Friday, September 28, 2012

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Write what you know

Write what you know.

This is the mantra of writers.  I sometimes think that the code should be "If you don't know it, don't write it." One of my biggest pet peeves is not so much when someone writes something that's just a little off but when it propagates significant misinformation on a topic.

For example, in the 18th century, women wore pouches under their skirts called "pockets".  It was a relatively new invention to attach these directly to garments as we know them now.  Back then the pockets were separated from the garments and worn on a separate band about the waist and under their skirts.

Despite this fact, over and over, at re-enactments, women will walk around with their pockets on the outside of their skirts and show off the lovely embroidery on there.  They'll talk about the hours women would spend on needle work to adorn the pockets (they did) and the pride they would put into making them (they had it) and how women would be happy to show them off (they did not).  To suggest they did is a bit like talking about how women today would show off their lacy bras to anyone and everyone because they were so proud to wear such cute underthings.

Friday, September 21, 2012

FFV: Bad Horse Ponies

After signing this to every Dr. Horrible we could find at Dragon Con, and then once to Alan Tudeyk, this tune has a very special place in my heart.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Casting for Stories

One of the things that always struck me as very sophomoric with writing was the "Cast List" for a piece of fan fiction or story.  If a writer wants the reader to conjure up a specific mental image for a character, then it's their job to provide that image in the prose itself.  And to be honest even that task is not easy.

In writing FantastiCon, I had an exchange in the first chapter that provided a very indepth description of a walk on character.  Allison was at the desk of her apartment complex with a random, unnamed other woman.  I then went through everything the random girl was wearing and contrasted it with Allison.  Then Allison walks off and we never see random girl again.

This drove my wife nuts.  She got a full paragraph treatment to a character she never sees again, one that doesn't even get a name.  So why did I do it?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Hey Don Draper: Stop lying to my kid!

So it all started when Xander was told that he had to go to the store to buy new shoes.  He was barely fitting into his current light up Toy Story shoes and his toes were hanging over the edge of his sandals.  He was ready for a bigger size.

"Yes!  We need to get Skechers because they make you run super fast and fly and be a superhero!"

I blinked.

"Your shoes make you a super hero?"

"Yeah!  It's so cool you can fly and run super fast and you are Total.  Super.  HERO!"

Skechers is a particular brand of tennis shoes which purchases large swatches of ad time during children's programming on Cartoon network, Nick, Nick Jr, etc.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Save the Pearls: Destroying Eden with Self Publishing

Let me tell you about a proposed book someone had.

It takes place on another planet.  There, a great ecological event has made most of the planet uninhabitable.  It is especially dangerous to one of the three principle races.  Where the Croa's can live in the exposed environment for a few hours, the Wie succumb to a form of skin cancer and die within minutes.  Because they are so fragile, the Wie have become a minority, prized for their rarity but seen mostly as toys, or dolls, or things to keep as possessions.  They are not seen as worthy of the respect shown even the lowest Croa.  In fact they are so admonished that the Wie will hide who they are, wearing long concealing gowns, and hiding their forms so that the Croa are not reminded that useless sub-creatures are among them.

It is against this back drop that a Wie girl dreams of a better life.  She knows that her chances of survival are minimal.  If she cannot marry a Croa, she will be relegated to a short life as a trophy piece.  What can she do?  The story of her struggle against prejudice, against nature and the ghosts of the past.  She must deal with those who discount her because of her racial status.  She must prove herself and endure.

That book, I think, has a lot of potential.

That book, however, is not Save the Pearls: Finding Eden.