Shiny Things #4

Jessica Jones.

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I was going to write last night, honest, when my Eldest sneakily put Jessica Jones on. I hadn’t seen it before, had planned on watching it someday. Someday became yesterday, lol.

Fabulous show, great characters, interesting plot. We watched three episodes (maybe four, I’m a little hazy on details at this point, lol) before stumbling off for beds because Eldest has winter stuff to do today and I had to (sob) go to work.

Damn you, Netflix!

Dec. 28, 2015

The last few days have been spent doing tv watching marathons (Doctor Who, The Librarians, Midsomer Murders), so all the hours I could have spent polishing up posts or actually writing were instead spent in an enjoyable, but idle, way instead.

I did do a bit of actual writing. I got to really daydream about scenes, sort of preemptively polishing them up while enjoying the TV shows, and so when I did get around to writing, it was fairly cohesive stuff. Yay!

On the other hand, my computer is the family computer, so I also had to spend a fair bit of time gazing at it wistfully while kidlets surfed the net. Definitely a downside to winter break.

 

Happy Holidays

May your days be merry and bright, and may your stress levels go down without any effort!

I’ve been pretending that the holidays weren’t stressful for the last week, finally gave in and am dealing with the anxiety now. Sigh. Getting there, step by step. But I’ve also been ignoring my blog, and anything to do with writing; I just wanted to rest. Now I’m just waiting for my anxiety to drop enough to feel bored, lol, then I’ll be back to writing.

Have a holiday video from my favourite German band.

Avoiding the dark side

Despite what you may have heard, there are no cookies on the dark side.

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It’s one thing to write about things that scare you, or intimidate you. I find writing about fear to be difficult, but it can really add to the story. We all have stories that haunt us because of the way the writer told the tale. We remember them because we connected with the hero as they walked into hell.

But the Dark Side is different. In American Psycho, the protagonist is the killer. Instead of following along as the hero avoids (sometimes…) the nasty monsters hiding in the shadows, you *are* the monster.

Most of us have a sliver of a monster inside us. Some have more, some less. Some writers believe that by writing about it, you can somehow get it out of your system. I don’t agree. I think that like anything else, the more you play with it, the more it becomes a part of you. The more it seems normal.

I’m not interested in holding hands with my beast. I don’t want to think about cruelty or villainy without wanting to see it as wrong. I want to keep the horror, be able to express it in my writing. Numb acceptance can be kind of horrifying too, but not in a way I want to embrace.

Stupid WP

For some reason, even though I will have updated a draft over time, when I go to publish it, it posts it from the date it was first created.

Grrrr. Arrgh.

I’ve moved my recent post up to today, but I find it really annoying to have to do it in the first place!

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EDIT: so apparently, if you use the ‘quick edit’ feature on the dashboard, the ‘immediately’ publishing option goes away. Foolish WP.

Love/Hate Tropes #3: Sexy Villains

Who can resist the allure of a Sexy Villain? Whether in movies or books, there’s something so delightfully wrong about a bad guy you can’t quite manage to hate.

The Marvel Studios: "Thor: The Dark World" And "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" - Comic-Con International 2013

Except for the fact that they are, actually, the villain. They hurt and maim people. They’re selfish and egotistical, and they lack the ability to care about others. Which is pretty unsexy.

I think this happens when the MC is either really fucking boring (Hi, movie Thor!) or is sexually attracted to the villain because the writer wanted to add some tension.

With the first one, I have noticed that it’s more obvious in movies than in books, though it certainly exist there too. Some writers have a harder time fleshing out the hero; it’s like they have to be Perfect with only a couple of minor flaws. But that only makes them harder to identify with. In the comic books, Thor has more personality (no, really!), but it seems to have evaporated in the movies in favour of rock hard abs*. Abs are fine and dandy, but I’ll take depth of personality any day.

A secondary version of this type is that the writers go too far with the flaws, making the MC harder to like, while the villain is easier to relate to. I’ve seen this one more often in ‘chick lit’, where the female MC spends all their time fretting over life, rather than owning her choices. The ‘bad boy’ she shouldn’t chose at least generally has his shit together, at least in comparison to the MC.

For the sexual tension between MC and villain, it can be a very tricky road to go down. I remember reading about how LKH originally planned to have her MC Anita Blake to kill off Jean-Claude, but by the time the writer got to that book, she just couldn’t do it. She then had to create more backstory to validate keeping him ‘alive’; not necessarily a bad thing, but definitely more work!

So unless you don’t mind the villain sticking around and taking over the whole story, be careful about making them sexy!

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*Why yes, I do have some issues with the Thor movies, why do you ask? 🙂