When the movie, Legend, came out, I was thirteen years old. It had everything my young teenage heart could wish for: love, magic, unicorns, and a battle between good and evil. Also, a handsome, peasant hero in love with a princess, a villain with horns and cloven feet, elves, faeries, pixies, goblins, and of course, a flesh-eating witch.
Now, as a woman and writer of fantasy, the movie still captivates me, despite the negative reviews by the critics.
The plot is simple: the hero must defeat the villain to save the world from eternal darkness. The theme is more complex: neither light, nor dark, can truly destroy the other, for they’re dependent on one another. The characters each have his or her own role to perform that supports the branching elements of the plot.
I’ve used Legend as a template for storyboarding. Often my plot overwhelms me and I need to narrow it down to its most basic before branching out or creating sub-plots. I want to make sure my theme carries through from beginning to end, and choose the best elements to represent or symbolize this theme. Character development is the most important to me. Are each of my characters necessary? Do they have a purpose? Do they create conflict, aid my MC, have hardships of their own? Do they grow at all? Do they inspire me?
I won’t bore you with every facet of Legend I adore, but I will ask you: What movie/book do you watch/read over and over again and never tire of? Why? Is it the mythology, the world-building, the time-period? Once you know the answers, you’ll know what story to write. And more importantly, you’ll love it.
My love affair with Legend has lasted twenty-seven years. I want the same with my stories.