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Writing: Things I’ve Learned #1


It’s been a while.  A very long while.

This is a small series on writing that I have learned about.  I’ll go through different things from character development, to conflict, to world building.  All of it things I’ve learned and try to use when I do write.  Even if it’s a simple essay.

Today’s topic; conflict and the happy ending.

No, not that kind.  I was 12 once, I can hear you snickering.

We have been conditioned in a way to expect a happy ending.  By that I mean when there is conflict in the story it needs to be resolved and it needs to be on a positive note.  The good guys have to prevail over the bad guys.  That wasn’t always the way of things.  At one time, the bad guys often won by the time the story was over, and often the story was used to drive home a sort of morality tale or warning for the reader or viewer.  One of the most immediate to point to which did this in more modern times is in comic books.

Tales from the Crypt, Haunt of Fear, Vault of Terror and other comics like those had a wide array of chilling tales which did not always end up with a good ending.  The Vault of Horror line of comics was published by ED Comics during the 1950s.  In 1954 however, when EC Comics was ready to launch a fourth title they were stopped dead in their tracks.

A moralized squad of parents, clergymen, psychologists and other who tried to link more violent comics as a direct result in the rise of juvenile delinquency.  These comics were deemed immoral and a bad influence on American youth.

In order to survive, a self regulatory body was created which introduced the Comics Code Authority.

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The rules of the code were based loosely on the Hollywood Production Code.  As before the code when the American Comics Association had written in a little used draft, any authority figure such as police, judges and so forth would not be presented in an unflattering manner.  The code also stated that in every aspect, good had to triumph over evil.  Along with these guides, comics could not display graphic gore, violence or present any sexual innuendo or present art that was classified as “good girl art.”  Also known as pin-up or nudity.

Hollywood already had a code in place that did exactly this.  These codes ended up affecting much over popular culture over the next several decades into today.

Because of this, writers often had to create a visible antagonist for any plot.  And the villain had to be displayed in an ugly and hideous manner.  The rest of us, the consumer, grew used to this idea and just ran with it.  So much so that by the time we were all older, we ended up having a need for these kinds of stories.  There had to be a defined protagonist and a defined antagonist and by story’s end the protagonist had to come out the winner.  Or at least what the reader perceived as “the good guy.”

These types of stories get bland after a while, however.  And often, the bad guy isn’t exactly who we believe it to be.  Art imitates life, after all.  And if art were to depict judges and police in the manner presented in real life, they wouldn’t always be flattering (which will be something I’ll talk about in an upcoming article).

But such types of conflict don’t always have to have a resolution, or a happy ending.  Sometimes a story can be presented in a manner much in the same way a news item is presented.  By the time the story is complete, there is a resolution but it may not be the happy one that the reader wants or expects.

The good guys don’t always have to win.

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

I wrote some books!


I’m back from holidays!  It’s been a while, so here’s a thing!

I’ve made mention of the fact that I’m having issues with my laptop.  So, to help me get a new laptop, here’s a thing!

I wrote two books!

The first is The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider, the story of two elven women as they travel together across the Union and the Confederacy.  Magic, monsters, gunslingers and more are wrapped up in this book.  Set during the time of the American Civil War, this book mixes high fantasy with the wild west.

Elven magic meets gunslinger grit. What happens when two elven travellers find themselves in the United States in the middle of the Civil War? The Adventures of Black Mask and Pale Rider tells the story of two elven women who’s curiosity gets the better of them.

The wild ride takes them from the Union to the Confederacy and back again. Along the way they make enemies and friends and learn a little bit about this world, and about themselves. An adventure of six guns and sorcery.

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The second is called Canyons of Steel.  Canyons of Steel is a modern day western that follows the decision of John T. Walker, a high ranking member of a militant organization that tries to keep power in certain hands throughout the world.  It also stars Maxwell Running Cloud and Naomi Simonson, brother and sister who take on the guises of Hawk’s Scream and Grey Kestrel.  Western, superhero and sci fi.

What happens when an old gun hand makes a decision to turn his life around and set a new course? In Canyons of Steel, Johnathon Tiberius Walker makes the choice of turning his back on the underground military of the Red Hand and try to make right his own sins. All because he wants his daughter to live in a better world than he does.

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The link above goes to my author page at lulu.com, and you can buy them in either dead tree format or in digital format.

Thanks so much in advance!

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Charleston; the shooter arrested


As quickly as it happened last night, it is now over.  Save for the trial.  21 year old Dylann Storm Roof was arrested by police suspected of shooting nine people at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina.  Security footage picked up Roof entering the church and later leaving, and picked up his getaway car.  The 21 year old Columbia native has a criminal history, and according to family members he never said anything racist.

Save for every time he made a racist joke.  Seriously, that’s what one family member said about Roof, that he’d make racist jokes but never anything “serious”.  Roof’s father bought him a .45 calibre pistol for his birthday, which is the suspected weapon used in the shooting.  Oh, and Roof was heard to have said “You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go,” said Sylvia Johnson, a cousin of the church’s slain pastor.  As noted in the photo, Roof (pronounced “cough”) is wearing a jacket with the flags of two racist African nations.  Meaning when whites ruled.  The top flag is for the apartheid South Africa before 1994, and the bottom one is for Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe.  Which hasn’t been Rhodesia since the 80s.  Which means Roof’s racism was taught to him, because both of those nations under white, racist rule crumbled before he was born.

This entire thing was about race, but right now the media is ponying up to apologize for him, making him out to be a saint when all he is is a terrorist.  A monster.  A murderer.  Roof entered a church, an hour or two from his home, with a gun, fully with the intent to kill people.  This is not the actions of a lone wolf, this is the actions of a sick and twisted segment of society that breeds monsters and killers and terrorists that will strike against citizens of their own country without remorse or feeling.

Not surprisingly, Roof was taken alive.  Unlike the recent killings of unarmed black men and women, Roof was carrying a gun and had already killed 9.  Maybe it would have been different had he been carrying cigarillos and Skittles.  As well, Fox News is spinning this as an attack against Christianity, instead of what it really is; a racist attack against black people by a racist himself.  This has nothing to do with this being in a church.  It has everything to do with some white racist monster who wants nothing more than to kill black people.  Or anyone else who isn’t white.

One can only hope that this psychopath rots in a dark cell for the rest of his life, and that his 15 minutes of fame are now over and we never hear his disgusting name uttered again.

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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A break from videos


mirrionawalk

While I just posted the latest let’s play in Star Trek Online, I’ve decided to break for a bit.  There’s several reasons for that; it’s summer and I wish to take advantage of that; there’s been a great deal of video lag in the videos and I’d like to give things a rest; and I’ve been powering through things pretty fast.  I’ve also been needing to make some changes regarding the recording set up, as I’m not all together happy with the sound.

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So, I’ve decided to take a bit of a break from the video for a little while.  I need it, to be honest.  Plus, I’ve also got a book layout design that I need to deal with which is rather exciting.  Sadly, it’s not a book I’ve written, but one that looks pretty cool.  More on that in another post.

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I always had the feeling that these videos would catch up with me and I’d get a bit tired of doing them.  It’s a lot of work, after all, and my computer in its present form is not really up to the task.  I should have a different machine to be able to deal with all the recording and editing.  Plus, I really should be using different software.

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For now, I’ll just take a bit of a break.  It’ll allow me to concentrate on other projects, plus it’ll let me play the game as a game and not look at it as work.  That’s something that’s been hitting me as well.  I’d go to play the game and I’d kind of whine that I really didn’t want to record an episode.  Mostly because I know that the quality wasn’t that great, and I don’t feel that I should post a video when the quality is lacking.

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It’s fun.  It’s an experience.  And I love doing it.  I may do some others at some point in time, in other games outside of Star Trek Online.  As for how long the break is, it’ll be for a couple of months.  I’ll kick things back up again in August, around the time when I come back from holidays.

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Posted by on June 15, 2015 in Fun, randomness, Uncategorized

 

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2015 so far


One day has come and gone in this new year.

So far it’s been fairly calm, no major things happened at all.  And best of all, it’s been relaxing.

In the past, I’ll often get asked how my new years went, similarly to how did my Christmas go.  It’s never about January 1st, really.  When asked about New Years, it’s about the evening before leading up to midnight.  Which was equally as uneventful as the actual day.  As far as the day went, I had pancakes, cleaned up around the house, watched some TV, and had a nap.

I’ll probably get asked “so what’s your New Year’s Resolution”.  Which is usually the same as every other year.  I don’t really make any resolutions.  But I do try to live my life to the fullest as to what I feel.  And I try to learn new things as each day goes by.  You’d be surprised the new things you can learn even at an older age.

For me, I’m entering my 45th year of existence on this planet.  It hasn’t been stellar or ground breaking, but it has been something of a ride.

All I will say about the new year is I hope that I continue to learn new things, expand my knowledge of different people, become more open minded, become more empathic to those around me.

And, finally, get a cat.  I really want a cat.

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Heroic League Project: Acadia Bio


AcadiaAcadia
Real Name:
Michelle Villeneuve
Born: March 13, 1986, Quebec City, Quebec
Affiliations: Blanc Noir (independent metal band)
Height: 5’7”
Weight: 130 lbs
Powers: extensive martial arts training, gymnastic abilities, and the ability to play the drums with equal measure to Neil Peart from Rush.
Current residence: Montreal, Quebec
History:
Ever since Michelle was a little girl, she was different.  She was very up front about the fact she liked girls, even when she was 8.  She also wrote poetry at an early age.  She was fixated on her look and gravitated heavily toward the goth scene in her early teens.  She was known as “the happy goth” and “the pretty goth”, and still holds to that to this day.
She became extremely happy when she met Dom, because not only did she find a friend, she also found someone she loved very deeply.  So much so, that she joined the band that Dom, Yves, and Jacqueline (two other high school friends) and became their drummer.  She studied intensely and began to imitate other well known drummers (the other three would comment that Michelle is trying to build as comprehensive a drum kit as Niel Peart from Rush).
It also was not a question that when Dom revealed she was Canadienne, that Michelle vowed to help her.  She trained with Dom, kept in touch via phone when Dom was patrolling, and eventually made her own uniform and began hitting the streets with Dom.
While it was met with some controversy with right wing media, Michelle and Dom don’t hide the fact that they are in fact lovers.  This has proven to be very positive for young LGBT Canadians.

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Word Poll No. 1


Sort of a take on the aspect of words that I did a while back.  Here’s a series of polls to determine exactly how everyone says something.  In other words, when you see a picture of an object, what do you call it.  Every Friday, I’ll put up a poll.  Leave a comment as well if you’ve got other things that you would call the featured description.

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2014 in Fun, randomness, Uncategorized

 

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