So, fast forward to where I left off--after shedding Voltron from my project, some time in early 2010. I was now writing a screenplay for an animated movie (sorry, did I leave that part out?) I was doing drawings of characters--not so that I could animate them myself, but because I have very strong ideas about how they look. I wanted artistic control over the final product. Now that I was no longer tied to having to look like Voltron, many constraints vanished. One of the best things was, I no longer had the difficult task of mastering how to draw people with very human faces, except without eyebrows. That may sound bizarre--but, trust me, it's hard. We're just used to eyebrows! They complete the eye area and give a face many trademark characteristics and possibilities for expression. So much so, that there are on-line sites that show celebrities sans eyebrows -- photoshopped -- it's very weird and funny, check it out some time.
Though I was freed from resembling an established show, and from worries about copywrites and property rights, I still spent most of my time developing background for characters, whole peoples, and whole worlds. This is where Sci-Fi is very cool! I'm not pretending that I know how to do this, nor am I recommending my techniques for others to follow. That said, for me, background is key--it shows motives, attitudes, culture, history, quirks, etc....and I couldn't write scenes without establishing that first. After a few months, I began writing scenes with dialogue and action, but I was and am still fleshing out background.
As scenarios were coming together, Huascar's voice became stronger -- now it was completely different from the voice over guy who did Hazar in Voltron. But, my Sci-Fi Huascar could in no way resemble my actual archetype -- whose image has never been lost to me. In a small tribute to Voltron, I kept the difference between the Drule male eyes (which lack whites) and females (which are like our own). Renaming them Darskovians, I made them nocturnal with an ancient history as hunter/gatherers with agriculture on their cold planet only supplementing their diet. Sexual dimorphism is a little stronger in them than us and they are patriarchal. Due to the males' role as hunter/providers, their night vision is stronger than women's and the size difference between the sexes is larger, on average than ours.
I started to search for my Sci-Fi version of Huascar's face--starting with the eyes. While sketching different lines and curves of his face, I was looking for a certain feeling -- his personality needed to show. The above drawing is what I came up with of him at age 18, when he enrolls in the military. You can see his file picture from when he became a Field General on his Face Book page: https://www.facebook.com/GeneralHuascar I plan to create many more drawings of him -- keep checking FB for updates.
The three of us moved to Chapel Hill, NC in November 2010 -- to our dream home in the woods, with a separate in-law cottage. My office nook has cork board walls -- thanks to my husband, Drew. Plot cards cover one side, and the other side has about 40 portraits of characters and costumes on it. I took several writing courses, one for screenwriting in DC, (while we lived in VA) at the Writer's Center, and in NC at the Art Center, in Carrboro. I'm also active in a Sci-Fi/Fantasy Writers Meet-up, through Durham Writers. The plot grew and solidified, until it stretched into four movies.
On the surface, the story is about the clash between a militaristic Empire (made up of tough, but also inquisitive people) searching for a new home, and a democratic and sustainable Alliance (made of 3 different peoples, from two other worlds), who know how to protect their worlds, but are self-righteous. It's about finding a mutual appreciation for seemingly disparate views, and healing from war and societal curses. This joining of disparate points of view happens to Huascar, on the inside -- but first he must travel to his own underworld to shed delusions. I've named the project Convergence.
I finished the four directions, then in Dec., 2011, I took my first two Masters Classes back to back, in Park City, UT. They are called Walking with Protection and Working With the Sacred. I brought my drawing pad. Fairly soon into the 10 day training immersion, my archetypal Huascar spoke: "You'd better draw me." He had not changed since I first met him during the South, and when I worked with him (to guide me through a client's underworld), sometimes he'd appear in his original form, and sometimes as my Sci-Fi protagonist. Though he had never begrudged my using his name for this representative of himself (I had asked), he needed my focus. He guided me to make the above drawing with ease. When it was complete, both Huascars were honored. During the Working With the Sacred class, I did a presentation about this joining -- giving presentations is an option that many participants take. I showed drawings of both Huascars and told the story of the birth of Convergence, then I danced -- my embodiment of the feeling of these versions of the warrior/ruler of the underworld, have now converged.
This past summer, I travelled once again to Peru with the Four Winds -- we first went in 2005 in search for fertility -- how times had changed! I again was embraced by the Amazon and took Ayahuasca -- the sacred brew to face one's own death and journey through one's issues in 4 dimensions and beyond. I also went to the mountains, to receive the Creator Rites with Don Martine, a very powerful Shaman and guardian of Mt. Patchatuscon -- which we camped on, at 14,000 ft. for 3 days.
This past November (apparently an important time of the year for me), another well-meaning and well-respected friend recommended that I write Convergence as books, not a screenplay -- the form of which, I still had not mastered, despite using the right software. I'd heard this before, from different people and at different times, but had dismissed it, because it wasn't how I saw it coming into the world. The immediacy of movies, and the artistic challenge of making it striking/innovative was key from the beginning. But, my friend had worked in Hollywood, editing screenplays. I trusted her. She said I was describing too much, yet, "all the descriptions are wonderful and add a lot to the story. It's meant to be prose." She emphasized that readers can do a great job of visualizing, especially with my descriptions. If you publish this as books, and it's successful, someone else can make it into a movie -- someone with money and who knows how.
"Alright...." gulp, "I'll try." Despite a nagging voice that said, "you're starting over again, after 3 years of work?" I tried. It's been eye-opening ever since. There's new freedom to: get deep into character's heads, flesh out even more origin stories, describe that body language, paint that landscape, and tell how the government works. Screenplay form doesn't permit such things -- except as a narrative voice over, or in a montage. Worries about space constraints (screenplays are supposed to be between 110-120 pages) have vanished. So, Convergence will be books, with the plan for them to eventually become animated movies -- with the author's ok, of course! I'm still drawing -- the visions keep coming.
None of this would have been possible without the Shamanic training. Though I've always had the proclivity to write and draw, I was faced with a life-long derth of confidence and the wounds of many rejections. I used to get overwhelmed by feelings/visions/desires to create; half the time, I'd do it, but the other half I'd get stymied. If the drive was extra maddening ("I don't have the time, or it's too confusing"), I used to try to block the urges with distractions, destructive habits, you name it. I've come down, in some respects, from the dream of my screenplay being accepted by movie big-wigs, based on merit alone. "They'll ignore my sins against form, after all, it's so great!" Thank you, my friend, you know who you are, for that lesson in humility I'm still fired up and enjoying the ride of creating this universe -- my way.