Monday 6 September 2010

Parrots and Piracy

Friday marked the fourth flash adventure of Captain Scarlight and his telepathic parrot, Methuselah. A couple of people have asked me if I intend to turn their tales into a serial, and in a word, the answer is no.

I already have my serial project in the form of my (occasionally "too-big-for-me") project, Tales from Vertigo City. Each of the nine tales is delivered in serial format, with each instalment appearing on a weekly basis. I try to write it in such a way that each instalment both answers earlier questions, while asking new ones, and I try to write it in a way that readers will come back the following week to find out what happens. A serial follows the 'story arc' format, with regular readers rewarded with references to earlier episodes, while new episodes move the plot along. It would be difficult to drop into the serial at any point and know what was going on, because it's intended to be read from the first episode.

I've never intended to write a Scarlight/Methuselah serial. That's not to say there won't be more adventures - no, there will be. The difference occurs in that I want their adventures to be more self-contained. I'm hoping that you could read any of their stories and still enjoy it, without having to read the others. Obviously, I hope that you enjoy the tale enough to want to read the others, but the idea is still that of the adventure "in isolation". There's not much that anyone needs to know about the pair other than the fact that the Captain likes to "drink and be merry" and Methuselah is telepathic, so in theory, the project should work. To illustrate, think of The X Files. My serial is like their 'story arc' episodes, as Mulder runs around investigating the alien abduction conspiracy theories, and they make little sense without viewing the episodes earlier in the story arc. The Scarlight/Methuselah flashes are more like their 'monster of the week' episodes, such as the one where Mulder and Scully spend Christmas Eve in a haunted house. These episodes can be viewed on their own merit.

However, for those people who have taken a liking to the characters, I can confirm that I am planning an e-book for their adventures! Parrots and Piracy will bundle together the seven flashes I plan to publish on my blog, along with four exclusive adventures. But THIS is where you come in. I'd love it for people to send me writing prompts for these four adventures. Leave your prompt in the comments section and I will choose four at random. Those lucky four contributors will win a signed Scarlight/Methuselah sketch! I'll also send you a free PDF of the e-book, because I'm nice like that.

If you'd like to check out the links to the previous adventures, I've made a page for the pair on my site. Have fun exploring here!


Anonymous said...

Regrettably, the timepiece chose that moment to pop its spring.

Mari said...

I peeked at the previous adventures' page and it doesn't seem to have links to the stories there. Am I going nuts? lol

As to the writing prompt, I suggest Methuselah loses his telepathy for an episode. That would be quite a puzzle to solve, and the attempts of communication should be hilarious, hehe.

So sorry that these guys won't become a serial but I'm glad that there's more coming. Oh, and the idea of putting four extra stories on the ebook is fantastic! I'm sure it's going to be a success. :)

Joz Varlo said...

A story where Methuselah goes missing, or is bird-napped. Something zany involving a dwarf, maybe, and cheese.

Marisa Birns said...

How about a switch? Where, as Mari suggested, Methuselah loses his telepathy for an episode BUT gains speech, while Scarlight loses speech and gains telepathy.

*umm...confused myself*

~Tim said...

I love the idea of the e-book. I need to give some more thought to story ideas. I would LOVE a signed copy!

Mari said...

Found the link to the previous stories. Thanks for the nudge. I think the page hadn't loaded well on my previous attempts, since the pictures didn't show up as well.

Seems I've got some good reading to do, yay!

~Tim said...

Okay, here's my story prompt: Scarlight/Methuselah in the galley [kitchen]. More specific? Scarlight/Methuselah bake a cake. More specific? Well, I'm not going to write the whole silly thing....

Looking forward to their continued adventures.

Jen said...

Great idea! My prompt is prompted by your mention of the X-Files: "Excuse me. Could you help me find my dog? He's a Norwegian Elkhound. His name is Heinrich. I use him to hunt moose."

Unknown said...

Jeez, don't know how I missed this. The prompts above are actually pretty great.

Hmm, let's see... They find a treasure map that only Thusie can read, but they've argued and he refuses to read it?

At any rate, I can't wait for this ebook!

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