Monday, October 24, 2011
A Thousand Words
Some time ago - all right, it wasn't that long, but bear with me here - I wrote the Great American Novel. It wasn't set in America, and it may or may not be great, but it was, in very fact, a novel. Weighing in at roughly 111,000 words, it's arguably quite a long novel for the Young Adult Fantasy genre.
I find myself bemused to note that the name of the novel, Grimme, is very close indeed to an eponymous television series that just began serialization: "Grimm." The TV show is all about someone who suddenly becomes aware that his many-times-great grandfather was one of the original Brothers Grimm and he must now go fight monsters (I paraphrase wildly, but you get the gist I'm sure). Strangely enough, this too is modestly close to the ideas touched on by my novel - not precisely, but not so far off either.
And yes, this leads to bemusement for me. Am I, as has been the case several times this year, tuned closely in to the spirit of the times? Does my muse whisper to me what will be popular next season? (Would that were the case!) Perhaps. But in this time I am reminded that there are relatively few truly original ideas left under the sun, perhaps none at all; and that it is how we execute those ideas that makes our writing worthy of being read. The "great stories" are all great exactly because they speak to something universal in human experience, so it is natural that we would go back to them again and again, seeking the truths they contain.
Perhaps that is the case with Grimme, and the new television show Grimm. Or perhaps not. But in the mean time, you are invited to feast your eyes on the lovely map drawn for the alterate-Europe setting of Grimme. Done by hand by the multi-talented Jason Vanhee, it uses archaic or non-English names for many of the regions of Europe. I'm quite pleased by it, and grateful that my writing cohort has such a rich store of artistic ability upon which I may occasionally draw. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but in this case it will help me summarize over a hundred thousand words - and my gratitude is commensurate with that ratio.
Look for more Grimme developments soon!