Lego building usually results in things and not people. Robots are the closest thing you can make that have a humanoid appearance that remains inspiring in its detail. Masters have done it, as have I, within certain parameters. I’ve created a race of flesh and blood gladiators with believable flesh bodies, but their heads are always robotic, making them cyborgs. I’ve always found building buyable human heads and faces at the scales I like to build impossible, or next to.
Because of this, most of what I build are things that imply the people/characters that will work with the model I’ve created for the fiction that the models have inspired. The secret is that most of my models’ characters are based on the child-me that would love to command a robot or walking castle or pilot a starfighter. That sense of bliss is the energy I use to craft and create the people of the story that populates the world the models have given birth to. And, as I have insisted, the people are in the bricks of the model you create.
I built the several starfighters of the Great Democracy in Canada’s colours, because I believe our country is one of the most sincere democracies in the world. I was conscious of that much as I built the first two fighters, the Arrow and the Avenger–a certain idiosyncratic patriotism. But as I built the ships, I thought they were so beautiful that their forms seemed to equal their effectiveness as combat machines. They looked like works of art as much as starfighters of a space navy. That got me thinking of the people and culture I’ve read about that I know to have combined form and function, beauty and practicality like few other cultures. The ancient Greeks. From there it was easy to decide that the culture of ancient Greece would be the background of the men and women who would be the heroic pilots and commanders of the space navy of the Great Democracy.
That gives you a lot of information to start with right there, especially if you have read a fair amount about the ancient Greeks. From there you are asking what kind of Greek warrior characters are you writing about? Devout heroes who believe in everything their culture stands for, or reluctant heroes who may feel their real allegiance lies with the enemy Explorer’s Guild? I’ve already got two characters basically designed just by posing the question. Do you begin to see how I move from the bricks to the people and characters? Hang on for my thoughts in part II of this important topic for the technique of Fiction Bricks. For those of you who are interested, here is link to info about the culture and history of ancient Greece. Please pass word of this blog on to your friends and come back soon for part II of Conceiving Heroes.
The Great Democracy Military AVENGER, the successor of the the slightly smaller more lightly armed and armoured ARROW.