Friday, August 18, 2017

Razorfist Presents a Storytelling Masterclass

Learning how to tell a story isn't as easy as it looks once you go from "Dude talking about his fishing trip." to "Entertaining people as a means of making a living." While I--like many of you reading this--deal in the written word (short stories, novels, etc.) we are unwise to not pay attention to other storytelling media.

Today, as part of a month-long retrospective on the franchise, Razorfist revisits the most meme-worthy entry of the Mad Max series: Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.

For a writer of fiction, the reason to study film, television and comics as storytelling media is to see and hear what good storytelling looks and sounds like. You'll pick up characterization, pacing, plot construction, narrative threading, etc. faster by putting that analytical eye to more than the written word- and you'll be ready to learn how to write scripts for them in doing so. (You do want more means to make money by writing, right?)

You'll also see how to make an entertaining critical review, something Razorfist is competent--approaching mastery--at doing. Use of language, sentence structure and phrasing, use of emphasis for effect, and so on are all things you can--and should--learn from watching Razorfist's videos. That's incredible value for your time spent watching them, so if you're still learning you will benefit from doing so; if you're already up to speed you can still benefit by seeing how his style can inform yours, something that can only make you better.

So don't just read. Watch. Listen. This is not a world of pure written media anymore, despite what some writers want to believe. Learn from the storytellers in all media if you want to write as well as your talent allows.

Friday, August 11, 2017

PulpRev's Sampler, Development, & Dragon Awards Drama

I sent in a submission to the PulpRev Sampler Anthology a few days ago, and with submissions now close it's Wait Time as those who volunteered to read and edit get on with the pile before them. I hammered mine out quick, using notes I had laying around, about an event in this Star Wars fork I'm developing.

The story itself is simple: two admirals fighting a fleet action try to outwit each other, only one is much better than the other and wins hands-down by exploiting a blindspot in the other's thinking. If I were to rewrite it, I'd get far more into the back-and-forth of that matchup as each strives to see through the other's moves for the overall plan before committing to the big reveal that starts the climax.

With each fragment and short I write, I'm getting a better sense of this environment. Far more medieval-to-early modern, and I'm quite leaning towards medieval. (Never mistake technology for civilization.) Hierarchy matters here. Religion matters here, so I'm using more of that in dialog and presentation as I go. Sure, there's cars and ships and beam swords. So what? Dune has plenty of high technology also, and no one whines about that being an issue. It wasn't with Crest/Banner of the Stars or my beloved Legend of the Galactic Heroes either. This can, and will, work just fine.

And because of that--and this week being when my great uncle's remains came home from Pearl Harbor--I had little time to devote to the petty drama (and SJW entryism) at the Dragon Awards. I'm taking a pass on commenting about it; if you want some, hit up Kairos in the Blogroll and read Brian Niemeier's account. Or listen to this week's "On The Books", which I will embed below.

Friday, August 4, 2017

On The Books Does Pulp Speed, The Dragons Final Ballot Is Live, and Story Fragments

First, Brian Niemeier had a great episode of "On The Books" talking with Name about "Pulp Speed". Less than 30 minutes, so give it a listen over your break(s), and take in the conversation.

Second, the final ballot of the Dragon Awards are out. Brian, Declan Finn, John C. Wright, Jon Arroz, and several others previously on either Geek Gab Prime or On The Books made the final ballot in one or more categories. Congratulations, and good luck on winning your category. The final results will be announced at DragonCon, so you won't have to wait long.