Monday, February 5, 2018

Who is it for?

I have been thinking a lot lately about "who" do I write for? And by that I mean, the intended audience. I realized a long time ago that primarily, I write for me, myself and I, but there is always the nagging question of "who might read this?"

And of course, we hope the answer is never, "Well, nobody would read this"

Of course that's not the answer...don't listen to the lizard voice of doubt...but I digress :)

In order to find your voice, you do want to know who might read your work. This has evolved for me.

I originally suppose I thought I wanted the same people who would read Robert Jordan, Terry Brooks, George RR Martin, Joe Abercrombie, David Eddings, JRR Tolkien and Brandon Sanderson to read my work.

As I wrote, I realized that I do not approach the sort of writing that might be considered "literary". Oh, I might sneak in a good turn of phrase, a nice metaphor and a funny line occasionally, but I am not Ernest Hemingway by a long shot (and who is, quite frankly?)

So as I wrote, and I read more books (it is imperative, in my opinion, that a writer reads way more than they write), I began to see that I was closer to the tone of RA Salvatore, David Gemmel or Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis, though I still felt (and feel) like I'm comparing myself to giants when I type that. And I don't mean to imply that these authors are not as "good" as the list above...their tone is, in my opinion, different though. A bit more action movie than grand epic (though some have some pretty grand scope!).

Then I began to see the sources of my inspiration. Star Wars and specifically the Clone Wars TV show, Justice League (the animated show), Video Game trailers by Blizzard (Warcraft, World of Warcraft, Starcraft, Diablo) and Games Workshop (Any Warhammer trailer). I also looked at my subject matter and realized that I was writing for, generically, "fanboys" (and I attach no ill will to that characterization. I consider myself a huge fanboy. Maybe a sort of OG fanboy)

One thing though, many of my friends had kids that were becoming young teens and I realized that those folks read things like Harry Potter. Books with some pretty dark action, but acceptable to young readers.

So where did that leave me? I write for fanboys and fangirls. From 15-85 years of age. There is adult content (people die in my books) but I typically tone down the swearing and graphic sex (of course there are exceptions like "The Warchitect" but any collaboration with Tim Green is a bit darker in tone, but also a lot more epic in scope).

Now, not just any 15-85 year old fanboys/fangirls. People who like Star Wars, superheroes, World of Warcraft, Warhammer, Diablo, The Witcher and things like basically I write for myself.

Having decided that, and having found a tone that fits has really given me peace when writing. I picture who might be reading this, and I write things that I enjoy, but that might also please my now-specific crowd!

So if you are thinking about writing, don't just think about what you want to write about, but who you might be writing for as well. Keep them in mind and get to work!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Fan fiction

I don't know what most opinions are about fan fiction and fan films. I know some are not considered very good, but some are just amazing.
For me, if people are creating things, then it's all good. Even if they need to use the springboard of someone else's creativity to find their muse.
Here's an example.

This is a short fan film, an anime version of a space battle set in the Star Wars universe. It's not huge on story, but it is a great little film and it certainly gives one the sense of a larger story waiting in the wings. This little squadron of Tie Fighters seems like some deep characters of which we are only getting a quick glimpse.

This version is remastered in that someone else took the original work and added music from the films. A great example of a work of fan art, put on the internet, and then made even more solid by the internet community.

My review - pure awesomeness and a job well done!

Check it out right HERE

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Mary Robinette Kowal

I felt inspired today to write a post about a fellow author who I greatly admire (Mary Robinette Kowal). Complete disclosure, I am also related to Mary (she's my cousin) but that has nothing to do with how much I admire her, other than being the reason we first met.
A little history: Mary is the granddaughter of my great aunt. The whole side of the family is amazing, but that's too much to go into.

We met when I was...maybe 8 or 9 (at least that's when I first remember meeting her). It's locked in my memory because she and her brother Steve introduced me to a "new game" at the time "Dungeons and Dragons". I discovered what a halfling was, and I never looked back. This fantasy world was somewhere I wanted to be. It resembled the small town I grew up in along with the woods, fields and streams but it was different and magical and amazing.

I never stopped roleplaying. I also was determined to write, so that I could always spend part of my time in another world, a world where things made more sense to me sometimes.
So I am forever indebted to Mary for showing me the finding a magic wardrobe in a relative house.

Mary and I had no interaction for many years, but then the internet came along and I was able to catch up with Mary. She was an accomplished puppeteer (I think that's the word), she married a sommelier (or maybe he owns a vineyard - either way, it's cool.)

But most importantly, she also wrote! Science fiction and fantasy. And she is way, way, WAY better than I am (that's how you win a Hugo). So I started following her on all the social media I could find. She is socially conscious, funny, well read, has many cool hobbies (like making dresses that come straight out of the victorian age). Monte Cook is her personal friend (invented D&D with Gary Gygax #geektrivia)

So if you haven't read any good books lately, or you are looking for a good read, check out her page, or buzz over to Amazon and pick one up. Follow her on twitter or something. My cousin is definitely living her best life. She's inspirational and interesting. I'm really proud to be her relative (I probably find a way to work it into conversations a bit too much in today)


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Iron Fist is taking all while to get through!!!

A little history:
When Daredevil first appeared on Netflix, I was instantly hooked. As a huge fan of the DD comic, the look and tone of the show really spoke to me and I DEVOURED it. Then Luke Cage came along and I devoured it even more! Again, I just loved the way the show felt. Jessica Jones was a bit of a stranger to me to be honest, but I love the how and the actress is amazing. My wife and I both loved that one!
Now, I know Defenders is out here, and I want to get to it so bad! I loved the Defenders comics, but first I have to get through Iron Fist.
Now, my fandom of Iron Fist comics is legendary. I love the guy. I always have. And I don't hate the show, but something is keeping me from blasting through it like I did the others. I'm not sure what the problem is. It is intriguing and I like the action. It has just become a bit of a slog. Now, I will say that later episodes have gotten better and better, so it may have been an issue of a long-developing plotline, which is fine.
Either way, I am a couple of episodes from finishing and then I get to dive into The Defenders!

As for the Punisher...never been a fan...but I will give it a go and we will talk about it here :)

Monday, November 20, 2017

Thinking about Super hero movies today (after seeing all the posts about Justice League). Here is a random list of my favorites (in no particular order)

Avengers: Age of Ultron
Civil War
Fantastic Four (the first one)
Batman Vs. Superman
Suicide Squad
Jumper (I love superhuman movies about metahuman that don't wear tights)
Captain America (all of them)
Iron Man (all of them)
Thor (all of them)
The Dark Knight trilogy
Man of Steel
Blade (all of them)
Hellboy (all of them - even the animated ones)
X-men (all of them)
Wolverine (all of them EXCEPT LOGAN)

How did I forget about
Kick Ass (both of them)

Thinking about developing a GGE superhero property...possibly as a fake news site, but the fake news is about super heroes....thoughts?

Friday, November 17, 2017

Fantastic Beasts 2 - Johnny Depp's involvement controversial?

I'm seeing lots of controversial press about Depp's role in Fantastic Beasts 2. He plays the main villain (I'm assuming) Gellert Grindelwald.
I have read the Harry Potter books (obviously) and seen the movies and I loved Fantastic Beasts. I'm not sure I get the controversy. At least around the casting.
Depp hasn't been seen as a franchise killer in the past. He's an actor that is known for creating iconic roles. And this look? Amazing. Rowling wrote the screenplay, so I can't imagine it being anything short of amazing.
I'm reminded a little of Tom Cruise's casting as Lestat a million years ago. People decried it, but he was amazing in that role!
Now, if people are protesting because of reasons of Johnny Depp's character after the blow up between he and Amber Heard...well, I can hardly fault people there. I admit to not having the facts of the case (I tend to try and avoid the news in the "real world". Just too damn depressing), but if he is some sort of abusive monster, then that is heart breaking and disappointing.
I don't want to belittle those reasons, but I will say that I do expect the movie to be a good one and I expect his acting will create another unforgettable character.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

This is a great list that ranks 30 DC Universe movies (click here). And I agree, for the most part with the rankings with only a couple of exceptions.
First, let me be clear, I love all of these movies. Why?
A) I'm a fan boy and I love the entire superhero genre. Now, don't get me wrong, I know there are various levels of "camp" that some people like more than others. And some of these are long on camp (Steel), but I don't mind some campy action. Not one bit :)
B) I don't like trashing other creators' work. These are all labors of love, just like my own stuff and I would hate to land on a list of hated works. I like to labor under the notion that people out there "get me" and my art. So based on that same thought, I don't view everything as "good" or "bad" based solely on how much I enjoy it. Though I enjoy movies that other people just loathe. I always look for the gems amongst a few weeds.

So, my thoughts on the list itself? I am so happy to see "Watchmen" listed so high! I love "Watchmen"!
I would personally put "Suicide Squad" much higher. I love that movie so much!
I might bump "Batman vs. Superman" a little higher as well, and "The Losers"...I love that movie. I know it bombed, but I just love it, and I do know the reference material...I possess more than a few vintage "Losers" comics (both the original and the Vertigo re-imagining).