Gender Lines in the Text

July 29, 2014 at 8:13 PM (Challenges, Character, Imagination, Productivity) (, , , , )

First, let me say that if someone pays you a sincere compliment in your writing, believe them. You’ll know its sincere, and don’t let it go to your head. That said, a friend once pointed out to me that I wrote several stories based on gender issues. By issues, I mean addressing the topic of gender, roles, and identity. This is true for many of my stories. At some point you may find a story, written by me that contains elements of sex and mythology. It fascinates me, and gets my gears going. I don’t wish to forget that.

This said, I’m looking at a different gender issue today. I was creating some characters, and using a particular way to describe them. I used second person to write them (ex. “you are serious in your studies, and don’t let anyone stand in the way of your academic goals”). This was an attempt to write out characteristics I like without assigning gender. This was supposed to be a way that I could go at creating guys and ladies by their accomplishments, skills, and viewpoints.

One thing I did, is the forth character became male as typing progressed. Now I’m wondering if I can turn the character into a female, as I mussed up the original goal, and I want to challenge my notions of characters and their creation. So I have my first female character. On a side note, I intended to create a mentor role if I was too short of women in the story. That happened in several concepts already, so I wanted to break that up.

Granted I’m trying to make good stories and not trying to be politically correct, and I don’t think inclusion is necessarily PC, or political. The goal was to try and think more on the lines of character, and less than gender. It was a personal experiment in writing. The story itself has yet to be written. It does have four characters that I do like.

Happy creative endeavors.

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The Tuesday Shuffle

July 29, 2014 at 9:18 AM (Blogging, Creativity, Productivity, Writing) (, , , , )

Yesterday was a bit of a distraction as not much writing got done. That’s a huge disappointment, as I like to see something written in a file or in print. This reminds me that now is the time to grab my notebook and scribble down some notes I should have done yesterday. Since it’s been in my head, committing it to paper shouldn’t be too difficult.

Sunday, I wrote some. It was an idea that percolated in my brain for a while, and I decided that that it needed a file. The goal was for a page worth of concept and plot. Got that down. Allowed it to marinate, but haven’t thought of it. Yet another story has legs, and as much as it feels good to have something out of my head, and into file, there are current stories on the table. The goal is to get the what’s on the table completed. The script needs more work, hence the note pad and scribbling down stuff.

So, here’s to sorting stuff out and prioritizing. I may need some coffee. There’s no tea in my home.

Happy creative endeavors.

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Greatest Fear/Heart’s Desire

July 27, 2014 at 4:51 PM (Research, Screenwriting, Super Hero, Upbeat, Writing) (, , , , )

Many, many years ago, I used to read a comic book called, The New Mutants. It was an X-Men spin-off title, and consisted of teens leaning to control their super powers. At the time, in the comics world, the X-Men were believed to be dead, but mutants still came into powers, and the world moved on.

Rather than allowing the New Mutants to be replacements for the X-Men (and become super adventures), their founder, and leader, Professor X sought to train them to control their powers for the betterment of society. The Professor gave them codenames and a variation of the X-Men blue/gold (or black/gold) uniforms. The original members were Cannonball, Karma, Sunspot, Wolfsbane, and Psyche. Later members included Warlock, Magma, Cypher, and Magik. Also Pyshce changed her name to Mirage, and later simply Moonstar (her last name).

All of the team members were teens or early 20s (I think Karma was 20ish). The team resonated with me as I was a teen. It was a good read for me. I enjoyed it more than X-Men. The characters went through a lot of changes and adventures. They met all sorts of characters, and had adventures in spite of not being super heroes in the sense that they were extraordinary teens finding themselves in extraordinary situations. It was also a title written by Chris Claremont, who also wrote X-Men at the time. The work is chock-filled with Claremont-isms. There was a repetition in certain phrases, statements, and actions. It was fun, fun, fun. It was also a diverse comic as many of the characters were international, and featured prominent female characters. For the record Cannonball was from Kentucky. Moonstar was Cheyenne. Wolfsbane was from Scotland. Sunspot was from Brazil. Magik was Russian (complicated history). Karma was from Vietnam. Cypher’s origins escape me, but I believe he was from New York. Magma was from South America (extra complicated). Warlock was an alien.

The main reason for this trip down memory lane was that I ran across notes for writing characters and it pointed out focusing on the characters greatest desire or fear. It vaguely reminded the character of Moonstar, who once had the power to manifest someone’s heart’s desire or greatest fears in realistic illusions. It was a moment when I thought about how indirectly character motive has been imprinted on my brain. Moonstar was the sassy teammate, full of rebellion, attitude, and scared of her powers. Her role changed to a more confident, assertive leader. Her powers changed, she lost them, gained other powers. I got confused and left the book/character/stories a good while ago.

I like how the a character’s powers embodies how to initiate conflict in scripts and screenplays. I also love this stroll down memory lane. For the record, if the writer can identify the main character (MC) can identify a great fear or desire, well, then the writer has a basis for a story. It’s only a part of the process, but it’s an important part, as it goes to character motives, and help shapes the world.

Here’s to having fun reading comics. Here’s to fun to being a teen, once, and loving to read. Thanks to Chris Clarement, and company for making a fun comic to read, and remember. I’m older than all the characters I just wrote about now.

As always, happy creative endeavors.

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Fifty Shades of Something

July 25, 2014 at 10:28 AM (Erotic, Erotica, Film) (, , , )

Between working on writing stories, and trying to manage my life (job hunting), I’ve noticed a commercial advertising for viewers to look out for a commercial for the trailer of 50 Shades of Gray. So a commercial for a commercial just struck me as funny. Full disclosure: I haven’t read the books, and had no plan to. It didn’t interest me as a reader, which is odd since a kinky tale should be a fun read. From people I know who read this tale, they say generally the same thing. It’s a poorly write book, and is far more annoying than it is sexy. In many ways, the story comes off as anti-sexy.

That does not diminish the popular appeal of the book, or Its phenomenal sales. It’s being adapted into a film that comes out next year bet we get a trailer now (note: I’ll correct the date info if I hear otherwise). Here’s why this is on my mind: I can’t escape this thing. I turn on the tv, GMA is covering it. Go to my FB page, and there it is in the feed. The only place it wasn’t, was my dreams, which tempts me to go back to sleep. Now it’s on my blog, but in a good way.

For the fans of the book, I hope you get a good adaption. I am partially curious that a sexually explicit book could get an adaption to the big screen. Isn’t the kinky sex the lure/appeal of the text? Somehow I don’t think it’s an explicit film. How far do the characters push the boundaries of their ratings? Perhaps its selling a fantasy, and that shines through.

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The Writing Stuff

July 23, 2014 at 12:08 PM (Blogging, Brainstorm, Scripts, Writing) (, , , , )

One of the things that pestered me earlier this month, in regards to writing one of the scripts I’ve been working on, is that I omitted a scene because I thought it didn’t fit. After some feedback, which pointed out that if felt like every character was in the middle of events, I wondered if the scene omitted would have at least given some weight and context to what transpired.

So, finding the omitted scene was tricky, as I didn’t label the file, but instead left it in the Notes app. Found it, got it transferred and labeled in Word. Began to make revisions so it fit the story. What was five pages is now ten, and still being worked upon.

In retrospect, perhaps if I had left the scene in, I’d have that more connected story. On the other hand, I kept writing, and cam up with more ideas by removing it. Now it’s back to stay. Will keep working from there. The positive thing is I’m still working on this script. I’ve got a long way to go, but progress is great. I’d like to get to episode two soon.

Happy creative endeavors.

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The Sunday Warm-Up

July 20, 2014 at 6:29 PM (Challenges, Creativity, Productivity, Well-Being, Writing) (, , , , )

Today was a day of procrastination. Goofed off, played on social media, and talked to family and friends. Then it was onto movies and television shows. Well, that’s over, because I need to do something that’s writing-productive. That is to say, I’ve put text to file. To initiate the writing, I’ve got this blog post to produce as a warm-up to writing. I’m glad I did this, as blogging is a great way to start some creative writing. I hate the ice of thinking and feeling I’m in a creative slump. Gotta chase away the blues.

Found myself today not feeling creative or inspired to write, but that doesn’t mean not to write. Perhaps what I put out today won’t be as good as what I’ve done in the past, but I do know that I like it when I can see words typed out, and saved to file. It means I’m willing to go even when I feel like my creative well is tapped out for the day. it’s not even tapped out. My mind is just congested with stuff. I shall endeavor to get my act together and write.

Yesterday, I dug up an short story I wrote months ago. I looked it over, made a few revisions, and didn’t know what to do with it, as posted yesterday. Later in the evening, I found myself writing additional dialog for the story that I have yet to incorporate that into the story. I’d like to see new material incorporated soon. Also there are scripts and screenplays to address. I better get it done.

Gonna have to find some instrumental music soon. I feel I can write script and screenplays a LOT better when I’m hearing instrumentals.

As always, happy creative endeavors.

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Today Will Be Better than Yesterday

July 19, 2014 at 3:56 PM (Creativity, Productivity, Prose, Short Story, Writing) (, , , , )

In an effort to be a better writer, person, friend, and artist, today must be better than yesterday. Not that yesterday was full of woes or hate. it’s that now that I’m thinking of life, I want to do more in regards to being productive and happier. Life must progress forward, with or without adversity. All negative thoughts must be banished, and those who would seek to bring us down or constrain us must be cast aside, least they tear us down, and stand on our broken bones.

Yesterday was a day to write poetry. It was a moment, I wrote a lot of it down.  Sometime today I’d love to put it all in a Ward file, and revises it. This is the second poem I worked on that had some length and a richness that can only be explained as I delved deeper into the topic, and was willing to cut out passages for clarity.  It resonated with me, and had a strength that I didn’t show in the past with expression. So here’s to progress, and expression done well.

Yesterday, I had a nagging feeling about a short-short urban fantasy/horror story I wrote. Wrote it months ago, and  let it be for a good while. Reread it today, and made several revisions to the text. I am curious about the story, because it feels real flash fiction and very much a dark comedy vignette. part of me says, let it cool off a little more, and see if revisions can be done.  It will need a grammar edit for sure. I found myself correcting tenses today, and correcting a few passages. The rest of it shall remain intact. It still lacks a title, and I feel a name will help cement what’s missing for me.

That reminds me, I have pieces of short stories in my Notes app, that can use at least a paragraph (five sentences) of additional material. The genres didn’t overly flux, but two of them were a bit steamy/erotic. One was comical and erotic. Then the remaining were dark comedies. Dunno if I can change gears, and hit them all up with some fresh sentences, but it’s worth a shot.

The screenplays and scripts need more work for sure. Wrote out an action scene, and I don’t know if I like it or not. What I’d like to do for them, is look at some action scenes from different shows, and note how long they are. That way I can see if it’s too long, and how to trim it down. or I can simply make sure to tell what I need to tell, and not dwell in the moments.  It’s not like I haven’t seen movies and TV shows before, and have no clue. So a mix of research and instinct will do.

As always, happy creative endeavors, and may your day be greater than yesterday.

P.S. hadn’t worked on the novel in a long while, and haven’t forgotten it.  I must find a way to manage it as well.

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Big Hero Six Trailer

July 17, 2014 at 8:38 PM (Animation, Comic Book Films, Film, Genre, Super Hero) (, , , )

I read the comic a good while ago.  it was OK.  Hope the film will be fun.

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Dragon Age Inquisition Goodness

July 17, 2014 at 7:53 PM (Dragon Age, RPG, Video, Video Games) (, , , , )

Y’ll know I’m a sucker for this RPG franchise. I just wanted to share it.  it’s not out until early October, which is fine by me.

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For Today: An Artists’ Statement

July 17, 2014 at 7:39 PM (Challenges, Creativity, Productivity, Well-Being, Writing) (, , , , )

NOTE: Toying around with statements, theories and philosophies on creation and art.

From observation and experience, there is an obsession with appearing and projecting perfection and/or goodness towards others, when the true goal is to suppress and hide one’s true nature from others. We can and often do reject and deny the realness that is ourselves. The motives are personal, and ultimately unimportant, as no one can peer into someone else’s soul to find the exact reason and truths. It is sufficient to say realness is rejected and deemed unworthy of being seen in public.

From this observation and experience, I believe that a little artifice and banality can empower projects. The fact that there are aspects of the material that is both flawed, incorrect, or plain silly touches into a place of humor and realness. In a way, this knocks me, and the material off the lofty pedestal I imagined the material to transform itself into. This is a chance to not seek perfection, and a chance to explore something essential hidden within me that lies dormant within creativity.

This is to say that there is some fakery in the mix. That there is something that feels artificial in the material. Perhaps a bit of grit in the  ointment. Something that makes one pause and think about what they’ve seen. Is there a flaw in the product. Does it arrest us on some level. Do we feel underwhelmed in some way, and therefore let down? Perhaps the material is nowhere as clever as I, or a potential vier sees it as. Perhaps the material is too earnest (tries to hard to be something else, but is limited). In that scope of limitation I find that there is inescapable truth, and it doesn’t hide. It simply  exists. Do we, the audience reject it for it’s weakness, or embrace if for being honest? Is honesty weakness, vulnerability, or a force that has the power to deny us perfection?

In that respect, exploration of the artifice, banality, truth and perfections sounds like a mix of contradictions. Contradictions and double standards, and entitlements empower us. They are the shade we hide behind when we hate the truth. It is all subject to exploration with no excuses or apologies offered. No excuse or apology is needed just the same, as the material can easily be discarded or rejected from one’s sight. Better that the material is made, than for it to remain a whipper in the recesses of our mind, hidden away.

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