Writing that novel

WritingI finished plotting a new novel a few days ago and started writing. Given it was the Holiday season, with vacation time, New Year’s resolutions, and bad weather, maybe you decided to also write that novel? Two months from now, when two paragraphs of writing are angrily staring at you from your desk, you might wonder where it all went wrong. It used to happen to me. I have a big folder of unfinished work on my laptop. Okay… So then what? Continue reading “Writing that novel”

The Zero-Sum Game

by rahego under Creative Commons
by rahego under Creative Commons

John Scalzi wrote an article about the new Amazon all-you-can-eat-self-publishing model, and why it’s bad news for self-publishing authors. I agree that this kind of subscription model makes writing a zero-sum game, but I disagree that that’s not the case for other forms of publishing.

Full disclosure, I’ve written a book, but haven’t published it yet, so I have limited knowledge of the publishing industry. I have been part of the software industry for fifteen years, and seen the way economics work there, which I feel has some bearing on e-books at the very least. Continue reading “The Zero-Sum Game”

Review – The Battle of the Five Armies

The Battle of the Five ArmiesI went to see the Hobbit 3: the Battle of the Five Armies yesterday. I found it to be a fitting ending to the series. Much better than the prequel trilogy we do not speak of. Of course, no matter how good I think a movie is, I always take the story apart and see what works and what doesn’t, because, you know, I don’t have an off switch for that.

This review will contain lots of spoilers. If you haven’t seen the movie or read the book, go do so, then come back here. Seriously, it’s a good movie. Continue reading “Review – The Battle of the Five Armies”

Merry Christmas

There are a lot of different feasts that are all celebrated around the middle of winter.

The Christian celebration of the birth of Christ, the celebration of the winter solstice, the celebration of a soft drink (that means you Coca Cola), and the Scandinavian celebration of dressing up in goat skins and going door to door called Joulupukki.

So, a large percentage of the world population is celebrating something. I wonder if it isn’t the largest celebration in the world – Although, China, India, and the Islamic countries are not along for the ride. Anyway, merry Christmas / winter solstice / Coca-Cola party / Joulupukki everyone!

 

Broken Characters: to thine own self be true

by rahego under Creative Commons
by rahego under Creative Commons

In a previous post, I identified broken plot and broken characters as reasons that I feel stories often fail. Last time I talked about plot, so today, I’ll talk about broken characters.

By broken characters, I mean characters that are not internally consistent. That doesn’t mean that all stories should focus on character. Read Characters & Viewpoints by Orson Scott Card for more about his famous MICE quotient.

You can have characters that do not grow or change, and do not even have a big role. However, they can still be broken, and they can still ruin a story.

By internally consistent I mean, given the situation that a character is in, and their background, they should act in a plausible way. It doesn’t mean they have to be rational, but it does mean their actions flow logically from who they are and what happens to them. For instance, if an armed police officer witnesses a crime, they will call it in, or try to stop it. Of course, the officer can cower in fear, but then you’ll have to give an explanation for this at some point in the story. Characters can be completely irrational, but you have to establish them as such. Continue reading “Broken Characters: to thine own self be true”