What the Vote Tells Writers About Ourselves
Much has been said of Donald Trump’s recent election as president of the U.S.
I think it can be used to illustrate the self-publishing environment, with some worldview implications that are very interesting.
The ebook market of the last decade or so has been deluged in material, especially from small-scale authors. It’s no longer necessary to get an agent or sign a publishing contract; all that’s needed to get your words in front of people is a few basic tech resources and a document of text.
Authors (typically) like this, and I think one of the reasons is they can do what they want. Continue reading
More Powerful In His Death
Ratatouille‘s Gusteau, though dead, still towers over the movie. Arguably, he’s a more powerful figure than he might have been had the moviemakers kept their original plan of keeping him alive. Warning: thematic spoilers. Continue reading
It’s Not What’s Said, But What’s Not Said
There are different ways of “telling” someone something, and there are different ways of “showing” someone something. Don’t think that just because video games are largely visual experiences – rather than text – doesn’t mean they’re not “telling” (or, violently shoving information on the audience). Continue reading
How It’s Done
“Show, don’t tell.” We’ve all heard it. But applying it is something else, especially when there are different ways of showing and different ways of telling. I’d like to focus on one example of some first-rate “experience-giving” vs. “info-dumping”: Half-life 2. Continue reading
Not C. S. Lewis, But He Could Have Been
Now I understand the kickback against independent publishing (sort of). Yet for all this manuscript’s unprofessionalism, the story still swept me along so that I had no choice but finish it.
The story centers around Blott, a boy whose village faces starvation due to a drought and is controlled almost exclusively by the chief member of the council. In an attempt to find relief for his people, Blott discovers things about himself and his world, and is forced to explore the strange abilities that separate him from the rest of the people, even from his parents and brother. He also struggles with a violent enjoyment of destruction that might come from some mysterious external puppet-master, or from a well of darkness in his own soul. Continue reading
No Such Thing As Iocane Powder
I’m a quiet kind of person, but I have a peculiar hobby. That’s why I got the Book of Poisons. No, no, I write novels. Honest.
Especially useful for mystery writers, Book of Poisons details hundreds of toxins for causing havoc and death (to fictional characters, of course). Continue reading
One of the most useful writing aides I have found along my journey has been The Emotion Thesaurus. In the constant quest to show readers our characters’ actions and let them deduce the underlying emotions and thoughts for themselves, The Emotion Thesaurus provides engrossing lists of physical tics, physiological sensations, and other characteristics that can be used to display a character’s internal state without reusing the same ones again and again. Continue reading