Friday, April 26, 2013

"Of course, the Neverlands vary a great deal."~ J.M. Barrie

Part one of two. 

A quote for me to keep in mind as I read other writers' takes on the Peter Pan story. I'm investigating all I can easily find, because I feel it's important to know what directions the mythos has taken in different minds and in different eras, and I want to know if I've inadvertently pilfered someone else's idea. Reading these books and stories also frequently reminds me of plot points and character development and themes I should address.

However, while I expected to enjoy that part of my research, I've found all too often I do not. Invariably there's a sort of anxiety involved, and too often I find myself disagreeing with an approach that's being taken and worrying that mine will not be of interest because another is too prominent.

Some reasons for this unease:

"I wanted to do that!"
My constant fear, that someone is channeling all my ideas, doing it better, and producing it more quickly. Realistically, there are some ideas that seem too obvious to dispute (that Hook has a military background, for example), and it can be reassuring that someone else recognizes them.

"Stop picking on Jim!"
Self-explanatory, yes? I know he's the traditional villain, but Barrie allowed him some dignity, competence, and grace. I try to use this impulse as encouragement to get  back to work, since this is the reason I'm doing this, after all.

"Yer doing it wrong."
If the characters are changed too much from the original, or the new version seems to strip the original of its magic (sometimes literally), I squirm. I try to enjoy these on their own merits, but apparently I am a canon writer and nothing to be done about it. Nor do I want to do anything about it. So there.

There is also the work that goes in such a different direction that I feel it could undercut my own. Since that is in direct contradiction to #1, I try to shut this one down as soon as I feel it prod me.

Part two: A list of works in my research stack, and some critique/analysis of what I've read so far

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