November 19, 2012

Vic and Matt in Oz or, WTF?

Vic and Matt in Oz or, WTF?

I have always been fascinated by The Wizard of Oz. It's iconic -- the tornado whisking Dorothy away to another land, the ruby slippers that provide her a way home, the three companions she meets on her way to where she truly belongs. When I wrote fan fiction, I did a fun little story that was 'N Sync in Oz (Justin was Dorothy, Lance was the Scarecrow he couldn't keep his hands off of, and Britney Spears was the Good Witch). Ever since I started publishing "original" fiction, I've wanted to try my hand at another story set in the merry ol' land.

The problem was that I needed characters readers knew. The best part about using Oz as a setting is that readers are familiar with the main themes and items in it -- whether they read the book or watched the movie, they knew the basic plot and key elements. Even people who don't know the story know what it's about, or at least the main motifs. The shoes, mostly. Rainbows. The Emerald City. The Tin Man, Scarecrow, and Cowardly Lion. The Good Witch, the Wicked Witch, and let's not forget the flying monkeys.

One of the elements I've always loved about The Wizard of Oz is that the pivotal people Dorothy meets in Oz, she already knew in Kansas. Therefore, if I was going to write a similar story, I needed characters my readers would easily recognize. Someone to be Dorothy, of course, but also the others, as well. Almost immediately, it occurred to me that my Vic and Matt characters would fit into the Oz roles perfectly.

Or rather, almost. For months I turned the characters and story over in my head. Who in Vic and Matt's "real" world matched up well with the memorable characters in Oz? Roxie had to be the Witch -- good or bad, she could fit in both roles, though Matt might say she was more bad than good. Matt would be Dorothy -- of the couple, he's the more imaginative of the two. For some reason, I just can't see Vic getting far in Oz. He'd stand on the side of the Yellow Brick Road and glare at anyone who passed until Matt showed up.

But what about the Scarecrow? The Tin Man? The Cowardly Lion?

I wanted Vic to be the Scarecrow. At the end of the movie, Dorothy says she'll miss him most of all (which must've been a kick in the gut to the others, eh?). As Matt is incomplete without his lover Vic, I knew Vic had to fill the Scarecrow's shoes. But the other two characters eluded me, and then there was the Wizard himself ...

Finally it hit me. I knew exactly who would play each role. The casting was perfect, and flowed well with the universe in which Vic and Matt live. Once I got the idea in my head, I couldn't write the story fast enough. I think it's a fun little romp with "the boys," and I hope those of you who are fans of them think so, too!

J.M. Snyder
Vic and Matt Website

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