Apologies for the late post this week, I have just got back from Glasgow where the wi-fi was playing up and I was unable to access anything. On the long drive back to the sunny south west I got to thinking about where characters come from. I was wondering if some classic characters-say Superman for example, are modern versions of folk tales. Michael Chabon in The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Clay , a novel well worth reading, offers a disguised Superman, whose origins are partly inspired by the Golem, an old Jewish legend. Apparently the novelist Howard Jacobsen sees Moses as the model for the man of steel.
The creators Siegel and Schuster have stated on many occasions that Superman just appeared out of the blue and they thought he was a good idea. Siegel has cited Edgar Rice Burroughs John Carter as an influence, especially his ability to jump long distances which was made possible by the weaker gravity of Mars. Side tracking for a moment have you seen the new John Carter movie? I have to say I have not; I reread the novel about four years ago and I was disappointed. I read all the series in the 1960’s when a teenager. I think perhaps it is best to read ERB before you develop any critical faculties. Have you seen the film? What did you make of it?
All of this is a preamble to talking about the development of CO2. I have to admit that the idea for the world came out of nowhere one sunny July morning last year and like Siegel and Schuster I thought it was a good one. I cannot claim it came fully formed, the knack I think is recognising that you have the germ of a usable idea and refining it so that it does work.
For me having created this idea of a totalitarian Church, hell bent on reshaping the world to their image, it was important to think about how that world had come into being. How was it different to ours and what events had made it so. This led me to spending time writing the history of both the world and the Church.
The characters too came about from specific images. Shaj, for instance I first saw in a fight scene, wielding a nihonto and her back story grew from that image. I am blessed by having such a skilled artist, who can turn my jumble of words into a reality.
Where do your ideas come from? I’d be really interested in hearing how you come up with characters and why you develop them in the way that you do. Post a comment, I’m all ears.