Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

The other side of the coin.

'Writers are liars my dear, surely you know that by now?'
— Neil Gaiman in Sandman: Dream Country

Last Wednesday, Mum, Dad and I took a trip into London to see Wicked. It was my combined birthday/mother's day gift to mum and was every bit as fantastic as I knew it'd be, having heard 'What is this Feeling'' years ago. Mum enjoyed it too, which was the main thing, particularly the second half, which was spectacular. I left really itching to rewatch the Wizard of Oz, which will probably pale in comparison, story wise. What I loved about the musical was how it tied so much in with the film, and how it told a whole story behind the scenes of the original, while staying faithful to it.

I don't know if there's a genre for stories written within stories, but if it was its own genre, I'd be all over it. The other example that comes to mind is 'Murder Mysteries' by Neil Gaiman, a short story that retells the fall of Lucifer. Heck, I remember loving a Lion King fanfic that covered Scar's revolt from the Pridelands, and a NiGHTS: Into Dreams story that explained Reala's statement 'There is no NiGHTS!'*

I've had my own hand at it in the past, writing fanfic and world building fannish stories that cover gaps between episodes and scenes in Starsky & Hutch. Somewhere I've a huge book full of plot points and character development for the TF2 classes. It became my own personal challenge as Valve added their own canon to the game to tie it all together, and somehow make it all work in context. I even explained Max's Severed Head, despite my own personal grievances with the sillier hats in TF2.

Still, I'd love to read more, and there must be more out there. It can't only be at the hands of fanfic writers. I think there's a real skill in being able to somehow manage it successfully (not to say that fanfic writers are in any way unskilled). To be able to weave a story between something pre-established, to stay true to that source material, and yet craft it from another angle, takes so much discipline and commitment. It's setting a very strict set of instructions you can't disobey, and finding a way of skirting around them in the most creative ways possible.

Which leads me to wonder, and ask; are there any other examples of that? Stories that a the tale behind the scenes, or that somehow approach things from another angle? I'm open to any form of media going - television, movies, comics, whatever you can throw at me. I just want to see the other side of the coin.

* Something tells me someone pedantic will inform me that Reala doesn't say that, and that everybody was originally misinformed due to a shoddy translation. I don't care. That line sent shivers down my spine when I first played the game and it chills me now to recall it. So there. Go away, fact bringers. Shoo.



( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 3rd, 2011 11:19 pm (UTC)
Apr. 3rd, 2011 11:34 pm (UTC)
Ooooh, fantastic! That's something to look into! Thanks so much, I have a feeling I could devour this stuff. <3
Apr. 4th, 2011 12:25 am (UTC)
Yeah, Google ought to be able to dig you up loads of stuff! Happy hunting :)
Apr. 4th, 2011 12:59 am (UTC)
Also! Just thought of one that was in the news recently. It's on my list though I haven't read it yet, but "The Last Ringbearer". If you're not familiar with it, some Russian scientist (and presumable Tolkien fan) set out to retell the story of the great war in Middle Earth from/in defense of Sauron/Mordor's side. Like, taking the stance that they were all for the advancement of society, and the elves were all uppity and meddling and backwards for trying to keep everybody down, blah blah blah. Or something. Sounded interesting, anyway.

Free English translation download: http://ymarkov.livejournal.com/270570.html

Good article where I first read about it: http://www.salon.com/books/laura_miller/2011/02/15/last_ringbearer/index.html
Apr. 4th, 2011 12:05 am (UTC)
Have you read/seen "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead"? It was originally a play about two minor minor characters from Hamlet and set during that play. There's a movie out with Tim Roth and Gary Oldman that I love.

To this extent, if "The Lion King" is very loosely based on "Hamlet", then "The Lion King 1 1/2" is very loosely based on R&G.
Apr. 4th, 2011 12:28 am (UTC)
I've not even heard of that. And I've actually to my shame never seen Lion King 1 1/2. I should really rectify that!
Apr. 4th, 2011 12:54 am (UTC)
gasp. Not heard of Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead?? Shock, horror, dismay.

But seriously, check it out. We covered it in both my high school English and Drama classes, and it's pretty dang funny.
Apr. 4th, 2011 08:05 pm (UTC)
I've yet to see it myself, but Bambi II takes place in that gap between his mother being shot, and being an adult. You don't see that in the original movie - he goes from baby walking into the forest with his father, and the next time we see him he's all grown up.

I do rather want to see Bambi II though, because I'm intrigued by the fact that it's about his growing up, rather than the typical sequel.

Also, I have the Wicked book, and if all goes to plan, will be seeing the Copenhagen production of Wicked sometime this month - can't wait to dig into both!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )