Misc

Plot twist! (irl)

So I’m going along, editing my work based on someone’s suggestions, when wouldn’t you know it, a certain publisher says they’ll publish it. And I’m like, whoops, forgot to keep them in the loop (that I was probably going to go the self-publishing way, as in seriously intending to go that way but not 100% certain, though definitely 99%). I’ve got 14 chapters edited so far. I’ve let both parties know that things just got a bit crazier.

I am second-guessing going self-publishing, as a) I’d be my own business and b) I’ve heard of people who get worn out by self-publishing that, if a major publisher comes their way and asks them if they’d like the big publisher to take over, they’re like “yes, it’s really tiring doing it myself” or something to that effect.

So I don’t know. Maybe. We have a bit of a history, nothing like a soap opera drama history, mind you, but a history nonetheless. This publisher believed in me when I didn’t. They saw something they liked. They have seen early versions that sucked and agree that this is way better. I guess I could do worse.

Man stuff

The Future Belongs To The Strong (female characters)

Mad-Max-Fury-Road-lovely-day

In case you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that Mad Max: Fury Road has angered a lot of Men’s Rights Activists, who I shall refer to henceforth as Whiny Fucking Losers. It angers them because they think it tricked them into seeing a piece of “feminist propaganda” and that seeing it will make them spontaneously grow vaginas.

My not being a Whiny Fucking Loser makes me a feminist, I guess. Which is fine. I believe women should be allowed to succeed in anything they put their mind to, to have a voice, to have opinions, to have agency. I am of the radical notion that men and women are equal. Maybe not in the same ways, maybe, but still, not being oppressed by rich white men would feel good to them after centuries of that. I’m not advocating that women are somehow better than men, so don’t get me wrong, but I do feel they should be allowed the same things that men are if they want them. I believe it a day where this isn’t an issue that doesn’t need to be talked about.

Until that day, though, we have to talk about these things because there’s something very wrong with society, and it’s how WFLs blame women for their own pathetic world views and wish that straight white men were the only people with agency. I feel like the WFLs are just trouble, because they’re trying to hold the world back from progress and assert their dominance.

To that I say, fuck you. What a bunch of losers. Mad Max Fury Road is an awesome movie, it’s insane, and it has female characters who help one another out, who have solidarity with one another (because they’ve been victims), and who can kick just as much ass as the male lead. I personally believe that female characters should be strong, not necessarily ass-kickers but definitely not weak. Mostly, anyway. Having representatives of every part of the spectrum between weak and strong, lazy and active, dumb and smart, is realistic. There are some dumb, weak, lazy women who let the team down, and while I’m not going to say we have to eradicate that entirely, we definitely need more strong, active, smart women in our narrative spaces. I believe in strong women. Not always ass-kickers, but weak has got to go.

Any man who whinges about women with power, agency, voice, strength, fortitude… I’m going to call you a whiny fucking loser because that’s what you are. You can dress it up as men having rights all you like, but one, men being the dominant sex is over, and two, blaming women for your problems is stupid. And three, a director who manages to weave strong female characters with a story of their own into a movie that’s 10 minutes of breathing room and 100 minutes of car chase, well, I respect that. Max kicks a lot of ass. Furiosa kicks a lot of ass. It’s an ass-kicking team, and teams work best when everyone does their part and contributes. That’s why I have a team of six, three men and three women, and they all kick ass in their various ways. I like that. If enough of these kinds of movies are made, maybe we can one, shut the MRA/WFLs up, and two, make the women happy. Because have you ever been around happy women? It’s pretty awesome, actually.

And hell, even my MUM, who hated the old Mad Max movies, said that maybe she should see this one. I think she was joking, but I call that a win.

Misc

David

  1. Name: David Dimerra.
  2. Age: 24
  3. General physical description: average height, muscular yet roundish, Caucasian, brown eyes, black (straight) hair.
  4. Hometown: Neo-Brisbane
  5. Type of home/ neighbourhood: Inner-city ruins
  6. Relationship status: banging Jess.
  7. Current family: Dad: IT. Mum: scientist. Middle child between teacher older brother (Jordan) and athlete younger brother (Ryan) who’s considering military service.
  8. Family background (parents, previous marriages, etc.):
  9. Friends: Jarred, Jess, Sarah, Rachel and Adam.
  10. Other close relationships: Friends With Benefits (maybe romantic interest) with Jess.
  11. Relationship with men: knows more men than women, because of physical profession.
  12. Relationship with women: typically plutonic with women, rarely interested in more. Gets a bit of attention being a warrior-type.
  13. Job: Hero for fire, the close range type who’s keen to wade in and give ‘em shotgun to the face.
  14. Dress style: black jeans and band tshirt.
  15. Religion: none. If forced to, writes down Jedi.
  16. Attitude to religion: not concerned with it. Lives in the here and now.
  17. Favourite pastimes: ROCK ‘N’ ROLL!
  18. Hobbies: guitar, music, weapons, science (when awesome).
  19. Favourite sports: football, medieval fighting if it counts.
  20. Favourite foods: 3AM kebab, pizza.
  21. Strongest positive personality trait: enthusiastic, carefree,
  22. Strongest negative personality trait: too easily excitable, difficulty making decisions, lazy
  23. Sense of humour: puns, slapstick, black humour
  24. Temper: slow boil, explodes on occasion
  25. Consideration for others: can’t see past his own needs, realises that other people exist and have needs but doesn’t realise he puts his own above theirs (focusing on his own problems, self-gratifying personality)
  26. How other people see him/her: find his self-labelled awesomeness amusing, unsure how to think of him when his act is inactive
  27. Opinion of him/herself: A for Awesome!
  28. Other traits, especially those to be brought out in story:
  29. Ambitions: Become a hero, get a medal, be famous and all that
  30. Philosophy of life: Let there be rock!
  31. Most important thing to know about this character:
  32. Will readers like or dislike this character, and why? Do cool people like cool music?
Children of Fire, Misc, Writing stuff

Jarred

  1. Name: Jarred Seifner.
  2. Age: 24.
  3. General physical description: Tall, lanky, messy brown hair, green eyes, light skin, stubble.
  4. Hometown: Neo-Brisbane.
  5. Type of home/ neighbourhood: Inner-city ruins, an apartment in the city. Four walls and a roof. They’ve got it good.
  6. Relationship status: Dating an ex (from book 1), they only broke up due to distance. They’re happy to be back together… except that she did dump him to travel.
  7. Current family: Brother Adam, parents. Adam is in Crystal City on a protracted mission.
  8. Family background (parents, previous marriages, etc.): Not previously married. No significant changes in parents’ marital statuses. His parents stick together in an age where short-term is the rage.
  9. Friends: Jessica, David, Sarah, Rachel. Adam, if brothers count as friends.
  10. Other close relationships: Sarah, his first girlfriend. He still loves her, but is reluctant to be with her again if she’s just going to leave him again.
  11. Relationship with men: Hates the overly-macho asshole types, but respects those that show decency toward other people.
  12. Relationship with women: Very knightly and chivalrous.
  13. Job: Hero for fire. Well, on paper it’s ‘Contractor’, which is a polite term for mercenary. Leader, commander, uses assault rifles which means he’s good for providing cover fire to assist his team mates when he gives them commands.
  14. Dress style: jeans and tshirt, boots. Professional: usually black, quasi-military wear, with non-metal armoured padding (Kevlar, carbon fibre, etc). Both are of the worn-looking variety.
  15. Religion: Was raised Christian, hence his gentlemanly behaviour became strong (although it was natural too).
  16. Attitude to religion: Unsure. Not keen to get into it, not keen to deny/rebel. What does the bible say about this apocalypse, magic, super powers, monsters, etc?
  17. Favourite pastimes: Movies (though he has to charge up the generator to watch them), games (same), books (no energy consumption, but has to find ones that aren’t ruined, like a lot are – same goes with movies and games). Live music.
  18. Hobbies: Writing, drawing, music, entertainment.
  19. Favourite sports: Swordfighting, fencing, shooting, archery.
  20. Favourite foods: pizza, pub food.
  21. Strongest positive personality trait: is gentlemanly, or at least a close approximation of it. Loyal, group-minded leader, tactical-minded, bigger-picture understanding.
  22. Strongest negative personality trait: irritable, berserk button, resents others’ happiness.
  23. Sense of humour: Dark, but sometimes just loves awesomeness itself. Geeky.
  24. Temper: Very strong when activated, but otherwise non-existent. Found this was absent with Sarah around.
  25. Consideration for others: Usually.
  26. How other people see him/her: The man with the plan.
  27. Opinion of him/herself: Kinda the same.
  28. Other traits, especially those to be brought out in story: gentleman.
  29. Ambitions: married by 35. To Sarah preferably.
  30. Philosophy of life: Nothing’s free.
  31. Most important thing to know about this character: he’s a knight… for a price.
  32. Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?: I think they’ll like him, if I give them enough reason to. This means showing him being a gentleman to women, elderly and children; being mature for his age; being wise; having a good head for tactics; sarcasm, wit, sense of humour. Hopefully people will admire his determination.
Misc

Editing

Tonight I got back some edits from a friend. I agreed with all but one little bit. These were all proofreading things, sentences with bits that didn’t work, that sort of thing. I didn’t cry. In fact, I got through them all in one sitting. I feel like an edit-accepting machine, just agree to Track Changes and fix up things that get thrown about because Track Changes isn’t perfect.

I feel good. It reads a lot better now, which is what I mostly needed. This person might also point out plot holes. I don’t think there are any, but I might be a little biased.

Writing stuff

Paladin chapter 1

A sample of something I’ve wanted to write for a while (about a month) but I’ve been focusing on you-know-what instead.

It’s also a piece of Discovery writing, ie not the type I usually do.

 

They call me Paladin.

Obviously that’s not my real name – that would be something else entirely, and in this world, exchanging names just leads to emotional connection. I don’t need that shit and you don’t need to know my real name; only the story that follows.

So call me Paladin. Everyone else does.

The highway passes by in patches under dirt and sand, barely visible but definitely there, somewhere. The corpses of skyscrapers appear in the distance and I know I’m going the right way towards Terminus. I haven’t seen jack out here, so I feel confident doing a hundred and fifty, because it’s a highway and I ain’t seen jack.

Having a car is a big neon sign to wasteland punks desperate for fuel. The guns on the bonnet of the Inception V8 are a deterrent, but the system picks up five of them closing in fast on my position from the right over a small mound, a bunch of motorbikes and dune buggies. I wait until they get close enough and press the auto-fire button. The guns open up – one of the bikes takes a hit and spins out of control, barely missing another bike. The guns swivel and fire on their own, but the punks know I’m armed now and they spread out to flank me.

I brake hard.

One rider on my left crashes into a buggy and the two collide in a screeching tangle of metal and pulverised limbs. Two left; the guns take out a buggy, and it spins out of control, going airborne when it flies off another desert mound. For a brief moment it’s flying, then it slams back to the ground and hits a dead tree. I barely see the punk slam forward, head smacking into the tree and splattering blood everywhere, before the low ammo alarm blares.

I hit the pedal.

The guns miss the last punk, and the chambers are empty, the only thing left is the smoke from the barrels.

The punk – this last one in a buggy – turns and shoots at me, the bullets thumping into bulletproof glass. The glass takes the hits, but only just. Cracks spider-web from the impacts.

Switching to auto-drive I grab my Vortex Thermal Rifle, which I call Grace, and lower the window. A hail of bullets pepper the side of the car, and some hit me, but I’m unconcerned because of my healing factor – though it hurts like a motherfucker. I lean out the window, fire off two multi-hued energy beams one after another, and the second one hits, vaporising the punk instantly. The vehicle rolls as it hits a pot hole and comes to a rest upside down.

I stop by the wreck, turn the car off and inspect the punk’s possessions.

He has food and decent shoes, so I take those. He also has a small statuette of a bobcat. I look it over, when I hear movement I pocket it and rise to standing, and point my gun at the noise. One of the punks has survived, crawling on his belly over the sand mound. He reaches for his gun, pulls it out with trembling fingers, and then dies. I take his gun too, and some more food from his bag.

Then I get back in the Inception and drive for Terminus.

Misc

Dark sides

I’m rewriting a short story about darksides and come to the conclusion that my character’s darkside double needs to be darker.

The character at one point, a while ago, was homophobic, so maybe I could go back to that being one of his flaws. Then there’s his alcoholism. And finally, his berserk button – harming his love interest. He will straight up murder someone if they threaten her. It’s not white knight – it’s psychotic. In the setting, there is no law (“Lawless Post-Apocalyptic Wasteland” is the definition) so he can do that. And this is the good guy. His dark side is amplification of those traits, or a twisting of them into something worse. That’s how you write dark sides – by amplifying negative aspects to a character’s personality.

Which is why Peter Parker in Spiderman 3 was so cringe-worthy in that scene where he’s gone “bad” – he’s not a bad guy, he’s a dork. That behaviour is a magnification of his dorkiness.