How everything from 'The Stars My Destination' to 'Streets Of Fire' (and even 'Justice League', in a negative way!) fed into the making of my new novel.By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020/08/12 08:00
In my previous installment in this series, I talked about the major influences on my forthcoming novel The Fall Of The Hammer. Here, I'm going to talk about the way those influences came together to form a story.
A rundown of some of the other stories and films that influenced 'Hammer''s growth and direction.By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020/08/10 08:00
Back in Part Two of this series, I talked about the bare idea behind Fall Of The Hammer, and the general outlines of the story it inspired. Here, I'm going to dive into some of the other media that influenced how Hammer took shape and direction.
With your sources for a story, it ain't where you start, it's where you end up, and how you get there.By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020/08/08 17:00
Sorry, busy week, hence the silence. In re a discussion of Charlie Kaufman's Adaptation:
... the film’s ending isn’t so much a mockery of subservience to an audience’s expectations, but rather a depiction of how a skilled writer can construct meaningful purpose from even the most banal expectations and formulae.
It ain't where you start, it's where you end up, and how you get there. I had the lowest possible expectations for the likes of John Wick, and not only did I get rocked back on my psychic heels three times in a row (and soon it'll be #4 and #5), but I ended up taking inspiration from it for at least one, possibly two, other works. But I suspect people would struggle to connect the finished work with the inspiration, and that's fine — that's the sign the inspiration is working as fuel and not as a template.
The alterna-past setting and backstory for my new novel, 'Fall Of The Hammer'.By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020/08/01 17:00
Back in Part One of this series, I talked about how I scraped my new novel's ideas from a couple of long-dead ones. The ideas themselves mutated drastically once I had them together under a new roof.
How to seek out stories that intelligently confront the moral complexity of the 21st century.By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020/07/30 17:00
Good essay, great closing lines:
Narrative is not the power to choose outcomes, but it is often the power to tip the scales when someone is hovering between action and despair. You can find hundreds of images of protest signs with lines from Orwell, but a few years ago when Japan hosted a world peace summit, the organizers hung a very different sign in the main hall: “We Must Make a Future That Would Not Make Astro Boy Cry.” So many tools that galvanize resistance come from fantasy and science fiction. We who, with Tezuka and with Le Guin, explore imagined worlds, alternatives, and other ways of being must not narrow that larger reality, not when it has so much power to shape action, hope, or surrender. So let’s keep broadening our broader reality, so we can also broaden the possibilities of this one.
Sometimes adapting something, as one form of remaking it, can do it a favor.By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020/07/29 17:00
The other day we got to talking about when remaking something actually does it a favor. I deviated from the original ideal a little and thought about how adapting something, as one form of remaking it, can do it a favor.
Many mediocre books can be turned into good-to-great movies, for instance, by stripping away everything that doesn't need to be there (turgid prose, irrelevant "atmosphere", nonsensical convolution) and replacing them with the directness and elegance of visual storytelling. I'd rather see a good movie version of a bad book than a bad adaptation of a good one. But that doesn't mean I'd rather see people never attempt to adapt a good book into a great movie, and only go for the low-hanging fruit.
How my new novel 'Fall Of The Hammer' started from a project I'd abandoned over twenty-five years ago.By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020/07/27 17:00
Once upon a time, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and the screech of dial-up networking was a common sound, I hatched an idea for a novel called (drumroll, please) The Fall Of The Hammer. The core idea: At some undefined time in history, the world shattered into a mosaic of times and places, each interpenetrating with the other to some degree. Against this backdrop, there was a ... uh ...
You see the problem. I had a setting, but no story. But I tried to write one anyway, and got about sixty thousand words in before hitting a brick wall and giving up.
Science fiction, rebooted.
New York City
Other Lives Of The Mind