I thought I’d touch on one of the more obvious themes of FI whilst I’m waiting for my mouse to charge. I’ve said it before I’m sure, it’s not really that good if you have to explain the themes of your story – they should be subtle enough that it’s not right there in your face, yet obvious enough for people to make the connection. For me it’s one of the harder things about writing, that and I’m not just good at writing in the first place.
It’s perhaps the oldest ‘theme’ of FI you could say, back in like, gosh I don’t know, sometime between 2001-2003 when I created the Lant character (originally just as a, oh I don’t know, you could think of it as a DND character in a DND like setting that one of my friends made) there were two things I had defined him with. A mask and a big sword. I was like 11-13 at the time so the big sword is understandable. I’m not really sure where the mask came from, perhaps from Darth Vader, perhaps from Sauron, who knows. Anyway, that’s the main thing about Lant’s character that never changed throughout the years and it’s an important part of FI. Not the mask itself, rather what it represents, from my experience everyone wears a “mask” so to speak, this is kindergarten level stuff. People act one way in one situation, and differently in another. Usually? In public and in private. It varies from person to person just how different they are. For me? At work and in public people often tell me I am very shy and quiet, that’s how I come across to other people. If you’ve read more than one post here or know me, you’ll probably be confused by that, I am anything but quiet and I’m not exactly very shy. My reasons for this are fairly simple, I don’t talk to people I don’t like unless I have to.
Aha but you’ve just backed yourself into a corner! I hear you toot. How can you judge somebody when by your logic, they are wearing a mask or persona? I don’t have to judge them, I am judging their persona as it probably reveals a lot about the person in question. I’m not a very smart guy I’ll admit, but I often pretend to be a lot more stupid than I really am, so I can tell, most of the time, if somebody else is doing the same thing. There’s an art to it, I’m sure somebody could read every entry in this blog and come to the conclusion that I have severe issues of some kind (aside from being mental) and think that they’ve cracked my shell, how this is all a farce or something. Well..that’s not really true. I am smart enough to realise that no matter how good your mask is, somebody will see what’s beneath it, so I don’t bother with one here. It’s the best way, if you expose everything about yourself, there’s nothing people can spring on you.
Anyway, back to FI, there’s two characters in FI who wear masks. They are the two characters who, perhaps ironically, do not lie once in the story. It’s not a case of the mask becoming the man or vice versa or anything like that, they are wearing masks out of necessity. Hell mask might not even be the right term, helmet might serve better. That’s another thing, when you’re talking to somebody and you can’t see them, it invariably changes how you act, even if it’s a minute difference. What about when you’re speaking to somebody and they can see you but you can’t see them? Surely it would be disconcerting to have somebody be reading your body language and expressions when you can’t do the same to them, it is after all a big part of communication that extends beyond simply talking. You can read things from people from the smallest things, how often they blink, where they are looking, what their hands and feet are doing, people do a lot of these things subconsciously after all.
One way I like to think of FI as to myself, is as an IRC chatroom. You have a small group of people who all know each other and are talking about whatever, but beyond the words they all have their own motivations. I don’t really expect any of this to make sense, and that’s all right, it doesn’t have to. Simply put, communication plays a big part in FI. What about FFID? Not really, FFID is literally just a story with no meaning, I write it for practice and for fun. There’s little to no hidden meaning in it, what there is rarely extends beyond comparisons and perhaps vague symbolism, I don’t think it fits in FFID.
Lemme put it another way, I’ve been trying to write FI since at least 2003, it’s been “in planning” since then as I constantly change crap. As for FFID, I’ve done four comics and three written versions. All four comics died because they a) took too much effort b) I got bored after whatever amount of time. First written version sucked, second wasn’t set in WoW universe and took too much effort. Third one is the current one and goes up and down to I hate what I’ve written to I’m fairly pleased with what I’ve written. I have recently tried to push it back on course, FFID was never meant to be “serious” exactly, it was always intended to be a sort of lighthearted adventure. I think I’ve managed to figure out how to balance that now. Ironic as it’s coming up to the “darkest” parts of the story. Obviously FFID would’ve come out better if I had planned it. This is how I planned FFID:
“Events that happened on ER”
Then I just wrote down everything I could and tried to find a loose order for them and some way to connect them together, for the first half I went with Montolio’s being possessed by that fag and for the first half of the second half (uuuuugh) I went with Cuntothos and for the rest it’s Lant. Lant has been very useful as a plot device villain. If you were ever wondering, FFID Lant isn’t the same as FI Lant, I just used the same name because my first WoW character was a warlock called Lant (aka my online username, taken from the FI character.) and he became a character in our RP on ER, sure he never showed up but he was mostly in our characters past. Actually one of my friends did eventually make an undead shadow priest called Lant. It’s not like shadow priest is inaccurate anyway, no WoW class fits Lant, warlock is the nearest though. In WoW terms he would be a Warlock/Mage/Warrior hybrid.
Man, FI is so deep.