11 Aug SDCC 2011- Epic Story Telling
here’s my first blog from SDCC…
a big part of Comic Con the last few years has been the EPIC Hall H panels. for those of you that don’t know, “Hall H” is the largest room at the Convention Center. it can fit probably 6,000 people and it is the location for the biggest panels for the biggest movies. this is the place where the Twilight fans lined up the night before in order to guarantee their spot for a panel the following afternoon.
the line got to be so crazy, that if you wanted to see something at ANY point during the day, it was better to line up in the morning and spend the entire day in the Hall. and last year I did just that. there were several days that I didn’t leave until the afternoon or evening.
but this year was different…I’m not really sure why. I just didn’t have the desire to do it again. maybe I wasn’t as excited about the movies that were showing? maybe it was that some of my “Hall H friends” from last year weren’t at the Con? but for whatever the reason, I ended up seeing a lot of smaller panels.
one of the first I went to was on “Epic Story Telling.” I didn’t really know exactly what the panel was on, but the headline interested me. there is a large guide with detailed descriptions of the panels, but I throw that away pretty quickly. first, it is BIG and I don’t want to carry it around. and second, part of what I like about SDCC is being exposed to different mediums and different types of creators. if I’m a little loose about the panels I go to, I figure I’ll be exposed to a greater variety of subjects & people.
“Epic Story Telling” ended up being about epic, “Lord of The Rings” style novels. I didn’t know any of the authors – or any of their books. although it turned out that the author of “Game of Thrones,” George Martin was a panel member. but they never referred directly to that title… I guess they just figured those in the audience would “know” who he was.
the question was raised, “why epic stories?” throughout mankind’s history, we’ve told our tales in this format. from the Illiad, to the Bible, to Star Wars – we are drawn to these types of stories. several of the authors had insight to this. one remarked about “actions of consequence” things that move beyond our “daily lives.” another spoke on the idea of “immersion” that a longer, and bigger story could pull the reader into the world more.
both of the points strike true to me. the immersion helps pull us into the large and fantastic worlds, where things matter. actions have meaning. the fate of the hero (ourselves) and their loved ones (our families) hangs in the balance. maybe even the entire world is at stake. we relate to these stories AND get to dream about bigger and extraordinary things.
the is obviously a HUGE subject, and not something that a 1 hour panel can fully answer, but it was nice to hear other writer’s talk about it.
it was also great to hear about their creative process. it really varied from person to person. one author didn’t outline at all. another had a 90 page outline for his book. some started with characters, some started with worlds, some started with ideas/themes. each one had found a technique which suited their personal creative process the best. there was no “right” way to go about writing.
Tolkien and his process of starting with “language” were often mentioned. in fact, I’ve never heard one single influence mentioned SO much at a panel. you’d think that the genre would not even exist if not for him. but weren’t their dragons and knights and orcs and dwarves and other magical kingdoms and realms before him?
a few also mentioned the “beautiful accidents” part of writing. when you think you know what you want to write, but for whatever reason, something changes while you are working..inspiration hits and you come across something new and unexpected. occasionally this will be JUST the thing that you are looking for. sometimes, it ends up being nothing, but it is an interesting part of the process.
this is something that I’ve experienced in my own work and it was nice to hear that I’m not the only one…
ok, that’s enough for now. my render is almost done and I need to get back to editing.