Thursday, February 09, 2006
Fun With Scissors - part 18
Okay, so Freddie's a little tan.
I received an email asking me a question I've been asked numerous times in the past, and ask myself often, and in fact, did so in one of yesterday's posts. "How can you keep coming up with new stories for "Scooby-Doo"?"
On the plus side, the formula makes certain aspects of writing "Scooby-Doo" pretty easy. I always know how the stories will end. I know that there's a high likelihood that Shaggy will say "Zoinks!" at some point, and Velma will say "Jinkies!" and so on.
The trick, of course is coming up with schemes for the villains, and when you realize that murder is not an acceptable crime for the young readership, you soon understand why there were so many real estate scams going on in Scooby-Doo.
I often approach the stories in roundabout ways, either by thinking of a title first, or a monster I want to use, then retrofitting a plot onto those. Being a writer who has always been more character oriented, than plot oriented, I've often chosen stories based on bringing out aspects of one, or more of the Mystery Inc. members. To do this, it became necessary to actually develop characters for them. They are pretty one dimensional on the TV show.
When I started "The Dragon's Eye" (an 8-part story which ran from issue #60-#66), each chapter was designed to focus on one of the main characters. The first character was Freddie Jones, and of all the characters he's the most superfluous. He's not physically strong. Velma's just as smart, if not smarter. All he has going for him is ownership of a broken down van, and the label "leader" because of it.
So I decided to give Freddie an obsession with winning. Every mystery was solvable. They always have been, and always will, and Freddie won't let a mystery go, until he does so. It's not some dark demon, which plagues him, but a compulsion to face and beat the challenge which drives him to drop whatever he's doing in order to solve anything he perceives as being a mystery. I'd hinted at this in prior stories, and used it since, but it was Freddie's finding a case that he couldn't conquer that fueled much of "The Dragon's Eye."
to be continued with the next Scooby-Doo character...