Category Archives: The Craft

On Strong Female Characters

Disclaimer: I’m a dude.

Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I’m a bit sick of some of the “strong” female characters I’m forced to read. There seem to be two formulas for a “strong” female character. This is the first:

  • One part can’t stand men
  • One part good with a weapon
  • One part so hot everyone wants her but has somehow managed to stay single
  • Dash of inappropriate clothing
  • Sprinkle in trapped in a room with someone she hates (usually opposite sex)

And there you have it. A “strong” female character.  She’s strong because she a) kicks ass and b) doesn’t need men but c) in the end falls in love with the protagonist because she’s forced to spend time with him. Because, you know, he’s so buff and all.

Maybe I missed something but there has rarely been a strong male character that didn’t need (or at least want) women. In fact, they are mostly throwing themselves in front of cars to get to chicks. So how come female characters have to hate men? How come they have to take on male characteristics? How come they can’t just be…oh, I don’t know…women? Not men with tits?

The second formula is even more appalling: Continue reading On Strong Female Characters

On Race

So this thing happened.

To summarize for those allergic to following links, racist idiots that, apparently, don’t know how Twitter works, posted a lot of really negative reactions to some of the actors in the recent Hunger Games movie. Specifically that they didn’t expect them to be black. And, for reasons that defy understanding or explanation, no longer cared as much about them because they no longer looked the way they expected.

Did you hear that? That was me sighing in frustration for the state of the human race. No? Here, I’ll do it again.

Still no? Damn, this computer must not be working today. Continue reading On Race

On Predictability

Spoiler Alert – I’ll be discussing the plot of Bob Moore: Desperate Times.

Predictability. One of the easiest criticisms levied against any book is the “I saw the end coming” comment. With the amount of entertainment, albeit movies, television, or the various print mediums (including online, comic, and traditional books), there is nary a plot or twist that hasn’t been done and done again. I once heard it said (probably a paraphrase from someone long dead and way smarter than me), that everything that could be written, has been. We’ve all been putting different twists on the same tired plots.

That is certainly true.

In recent (maybe not so recent but seems that way to me) times, the new thing is the twist at the end (thanks M. Night for this one). If there isn’t a twist that takes the reader/viewer off guard and “explains” the rest of the movie/book, then it is somehow faulty. I have a major problem with this. Continue reading On Predictability

Outlining Bob Moore: Desperate Times

The followup to Bob Moore: No Hero

When I write, I need an outline. Or really a list of plot points. Other people prefer to work completely unfettered. They get an idea for a few characters and a setting, and they just start writing. For me, that is a complete recipe for disaster. I’ll surely waste a lot of time on things I’ll end up cutting and most likely write myself into a corner with no signs of egress. I’ve done it before, and I’ll do it again. So, instead, I put together a set of plot points that guide me. It keeps me on task and makes sure that the plot is moving in the right direction.

Others find this restrictive. I find it comforting.

I was going to post the plot points for Bob Moore: No Hero but they are so disjointed that only I could understand them. So, I decided against it. Now, you’ll see that at a point I had gone so far off script that I had to redo the rest of the outline. I remember driving down to Margret River with the family for a vacation and trying to figure out how the hell to get things back on track. Four hours of driving later, and I had it figured out. Now, if you haven’t read Desperate Times, I feel like I shouldn’t have to tell you that reading the outline is a bad idea. There be spoilers ahead: Continue reading Outlining Bob Moore: Desperate Times

Bob Moore: Desperate Times – Deleted Scenes 3 – Three Short Deletions

The followup to Bob Moore: No HeroI promised at the end of Bob Moore: Desperate Times and in one or both of the Behind the Scenes Podcasts (here and here) that I’d post some of the scenes that got cut from the book. If you missed it, you can read the first deleted scene here and the second here. Okay, these are the last of the deleted scenes for Bob Moore: Desperate Times (the book was 105k words long – I didn’t delete much). Here we have three short things I deleted. The first is just a couple of lines that I thought were funny but were out of place in the narrative. It was near the end (I think) during an action scene. It just broke it up too much and slowed it down. But I thought it was funny so I kept it for a deleted scene. The second happens after Bob goes to the hospital to see Liz the first time. He ends up outside wondering what to do. Eventually, he goes back inside and makes a scene making phone calls. At first, he ran into this security guard. The scene was cut because it had no real purpose and was just taking up space. You may think when you read the last deleted scene that I’ve made a mistake and that it was actually in the book. That’s why it was cut. It’d already been covered ad nauseam.  Continue reading Bob Moore: Desperate Times – Deleted Scenes 3 – Three Short Deletions