Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Learning From Everything

By now you've all heard about Divesity and Comics.  He watches the train wrecks so you don't have to, but he does it in a way that really helps readers understand WHY current Marvel sucks worse than [insert Razoerfist analogy here].  Now, the man talks about individual comics for the most part, and the teachable moments are spread all over his channel, but after a few videos you start to notice a few trends about Marvel's bad writing, specifically when it comes to writing women.  Those trends are worth looking for, because his laments about what was lost when the Pigs took over the Marvel Farm provide solid advice for ways to make your female characters more well-rounded, more diverse (in the classical and not SJW sense), and more believable.

Basically, don't make them all mannish women, and don't make them all walk, talk, think, and act like immature Manhattan millennial women who think the world is out to get them.

For a more concise commentary on writing female characters, look no further than this video by Mr. Plinkett.  For all his faults, the creepy serial killer knows his story structure, comedic timing, and characterization.



That video right there is a clinic on how to write better characters, how to write better pacing, and how to deliver a punch line  Take his commentary to heart, don't be Paul Feig, allow your characters a little vulnerability - especially your female characters - and you'll be writing at a level well above that of your average milkshake drinking millennial.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Not Sure How The Military Guys Do It

Today I took down the Christmas shower curtain and replaced it with the off-season shower curtain.  Dad being gone for seven months will do that to a household. No matter how much the little woman steps up her game, there will always be a long list of things around the house that need doing.  This is no slight on the part time single Moms, it's just a fact of life that two people halve the work load.  And so, after two weeks of non-stop action bringing things back up to code, things might just settled down around the Chateau enough to get some writing done.

One of the changes to my schedule has been the determination to find a way to relax when the ankle-biters and bride are hovering about, eager to pull me away for a quick favor here, or a quick opinion there.  Writing - my normal relaxation - cannot be done under those conditions.  Writing requires full concentration to get into that three-tier thinking zone where you can consider the words in this sentence, the tactic decisions of the current chapter, and how those affect the strategic vision of the entire novel.    For relaxing while on call, my go to past time has been painting in preparation for miniature wargames.

Rather than clutter up this blog with my infrequent wargame material, I've opted to revive War In A Box.

 
The deep thoughts and inciteful commentary you've come to expect can still be found over at the House.  The thoughts on writing and odd political musing, you'll still find here.  War In A Box is my dumping ground for quick hits and idle thoughts that don't rise to the level of a Castalia House Blog Post, and will be kept light, fun, and entirely apolitical.

Well...mostly apolitical, as you can see from my latest miniatures:

The SDL and a VFM

Friday, August 11, 2017

Dragon Awards - The Allied Vote

It's award time for fans of fantasy and science fiction, and that can mean only one thing - DragonCon ballots are up and ready for completion.  The red fiery trophy is the new hotness that all the cool kids want to win, and my on-line social circle has a heavy presence on the ballot.  Fortunately, Kai Wai Cheah already put together a handy primer and list of this year's best of the best, so I don't have to. Go read his blog post for a complete breakdown. 

Best Science Fiction Novel: The Secret Kings by Brian Niemeier
Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal): A Sea of Skulls by Vox Day
Best Young Adult / Middle Grade Novel: Swan Knight’s Son by John C Wright
Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel: Rescue Run by Jon Del Arroz
Best Alternate History Novel: No Gods, Only Daimons by Kai Wai Cheah
Best Apocalyptic Novel: Codename: Unsub by Declan Finn and Allan Yoskowitz
Best Horror Novel: Live and Let Bite by Declan Finn