Monthly Archives: April 2011

Humor in Serious Writing

The Portal series shows us how its done.

There is a commonly held misconception that a serious story needs to be entirely serious. This is strange to me, for many people understand that you can have serious moments in an otherwise silly or humorous story, so why can’t you have humor, even perhaps a lot of humor, in an otherwise serious story?

Take the Portal games, from Valve for example. In both games, the player takes control of a character who finds herself in a strange underground testing facility while the computer AI in charge of the place puts her through various “tests,” each of which gets increasingly more dangerous until eventually the AI  outright starts trying to attempt to kill the character, forcing the character to attempt to find ways to either escape the facility, or fight back and destroy the AI first in self defense. While quite different in the details, the idea is not entirely unlike that of the movie Cube. Pretty serious stuff.

And yet, both games are so funny you’ll find yourself laughing out loud as you play them, even as the AIs try to kill you. This in no way detracts from the seriousness of the story though. Never once do you think “Well, the AI is just a yuck-a-minute, maybe I should just relax and be friends with that crazy cat.” The seriousness of your character’s plight is heightened by the use of humor, not detracted from.

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Filed under Games People Play - Games, Words words words - Writing and books

New “feature”

Daily Writing Excercise

In an attempt to force myself to write every day, and to hopefully get better at it as time goes on, I have started the DWE or Daily Writing Exercise. It can be found under the DWE tab on this site, as opposed to spamming the main page with these things. Mousing over the DWE tab will also bring up each individual month, in case you want to navigate swiftly to a particular month. Right now, obviously, there is only April 2011, but next month just you watch and see if I don’t add another subpage. Boyah.

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Filed under General, Words words words - Writing and books

Hanna – A review

A review

Often late to the party at such things, I only got around to seeing Hanna yesterday and thus this isn’t exactly the most timely of reviews. Chances are good if you wanted to see it you’ve done so already and if you didn’t want to, nothing I say here is going to change that. So instead of reviewing the movie like a normal movie review, I’m going to spend a little time here talking about the writing side of it. After all, this is a writing blog, right? So, I wont talk about the cinematography, the various visual continuity errors, or the generally terrific acting (with one wandering accent aside), or the sly, fun little  nods to the old Fritz Lang movie M. As a review of the writing side of things, there will be spoilers. In fact…

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Blood Fury – Preview part 2

Picking up where part 1 left off. Let me know what you think.

By the time I reached the balcony outside Marilee’s apartment in the mid-Wilshire district, I felt I had recovered sufficiently to attempt a slow change. Thus, I only slightly frost-damaged Marilee’s window-box full of spider plants. Getting Marilee’s attention turned out to be more difficult. I pounded on the glass sliding door for several minutes, and had just about made up my mind to break it open and pay for it later, when Marilee came out of the bedroom, wrapping a robe around her voluptuous body. She scowled when she saw me standing there naked on her balcony, but she opened the door and let me in.
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Automation for teh lulz

A couple of days ago, I wrote a bit about the D&D-ization (Its a word!) of the fantasy genre. Then, this morning I wake up to find that some automated linkback thing had tried to add a comment to that post that consisted entirely of nothing but a link to someone else’s blog where he reviewed one of the R.A. Salvatore Drizzle-fo-shizzle books.

Ahh, technology, you make with the funny.

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Filed under Down With The Sickness - Rants, General, Words words words - Writing and books

Preivew: Blood Chimera, Prologue – Part I

So I have to say that I often write prologues but they are usually the first things cut when editing time comes. More often than not, I’m telling a setting or background I should be showing instead. I agonized over whether or not to cut the prologue from my SF novel, Marduk’s Rebellion before deciding it was much stronger without it. I’m faced with a similar choice with Blood Chimera, but I think ultimately it does enough to advance the story that it’s likely to stay.

Story found after the cut…

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Preivew: Blood Chimera, Prologue – Part I

So I have to say that I often write prologues but they are usually the first things cut when editing time comes. More often than not, I’m telling a setting or background I should be showing instead. I agonized over whether or not to cut the prologue from my SF novel, Marduk’s Rebellion before deciding it was much stronger without it. I’m faced with a similar choice with Blood Chimera, but I think ultimately it does enough to advance the story that it’s likely to stay.

Story found after the cut…

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Filed under Snippet, Words words words - Writing and books