Archive for February 2015

#2 Nash Equilibrium & Need-Hierarchy Theory

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Unlike most other articles I put in this top 10, #2 and #1 are articles that are still viewed even though the AtoZ contest is over.

These are two very important topics, not just for Game Theory and Psychology, but for writing and life. Though honestly writing is capturing life, so they are really the same thing.

Nash Equilibrium is the optimum strategy for non-cooperative play where as Need-Hierarchy Theory is about the importance of our need to the point of self-actualization.

Both of these terms helps us understand incentive choice and why we sometimes make the decisions we do. Very good article to read.

#3 Red Herring & Retroactive Continuity

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Red herring is a very intricate plot device with many possibilities to employ for your narrative. This article talks about Retroactive Continuity, which you may know as Retconning.

This is a  great article because it doesn’t just give you a simple understanding of both, but a deeply complex one and all the ways to employ both. It also uses a great many references from Hot Fuzz, Team Fortress 2, South Park, Futurama, Star Wars, Stargate SG-1, Star Trek, and even Scrubs.

This is a good article that represents my approach to educating people on how to write better.

#4 Ab ovo & Anitclimax

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For everything, there is a beginning, and this was the first article of the AtoZ challenge, and what better than an article talking about Ab ovo. Ab ovo is Greek, meaning, from the beginning. Interesting, it can also mean, from the egg.

Ab ovo is about a story of how Zeus turned into a swan and had sex with Leda (human woman) and she gave birth to two eggs. Greek mythology is weird.

It’s an important term for writings, meaning a story starts at the very beginning. Different from In medias res, which the story starts from the middle.

Also is anti-climax. Basically a sudden drop in rising action of a story, often an anticipated moment often having a devastating response.

Being the first day, I got a lot of responses to this article. As the challenge went on, I generally got only two responses.

Leonard Nimoy’s Death


It is reported today that Leonard Nimoy has died. This is a loss to the world. This is also a great loss to me. Growing up, the only thing that really meant the most to me was Star Trek. We had the VHS of the films and I must have watched them 1000 times. Star Trek was a big part of my life and Spock was definitely a favorite.

As I developed myself as a person, the pursuit of logic was very important to me. Spock in many ways became a mentor to me. Other characters from other shows did as well (feels strange to say that I got mentored by TV Character), but Spock was a major influence for me. It also helped that I had difficulty expressing myself and being understood and watching the original series, I felt a connection to Spock.

Of course, Leonard Nimoy was more than just the character Spock. He was a singer, a writer, a photographer, a director, and a family man. He is someone who was truly blessed, who was well loved, and had a great life to love. I think all of us want that, and perhaps he got lucky to get the role of Spock which led to his great life, but there is no one else who could ever fill his shoes.

I do like that Zachary Quinto was, more or less, groomed by Leonard Nimoy to take his place as the character. Zachary did a very good job considering, and he will be someone I look to as the successor of Nimoy, but he will never replace the actor for me.

Whether there is an afterlife or great beyond… a final frontier yet to be discovered…

What I say now to Leonard, I say in hopes that some part of him hears it. If nothing else, the part of me that was Spock, is the part that hears it.

Mr. Nimoy, your portrayal of Spock on Star Trek meant the world to me. In someways you were a mentor, an uncle, and an older brother. You taught me that truth and logic should always be the most paramount in any situation. As corny as it sounds, it was important for me growing up. The portrayal of a man who battled with himself on more than one occasion hit close to home for me and in some ways, what I eventually became was thanks to you. You of course are not the only source of inspiration for me, but you did have a part in it. I thank you for that, and whatever I become in the next stage in my life, I keep you close in mind and in heart for what you have given me. Farewell.

Many are showing a clip of his funeral at the end of Star Trek 2. It is a touching moment, but I rather have a moment that I best remember him, of him and his brilliance as a character and the actor being Spock. I had wanted to do Battle for Peace, one of my most favorite scenes, but I found a good scene from the movie that shows Spock being Spock.

#5 – Vice & Virtue

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This article was one of the last fun ones I did for the AtoZ challenge. While understanding Vice and Virtue can be simple, I must make everything overly complex. It’s who I am.

The common misconception is that Vice and Virtue is synonymous with Bad and Good, respectively. But good writing makes Vice and Virtue interchangeable between good characters and bad, between Antagonist and protagonist.

I tried to expand on this idea about how to use Vice and Virtues in your story rather than the standard ways of just making good characters good, and bad characters bad. Also how to understand a character’s theme based on a vice or virtue.

#6 – Xanatos Gambit & xX Centric Plots

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So for X. The hardest letter. I actually looked in the dictionary for X-words. Not much you can do for X, so I cheated and made up my own term, that while logical sounding, is really stupid.

However, Xanatos Gambit was a really good term. Describes a complex villain that is a true mastermind. Capable of coming out on top while his plan fails. I assume this article gets a lot of views being of the term Xanatos Gambit.

#7 – Flashback & Foreshadowing

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This post was about the point that I really started to feel confident of what I was doing with the AtoZ challenge. This was an easy one to do, as they deal with really knowing the events in your story and knowing key elements to reveal to the reader at a specific time in your story.

I also liked that I made a Star Wars and Star Trek reference back to back.

#8 – Yandere & Your Usefulness

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Near the end of the AtoZ challenge, I started running out of words that could be used in a literary sense. For X, I can to make up a term. Y, I nearly did, but got creative.

Yandere is something I saw quite a bit but never knew it had a name. It is a term used a lot in animé, but is seen in many different kinds of media.

Your usefulness is another thing seen in a lot of places. Not so much a term, but a cliché often seen with villains.

Good terms to understand to flesh out your characters more. Sometimes clichés can be used to great benefit, if you apply it just right.

#9 – Learned Helplessness & Least Effort Principal

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The April AtoZ Challenge was something that initially put me on the map. While I use doing my worldbuilding series, doing this got the most number of viewers. It was record setting for me.

This article was one of my favorites. It was two principals I never heard before and had to learn as I wrote it. But as I did, I was able to apply it to my favorite series of all time, Red vs Blue. While spoilers for anyone who hasn’t seen all 12 seasons, it was beautifully written. Makes me wonder if the creators knew of this principal when they wrote it.

Check out this article and I hope it helps you write better.

#10 – Asexual Reprentation in Media

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My goal is to help writers any way I can. One of my favorite writers is Nicohle. She has come a long way since I met her, helping her out and teaching her how to be a great writer. Nicohle Christopherson is a name to watch out for, I think when she is ready, she will shake the world up.

It’s no secret that Nicohle is Asexual. It is an important issue for her and she hopes to educate people on what it means to be Asexual in her writing. Not all her stories will focus on that, but enough of them will. Writing is a powerful medium and I fully support her work.

This article discusses asexuality in media, a starting point in exploring character depths.

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