Before I talk about my first influence behind Once, I first want to thank everyone for the very recent uptick in my blog views, follows, and comments. You guys are awesome and if anyone is interested in a good read, it’s my goal for Once to hit bookshelves by 2018. We are currently in the beta-reading and final edit process before I hit the send button (or mail hard copy) to various publishing companies. So always feel free to refer this blog to others interested in the war/fantasy genre because I can guarantee you a modern day war driven fantasy with a powerful plot consisting of many twists and turns along the way. Be aware that this blog is entitled Matthews Fit because it does contain plenty of fitness posts since my line of work is in the fitness industry, but since my book protagonists tend to be fitness freaks, any post regarding Once is going to be loosely related to fitness and living an active lifestyle. Okay, so onto my very first influence: Tyranny vs. Classical Liberalism.
Tyrants and brutal empires. Recorded history is full of them. From Hitler and the Third Reich to Napoleon to the British Empire to the Ottoman Empire. Accompanying tyranny is war, violence, pain, and suffering. Much downside reveals itself from the sheer power of an empire, any empire, for that matter. From being the policemen of the world to bullying others in the form of advanced weaponry and technology, all in the name of fulfilling a violent agenda. From ancient times until today, danger has lurked in the shadows of these superpowers. If one chooses not to do what the biggest kid on the playground wishes, it’s going to be a showdown, a fight, which will usually never end up in favor of the little guy. In other words, only the strongest survive.
I would like to take a look at the above sentence one more time: Only the strongest survive. But who is the strongest? Are they the ones who have the most willpower? Or is God simply taking the side of the little guys, as He did during the Exodus as recorded in the Old Testament? Or as in the days of King Saul, when David defeated the giant named Goliath?
When it comes to large empires, one thing is typically very, very common, and this is the existence of big government which overreaches its arm into the rights of the masses, all in the name of security. The right to free speech is gone, as are one’s right to bear arms. Soldiers are often quartered, forcibly, in the residences of the common people, while uncertainty and fear lurk everywhere. There is no freedom, only security, but with security one isn’t really living. They are simply existing. Existing to serve the purpose as subjects to a government that may be centralized thousands of miles away. Serving only for the government’s own interests. And once that brutal empire is finished with them, they dispose, especially if these victims signal or even carry out a protest or a rebellion. This is all their lives mean to the tyrannical empirical nation located oceans and seas away, being carried out by soldiers and those loyal to the empire. Unknown to these soldiers and loyalists, they are only pawns in the game of the kings, queens, and parliaments. However twisted the agenda is matters not to these pawns carrying out the deeds of their rulers, as they’re brainwashed into believing it’s in everyone’s best interests.
Enter into my mind a very identical conflict, almost like a modernized version of empirical overrule on others of a lesser power. All the way back in 2010 a plot formed in my mind, and with this plot came a nice little mixture of several different influences of stories, television shows, and even music, with only the means of shaping what I can only hope is the next big series. Maybe even the next big franchise. Yet at the center were values of people who were victimized and put down by their rulers living large thousands and thousands of miles away.
In this world comes a main character who is initially rather self absorbed and into their own interests, not necessarily oblivious to what has been happening for quite a time but very, very distant. A college athlete, and a very good one at that. If, say, the chosen sport was American football (which it’s not), they would be a rather high projection for the entry draft. As for the best friend? Very, very aware of the conflict yet is rather prudent about it. Never go with the flow, but simply lost as of how to go about it. Also a great athlete, better than the protagonist, and would be one of those prospects sitting in the green room on draft day, waiting to hear their name called so they can walk across the stage. Yet, sometimes the most random people are thrust into something they never wish to walk into. And this is a huge basis in Once. People, who might have other agendas, being thrust into action due to something, such as a catalyst, a call to action, something, that makes them wish to abandon everything they’ve ever worked for and dreamed of, in order to see something happen that is much, much bigger than themselves. A mission, a path, and a fork in the road, that all of us must undergo at one time or another, in our own lives, in order to fulfill a mission and a purpose, given to us by a higher power much, much greater than ourselves.
Whether you are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Atheist, Agnostic, Polytheist, or whatever, I must be clear that each and every one of us have this purpose in life, especially if we play the good guy. We’ve all met the bad guys, the cancers of the Earth, and those who succeed only by creating divisiveness. It could be in the name of politicians, or co-workers, or if you’re a student, someone in your very own graduating class or even teachers for that matter creating this kind of divisiveness for their own agendas, their own entertainment, or perhaps because they’re so miserable their only means to happiness is to create and spread misery amongst their own social network. When you play the good guy, you have a goal, and that goal should be to spread the exact opposite. Influences from mortal men, the spreading of evil agendas, and the spreading of false truths and gossip run amok. Everyday we are faced with these. Sometimes, it’s those influential serpents in the garden spreading the uncertainty, stress, and the breakdown of unity. All in the name of creating war, where they can reign supreme because although arguing, fighting, and disagreement is spread among the masses, these serpents, snakes, in other words, are behind it. All of it. And sometimes, it can only stop if we see through our own differences, remember our own good souls, and fight the negative influences, energy, and dark souls that walk our very streets.
Also, feel free to check out my twitter @tmatthewsfit91 as well as my facebook @facebook.com/toddmatthewsphysique if you too would like fitness tips in your quest to possibly live an active lifestyle.