Well it looks like I have neglected this place for about two and a half weeks, so no time like the present to get back at it. Excuses really aren’t my thing, though if I cared to make one, I might craft a compelling narrative about how my classes, and indeed life in general has kept me far to busy to update my blog. While that is close to the truth, I believe that making up a story for this blog is a better use of my time than making up a story as to why I did not do my assignment. Some types of fiction are best left inside the writer’s head. Other types, on the other hand, seem best told through digital media. For example, I may go on for a page and a half describing a character hard at work, crafting some McGuffin that will aid an epic hero on a seemingly insurmountable challenge, however, it is much easier to show a montage where first a blacksmith is hammering a blade out of iron at his forge, then a wise and wizened wizard or witch carefully plants brightly colored gems and inscribes blessings on the weapon to give it certain attributes that the hero may need, and finally a cleric or regent of sorts bestows this blessed blade to our intrepid hero. Perhaps an alchemist has been given a chance to coat the blade in poison, or maybe it is a different kind of weapon, but either way the crafting process remains similar. An archetypal craftsman will form a mighty weapon out of raw materials, then a figure of intelligence will perform some ritual to modify the weapon’s power, occasionally there are multiple, depending on how the weapon needs to be modified, and finally the hero is given this weapon. Though a process like this often gives a writer the opportunity to introduce more interesting characters, sometimes it is more natural to have the hero craft the weapon for themselves in order to show a type of personal growth or experience. I know I should probably cover up before my bias shows, but I often feel as though a character making a weapon through their own hard work and ingenuity is more compelling than when they receive something which is undoubtedly better from a motley cast of characters. Often, it can raise questions. For instance, how do the craftsman, the scholar, and the ruler all trust this plucky adventurer? I have met some people I think would fit the plucky adventurer archetype and about them the craftsman would likely say that they were careless, the scholar that they were unfocussed, and the ruler that they were likely to cause more harm than good. I think, therefor, that my favorite type of fiction is also one I find better written down. If a character, let’s use the plucky adventurer again because I’ve grown to like them, makes that same weapon for themselves, it would wind up taking an entire movie, or at the very least a good portion of one. The same may hold true for a book, but here is where it is superior. In a movie where the plucky adventurer must create a weapon to fight against a generic mega-evil, they would be largely alone in their quest to create this weapon for the same reason as they had others make it for them before, the montage. In this instance, the hero is doing all the work, and the scholar, craftsman, and ruler play supporting roles if they are even present. However in a written work, that same craftsman, instead of working until sweat draws lines in the forge soot on his face, is now regaling our plucky adventurer with stories of his youth, perhaps he was once a plucky adventurer himself until he realized selling things to plucky adventurers was more profitable. In any case, a supporting character often has more opportunity to be given life in a written story than in a digital one. I believe this to the point where I am willing to put my money where my mouth is. Of course, if a plucky adventurer is crafting a weapon for themselves, then the genre is fairly obvious, it is probably and action/adventure story. It is not a necessity for it to be set in a medieval type of setting, but modern plucky adventurers can, and more likely will, buy a gun rather than going through the various complexities involved with milling, stamping, and otherwise manufacturing a firearm. Explosive weapons are also possible, however their damage does not discriminate between evil henchmen and innocent civilians. As the saying goes, “a bullet may have your name on it, but a grenade is addressed “to whom it may concern”. Perhaps an ally of the plucky adventurer could wield explosive weapons and likewise cause indiscriminate damage, that may form an interesting sub-plot, but it is for the best that the plucky adventurer does not frag a crowd of innocents while battling goons of the generic super-evil. In this case, blades are a safe bet. To my knowledge, most people have a basic understanding of how metallic edged weapons are formed. Let’s set the scene. According to the records kept by the council of elders, Grzegorz was in his 18th summer, and as with anyone born in the summer, his 18th meant that he was to undergo his rite of passage. After this he would be selected for a job in the village where he lived and probably work it until he retired to the council of elders himself or he died. The rite of passage was a significant event in anyone’s life, and though it had lost most of it’s practicality since the village had been founded a century before, it still held great symbolism in the minds of the villagers. Everyone needed to bring an object, hand made, to the council in order to be selected for their job. It could either be an object related to a job they wanted, or proof that they were skilled in a certain field. The and daughters of the hunters brought meat, the children of the masons brought mortar trowels, and so on for the multitude of other professions in the village. Grzegorz was an orphan, though, and as nobody’s son, he knew none of the trades. So it was that he brought the most important object he owned to the gathering. It was a knife, many speculated that it was left with him by his family, but nobody could ever figure out why this large blade was left with a young child at the entrance of the village. He had kept it with him ever since, no matter who was taking the time to raise him, that knife had always found some use in their house. Week by week he grew under the care of the villagers, and being an amalgamation of all their parenting styles, he was fairly well liked. The knife, while carrying many purposes, was seen as specifically the tool of a killer, and his most prized possession wound up making him an outcast. Without a job, he could not stay in the village, and was made to leave. His path had been chosen, as the elders said, and he would be doing the job they most closely associated with a knife, crime. So here we find him travelling the woods in search of a new home. Chance had set him on this path, so he decided to let it guide him from here on.
That was brief, I know, but I decided to cut it short here and allow myself time to think before adding more. This will come up again, though, because our plucky adventurer Gregozh still needs to make himself a weapon.