Friday, April 23, 2010

Not Funny, Annoying.?

Sorry for the lack of updates. I've been out in the woods killing orcs, leveling up, completing quests and getting phat lootz. When I was not doing those things I just mentioned I was writing. Yes. Writing.

My ongoing story deals with some heavy issues. But I don't want my story to be classified as a "dark" work, I want it to have peeks and valleys. It's easier to create a piece of dark fiction, as humans we know negative emotions and situations seemingly better than positive ones. One of my big issues with the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica series was that is didn't come up for air enough, it rarely showed anything positive that was coming out of their desperate situation. That got annoying, made me sad and I often cried about it (not really). While I did not like the ending of the show all that much, it was fairly balanced and did not want to make me shoot myself in the face like say, any given episode of any HBO original series (including their comedies).

So this brings me to my point. I want my story to have levity in it as one of the "lighter" elements but I'm not all the great at writing humor. It's a bad idea to add a character for the sole purpose of being "comedy" relief. As I'm a shut in and don't get out often I don't see a lot of movies, but I've heard that this has become an annoying part of a lot of recent movies (I heard the latest Transformers movie had a pair of annoying douchebag robots in it). In my writing there are some characters that are just not funny, but I try to use their super seriousness to create awkward (and humorous) situations. Some of my characters are just regular people, and regular people are funny from time to time, so I try to run with that. Comedy is it's own animal, one that I have not tamed (in writing, in real life I'm a totally funny) so when people who are not good at it do it, it's lame.

That's it...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Conspiracy Theory: A Different Type of Storytelling?

There has always been people out there promulgating conspiracy theories, very often is the case that these "theories" ever turn out to be as they say. Ever since the 2000 election of George W. Bush there has been a lot in the old conspiracy theory game, some of them are even making money off it. After 9/11 the conspiracy theory became a lot more popular, and in many cases, a lot more ridiculous.

Years back, I used to buy into a lot of conspiracy stuff, I'll admit it. But as the years passed I found myself becoming much more of a skeptic to the point I hardly believe anything a lot of these peoples say, people like Alex Jones, David Icke and others. Maybe I've become an extreme cynic but when I look at people touting conspiracy theorists I always ask myself this question, who is making money off this? These fellas always have t-shirts, radio shows, television shows, DVDs and other products, in short a lot of them make their living off scarring people into listening to them. Some of the big name theorists compete with one another, accuse each other of being shills for the NWO, UN, Church of the Space Lizard, CIA, MI6, Cobra, Free Masons, Cutco, Girl Scouts or any other group, mythical or otherwise, they choose to demonize. Competing conspiracy theorists are like TV executives trying to win people over most titillating tales of secrets, intrigue and excitement.

So with the current troubled state of the world giving way to a new form of entertainment, a new type of storyteller - the professional conspiracy theorist? I think the evidence points clearly to yes. Unlike people watching a movie, or television show or whatever, I think this form of entertainment is more dangerous. It easily plays to fear, that's the biggest problem. When people become scared, they do crazy shit. I think I'm at the point that I can loot at these conspiracy theorists for that they are, storytellers with a sometime entertaining story (maybe very, very loosely based on some truth).

Just to clarify I do think it's possible for organization to repress knowledge, mainly academic and religious organizations. I think governments and businesses do a piss poor job of keeping secrets...if they are planning to create a genetic super virus to kill billions of people why can't they keep their own sexual/business indiscretions secret? Why is it if you look at something a conspiracy theorist said five years ago none of it ever happened?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Villain Teamup!

If I were to create a league of sack ripping, face punting villains I would definitely pick these whacked out bastards...

Alonzo Harris

Training Day is one of my favorite villains of all time from one of my favorite movies. I'm usually not a huge fan of cop movies, but this one stayed with me. Alonzo plays the role of a respected skull busting hero cop...incidentally King Kong has nothing on him. He's smooth, appeals to a persons dark sensibilities is utterly devious and ruthless. Utterly self-interested he recognizes the usefulness of allies but when it comes down to the wire he's in it for himself.

Benjamin Linus

Season 6 of Lost excluded, Ben is delightfully evil, devious and lets face it...kind of funny. By no means physically imposing (despite his beat stick) Ben is a one dangerous SOB who will get way or another.


Despite the fact that I've come to dislike Marvel Comics over the last ten years or so I've never lost my fondness for this character. He has a primal spirit coupled with a type of modern sophistication. I also really like cats and cat related he gets a spot on my team.

Lex Luthor

Lex is on this list for two reasons, firstly he's bald and has never used Rogaine, spray-on hair or placed the corpse of a dead animal on his scalp. Secondly, he became president...probably by rigging the voting machines in Ohio. Plus...he now has an orange lantern ring...which is pretty cool I guess.

Mr. Burns
My villain team needs corporate backing so that's where Mr. Burns comes in. I'm not so sure how he will get along with Lex, I guess we'll have to wait and see. Having a nuclear power plant at my team's disposal is also a know...for making mutants and what not. However, we'll have to be careful...he's often undone by idiocy.

Bob "Ganghis" Khan

I include Mr. Khan for thee reasons, firstly he's a blood crazed barbarian face smasher, secondly he commands a horde of blood crazed barbarian face smashing horseman and thirdly he's a military genius. Also, the group needed a little more muscle...

Ann Coulter
Skeletor wasn't available so I picked a loot I suppose my group needed a woman. Who better than this soulless witch? While she openly shows no powers, no intellect, ninja skills or anything really of merit...I got to imagine she's hiding something...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Unlikely Heroes

I like when storytellers treat unlikely heroes without overly exploiting those characteristics that make them unlikely. Sure, it's kind of hard to get past what makes Sloth "unlikely", well, because...he's some kind of mutant.

When writing a character that serves as an unlikely hero it's easy to focus on those traits that make him unlikely. I suppose it is more difficult for writers to give said unlikely heroes a totally fair treatment, maybe it's a matter of difficulty identifying. Still, I think media is becoming more accepting of these unlikely folks as characters.

Sorry if this was lame, I couldn't really think of anything else to write. That...or I just wanted an opportunity to talk about sloth. Sloth is awesome, he can rip out your vas deferens and strangle you with them.

Monday, March 29, 2010


Going to take a little break from the creative writing posts to tell you about this ass kicking book that I got for Christmas last year. Hands down, Badass by Ben Thompson is the best freaking history book I've ever read. I nearly choked to death laughing at least seventeen times when reading this book, it's that f****** funny, seriously...

Thompson mixes well researched history with pop culture...and proceeds to make me jealous I didn't think of doing this. Thompson writes about people we all know (and some of us love) like Vlad the Impaler, Harald Hardrada & Genghis Khan along with lesser known people from history, including kickass and enigmatic historical figures like Wolf the Quarrelsome and Bass Reeves.

This book should be required reading in school. it...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Fantastic Without Action?

A lot of science-fiction and fantasy films, television shows and other creative mediums are hinged heavily upon action, a lot of these are very good but a lot are very bad. The above picture is obviously from the classic kick ass science fiction action movie Predator, which can easily fall into the category of a simple action flick. However, I've always thought the movie had some deeper themes, it's a film with fatalistic themes and calls into questions mans place not only in his own world, but existence in general.

On the opposite end of the spectrum you have science fiction and fantasy works (mostly sci-fi from my experience) that effectively tell there story with a minimal amount of action, works like 2001 and Solaris.

To what degree can stories in fantastic settings be effective with a minimal amount of action, or none at all? What is the perfect balance? These are questions I've asked myself when considering my own work. My work would fall into the sci-fi/fantasy category though I try not to limit myself, I just throw in whatever I think works. My work needs to have action, but I hate writing it...not because I find it outright boring but because I find it difficult to do without being cliche or utterly ridiculous. I suppose I want the action in my work to be meaningful, so I try to use it sparingly. Though to be honest I've found myself at times throwing in unnecessary action...mostly because I'm thinking about how to satisfy readers as opposed to myself. So, I suppose, what I'm trying to say is that I need to write for myself first and foremost...hopefully things will fall into place after that!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


When movies, comics, books or other media is consumed by society at large one of the first elements that's examined is its "originality". For example, when Avatar was released it was instantly criticized because, in the opinions of some, it resembled other popular stories. My response to this is...who cares? If you like something, who cares. If you want to tell a story that has be inspired by something it!

What's important in art is that you make your creation your own. I'm not talking about blatantly ripping something off, that's a whole other thing. I've struggled with originality in my own work. In the past I've been too critical of my process of inspiration. I'd punished myself (by not writing) if I felt that part of my story, a character, or whatever closely resembled something in popular media that I liked. I realized that if you want to be "original" you have to have passion for what you're creating, you have to own it, you have to look through its eyes. If you do this, you've created something original...who cares what anyone else says.

I'm writing about this because I was thinking about fooling around with a side project apart from my ongoing story work, just for fun. In my previous post I talked about Lost and how I have a huge nerd boner for the show. I wanted to do something similar, with the science-fiction elements more that it will takes place in space. It would be more of a writing exercise for me...maybe I'll do it.