Best Martial Arts Lessons
Strong, in this context, does not necessarily mean the jutting jaw, steely eyes and bulging muscles of the typical old-time pulp magazine hero. In a novelette called The Dueling Machine (which I later expanded into a novel), my protagonist was a gangling, bumbling young man who could barely walk across a room without getting into trouble. His antagonist was an equally young man who had athletic and martial arts skills. But the protagonist had strengths that the antagonist lacked, chiefly sincerity, honesty, and a dogged, stubborn kind of heroism that could take a lot of punishment without admitting defeat.
Since we really like some of our earlier concepts for Characters, let's use the Ex-Con as REASON, stressing the need to use classic scenarios. We'll balance her with the Master of the Oriental martial arts, who maintains Jane's need to break with the Western approach by letting loose and following her feelings. Well, that seems to cover all eight Archetypal Characters Protagonist, Antagonist, Skeptic, Sidekick, Contagonist, Guardian, Reason and Emotion. Finally, we have Jane who wants to stop the terrorists and is pitted against the head of the band (her former lover Johann) who wants to stop her, is opposed by her Father, the Senator, is supported by her Supervisor, tempted by her friend Sheila the computer whiz, protected by the Seasoned Cop, urged by the Ex-Con to copy the classics, and counseled by the Master of Oriental martial arts to let loose and follow her feelings.
Start to examine your own life as a source of insight and information about the world. Think about the sorts of worlds you inhabit now and have inhabited in the past, your own particular family, home, workplace. Go back to other places you have lived in. Focus closely on a particular interior, its detail and mood, the reality-effects that make it memorable. How important are seasons, time of day Think of jobs you have done Just what was it like in the kitchen of that pizza place Serving awkward customers in the shoe shop Working on the early morning post What about the world of the leisure centre, or disco, or martial arts group All these places will have their own routines, their own jargons and rituals. Try to describe a typical scene. How are people dressed, how do they speak, relate to each other Think about the dynamic between members of the group. Who's in charge What are the unspoken rules Where are the tensions You are an authority on your own world(s) that are wider than you...
Keeping in mind the concept of Dynamic Pairs, we are going to want to balance the Computer Whiz with a GUARDIAN. The Master of the Oriental martial arts who urges her to go with the flow ( Use The Force, Jane ) The Ex-Con again who urges, Get back to basics or perhaps the Seasoned Cop who paves the way through the undercover jungle We like the Seasoned Cop. Note how we could have used him as Contagonist, but elected to use him as Guardian instead. It's totally up to us as authors which characteristics go into which players. Jane wants to stop the terrorists, is pitted against the head of the band (her former lover Johann) who wants to stop her, is opposed by her father, the Senator, supported by her Supervisor, tempted by her friend Sheila the computer whiz, and protected by the Seasoned Cop.
Another thing to keep in mind is that every character trait is double-edged. Sometimes I read a student's character sketch and I ask what's wrong with this person What's bad about them Too often the characters are projected as two-dimensional, perfect people. All female characters are beautiful. All male characters are over six feet, know several martial arts and are deadly with a gun, yet still a loving father to their children. Right.
Martial Arts An Introduction
Anytime an individual decides to learn how to protect themselves, learn self defense, or become a better person, one thing comes to mind - Martial Arts. Martial Arts are now being practiced all over the world.