How to tell a good story and adapt elements from a different culture

29 Dec

Episode 46: Interview with Brandon Varnell

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About Brandon Varnell

Brandon Varnell is the writer of the American Kitsune series. He has absolutely no skill at anything aside from writing and looking half-baked. He used to play guitar, but due to laziness, he never went anywhere with it. He also used to play a lot of video games, but after suffering this terrible affliction called book addiction, he only plays occasionally these days. Brandon lives mostly within his own imagination, but can occasionally be found in Phoenix, Arizona.

Aside from being an avid writer, Brandon also likes to cosplay. You can generally find him at the local Comicon dressed as various characters from movies, video games and anime. It’s also not all that unusual to find him walking around town in a red trench coat, no shirt and carrying a large sword on his back. Kudos to those of you who get the reference. His current favorite people to cosplay are Han Solo, Cloud Strife (he likes the big ass sword), Dante, and Squall Leonhart. He has also thought of trying to cosplay as Darth Vader or Zero (Lelouch Lamperouge), but has decided to stay away from all black cosplay since he lives in Arizona – it’s really hot in that state, you know.

He also loves anime, which makes a lot of sense, seeing how the entire American Kitsune series is basically just one big anime parody.

3 big ideas discussed in this episode:

  • Writing for a niche market
  • Anime and manga adaptation goals
  • How do incorporate story telling from a different culture into a story

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Show Notes:

WRITING FOR A NICHE MARKET

  • The key for writing into a niche market is basically you need to discover what niche that is like Amazon, there’s a lot of independent authors.
  • What makes one a niche writer is finding that market, finding what those people like and writing for them. Getting a target market is always on of the hardest things for an author to do because you don’t really know where they are and you can’t just go to a bunch of different people and say ‘Hey buy my book’.
  • You can find them online and they will spread it word to word. Wattpad is like an independent story database where you can publish your own story and upload them by chapter, people will read them and if they like them the people who follow them will see it.
  • Look for the market first, look for what they like and make reviews for books that are your target market.
  • Brandon’s website has a mailing list and anybody who wants to get first-hand knowledge will sign up for the mailing list.

ANIME AND MANGA ADAPTATION GOALS

  • Japan has always been an interesting culture as far as their entertainment medium goes.
  • A lot of people won’t notice but their light novel series is very popular that will give a newly manga adaptation and animated series than basically a glorified commercial for the original content.
  • Turn your current books into manga adaptation and eventually an animated series.

HOW DO INCORPORATE STORY TELLING FROM A DIFFERENT CULTURE INTO A STORY

  • We got curious about other culture, religion, mythologies aside from our own. A lot of times some of these books that are published aren’t necessarily accurate like they don’t do some research about that particular feature.
  • They see only what they see in anime and manga. It is important to research the cultures in depth.
  • The principles of storytelling are something that can be studied and learned and you can increase skills on.
  • First and the most impactful part of the story that is necessary is actually having a story that is relatable to the people reading it. Which you wanna do with a fiction novel is to have characters that a person can relate to, can look up to or admire.
  • What will make a good story is actually having a story that is easy to remember.
  • There are elements that you should have to add that specific people will like and make them feel nostalgic.

Quotes:

  • What makes one a niche writer is finding that market, finding what those people like and writing for them.
  • Turn your current books into manga adaptation and eventually an animated series.
  • It is important to research the cultures in depth.
  • First and the most impactful part of the story that is necessary is actually having a story that is relatable to the people reading it.
  • When someone remembers your story out of all the books they’ve read that makes it a good story.

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