The Madness Mystery"See you tomorrow, Sylvia," Liz told her job partner, amused as the latter put on her coat; Sylvia's cheery excitement was contagious. “Did you choose your gift yet?”
I actually did want to comment on this earlier, because how you handled it caught my attention.
One comment. "Many murders are made ..." should read "Many murders are committed on the spur of the moment."
The beginning of the story caught my attention. Someone running an everyday errand, and something completely unexpected happens. It's a widely used trope, and your execution was well-done. You described their thought process and what they went through during the event right to the end.
I admit I skimmed through most of the statistical development, but I did get through at the end that whatever was happening, was highly unusual. People were committing crimes and getting into accidents without having any form of lead-in to it. I don't know if the statistics you cited were valid, but based on the efforts you usually invest in a story, I'm going on the assumption that they are.
I also admit that I got a little bit lost in the explanation of events, vis-a-vis how transmitting an electrical signal bypasses other stuff and doesn't leave a neural imprint in the same manner as other things might. However, I'll attribute that to my lack of understanding of the brain. What I did get out of it was that someone had found a way to "hack into" metal hardware that's worn by people, probably some pretty common stuff, and then cause problems.
Daniel seems different, and his interactions with people make me wonder if he's something other than human (or if his past left such "programming" on him if you will that he'll always be different regardless). The comment that Daniel didn't have heroes when he was younger would make me lean in that direction. Although I'm biased and would say that in part because I know what you've read, and I've read it too.
What I'm always impressed with is your effort to make something seem supernatural, then bring it down to a nice scientific ground. At the beginning, the woman heard voices. Then she seemed to have an OBE. Now, I'm not sure what would make someone look at their own reality as a third party observer, though I think also that maybe the mind is imagining things quite vividly, and perhaps the reality is the person didn't actually feel like they were watching from far off, but that would be the best way to describe it. I would imagine that to be a stress response? I'm not sure, but that does make sense.
Back to point, however. I've seen this in your writing previously, and I like the way it engages the brain. I get the feeling of "see how we can explain this?" coming on later in the story; the results that you've provided have been thoughtful and interesting. I also like the way that you present it, is not in a manner intended to say those who claim to have spiritual experiences are wrong. It's presented in a manner that takes something unusual, and offers an explanation based on the conditions of the story. I guess I'm saying I don't get the feeling you're using your story as a soapbox.
I would ask, on the other hand, if you enjoy making your readers think. Because I get a sense that you do.
So I noticed.
The name Daniel. Wouldn't have been inspired by R. Daneel Olivaw, would it?
Ben ... Both Elijah and Benjamin are OT Jewish names. I think one of Elijah's descendants was named Ben? I don't know. A Ben seems to have been involved.
Anyhow. This reminded me of Asimov's robot novels; Olivaw working with Elijah, Elijah coming to terms quickly with his partner after having suspicions, and such. You also touched on something that the robots struggled with in all of Asimov's work: sacrifice one to save the many, or save as many as you can? I recall reading in I, Robot: the last short story involved people having to step away from long careers with the state after some shortage was found involving mismanagement done by the people responsible. It was later hinted that the machines themselves were taking top people off their post in the gentlest way possible, because the machines were trying to do better for everyone.
Now with that said I'm going to say just a few more things. I think you did well with this. I think there's likely room for improvement, but it's hard for me to say what that may be. Overall, I'm sticking with "you did well."
More importantly though, I don't know how much you were trying to write like Asimov. I feel like there was a bit of effort in this, to write like Asimov. I'm curious, am I right? If I am, I won't call foul. What I will also say is that if you are trying to write like Asimov, don't forget to write like Samantha.
I'll correct the grammar, and clarify some sentences as soon as the Tournament is finished, because otherwise I'll bust the 7,000 words limit.
That's my goal. I know I'll always encounter the need to use a well-known trope or cliché, so I try to make it better and as enjoyable as possible to compensate.
I don't know if the statistics you cited were valid, but based on the efforts you usually invest in a story, I'm going on the assumption that they are.
Hehe; actually no. If you notice the names of the the country "Norr Americae", its not our universe. So the statistics are made up for the stories.
However... it is something that started to come up in several of our real countries and states; and that worries me. I'm sure there is a non-external reason for this kind of thing, and people are just simply mad... but the investigative part of me wonder if there isn't something else.
But yeah, the whole events, motives, an explanations in that story are purely fictitious, for once. Except for one or two theories.
I'll have to clarify that part. Actually, the metal dentures receiving a signal was only an analogy to what Daniel suspected (and its a real thing, btw, receiving radio/tv frequency with metal dentures Must be cool). In Daniel's theory, the hacking is done directly in the brain, with no props. The frequency is just at a level that the brain cannot imprint it, but reacts to it nevertheless. Like a metal denture, or a guitar amplifier playing the signal without actually registering it.
While I'll try to put the whole Daniel discussion as neutral as possible between both of us, so others can try to guess without reading it in this critique, I'm glad that you noticed the clue about Daniel having no heroes. I put several others, some about his behaviours or way of talking, but some about his psychology, and one in particular that I hope you noticed.
When Daniel speak with Scott, their last words together is one major clue; not just about how he was in the past, but how he tries to become in the present.
I admit I still do not have a specific scientifical explanation for OBEs; in my story, both Sylvia and Lucien had genuine OBEs, and I didn't want to explain that scientifically. Its a strange yet widely spread mystery, OBEs, and I've no idea what can cause it, scientifically-wise speaking. There is your theory; then there is the religious-based theory that the soul is disconnected from its vehicle and can observe it... I honestly don't have an opinion (though I personally like the religious one, because of my own beliefs), and I kept it like that; I'll let the readers draw their own conclusions at what really happened.
The voices they heard while being in the OBE mode, well that was the scientifical part; it was the transmission, so there was nothing spiritual about that.
Who's Daneel Olivaw...? Yes, its taken from him. Years back, his original name was Francis, but Francis Fitzgerald is a writer or actor, or politician... And since I can't find proper family names, I had to change the first name; and I hadn't yet officially gave a wink to Asimov.
Benjamin is a Jewish name?! I honestly did not think about Elijah; the name actually came before I thought of what mystery/investigation writer I should use as template. No, Benjamin is for Benjamin Sisko, the first primary Black Captain of American television (Star Trek: Deep Space 9), played by Avery Brooks. And Kramer is a guitar company founder. Notice how I described him dark-skinned? It was a clue to say whom I based the character upon.
Ben, a black inspector, was the only thing that I knew for sure that the story would have. Then was what the mystery needed to be, and finally, who should be his partner. I know its a big cliché, but I wanted the usual secondary mystery as to who is the partner, really. And I realized it was my opportunity to do what I always wanted to do since the writing of The Shadow Paradigm: to give Daniel a main part in a story completely about him.
Later, I obviously realized how it sounded completely like Elijah and Daneel; but I still went with it. I was sure I could write enough of my own stuff to make it my won anyway... Reading your critic, it would seem that I was wrong.
The suspicion was a natural course of action; and a legitimate one, considering Daniel's past. The reason for that, was that the story was originally supposed to end with the pair of them finding the evil's lair. And who else could know about the lair of a really, really, really secretive society... but one of its members? So that arc was never resolved, at least in this story alone, so I now realize how it sounded exactly like Elijah and Daneel....
I honestly was not thinking about that Asimov story when I was writing. I was remembering the style and the atmosphere, the flow of the investigations and interrogations, but not the details. I had to do my usual technique of pacing around my room and emulate the actions of both partners, find what I would do in their position, and that's how my story moved along...
It is a struggle that I am sure that researchers would logically implement, and that was why Daniel had it too. The only thing, is that he could never guide humanity as well as humans themselves; for he lacks their psychology. That's why he must try and trust those that he believe could help; some ended up lying, and some, like Ben, are genuine in their wishes.
So unlike Asimov, Daniel doesn't believe he alone or people like him are the ones that should be in power of Utopia; people like Ben are the ones that can and should. His only purpose is to help them accomplish that. And to start, its to help them clean up the mess that the society he followed created.
Daniel is one of my top redeeming stories; people think that villains are lifetime villains. And true, some are. But I think that everyone make mistake on the right path; everyone followed a so-called guide and master that promised the best things, but either never gave them, or gave them to the wrong persons. And these people can have a second chance at redemption. And Daniel's one of them. He followed the wrong orders, was faithful to the wrong ambition. And he suffered from realizing what he has done, and now, he wants to help the truthful ambition. In the few words that I had left, I tried to convey that in his conversation with Scott (the orange-haired guy).
Let's see... I didn't want per say to write like Asimov; that wasn't my intention at all. He was just the only writer with a police investigation story template that I could draw upon, because I had never written that style before. But you know, I didn't want consciously to write an Elijah/Daneel story: I wanted to write about a man, Ben, faced with the world that he loves being torn apart by humans' own madness, and he needed to prove that it wasn't their fault, that there was still this hope that his own people are not like that. And I wanted to write about this man, Daniel, who followed people that believed the world was trash, who, 4 years ago, found out that they (and he) were wrong about that, and now tries his utmost to honour and help Ben's hopes about the world. He's even willing to die without a fight if it means that Ben will be more motivated to put a stop at the evil he once helped spread. I wanted to write about one of the multiple possible theories abut what I was myself starting to see in the world. Like Scott say, its a naive thing to think that humans are not as mad than we're meant to think, because on many occasions, that's the downright truth: we are often that mad. So I wanted to write all that within a known and successful template of a mystery investigation... and I sadly ended up writing an Asimov story. There was quite a few of my own ideas, in my defense: Daniel's mothering about Ben getting his 9 hours of sleep, even going to make him hot milk and honey; the conversation between Scott and Daniel was unplanned, but I thought it would bring that extra touch to the readers about who really is Daniel, and what is his past; the false schizophrenia; the lack of violence that I always try to bring in my stories; the "what if someone wants to makes us all mad" theme...
Even Daniel doesn't act like his influences do; he's acting as I would imagine someone like him would act in his situation, someone who's spent his life in society, and knows its basic function and its requirements of him, but not as much the deeper depths....
I would ask, on the other hand, if you enjoy making your readers think. Because I get a sense that you do.
Hehe. Actually, I didn't think that this one would make you think as much as the others. It was meant purely as a paranormal/scientific investigation with a little kick. ...And yes, I do enjoy doing that. If only a few persons are going to take the time to read my stories, might as well give them something to make them remember the stories.
Ah well... I guess in this one my literary influences got more exposed than in my other ones. See? That's what happens when you follow a specific genre! I had either Asimov, or the show Castle; and the latter is way too predictable and light-hearted.
So... in conclusion, would you summarize that this story was too cliché and obvious? Be cruelly honest.
Oh, dang those limits, yes?
Here, you did well enough. I'm familiar with TV Tropes and I can't say anything struck me, and particularly not in a cliche manner. How you approach using tropes is pretty much how a good writer ought to use them. Unless of course the point is to turn the tropes on their heads or deconstruct them or mock them for humor. But that's another discussion.
As for the statistics, I actually thought after I posted the critique that "huh, maybe they're made for the story and not actual ..." Eh well, there's a plus for you for successful immersion, yes?
As far as metal dental implants being capable of receiving radio signals - that was actually tested and proven false. Lucille Ball made a claim that she was hearing radio frequencies through her teeth, and some top scientists knew it was not correct. However, after the end of WWII and during the Cold War, officials actually encouraged her to tell the story and nobody corrected her because it made us look superior to our enemies. Now with THAT said, I easily suspended disbelief for the purpose of the story. I was actually going to say something about it, but I figured I'd let it slide because, well reasons. I feel if I had insisted that you fix it, then it would have broke everything, and that's not fun or fair. So to be clear, I was enjoying the story well enough that your use of this didn't harm it in the least. If it's not our world, then it's not our science - there's your justification.
I did notice Daniel's speech and behaviors (the bit about him standing outside the door to the child's room because he was not invited was another instance, and his speech pattern struck me early on). I should hope that other people would take notice, as well.
While I don't necessarily have an answer for OBE's either, I feel that a stress response could be valid. I also feel that it should not necessarily by its presence rule out other potential (spiritual) factors. That said, I knew the voice was a transmission.
Of course you'd want to give a wink to Asimov. I noted it well.
Benjamin is a Jewish name. He was one of the twelve sons of Israel. I actually tried making a chart once ... I can't say that I'm going to resume the effort. Elijah was a major Old Testament prophet.
Benjamin Sisko is a familiar name for me. I haven't seen the series, though I have watched clips of it and he comes across as a right minded, competent, and good-willed captain put in a really bad and difficult situation.
I had to do my usual technique of pacing around my room and emulate the actions of both partners, find what I would do in their position, and that's how my story moved along ...Why so sad about that? Every author has their method. I rehearsed the conversation between Soroya and Jasmine a few times in my car on the way to work. The only thing I'd change is that when you're writing, you have to remove yourself from the characters and let them speak. In other words, as you're emulating, you're essentially the character you're emulating, so you're not trying to find what you would do in their position, as much as you're trying to find what you, the character, would do. I'm pretty sure that's what you meant.
I admire you for doing a villain redemption story. I can't say I have a redeemed villain. Of course if I did that, I'd go for the gold standard and try to create a character who is impossible to like when you get to know the character, then once everyone is against the character, go about the process of redemption. But enough about me - I admire the fact that you're doing a villain redemption. Here's why: creating a villain is easy. Now when you have a character who is a villain and that's how your audience knows him; it's really really hard to set the villain for redemption and have the audience know him as no longer being a villain while of course keeping it believable.
I see what you're saying. Would I be off if I said that it's quite evident that Asimov has been a big influence and you thoroughly enjoy reading him? Again, nothing wrong on that count. I'm going to throw a recommendation at you. Check the book All the Light We Cannot See. You'll probably enjoy it. It takes place during WWII, and is heavy with flashbacks. It's about a boy and a girl; the boy is a radio technician.
Well, when you write something involving the paranormal and scientific, what do you expect to happen?
Have you read other genres? Like the Chronicles of Narnia series? Or works by London, Poe, or Dumas?
In sum, would I say it was too cliche or obvious? No, no absolutely not at all. At least I didn't see the end coming.
Yeah... They're a challenge for me. The story originally finished to be 7,900 words long, but I had to cut it down to 7,000 words...
I love when people do that with tropes. Well, I'm glad the cliche weren't obvious.
Indeed. Actually, I was so much in a hurry to finish the story before the deadline, that I forgot to check if schizophrenia actually works the way I theorized it... Oops. I think I'll need to revise this story in particular before doing anything further with it.
Not to mention that in a parallel universe, Gandalf, Frodo, and Sting shouldn't be called the same way...
Really?! Oh... that's a shame... Well, maybe it can't work with metal dentures, because of their lack of a frequency receptor (unlike a guitar amp), but it would still work with the brain direct, since most of its functions rely on receiving and sending frequency emissions (sounds, light, nervous impulses, etc).
Ah, great! I'm glad the clues went well.
Did you found it a tiny bit funny, the part where Daniel insist that Ben drinks hot milk and go to bed at 9? It was my attempt at a small comedic moment... (puppy dog eyes pleading)
Agree with you. Many things can be both scientifical in nature, and nevertheless have a spiritual connection.
Oh... I wouldn't blame you for not resuming the project. I realize I never asked: are you Christian, or atheist?
Me neither I haven't watched DS9, but I was glad of the influence on the people that Benjamin Sisko made, the breaking of many prejudices, so I thought I would honour that, considering that my novel has a sad lack of ethnicity, since all the characters in it are based on people around me, or in history.
Yeah, that's exactly what I meant. And its not sad, its just that I always hope that someone doesn't barge in when I'm in the emulation mode. I've heard that talking (and answering) to one self is indicative of madness.
I make sure about that too, that my characters have as much unique traits as I can, to try and distinguished them. I don't always succeed, but I try. Ben was looser than Daniel, obviously, but still had to remain authoritative. As for Daniel, I couldn't allow him to talk and move like most people do; I have to imagine how the way he was raised influenced his reactions and his movements. So I have to take particular attention to these details for everyone. I know it doesn't always work, but I feel better that I try anyway to make them as realist as possible, based on everyone's upbringings.
I think we both know of a specific Harry Potter character that fits very well your description of the gold standard of a redeeming villain.
I absolutely agree with you. Its hard to redeem a villain, and I'm not even sure if I'll do it properly, or if people will even consider them as villains in the first place. But I always loved that idea, and I try to make it happen. Out of five villains, three will be redeemed in various manners, while two won't stop; Scott is one of the two, as you have read.
As for Daniel, his redemption is the easiest to implement, since he wasn't as much a villain as the others. He was only following orders and following the purpose that he was raised to uphold. But its easy to turn someone once that someone realize that he's following the wrong path to accomplish that purpose. The true test will be to turn someone who's absolutely sure that its the only way.
Hehe, nope, you're not wrong. He is a big influence, in terms of literature, at least (Doctor Who would be a greater one, but I refuse to try and emulate its general style of storytelling; its already too well done that I'll only mess it up. ). Especially when it concerns one character (shh!), or one of his ideals. But don't worry, I'll try to improve, when I emulate a style, to not show where its based upon.
I'll check out the book, if I find it.
Sort of. I read all the Narnia, yes; except for the last book, I didn't liked as much the writing style, and found the movies to have better dwelt on the issues that Lewis wanted to write about. I've also read books from Terry Brooks, Orwell (his famous 1984), but again, I found it hard to immerse myself in the characters as much as with Tolkien, Asimov, Doyle, or St-Exupery.
I am indeed not familiar with London, Poe, and Dumas. I'll try to find some of their books.
Its just that I don't have enough life experiences and knowledge to write other genres. I don't know enough of subjects to base a comedy upon; I have zero knowledge of romantic relationships, so romantic books are out of the questions, though I have enjoyed three from three different authors; police investigation stories requires knowing how it works in real-life; and I dislike most "everyday life" or "coming of age" stories, so I don't want to write about that either. So Fantasy and science-fiction are the genres that allow me the most freedom.
I'm sad though, because there was two great books that I read, when I was younger, and they were amazing, but I either can't find them, or they are in the Internet, but merely as a review articles, or a physical library database. One was a French fantasy series, a bit like a mix between Tolkien and Rowling, about three teenagers that were wizards, and the main one was called Tetragamaton, something like that. But it was simply amazing. The author knew just how to capture the atmosphere, and his villain was downright creepy and chilling.
The other was a paranormal book called "Le Cercle de Sang" (Circle of Blood), and it dealt with an old secret cult affecting a man's life because he was apparently a descendant of its original founder, and the man trying to find and stop them. It was brilliantly written, and probably the most scary thing I have read, in the way that the author captured the horror of the secret cult's actions. And even when the chapter didn't involved them, their influence in the atmosphere of the story, the subtle and hidden malice, was palatable... I miss these two stories, because they had quite the amazing storyline and atmosphere, and I just know they would have helped me expand in these genres, since they are already the ones I'm familiar with...
Oh, you didn't see the end coming? Great!
Well, I'm glad to hear that. But I will definitively revise it for a better version; probably add its real ending too, to make the story more complete.
I just can't do limits. Well, eh. But do you know the amount of effort that went into writing my one six word story? I started with 8 ... needed to trim. Then move the words around. It was an awful lot of editing and positioning for that thing. I enjoyed it - partly because it was appreciated.
Whoops! I'm actually trying to research something for an idea I have. It's been on the back burner for years now because I can't find sources. I was researching it and found a source for information that generated another idea, but not what I had hoped or was searching.
What will you do, call it Sandalf, Grodo, and Fting?
The nice thing about sci-fi is that it can be predictive (I've seen web comics mention stuff that existed just a few years later) or that it can establish a "reasonable base" for doing something that in the real world wouldn't pass muster, but because of the "fi" in sci-fi it gets a pass.
Maybe? I remember thinking, "Just what the heck is Daniel doing?" and part of me wondered if he had more nefarious motives. Of course when Ben asked what he was doing I smirked - I would relate.
Christian or atheist ... which do you think? If I'm doing things right, you'll lean toward Christian.
I can't say I've written much work with ethnicity - and that is something I avoid because, well, reasons. I'd rather not get driven into the muck by some jerkass SJW with a chip on their shoulder, too much time on their hands, and an agenda to be offended by any and everything. I also don't want to write something and have it not be quality and then because I couldn't do it well it gets called tokenism pandering.
You're not talking to yourself; you're listening in on your characters.
Yep, you're right about the HP character.
Your description of Daniel is a bit along the lines of one of my characters. Not sure if he'll get a redemption. You did get me thinking of villains in my stories and I don't think I necessarily have many - at least not a lot that aren't specifically purpose-built. Sometimes their character was built at least somewhat after the fact.
UGH I've GOT to fix that.
Well the woman in Diner is an exception - I nailed her character down before the story.
Edgar Allen Poe is THE horror writer. Stephen King can't write, compared to Poe. I've read Poe, and I've read King, and Poe wins, hands down. Jack London wrote about the trials and tribulations of the Alaskan gold rush and living in the Yukon. Sometimes it was horrifying. Dumas wrote The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers I read and enjoyed both of those ... they were admittedly a bit wordy. Danged French authors ... (See, you can't help but to be wordy, right?)
Did you ever read through what I had written for the Dragon Mage series? That mixes fantasy and politics. The short stories, not so much - they were designed to develop back stories, characters, and tug on heart strings.
Me neither. But it helps me try and make things more concise, because I admire the writers that don't need to have countless sentences to convey a scene.
Six words story?! Now that I would never be able to do...
Well, just write it down, even if you don't have sources. Look at Dan Brown: he made millions just by writing half-true conspiracy theories, based on hear-say, rumours, and doubtful sources. I'm sure yours will have a bit more credibility than his.
Hehe, that was a good one. Nah, I'll probably just leave it as it is; after all, Ben is called Ben even in other universes. Or, I'll just check what were the alternative names that Tolkien gave the characters (each had about 4 alternate names, depending on the language), and write those instead.
Yes, that's what I love about it too. Sure, its not considered as "professional" as thriller or suspense or historical genres, but it allows much more freedom and original ideas. I don't know if you read Industrial Magic, but I tackled a theoretical scientifical theory of mine about magic symbols; sure its in a sci-fi context, and with way-in-the-future technology, but I was glad to present an interesting idea about that subject.
Hehe, really? I hadn't thought of it that way, but I realize that it might have been seen as suspicious that Daniel give such an unusual drink and request... Hey, well that probably just gave a new dimension to the scene!
Well, I was always sure at 90% that you were Christian; but nowadays, one can't quite tell. But you definitively feel Christian; numbers of your stories are unusually lacking in violence/gore/sexuality/mature subject, or if present, are tame in nature, and you are always uncomfortable talking about it in your description. I haven't known many atheists with your reserve on these subjects.
Don't worry, its a good thing for me; I find nothing wrong with a well-done belief system, and I don't blame the entirety of good-willed individuals for the actions of a few rotten ones.
That's exactly my view too. I just don't know enough about these individuals and their cultures, so I can't possibly write about them. A simple example is Japanese's culture and what they think is taboo and what they think is okay. In all appearances, they are not as different from us, but once you dive into their cultures, you find a lot of things that if you didn't know, you would have offended them. Or what you find offending, they're fine with it. So yeah, I agree with you. I'd rather not write about people that I don't know. All of the characters I write are based on prototypes that I'm already familiar with, with just enough variables to give them their uniqueness. And I'll rather be guilty of that than write something that I don't know about and mess up.
Still won't make sense to those that aren't supposed to know that I'm a writer.
I find that alright; I think we just both help to show that unlike what we see in movies, in real life, villains are never quite 100% villains. Yes, there are really messed-up people, but the majority are people that takes a long time to fully turn, and most of all, have a reason behind. Magneto comes in mind; he has a genuine reason for his actions: its only a matter of time before another power-hungry guy start another war, and decides who should live and who should die. The only problem is that Magneto is by himself following the same paradox.
Hmm... I'll check them out, especially Poe and Dumas (I am familiar with the Three Musketeers story, though I'm sure the movies are nothing like the novel). I once read a few books of Stephen King, and although the first two books I read creeped me out (the first one that really hit me when I was young was "Dreamcatcher", where an alien comes down and take over the body and mind of the hero; the vivid descriptions and the psychological suspense creeped me out like nothing before; and "It" was original to me back then, when the only books I had was Tolkien and romance/thriller stuff), his other books became way too cliché and predicting. I guess that's bound to happen when you write a book every 3 months; to speed things out, you have to use the same template.
No, I haven't got yet to read Dragon Mage. I seriously need to catch up, especially that in my Watching section, I just found out that you wrote about 15 new stories since I last checked a few months ago... I'll probably need to just copy/paste it all in a text file, and read them offline, otherwise, I'll never get around to it...
My only six word story was Bored, remember?
I might just do that, but I also don't want to write a "sparkly vampires psuedo-porn" type of work, either. I'll have to see what I can do. It has nothing to do with the recent WIP I posted.
Sci-fi isn't considered as "professional" as thriller or suspense or historical stuff? Bah, I think you're mistaken on that one. Funny thing is - I asked a person at the bookstore what sort of book I should get, and I had a hard time naming a genre. I've read a lot of classic lit, some of it historical, some of it sci-fi, and such. That's how I got All the Light we Cannot See. It was a great book, and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. I just enjoy stuff without really bothering to categorize it.
I was uncomfortable writing the DM series because it was a fantasy and had dragons, and uncomfortable writing Complicated Affection because of the characters. Lately I've been writing about characters being harmed and that's another area of discomfort. At the same time, I'm careful to portray what's right and wrong.
At some point we're both going to have to dive into writing about another culture.
I think that's what I really, really enjoyed about the second Last Exile series. In the first one, Delphine was incredibly easy to hate, she's the classic "villain for the sake of it." Her complexity was how she manipulated people. In Fam, the Silver Wing it's not until later on that we have a chance to actually understand Luscinia and his motives.
15 new stories in the past few months? Actually, seven of them were reposts because someone posted under Clockwork that they couldn't get the pdf. I couldn't just load the text without losing the comments, so I reposted the stories. Though you might not have seen some anyway. In any event, when you do get around to them, I hope you enjoy.
Ah, right!! Still love that one! (Btw, did you get a chance to watch Peter Capaldi's seasons?)
Hehe, I get you. I hate that sparkly vampire pseudo porn work. Oye... that's both an artistic handwriting, and a slightly undecipherable handwriting you've got there.
According to many of the "professional" books on writing, not really. Most professionals consider science-fiction (except Stephen King's books) to be a lowly genre to write, since its pure imagination, and no actual facts, like in thriller or history, etc, where the story needs to be researched.
Yeah, I know what you mean. I don't particularly care about the genre of the books I read, but I'm aware most critics do.
Seriously? I could understand Complicated Affection, but there was nothing in Dragon Mage to be uncomfortable about.
I get you though about writing characters being harmed... At least, I'm glad you have that reaction to these subjects. It tells alot about you.
That's also what I loved about that series!! In fact, I don't know if you noticed, but one of the characters in the story above was called "Lucian" (the wrongfully accused culprit); I was trying to find a name, and Luscinia popped up, and I thought it would be nice to give someone that name.
Oh... Well, I'll definitively try to read them as soon as possible (and I'm currently writing offline my thoughts about Dragon Mage).
I haven't, actually
"Hm, the handwriting is somewhere between 'artist' and 'doctor' in terms of legibility ..."
I vehemently disagree with science fiction being "pure imagination." And if that's what "professional" books say about the genre, then they are selling it short. Good sci-fi is not "pure fantasy" in my mind, as much as it is speculative; either retro-speculative or futuristic. I should say that an element of good sci-fi contains this. Basically, the things that exist in the sci-fi universe are there because science got them there. I read a web comic, Schlock Mercenary In the comic, the mercenaries are charged with protecting a "boy band," but it turns out they need to protect the band members because they are all holograms that disappear when you touch them. When the mercenaries assigned to the task decided to reveal that information to the fans, it didn't go as expected.
That aside, holographic performers? That's crazy, right? Well, meet Hatsune Miku. Well, that's just one, no big deal, right? Hatsune Miku performs with other holograms in a realistic manner. Speaking of realistic, watch the clothing. It isn't the first time that the comic imagined something that showed up later in fact, in the real world. The performer is voiced by a singing synthesizer. That wasn't the first, or only time that the comic addressed something that would appear later - but it's the one that I can remember and cite for you.
Regardless, sticking to one genre or being genre-particular to me, is no fun. If I were like that then I wouldn't have read any Asimov.
The hangup I had about Dragon Mage was aside from the title that I feel is a bit silly, the fact that it dealt with dragons and showing them as something other than the evil creatures that they have traditionally represented. I also felt it would be a betrayal to my faith, since dragons usually represent evil. As you've read so far, most of the dragons in that series are anything except evil. Sure some have different traits, but not evil. Never mind that I don't like having bad things happen to characters.
Believe it or not, I've made a list of names that I wouldn't mind using for some main characters, and some of them show heavy influence from a particular series. Eh, Tatianna, for example ...
I look forward to seeing your thoughts, feel free to drop some off on chapters, if you want.