Archive for March 2014

Worldbuilding #5a – Sun

starMost of what I do for my worldbuilding series is for fantasy writers. Most of my Science Fiction writers tend to use a copy of Earth and don’t really need a map of their world. Still, whether you are a Sci-fi or Fantasy writer, it is still nice to have a start of your world.

This is not a full article as it uses techniques from my last article about the ocean depths.

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Worldbuilding #5 — Ocean Depth and Land texture

Welcome back the the world building series. In our last episode we defined our land, and by extension our oceans. We even filled in the colour. Now we take our colour to the next level by adding in ocean depth and Land texture. The ocean depth is more for a visual effect to make it look interesting, but the land texture will be vital for the rest of the tutorial.

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Character and Plot Assassination — The Lone Ranger

***WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS***

So I recently watched the Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp and I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. But reading what others thought, it was mixed reviews. While it had a great pace and good narrative, there were a few unexplained things such as the mysterious prison escape and Tonto appearing in the right place to bury the bodies or jumping from a height onto a box car of silver.

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Grammar…Why Did it Have to be Grammar — The Truth of Sentience vs Sapience

Thanks to a good majority of Science Fiction, the term Sentience has been grossly misused. Many people apply the term to mean anything that is intelligent on a human level. Even Star Trek has done this, which I’ve always wondered if they were aware they were using the word incorrectly. Below is an example

Capt. Picard: Now, tell me, Commander, what is Data?

Commander Bruce Maddox: I don’t understand.

Capt. Picard: What is he?

Commander Bruce Maddox: A machine!

Capt. Picard: Is he? Are you sure?

Commander Bruce Maddox: Yes!

Capt. Picard: You see, he’s met two of your three criteria for sentience, so what if he meets the third, consciousness, in even the smallest degree? What is he then? I don’t know. Do you?

–Star Trek: Next Generation (Measure of a Man)

Now I will tell you right now, that the term of sentience is misused here. The word Picard is looking for is Sapience. Now a good question to ask here is, if most people think the correct word is Sentience, why should I change it? Why not use the word people expect versus using the correct word?

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Roleplaying Makes for a Good Writer

Between publishing my novel on Amazon to completing my NaNoWriMo 2013 novel, I did very little writing.  I did do some Fan Fiction for Star Wars The Old Republic, but never in great detail as I do with my writing.

During this time, I was actually responsible for my guild’s RP.  My guild was the Grey Jedi Order.  Eventually I became the Guild Leader.  Now roleplay comes in all forms, including pen and paper, video games, LARP, or in the bedroom.  When I did RP for SWTOR, I modeled after what a DM does for pen and paper such as Dungeons & Dragons or Mechwarrior (where my moniker mad_cat comes from).  Most people I see that did RP in MMORPG tend to do what I call Cantina events, where people are at a bar, standing around and talking.  Through dialogue they reveal stories about their character.  For me, I don’t enjoy Cantina events…I’m spending $15/month just to stand in one place?  No thank you.

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Grammar…Why Did it Have to be Grammar — The Truth of Further vs Farther

So I spend quite a bit of time on Twitter, my blog, and NaNoWriMo forums.  I am always looking for ways to improve my craft and to offer my insight to others on how they can improve.

One conversation has come up recently that I commented on and was surprised what I saw in this discussion.  Further vs Farther.  Which do you use?  Now, I am guilty that often times I use further when I mean farther because to me it sounds better.  To say farther, I have to move my jaw a bit but for further, I only move my tongue.

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Tools of the Trade — Walking Away

tools of the tradeBeen awhile since I’ve done a Tools of the Trade article. This one doesn’t sound like a tool, but it is an attitude of your project. As writers, each of our stories are our children and we do what we must to protect our children. We spend a lot of time writing, and editing, and writing some more. We seek perfection to our stories.

 

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Follow-up to Authors Kill Suspension of Disbelief by K.M. Weiland

I read an interesting article from K.M. Weiland about Authors killing the Suspension of Disbelief.  It is a great article, and has a video too if you don’t want to read (it’s a transcript of the video).

double-dragon-game-in-movie

The Nostalgia Critic suggested the universe should have exploded

The basic jist of it, is writers will often time have little inside jokes in their stories as a wink to the readers, which is OK to do, but sometimes go too far and taking us back to reality.  Not just books, but all forms of media.  Sometimes it can be done well, such as Metal Gear Solid telling you to look for the codec frequency on the back the CD case, and sometimes it can be done badly, just like in the Double Dragon movie where we see the Double Dragon arcade game.

 

 

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How I Write — Character Writing

Back in October, I tried to surround myself with writers who were participating in NaNoWriMo.  I am always on the quest to build a community of writers that help each other out.  The one question that I was asked in preparation for NaNoWriMo was: “Are you ready?”

My answer was No.  I knew by their question they were asking if I had everything planned out.  So when I answered no, it was because I didn’t have everything planned out.  And the day I wrote, I still didn’t have everything planned out.  This of course confused people.  How can I begin writing if I don’t know every detail of what will happen?

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A-to-Z Blog Challenge Reveal

This is the first year I am doing the A-to-Z Blog Challenge, and in keeping with another site I am revealing my theme for this year.

For those who don’t know, A-to-Z Blog Challenge is a Challenge to all bloggers for the month of April to makes posts every day (except Sunday) which each day representing a different letter of the alphabet. So Day 1 is A, Day 2 is B, and so on. From the best as I can tell, this started in 2010 when a blogger had 200 followers and 200 posts and wanted to do something special for it, and since then has caught on as a craze.

From what I can see, in 2013, they had 382 participants, but for 2014 there are 1364 signed up. I’m #724 if you want to find me on the list. I congratulate those who are doing this, as that is an increase of over 300 percent. Impressive. You can review the list yourself, where you can find bloggers who post about writing, books, film, photography, gardening, craft, arts, music, culinary, fashion, personal, social media, gaming, education, politics, history, science, humor, travel, and adult content (which is added on to any of the list above). Then while you are participating, you look at blogs and cheer people on.

So what is my theme this year? As my blog is an educational blog for writers, I will be discussing literary terms. Each day, I will post two literary terms. More than just explaining what they are, I will find a way to bridge them together. Why so much work? I want the challenge. And believe me, this was a challenge…especially for B, Q, X, Y, Z. But I have my list of what I will do.

More than that, I will not be posting any other article for the month of April, except my worldbuilding ones. I will still be posting old articles as well, mostly to get them to show up on search engines. In May, I will resume my blog like normal. So if you can participate, I recommend you do, as it is a good way to get noticed. If you can’t participate, I ask that you come and support me and other bloggers as well.

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