Friday, March 30, 2012

Inherent BS: Writing Tips - Contract?

This may come as a shock to you, but I'm not just a writer, I'm a gamer. Go figure, right? But the thing about it is that recently the two worlds have been merging more and more as games with real plots have started to become the standard bearers for the rest of the industry. Writing for games has actually, in some studios, become respectable. And at the forefront of a lot of this was a game series called Mass Effect.

And then they fucked it up.

I'm not saying that as a judgment of the quality of their last game but rather as a judgment of their position in the eyes of their fans. You see, if you're unaware, there was a bit of a controversy not long ago about the release of the final game in the trilogy, Mass Effect 3. The ending for this game was apparently so counter to what the fans expected that there was what could be called a... nuclear meltdown. The fans of the series, at least a large portion of them, have said they felt betrayed by the results of Mass Effect 3's last 10 to 20 minutes of game time. How betrayed? Well one person actually reported them to the Federal Trade Commission for, apparently, fraud.

Even the characters are confused

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Inherent BS: Writing Tips - No New Ideas?

The Hunger Games film has come out and it is currently doing spectacularly. In it's opening weekend it managed to beat the first film in the Twilight Saga and several of my more feminist minded friends have cheered the fact that the current fad among teen girls happens to be centered on what can easily be defined as a strong willed, self sufficient and capable female lead that isn't constantly helpless or tripping over herself.

This is progress people.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Inherent BS: Writing Tips - Don't Make Up Words?

There's a piece of common wisdom that has been around the writing community forever, especially in the sci-fi and fantasy groups. It is so old and so frequently echoed that I can't even remember who first said it because every time you hear it someone presents it as something they came up with themselves. It changes from person to person, but the basic concept is always the same:

"Don't create new words"

That's it - clean, clear and simple. So, of course, that's what you should strive to do, right? You should make every effort to avoid making up a new word if you can because the act of creating new words is the mark of an amateur that will live in obscurity for the rest of time. You know, like Shakespeare.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Checklist for the Aftermath

Saint Patrick's Day was two days ago, it's Monday, and you just woke up from your blind stupor. That was some party, wasn't it? You're dazed, confused and probably wondering just what the hell you did over the last couple of days. First, just to be clear, it is Monday, you missed Sunday all together and it's probably for the best you can't remember what you did for that day. If you go to church, though, they are going to be judgmental about it next week. As a catholic this is fine since you're likely to just have to say a few Hail Marys and put up with being nudged a little when it's your turn with the sacramental wine. But there's some more important things to consider.

Don't be ashamed to admit that you've had a problem in the past. Obviously, if you're reading this now with a cup of coffee and no memory of the last 48 hours, you've had a bit of a drinking problem. With your tendency to get blitzed to the point of complete blackout, you've likely got a record (unless, of course, you work for Wall Street, then you've probably been rewarded for your criminal activities during your momentary lapse of consciousness).

So, if you do have a probation, and you probably do, there's a quick checklist you need to check before you continue on with your day:

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Alterpedia - Leprechauns

In the Altered World series of books (found here), creatures of legend reveal themselves to the world. Born through genetic abnormalities, defects and mutations, the Alters have lived for centuries as outcasts of human society, hiding their true nature from the world while colorful stories have been written by many to describe what they've seen. How are these creatures different from what was described in the stories? What relationship do they have with humanity? Once a week the Alterpedia will delve into a new creature from around the world. And this week we cover:

Leprechauns

Mischievous, greedy, strangely well dressed for people who live underground - The Leprechaun are forever tied to the traditions of St. Patrick's Day and the Irish people. Though, like almost everything about the Irish across the ages, the Leprechaun have been treated unfairly as inhuman creatures with a sometimes evil origin and borderline evil behavior.

Though they are sometimes angry drunks
In the spirit of the weekend, let's examine these jolly little fellows closer.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Alterpedia - Woodwoses

In the Altered World series of books (found here), creatures of legend reveal themselves to the world. Born through genetic abnormalities, defects and mutations, the Alters have lived for centuries as outcasts of human society, hiding their true nature from the world while colorful stories have been written by many to describe what they've seen. How are these creatures different from what was described in the stories? What relationship do they have with humanity? Once a week the Alterpedia will delve into a new creature from around the world. And this week we cover:

Woodwoses

Long depicted in artwork, rarely seen in lore, the Woodwose is both at once one of the most famous and unknown figures in mythology. Unlike those spoken of previously, the Woodwose are not frequently identified by casual observers. Though they've been in many works of art over the years, many have not known that the wild men of the woods were depictions of Alters. This has led them to being granted a privilege not many Alters have had: the ability to blend in. Though, even there, they've come to superstition, stereotype and misunderstanding.