Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Doing Some Bloody Research

I mentioned it in passing a few times here on this blog, but I'm gearing up to write my first ever novel. Now, before you get excited--don't. It's nothing but a "practice" novel. Really, just glorified fan fiction, if you will. But fan fiction based on a video game rather than a movie or television property.

The game in question is Castlevania III, which was released on the original 8-bit NES back in 1990.

I chose to go this route because, rather than try to write for profit, this will be more like a technical exercise for me in the mechanics of novel writing. Since the bare minimal of plot is already laid out by the game, this will allow me to focus on other aspects of writing a full-length MS (I'm guessing 80 to 90k words here), such as: outlining, pacing, characterization, character arcs, and research.

To further the last aspect along, as well as other things, I'm reading a few non-fictional as well as fictional sources to educate me about the life and times of the historical Vlad III and 15th century Romanian politics. Although none of this is in the game, I want to flesh out the story a great deal, and part of this will be done by throwing in a political intrigue component to go along with why Trevor Belmont is sent in to battle the (now) undead Dracula.

Two of my most recent purchases include these books:

Dracula, Prince of Many Faces: His Life and His Times by Radu Florescu and Raymond McNally.

Vlad Dracula: The Dragon Prince by Michael Augustyn.

I've already done a ton of independent research on my own, trying to build a feasible and historic backdrop to the rather more fantastical plotting of the game. So what I'll end up with if all goes well is a nicely rounded historical fantasy with horror elements. And although I hadn't planned it this way, the timing of this project fits the season perfectly! Should be interesting.

I'm very excited by the story elements I'm working out in my head at the moment. I feel like I have so much to tell! And with the research I'm doing, I'm getting more and more sucked into the world of 15th century Transylvanian and Wallachian politics. I'm even contemplating a trip to the "real" Dracula's castle in Arges County, Romania--rumored to be the most haunted ruins in all of Europe.

Oooh, creepy!

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