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Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world I think Ameria is very much at the tipping point. After the hurricane, I'm guessing Trump will point to the disaster not being handled correctly as evidence that the government isn't working (never mind that it's his government and his fault), and he'll use that as an excuse to consolidate more power, maybe even declare martial law. How America responds will decide the future of the country, and probably the world, for a pretty long time to come.

Whatever happens, I'm guessing it will be ugly. So many hate groups have been empowered and emboldened by Trump and his administration.

August 26, 2017, 06:33:17 PM
Re: Game of Thrones: Season 7 I dislike the narrative technique of leaving the viewer in the dark like they did with Arya/Sansa colluding to take down Littlefinger. They lie by omission. In my blunt opinion, it's a dumb person's way of making something look clever. I think it's dishonest, and it robs that final scene of much of its power.

I mean, the trial scene is built around the narrative concept that there's going to be a switch, but what reason do the characters have to act like that? Narratively, they could have made it clever by doing a mock trial for Arya in order to get Littlefinger to incriminate himself in public, for example. As it is, it's just believability sacrificed on the altar of cheap surprise.

All in all, Season 7 seems to be made of cheap thrills at the cost of depth. While I still enjoy the show, I can't help but feel that it has been dumbed down. It seems clear that it's George R.R. who makes Got what it is, not Benioff and Weiss.

September 01, 2017, 01:35:07 PM
Re: Depression, Struggles and Light at the End of Every Tunnel @Bradley Darewood

I wish I could give you some quick fix, but I think it's better to accept that they don't exist.

I've slowly been overcoming my procrastination by building better habits (and grinding away the bad ones), and I can tell you a little about my strategy. Maybe it will help. It takes a lot of time, but it gives lasting results. To build a good habit (or get rid of a bad one), the most important part is to set achievable goals. Working 5 minutes on a task every day is better than not working on it at all, and if you do it every day, you'll build the habit of getting started. It also might trigger the 'rolling ball' effect, i.e. you find yourself picking up momentum after having done your 5 minutes. Once that's settled in you can slowly increase your goals. It takes 2-3 weeks to build a simple habit, provided you stick with it nearly every day. Missing a day or two isn't a reason to give up, either. Just keep going. Every time counts.

Meanwhile, look for ways to reduce access to the things you do while you procrastinate, and make it easier to do the things you should be doing. I keep moving the links for my social media around so I have to go looking for them, for example, which gives me time to stop myself. Most of our procrastination behaviours are bad habits. We start them without even thinking about it. Put something in the way. And accept that you can't go cold turkey. Try to slowly reduce it by setting a timer or some other limit.

Changing habits takes time. But if you allow them to build, they stick around. My average day today is ridiculously different from my average day some 3-4 years ago. But while I can tell you roughly at what time I decided I needed to change my life, I can't point at any particular time when "things got better." It's gradual, and sometimes it's frustrating because you don't even notice it unless you step back and take a proper look.

September 11, 2017, 10:12:48 AM
Re: UGH... self-promotion Awesome. I've considered extending myself to reddit. But most of my experiences there have been negative. Naturally, each subreddit has its own culture, so I may just have been unlucky.

But I already feel I'm a bit stretched. I enjoy engaging with other writers and readers, and that's the main reason I spend time in these communities. But self-promotion is at the back of my mind, as well. I just don't want to stretch myself thin. My approach to PR is to stay genuine, basically. Whenever I try PR 'tricks' I just feel false. I suppose it's part of my introvert nature, but it makes no sense to me to do stuff that I dislike when I see others do it. I don't mind people telling me about their books or their writing. I do mind when they throw it in my face.

Anyway, except r/fantasy, do you know of any other subreddits that may be interesting to writers?

September 13, 2017, 09:37:24 AM
Re: Adventures in Writing
So...er, I got a much better email yesterday!! I will see if it pans out and get back to you all. *fingers and toes all crossed please*

Break a leg!  :o

September 13, 2017, 09:39:41 AM
Re: "Murky middle" problem with outlining a story I find that when you know the beginning and you have an idea of where you're going, that's the best time to start writing. I know it's not what works for everyone, but I find completely outlining my story before writing it to be incredibly boring. To me, writing a story where I know exactly what will happen is the same as reading a story where I know exactly what will happen.

I bet you have a few scenes you can't wait to get writing on? Write those. When they are done, you'll probably have some new ideas. Pick the ones you like best and write those. And so on. When you run out of scenes that you want to write, put together what you have using as few words as possible as glue.

Just my five cents.

September 20, 2017, 05:30:18 PM
Re: "Murky middle" problem with outlining a story
No offense dude, but unless you're writing short stories or very episodic fiction, that's kinda terrible advice.

If you don't mean to offend, perhaps don't call people's advice terrible.

I felt I was clear in that my advice wasn't something that suited everyone. The problem presented was that Ninja was stuck on the outlining part and wanted advice on how to proceed. Telling him to outline more seemed counterintuitive to me. I didn't interpret it as a call for plot suggestions (though it may have been), but a call for a method to deal with the situation he's in.

I am aware of the need for a narrative structure, but you should be aware that there are many ways to create one. That one particular method didn't work for you does not mean that it won't work for someone else.

September 22, 2017, 02:50:18 PM
Re: The Defenders (Netflix) The whole Hand plot in Defenders just felt mega weak. They went from being a mysterious, all-powerful organisation to what felt like a bunch of scheming juvenile delinquents.
September 29, 2017, 02:54:00 PM
Re: The Defenders (Netflix)
What???? You didn't finish it? That was the one of the best series I've ever seen in my life! I rank it up there with Torchwood Season 3 and BSG Season 1.

She'd been raped? I mean I guess I think she might have slept w/ Killgrave but if she did it blew past me and I had totally forgotten--  I didn't really think they made much of it, and if they did I guess it didn't stand out to me.

They had sex while she was under his control; so yes, that's rape. I read that it's actually a departure from the comics, where Kilgrave got off on the act of control and did not sexually assault his victims (the creator stating that he felt there were so many plots involving rape in comics already, he didn't want to add another one).

While I do agree that the story of Jessica's trauma is based on much more, I also think it's essentially a story about a survivor of sexual assault wrecked with PTSD. I think it's important to point out, @AmeliaFaulkner, that it goes against the trope recipe and instead of depicting sexual assault and a woman magically becoming strong because of it, it attempts to depict what it's like for a survivor to deal with it. And like Bradley says, it's a convincing portrayal of PTSD. So while I understand your aversion to the sickeningly overused "this woman is strong because she was raped" trope, I do believe they tried to show it from a different angle as to actually get into the head of a survivor. Jessica is strong, but also incredibly traumatised. One of my biggest disappointments with Defenders was actually how her alcoholism became a casual comical relief instead of a serious issue (though it certainly had some stereotypical Hollywood stink in the original series, too).

If found Daredevil to be super annoying and the whole way of deciding who is "good people" and "bad people" thing to be a little gross.

That's part of what I liked about Daredevil, though. I saw Matt as deeply flawed by his background and beliefs. I mean, he had two pretty shonky father figures and the whole Catholic guilt trip going. Of course he didn't turn out fine. To me it wasn't always obvious we should be rooting for him, or at least not agree with his choices. I welcome that, as opposed to bulky super hunks who always end up making the right choice, often by happenstance (and are played by a blonde named Chris).

September 30, 2017, 10:21:18 AM
Re: UGH... self-promotion I get excited when someone that's not my mum likes a post I make on FB. Actual sales and people reading your material is a great thing! Good luck with the launch!
September 30, 2017, 10:23:19 AM