Tag Archives: Fantasy

Some People Don’t Get Game of Thrones

New York Times wrote another piece sweepingly snubbing Game of Thrones. Last time it was called “boy-fiction” and raised an uproar from the legion of fans – most of which were of the lady variety. This time it is more informed and articulate, but ultimately misses something important. I think this oversight is generally what lies beneath the sweaty keyboard pounding when fans take to defending their interests.

After I read the article I wrote a long blog that basically amounted to “YOU DON’T LIKE WHAT I LIKE, YOU’RE A DOO-DOO HEAD!”, but when I hovered over the Publish button I recanted. I think there is something going on that is larger than what I think critics and the arbiters of taste realize; it is something as old and old itself. Perhaps I am late to the party on this, but I just realized it.

There is a shift going on in societies’ taste, genre is becoming accepted and mainstream. The old and stodgy snubbing of the fantastic is becoming dated, like a geriatric wildebeest falling behind the rest of the pack, waiting to be picked off by a hungry lion. If GoT did indeed only appeal to the small D & D audience and the fans of the books, I don’t think it would have been as successful as it is.

If we look at the top twenty highest grossing movies of all time, excluding “Titanic” and “The Passion of the Christ”, the other movies are steeped in fantasy and science fiction. If we go back in time and adjust for inflation we see less movies with strong fantastic elements dominating the top twenty. So what has changed? I can’t help but notice a trend between the super hero movies and the revamping of classic fairy tales.

I think as time progresses we will see fewer reviews of this nature; dismissing and brushing off shows/movies based on heritage of appeal and unconventional means of story telling. I understand that it is easier to dismiss something out of hand because of unfamiliarity, say that it should get with the program because this is how these things work, but everything changes and sometimes . I’m predicting in a couple of years people will look back on Game of Thrones and remark on how different and ground breaking it was, and the people raising that banner will be the same people who scoffed at it.

Despite having a lot names to follow and killing off the “main character”, there is still a sense of something. It feels big, nasty and oddly cold. This sense of wonder is what I think drives at the heart of the show, and ultimately drives the audience. We love a good underdog story, we love when good conquers all, but perhaps we want to see the more visceral side of humanity. Maybe we want to know how much hell a character went through so when they finally find heaven we can equally share in their moment. Whether or not GoT will deliver that feeling, book or show, is yet to be determined but for now the ride is entertaining. Until the conclusion of this epic story, I can’t forget that winter is coming.

 

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Andrzej Sapkowski

I’ve been reading the second installment of Mr. Sapkowski’s english translated Witcher universe, and I must say that it is quite awesome. It is interesting to read on several fronts, but before I go into why let me explain a little about Andrzej Sapkowski.

Mr. Sapkowski is a Polish fantasy writer of some note in Europe. His books are the foundation for The Witcher games, which are very popular in their own right. His books are slowly being translated and shipped over to the new world, where I (not so)patiently wait. So far just The Last Wish and Blood of Elves are available in English. The third installment, Times of Contempt, is due out sometime in 2012.

The Last Wish is a collection of short stories revolving around a man( the main character in the universe) named Geralt of Rivia. He is in the business of killing nazis monsters, and business is booming. He is a mutant with white wavy, feathered hair rolling from town to town assassinating monsters and breaking curses. He is the local bad ass; women love him and men want to be him – kind of not really, he is fairly ostracized. At an early age Witchers undergo some upgrades that mutate them into being the million dollar man and because Geralt and by extension his brethren are so good at their jobs, monsters are disappearing at an alarming rate.

The first book rolls across seven short stories that involve the death and/or maiming of some very intriguing and unique monsters. Wrap your head around a  half spider – half crocodile, yea that just happened. There is also a Djinn, which is what Genie from Aladdin is loosely based off of, that is essentially a giant floating head. For those who don’t know, Djinn’s are evil and fiery and do horribly evil things.

The second book, Blood of Elves, picks up a little time after the events of the last book. There is a prophecy and a child, fairly standard stuff, but what separates this book above most others for me is the structure and style of the book. I don’t know if it is Sapkowski’s particular style, the translation, or the language that it was written in but the book has a unique flow to it. Some grammatical tenets that are generally avoided are used quite effectively throughout the book. I guess it goes to show that there isn’t really a hard set of rules in writing, the biggest rule is to just be effective. Which this book does in handfuls.

I won’t talk too much about the second book because it would ruin the first book for some people, but I suggest picking it up if only to dissect the differences and structure from how English story telling is done. If that doesn’t interest you then just pick one up and take it for a spin, both are damn good books to start with anyway.

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Religion In Science Fiction

Something I have run across in my vast undertaking of trying to read and conquer every Science Fiction book ever written, there appears to be a lot of mono-religions for aliens. My question is why? This also occurs in the Fantasy genre.

Perhaps if an author tells us that a world has ten religions, but only explains one, the rest is left for us to color in with our imagination?

Is it because the universe in which the story is written is so large that it is not only unnecessary  but detrimental to explore the vast religions and sects of an alien culture? Or is it the simple and easy answer, too much work.

Occam’s razor points me to the latter, which worries me.

I can understand a hive-mind like alien species having one religion, if any at all. A society where a single or total consciousness controls the thoughts and physical movements for an entire species. That makes sense to me.

What I don’t understand is how a large, intergalactic civilization that expands several planets and moons can only believe in one religion, say a golden potato. This strikes me as very odd. If evolution has tought us anything, genetic drift among the different colonies would occur over time. The alien’s bodies would evolve to adjust to the conditions on the planet or moon.

Say that takes place over a period of a few hundred years, I would almost bet that enough difference between the colonies would result in skewed political and religious views, necessity playing a large part in the equation.

We don’t even have to look very far here on Earth to see that villages a few miles apart have similar but ultimately different religious ideologies. Expand countries and continents and the difference grows.

So why would it be any different for an alien species? Am I over simplifying the unknown by applying human conditions and parameters to something incalculable?

Culture is something that does interest me. I enjoy reading about other societies and the differences in perspectives that can differ so radically from my own. Introduce a creature with different needs and biological functions than a human, we have a recipe for extreme shifts and differences from our own. The potential to explore this in a soft science fiction universe feels like trying to find where the ocean meets the sky, an endless journey.

The amazing part is after religion, we have politics and social class to explore. Perhaps I just haven’t read as widely as I would like to think I have, or is there a kernel of truth to this?

What do you think? Can you point me to any Fantasy and Science Fiction books that explore in greater detail the softer exploits or a civilization?

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Dragon Age: Redemption Trailer

So the lovely Felicia Day (The Guild, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog, and general geek goddess) has been allowed to run around and make a Dragon Age web series. What isn’t all that surprising because it is Ms. Day, but in my opinion unusual for a web series, is that it looks really really damn good. Maybe it takes a fellow nerd to deliver the goods on something like this.

I know I know, apparently all the Mortal Kombat webisodes have led to an actual movie. That is fine and dandy. I don’t particularly care for the look of the characters but I do think the sense of ‘realism’ the series is shooting for is a step in the right direction. Anything is better than the last Mortal Kombat movie….. yuck.

Anyway….

Ms. Day plays an elf assassin stock with cartwheels, flips, and dual blades. There isn’t a shortage of blood splatter in the trailer, which I like, and the production value gives me a sense of nostalgia. It looks like a Xena of Hercules TV show level of quality, which isn’t necessarily bad.

The first episodes comes out in Oct 11th and I for one will be watching it.

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Science Fiction & Fantasy Gets Snobbed From Snobbing Snobs & A Potential New Earth

First, a big congratulations to Peter Dinklage for winning an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in HBO’s ‘A Game of Thrones.’ I have actually just started watching the show on demand earlier today and so far I am fairly impressed with the show. That is amazing in itself because often things become lost in translation between mediums, Hollywood likes to mess with already winning formulas. I am a huge GRRM fan and pleased to say that from the one and half episode I have watched, it gets my fanboy approval – for whatever that is worth.

With that being said, the rest of the science fiction and fantasy style shows nominated for an Emmy (most in smaller categories) walked away empty-handed. Essentially the bread and butter of the nerd world was snobbed by snobbing snobs. The only other awesome tip of the hat to science fiction and fantasy shows the Emmys gave was to Futurama in the Outstanding Animated Program and Outstanding Voice-Over Performance.

Other shows like ‘True Blood’ came up completely empty-handed. ‘A Game of Thrones’ and ‘Spartacus’ lost to ‘Southland’ for Outstanding Stunt Coordination. I have a hard time believing that ‘Southland’ had better stunts than ‘Spartacus’. You can read the article here at sciencefiction.com and the entire Emmy winners here.

Speaking of science, apparently there might be a Super Earth in our neck of the woods. Super Earth means Earth like planet, but bigger. A potential candidate is roughly 36 light years away, which is damn close. Supposedly it might hold water if conditions are right (still to be determined) and it is rotating around an orange star that is a little smaller and colder that ours. We need to find out if it has an atmosphere, so an image needs to be captured for the light off the planet to be examined. Overall astronomers are pretty excited and hopeful. A larger and more sensitive telescope could deliver clearer information. Option A – build a 3,ooo mile telescope that would take months to print an image. Option B – use the Sun’s gravitational field as a lens. You can read the source from here. Of course something similar happened a few years ago, and this one is shorter distance. You can find it here.

 

So you know what a bigger Earth means right?

 

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Where You Can Sell Your Fantasy and Science Fiction Stories

Here is a list of some noted places to sell your fantasy and science fiction stories. The guidelines differ from each magazine but all are worthwhile and noted, safe places to sell your works. Most have had nominees and winners in the Hugo and Nebula awards, so they carry some clout. There are more than the few I have listed, but this should get any established/aspiring writer enough to go off of.

Analog – (Science Fiction Only) Founded in 1930 and having changed names a few times, this magazine has been the home to such science fiction heavy weights like Isaac Asimov, Uncle Orson Scott Card, Robert Heinlein, and many others. This is considered the longest running and continuously published magazine in the genre, now also in e-book. They are looking for stories where science is a crucial part of the plot and would fail without it. The science doesn’t necessarily have to be physical, it can be sociological as well as psychological, but the characters and their problems have to be believable.

Payment goes as follows:

Analog pays 6-8 cents per word for short stories up to 7,500 words, $450-600 for stories between 7,500 and 10,000 words, and 5-6 cents per word for longer material. We prefer lengths between 2,000 and 7,000 words for shorts, 10,000-20,000 words for novelettes, and 40,000-80,000 for serials. Fact articles are paid for at the rate of 6 cents per word.

You can find Analog’s submissions page here.

Asimov’s  Science Fiction – (Science Fiction and Borderline Fantasy (Not Swords and Sorcerers) Isaac Asimov was approached to lend his name out to a new magazine, like Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, he agreed but refused to be an editor. He instead would write editorials and answer fan mail, you know the fun stuff. The magazine was launched in 1977 and has been steadily published works bimonthly and in e-format. Asimov’s has famous writers such as Asimov (duh), Ursula K. LeGuin, Joe Haldeman, Michael Swanwick, and many others. Here the editors are looking for character oriented stories where characters are the main focus, not science or technology, borderline fantasy is acceptable but not dragons, swords, and sorcerers. No explicit sex or violence, they want a story that captures some aspect of the human condition in the massive place we call the universe.

Payment goes as follows:

Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine is an established market for science fiction stories. We pay on acceptance, and beginners get 6.0 cents a word to 7,500 words, 5.0 cents a word for stories longer than 12,500 words, and $450 for stories between those lengths. We seldom buy stories longer than 20,000 words, and we don’t serialize novels. We pay $1 a line for poetry, which should not exceed 40 lines. We buy First English Language serial rights plus certain non-exclusive rights explained in our contract. We do not publish reprints, and we do not accept “simultaneous submissions,” (stories sent at the same time to a publication other than Asimov’s). Asimov’s will consider material submitted by any writer, previously published or not. We’ve bought some of our best stories from people who have never sold a story before.

You can find Asimov’s submissions page here.

Clarkesworld Magazine – (Science Fiction and Fantasy) This magazine started in 2006 and has regularly published ever since. It has published writers such as Peter Watts and Jeff Vandermeer. Two facets about potential stories are that they must be well-written and on-screen reader friendly (easy for kindle and the like e-readers, long paragraphs might hurt you). There isn’t really any restrictions on what one can send in. Sex, violence, gore, profanity are not frowned upon, but must be used wisely within the story in order for it to be acceptable. Excess of these elements are often poorly written and hinder a sale. However, there is a list of things deemed not acceptable.

  • stories in which a milquetoast civilian government is depicted as the sole obstacle to either catching some depraved criminal or to an uncomplicated military victory
  • stories in which the words “thou” or “thine” appear
  • talking cats
  • talking swords
  • stories where the climax is dependent on the spilling of intestines
  • stories where FTL travel is as easy as is it on television shows or movies
  • time travel too
  • stories that depend on some vestigial belief in Judeo-Christian mythology in order to be frightening (i.e., Cain and Abel are vampires, the End Times are a’ comin’, Communion wine turns to Christ’s literal blood and it’s HIV positive, Satan’s gonna getcha, etc.)
  • stories about rapist-murderer-cannibals
  • stories about young kids playing in some field and discovering ANYTHING. (a body, an alien craft, Excalibur, ANYTHING).
  • stories about the stuff we all read in Scientific American three months ago
  • stories where the Republicans, or Democrats, or Libertarians, or the Spartacist League, etc. take over the world and either save or ruin it
  • your AD&D game
  • “funny” stories that depend on, or even include, puns
  • sexy vampires, wanton werewolves, or lusty pirates
  • zombies or zombie-wannabes
  • stories originally intended for someone’s upcoming theme anthology or issue
  • stories where the protagonist is either widely despised or widely admired simply because he or she is just so smart and/or strange
  • stories that take place within an artsy-fartsy bohemia as written by an author who has clearly never experienced one
  • your trunk stories
If your story falls into any one of those in the list, Clarkesworld probably won’t pick up your story. Just be aware of that before you submit your story.
Payment goes as follows:
Word Limit: 1000-8000 words (preferred length is 4000)
Pay Rate: 10¢ per word up to 4000 words, 5¢ per word after
Genres: Science fiction and fantasy
Language: English
Rights: We claim first world electronic rights (text and audio), first print rights (author must be willing to sign 100+ chapbooks), and non-exclusive anthology rights for Realms, the yearly Clarkesworld anthology.

You can visit Clarkesworld’s submissions page here.

Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine – (Fantasy and Science Fiction) F&SF was founded in 1949 under The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, which later shortened to Fantasy and Science Fiction, F&SF for the super efficient. This magazine publishes bimonthly and in e-book format. Notable past writers to the magazine include Robert Heinlein, Stephen King, Kurt Vonnegut and many more. They are looking for stories that appeal to the fantasy and science fiction reader base. Science fiction can be slight, but must be a felt presence in the story. In fact they do not receive enough science fiction or humor pieces, so these are in high demand.  They accept stories up to 25k words long and must follows standard manuscript guidelines.
Payment goes as follows:
Payment is 6-9 cents per word on acceptance. We buy first North American and foreign serial rights and an option on anthology rights. All other rights are retained by the author.

You can visit F&SF’s submissions page here.

Fantasy Magazine – (Fantasy Only) This online only magazine was started in 2005 at World Fantasy Convention. It published physical copies for six more issues but then switch to online only. This magazine has published stories from notable authors like Jeff Vandermeer, Peter S. Beagle, and many others. Fantasy magazine is published by Prime Books and has a sister magazine for science fiction called Lightspeed. Fantasy magazine is looking for anything fantasy. They accept stories with strong sexual themes, but not erotica. The more adult themes must be well executed and balanced within the story.
Payment goes as follows:

Stories should be fantasy only (not science fiction), and be between 1500 and 7500 words long. Stories of 5000 words or less are preferred.

Payment for original fiction is 5¢/word, on acceptance. To see which rights we’re seeking, please view our contract template for original fiction.

You can find the Fantasy Magazine’s submissions page here.

Lightspeed Magazine – (Science Fiction Only) This is the sister magazine to Fantasy Magazine, first published in 2010. It has been nominated for several awards and has the same staff as Fantasy Magazine. Lightspeed has published authors such as Stephen King, Joe Haldeman, Mike Brotherton, and many more. They accept anything science fiction and the same rules apply from Fantasy Magazine as does Lightspeed. One thing that is particularly cool about Lightspeed is this:
…No subject should be considered off-limits, and we encourage writers to take chances with their fiction and push the envelope.
Payment goes as follows:

Stories should be science fiction only (not fantasy), and be between 1500 and 7500 words long. Stories of 5000 words or less are preferred.

Payment for original fiction is 5¢/word, on acceptance. To see which rights we’re seeking, please view our contract template for original fiction.

You can find Lightspeed Magazine’s submissions page here.

Orson Scott Card’s Intergalatic Medicine Show – (Fantasy and Science Fiction) This was first started in 2005 with a quarterly publishing schedule, which later came to a bimonthly publication. The first two issues were edited by Orson himself, but later edited by Edmund R. Schubert. Notable writers that IGMS has published include Peter S. Beagle, Eric James Stone, Bud Sparhawk, and many more. IGMS tries to keep a PG-13 rating as to be accessible to all ages. That means no explicit sex and detailed gore and violence. Orson is serious about keeping a PG-13 rating. There are no restrictions to the fantasy and science fiction that IGMS will publish, as long as it falls within the PG-13 guideline.

Payment goes as follows:

We pay 6 cents a word up to 7500 words and 5 cents a word thereafter.

With this payment we buy exclusive rights in any language or any medium throughout the world for one year from date of first publication in the magazine, and nonexclusive electronic and/or online rights in any language in perpetuity. We also buy nonexclusive print and audio rights throughout the world and in all languages for inclusion in multi-author anthologies based on the magazine, for which you will receive a pro rata share of the authors’ share of advances and royalties, to be reported and paid when reports and payments are received by us from the publisher (or, if we are the publisher, every six months after one year after publication, if there are any earnings to report).

You can find IGMS’s submissions page here.

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NPR’s Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy

If you haven’t looked at list, you can find it here. This is a large-scale list that was voted on by 60k + people across 5k titles. Needless to say, it was quite the undertaking in terms of reeling in the titles. If you read in the two genres you will see many familiar titles, here is the question, and many other titles you probably aren’t familiar with or have even heard of.

Here is the top ten:

1. The Lord Of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams
3. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
4. The Dune Chronicles by Frank Herbert
5. A Song of Ice And Fire Series by George R.R. Martin
6. 1984 by George Orwell
7. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
8. The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov
9. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
10. American Gods by Neil Gaiman

I’ve read somewhat religiously consistent for a few years between audio books at work and physical copies at home. When I was younger I read with great enthusiasm until I found alcohol and girls, where there was a gap in reading and memory until I calmed down roughly four or five years ago, so I have thrown down on some books. The list of books to read is longer than the list of books that I have read and I don’t really see that changing……..ever…….. Which is exciting and incredibly annoying at the same time.

I have read probably 60/100 titles in the NPR list throughout the course of my life. Some beloved books are beat out by works I have never heard of, like The Handmaid’s Tale. This makes me incredibly curious because I sort of pride myself on being well read in the genre, or at least did. Before the final results were released I felt I had a good idea of how the list would turn out. I was wrong and right at the same time. In the top ten, five are my favorite writers. The only book on the top ten I haven’t read/listened to is LOTR, blasphemy I know but I just can’t get into it. I have tried multiple times.

So with the giant gorilla of bias out of the way, some of the standings I agree with and others leave me a little confused. Like why wasn’t Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series isn’t on the list and just two books are, or why NPR didn’t just split the genre’s separately. I truly believe that Hyperion should be higher than what it is, but I am a Simmons fan boy so there might be some slight favoritism. Any who, I have added more books to me ‘God Damn Printer Won’t Work – Books To Read List’ because of this – *shakes fist angrily*.

The timeline of these books are spread across decades old classics to new baby smell, and given the sheer volume of literature out in the world, the people who have read all 100 books are probably a minority.

So here is my question: How many of the titles have you NOT read and/or are virtually new to your ear and eye holes?

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The Story Concepts Are Like A Gushing Wound……. Of Ideas…. Not Blood

I literally have a small notebook full of story ideas. I can’t seem to staunch the open flow of creativity. It is getting to the point that I fear if I spent the rest of my natural life writing, I might get half way through. Seriously….

I came up with a new concept for a book series. It wouldn’t be high fantasy, maybe epic visceral, but very slipstream. It essentially takes place in a mountain range that nobody is really sure where they are or how to get to , but folks end up there accidentally all the same. Leaving is even that much harder, for strange things happen that keep life on the mountain volatile. The idea is essentially the birth place of magic that crazy shenanigans and adventures take place (dismantling clichés in the process – think Terry Pratchett) that all cultures seem claim propriety at. In the time frame that I am thinking, lots of time has passed and magic is all but gone. A few flickers exist, but only here in the mountain can a practitioner really thrive. Even then, they have to be damn good at their craft in order to harness the few threads of slippery magic left. The entire society and livelihood of the mountain revolves around a single inn.

That is all the detail you will get for now.

I’m thinking that the books would be small, like 70k-90k pages worth. Quick fun reads for the whole family… except the kids. I have a perverse sense of humor… so maybe not grandma either.

This is a story/idea that I think I will enjoy writing as much as reading. There is probably a moral somewhere in that sentence.

I’ve been going back and forth on posting Violence Breeds Violence, Repression Breeds Retalitation free for my 100th post. I don’t know how well that will go if it becomes published, I might have to take it down. Hmm, I’ll look into it.

Well today is my year anniversary, I have to go and give some love and attention to my other, then to dinner. Have a good day everybody!

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Sweet Best Served Cold and The Heroes US Covers

These are the new covers for Joe Abercrombie’s books Best Served Cold and The Heroes. Get a towel and some shades, these are awesome. All I can say is, FUCKING FINALLY! US get some sweet covers. HA UK, HA!

Sweet, eh?

I don’t know about you, but I think these covers are awesome, really awesome, in fact cyborg unicorns fighting mutant care bears with light-sabers awesome.. They add a realm of old school wonder with a sense of modernization and action that, had I not read/already owned his books, I would be picking these up off the shelf in instant curiosity if I saw them. Which would be the intention, so jolly good job.

He talks about marketing strategy on his blog post about these. If he is indeed correct about the potential draw of new readers, I could see thing starting a trend, and if I ever get published, I would want my covers to look something along the lines.

 

The paperback editions of Best Served Cold and The Heroes with these covers come out October 2011 and July 2012.

I wait impatiently.

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6 Things That Ruin Books For Me

6. Too much exposition. Nothing makes my eyes glaze over and my mind wonder about they get fortunes inside fortune cookies like a downpour of exposition. I’m all about drawing the outline of the plot, giving hints and cliff edges of the world as we venture further into the story. I can forgive some exposition, but like everybody else, there is a point in which I need to be shown and not told. When a two page summary of the buttons on the Duke of Wellington’s coat is a little numbing, especially during a big battle and a nearby officer gets shot. I’m at my wit’s end wanting to hear the conversation. Which goes a little like this:

“I dare say sir, I’ve been shot.”

“By god man, so you have.”

“How about a quick tea before you see the doctor.”

“Absolutely sir. I’m feeling a bit peckish.”

There is just something that tickles my funny bone when stereotypical British dialog is afoot.

5. Endless Introspection. Another quick way to lose me as a reader is to have seemingly endless character introspection. I prefer story driven plots in the first place, so throwing in that extra character introspection for the plot is going to make me go cross-eyed. When a simple question sparks a fifteen page soul gaze, I’ll remember which book to use when I need kindling for a fire.

“What flavor of ice cream?”

I could tell by the way he asked what flavor of ice cream I wanted that he was tortured as a child like me. I wonder if it was the same way it happened to me. That one time in Jr. High when I was asked the fated question. That one simple question about ice cream made me realize people were selfish and self-absorbed. That loss of innocence standing at the counter of Baskin Robbins and their 31 flavors of heaven when everything I believed was ripped out of my heart to make way for somebody else’s preferences.

The day when….…….BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH. IT HAS NO GOD DAMN RELEVANCE TO THE STORY!

4. Dishonest Enthusiasm. What I mean by this is a lack of care and love behind a writer’s work. If you don’t care and love the story you are writing, I’ll pick up on it as a reader and I’ll become uninterested. I’m sure everybody has read a story before and a little way through it realized it was flat. I have found, typically, this is caused by a lack of ‘giving a fuck’ in the writing.

Sherry went to the marketplace. She bumped into her ex-lover. The both looked at each other in surprise.

“Hi,” Sherry said.

“Hi,” Ron said.

Then they pushed their carts away and out of their lives again.

Stories like this become toilet paper in dire situations.

3. Shitty Pacing/foreshadowing. This has two edges that both equally piss me off. The first one is something akin to the entire book being explained in the first few chapters due to bad pacing, the rest of the book being completely superfluous, and then in the end we find out things could have been prevented early on and saved us moments off our life.

Chapter 1: Something bad is starting.

Chapter 2: Stop the bad thing from continuing.

Chapter 3: Fred down the street has the power to stop the bad thing, he just hasn’t done it yet. It is very obvious that he is going to.

Chapter 4-40: Random shit that isn’t necessary.

Chapter 41: Fred simply stops the bad thing, the end.

We knew in chapter 3 what was going to happen, it should have just happened and ended the story.

2. [INSERT SOMETHING IMPORTANT]. This is when you get through the entire book, just for the end to hit you with something never mentioned or alluded to before. For all intents and purposes, it is new information that up until the end had zero relevance to anything. When it is a series, this is a little different. For stand alone books, it is almost unforgivable. We spend the entire book getting to the volcano, to stop it spewing lava on the peaceful and tranquil land, just for our heroes to be cock-blocked by seemingly randomly inserted bullshit.

“Okay guys, here we are. Finally we made it to Mt. Nazi. It was a long journey and people died, but we made it.”

“What do we do now?”

“No idea, lets blow the top and cover this bitch.”

“Whoa there John, we need the Scepter of Explosion for that.”

“The what?”

“The Scepter of Explosion, it is hidden in the Marsh of Woes.”

“Really? We passed through there and you didn’t feel the need to mention this?”

“We must time travel to reach it.” 

Time travel was never mentioned before, neither was the Scepter of Explosion. We spent the entire length of the book just for something to be randomly inserted to make the story seem more interesting. You can’t polish a turd, no matter how much you rub it, or randomly place corn in it (random plot twists).

1. Unsupported and Thinly Veiled Opinions as Facts. This can come in the form of mouth foaming fervor against politics, religion, class status, etc. When somebody makes an argument or one-sided statement that is unsupported. These are the worse for me. I hate it when people write stories as vehicles for their own biases and prejudices without justifying them or offering any structured argument. They just simply read as rants with some basic story elements as flavor.

“Republicans/Democrats are idiots. They are self-absorbed clowns that are only out for themselves. They would do anything for money, even sell their grandmother’s wheelchair. They wake up in the morning and eat puppy sandwiches and kitten milkshakes. Then they drive a car that runs on panda tears and baby seal blood to get to their work.

If you are going to make a claim, no matter how wild it is, back it up or justify it with something. If your book is a giant metaphor for something current and relevant to our society, at least put the time in to make it sensible. Actually I’m not sure which is more insulting; Thinly veiled opinions or the assumption that because somebody makes a wild accusation in a story setting, people will eat it up.

Note: There are exceptions to everything, these 6 opinions of mine aren’t any different.

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