Wednesday, February 11, 2015

F*** You I won't do what what ya told me!

I'm sitting at work with so many co-workers and Leaders telling me what I need to do to progress in my career. Finish your degree, it will make you more competitive. Volunteer, it makes you look good. Get three million sheaves of files on your past accomplishments, it will help Big Brother decide you need a promotion. FUCK YOU! I'm a writer dammit! It's what I do and when I get my time done it's what I will do till my fingers fall off and I am a pile of dust. Look, my job isn't bad. It pays the bills. As long as the bills are paid, I'm gonna pursue my life as a writer. But devoting all the extra time to what some leadership consider as progression? Nope, I'm stubborn. And then the cackles and the rolling eyes and looks of disdain crash into me like a convoy of Mack trucks.

" Listen, that writing stuff is cute as a hobby, really! But you can't ever consider it as a career! Come now, get your degree done so you are more marketable on the outside. Write your little stories and use them as a catharsis, just don't be a writer."

I hear it from friends and family too. I tell them, I can hold a steady job, but I want to be published...for real, by a real publishing company.

And so the bombardment continues to hail derogatory or negative energy bombs in my area of operations. I hunker down in my self built bunker of will and stubbornness, hoping it holds with each new blast.

Up side, I am a stubborn bastard. I LOVE telling stories. I love making characters come alive from my mind onto paper! So, conventionalism, Eat a Dick!

Anyways, this is my frustration for the day when I see too many people to include those close to me pew pew my endeavors.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Alien Predators

Building your sci fi or even fantasy world? Need a predator that scares the living shit out of the heroes? Want one that continuously picks off members of a team with absolute crushing power only to vanish into the mist? Look to our own natural world. Now, don't describe one of nature's predators by statistics, but more like what they do and how they accomplish the hunt. Common boring predators relate physically to our own world. Add a couple of extra legs or perhaps a second row of teeth. Put on some bug details and WHAMO! You got yourself an alien beast right? NOPE!

Building an alien takes a bit more than that. Now I will agree the the original Alien series made for one kick ass and scary as fuck predator. But where did the creator get the idea? I'm not sure, but the real task is defining our own alien predator.

Going about it takes a bit of research. Look around you. Do a bit of that evil thing called reading about our natural world.

One example is below. I saw this stalk and hunt and about shit my pants. My jaw certainly hit the floor at the implications. Now I suck at embedding videos so please hit the URL, it's a fun surprise, I promise! Without further a due I present the Jaguar at it's primal best:

Right, that was some bad ass stuff! Now, do a little exercise. Don't describe the Jaguar and it's super sexy face. Instead, list what it DID to close in for the kill. Realize that it took on another dangerous predator like it was going to take down a little deer. Look carefully at it's kill technique. See how it could silently swim to it's target, make a last second crazy ass pounce and notice something that is VERY different about it's strike compared to other big cat hunters. Did ya see it? That's right! Most big cats strike for the throat! This little bad ass went straight for the skull to literally crush it. Fun fact, The pounds of crushing pressure a jaguar has out performs both the tiger and the lion. Ye the jaguar is smaller than both. It can literally lift the cranial cap off the skull of an animal with one bone crushing strike.

So take away the fur, take away the gorgeous coat. Now develop the analytical statistics of what it did. Watch it carefully from the very beginning of it's stalk to the final killing blow. Describe the action without describing the beast.

After this put the beast in the world you desire, but look into the evolutionary environment you put it in. Atmosphere, prey availability, terrain, etc. Think on the biology of it. Once this is done, start developing the physical characteristics that actually count. Leave a bit of mystery to the actual predator so the reader can in fact use their imagination to finally put the puzzle pieces together.

Final point to re-iterate Our own world has a dynamic and diverse set of species we can look at for ideas. A little research, a little creativity and BOOM MUTHA FUCKA! You got the Samual L motherfuckin Jackson of predators! Ok, nuff said for now. Have a great field day in the writing.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Free your Mind!

Every writer loves their particular genre. We live for it, breathe it, eat it up like a nice juicy steak. It's always nice to read and study within our own borders. But there are whole untouched universes out there to explore and add into our bag of tools. I'm not talking about galaxies far far away. I'm talking about the myriad of things to explore and glean from all around us in reading material. Some things are at the touch of those crisp...or dog eared pages of books. Other things are at the speed of digital light on the internet. point is that exploration can give new insight and new ideas from all around us. Even a walk around your neighborhood can be enlightening just by watching people.

Personally, history is my favorite. Personalities throughout history give interesting prospective for different personalities. This morning I was watching the movie Frida, as portrayed by Salma Hayek. what an interesting character this artist was. It got me wanting to know the real artist vs Hollywood's. With a bit of searching I got to know Frida not just as the very interesting artist, but as a woman who struggled throughout her life physically as well as emotionally.

In a time of turmoil and very radical ideas for politics pitting the very poor against the very rich, a brilliant story arose in its chaos. The geo political things happening were a back drop that enriched Frida's story. Now, I'll be honest with you. I'm not a big fan of Communism in any shape or form. I understand it's idealism from the working class poor. I understand it's intentions. But ultimately it's a failure and can never work. Why? Human nature. Greed, corruption, someone always wants to be on top of the pile. It's the truth. Not sure you agree? Check out how well it worked for the Soviet Union or Argentina, or many different little countries. Ok, why all this? Because I watched impassioned people WANT to believe in something that gave them hope. Isn't that what all stories are about?

Given all that, I loved Frida as a very strong female lead. As portrayed she embodied perseverance, creativity and a deep strength that perhaps many of her time would cower from. Even though she suffered hurt from her artist love/future husband, she never gave up and did what she loved most. She painted. The suffering and challenges ultimately came from around her. Physical trauma time and time again attacked her. Failed love relationships and yet she never stopped her quest as an artist. Pretty cool stuff.

My point is that you can glean ideas from what you see across the board. You can also see how adversity affects characters as you breathe life in them. So, hat's off to you Frida, your politics were a bit to idealist but you stood a long battle in a short life. Thanks for letting me get a peek into your life, it was worth it.

So what characters OUTSIDE your genre of choice have given you inspiration?