Signal-to-Noise: Beginning a Story

Finding an original spine to create and continue a project around has been one of my struggles so far. I’ve made tons of studies and fan art but too little of my own. It’s a source of a bit of anxiety. Sometimes I would come up with a concept but it wouldn’t really stick. Super-powered humans, personas, psychic tech, inner worlds, mirror worlds, giant monsters, a grim post-apocalypse. Those weren’t solid enough for me, not grounded in some reality, a lot of gaping holes in the plot. I end up questioning myself for the origins of powers, the setting, looking for deep backstory.

For the past few days I tried taking a step back from obsessions that have kept me occupied for months. I even started training parkour again, alone at the old college campus on weekends. Recently I’ve bought a sketchbook and some pencils to fill it with. Just to clear my head and let new ideas roll in. Last night, somehow all the media about story-writing, movie analysis, artists, and recent shows I watched clicked and helped me arrive at a novel concept that would tie my ideas together into one project. It was so fitting that my mind raced with the possibilities even when I was trying to sleep. I was up jotting down notes until two in the morning.

What would be the new core of my story? Forming a band. It was simple, elegant. It works both on a physical and metaphorical level. Echoing with themes of independence, rebellion, and self-expression. It allows me to introduce colorful characters that are able to define themselves. A band gives me a variety of canvasses for art pieces – promo posters, album covers, solos, outfits, etc. There is no need for tournaments of power, secret organizations, chosen ones, and world-ending villains. A band is grounded in reality and relatable – everyone has a favorite band. We root for them in their highs and lows. We lend our support to that small indies trying to make names for themselves. Or those who triumphed and are touring the world in celebration. Will there be magic in the plot? Maybe, maybe not. Threats could exist in reality or in their imaginations. I really liked how Scott Pilgrim handled their battles – imaginatively. A style that leaves a lot for visualization but lies in the power of music and creativity.

Our story starts in the drone of routine. In the moving crowd. In the middle of this lethargic city. In the dead of night. Where people move mindlessly homeward. Two people are drawn to each other by synchronicity. She is always there, by the crossing; same time, same place. She stands out always carrying her guitar covered in vivid colors. Always moving along just as their paths would cross. This is the day he breaks the cycle. Tonight he would follow.

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