Infinity War)
As I’ve previously mentioned… I’m very much in the ideas stage on Shade Knight Book 3. I have an idea of what happens in one story thread of the novel but no firm idea of plot. I just know it’s going to be a murder investigation. As for the other thread… I have no idea save for perhaps one scene.
The Shade Knight books follow the idea commonplace to most superhero properties of having a big bad each novel. In my notes for the series I tend to use Batman villains as placeholders. Now, there’s a big long article to be written for some blog or other when Shade Knight 1 comes out on how Batman villains are a reflection of Batman’s character (Batman is serious, so the Joker is comical; Batman is a detective, so the Riddler poses problems; etc.) and so it is with my titular character of the Shade Knight. He has his origins in Batman and Spider-man and so villains can sometimes be similar.
However, I treat that as a starting point. So if I was to do a version of The Joker (which I won’t ever do – that’s another long article) he’d be a court jester for the Grand Duke. I might make him sad and nihilistic rather than comical. Whereas The Joker is rich in psychotically warm , I might make ‘The Jester’ cold and detached. I’d work through a load of ideas, always trying to ensure that the villain reflected part of the Shade Knight’s character.
So for book 3, the starting point for the villain is Catwoman. Now this poses a number of challenges. Firstly, what would a Regency version of Catwoman be like? And then how do I take that idea and run it into something different.
Catwoman bristles with sexuality and I like some of that idea because it creates an interesting dichotomy with my hero. I could go the prostitute route but I think that’s a little too obvious and so I’ve always wanted to do this character as the woman who has fallen in society (I may have even been setting this up for a couple of books!). But even doing this makes the villain seem very shallow.
Watching the Defenders, my friend and I were saying how much we like Jessica Jones. I like how she doesn’t give a shit, takes no nonsense from people.
“I’d love to write a character a bit like that,” I said to my friend.
And so, I’m left wondering if I could somehow merge the inspirations of Catwoman and Jessica Jones into something that feels less like pastiche and more into a much more layered and interesting villain.
I don’t have all the answers yet, but that’s OK. This is the idea stage and it’s when a lot of ideas get tossed around. I may end up with something that is a million miles away from both these ideas, but that’s part of the fun!
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels. Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.
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Past Years: 2017 – The Year Of The Offensive