Monday, July 21, 2014

Viewpoints for Antagonists of Suspense, Mystery and Horror.

I recently came across some useful information about antagonists. In my Shifter novel, I wanted to go for both suspense and romance. So I was reading up on suspense and the advice was to put your antagonist out in the open, fully explore his mind and even write in his viewpoint. While the Vallar series has suspense, I never went that far because I thought it was best to leave the thoughts of an evil person vague. Although, I know other books do, it just wasn't my thing.

However, I gave it a try with my antagonist Cassius (a dark shifter.) Then things took off from there. To my surprise, I don’t mind writing in his viewpoint or bringing out the reasons he is evil. Things started coming together. Who knew? Now keep in mind Cassius is not a sicko, he just doesn't have a problem with killing people who get in his way.

On the other hand, the advice for mystery was to leave your main character in the dark about the antagonist at first, until bit by bit the mystery is solved about how and why the murder or disaster happened.

This made me wonder about horror. Is the antagonist out in the open or hidden? I lean toward Horror being more like a mystery, except with a lot more evil and threatening visual hints of pending death for the main character.

What are your thoughts? What genre do you prefer? Suspense, mystery or horror? And why?

Note: I put an update about my writing in the update tab. If anyone is curious.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Lightning Sprites and an Update.

What are sprites? It’s lightning that can flash into the upper atmosphere. In other words, lightning in reverse. It's rare because it takes a strong storm to make it happen. I saw this on PBS recently and it interested me because some of the characters in my Shifter story use lightning as a form of travel. 

Technical meaning from Wikipedia: Sprites are large-scale electrical discharges that occur high above thunderstorm clouds, or cumulonimbus, giving rise to a quite varied range of visual shapes flickering in the night sky. They are triggered by the discharges of positive lightning between an underlying thundercloud and the ground. Sprites appear as luminous reddish-orange flashes. They often occur in clusters within the altitude range 50–90 km (31–56 mi) above the Earth's surface.

Reverse Lightning. 

This is the same video that was on PBS so enjoy: 

Video viewing tip: Forward it to 4:20 minutes to skip to the sprites. 

WRITING UPDATE: Time has been the usual problem. In my few spare moments, It's hard to resist the urge to just relax. However, I am still here and trying to finish a novel. My initial idea was to expand “TransShifter” into a novel, and that’s what I have been working on. However, this story has changed a lot. It needs a lot more of everything for it to expand to 80K some words. The title will be different. Themes might not be the same. This may irritate the 20 people who have read the original, but it’s a chance I’m willing to take. I’m also trying to add some better selling elements, like werewolves, and maybe hot guys that ride motorcycles.

I’ve been reminding myself that writing is work. I’m not waiting for those moments of inspiration where the writing just flows for thousands of words. Those only come when you’re pushing yourself anyway.

Have a great week! 

Monday, March 17, 2014

What is your favorite kind of Science Fiction? Poll Results and Anaylsis:

The results are in! 

The main thing I learned about this poll is that it was kind of impossible to make everyone happy. Some readers pointed out to me that I didn’t include all sub-genres such as…

Time Travel
Science Fiction Comedy.

There were probably some others. But with the 8 choices already in the poll, it made the numbers rather diluted and more sub-genres would’ve increased the effect. Another complaint that came up is some readers were trying to put a certain movie or book into one category and found it impossible. Star Trek for example has a lot of elements. Sometimes it can be military, other times it can be romance or even hard science fiction. In general, a lot of science fiction has a mix of sub-genres, but may lean toward one.  

Space Opera came in first place, and I was a little surprised because this genre is often criticized for not being real science fiction. Some say that usually you can take the same plot and plug it into a western setting. Yet, it can be the most character based type of science fiction with the most spectacular space battles, which are great for the big screen. I feel in general that Space Opera includes SF Romance.

Space Opera and Soft/sociological science fiction are my favorites because I like characterization. Hard Science Fiction and SF Horror are my least favorites. Believe it or not, I only made it half way through Red Mars. And with Horror…the reason I’m not that crazy about it is because you know in any kind of horror most of the characters are going to get killed. Not that I don’t kill an occasional character myself.

So here are the results:

Space Opera: 30%
Soft/Sociological SF: 20%
Science Fantasy: 16%
Hard SF: 11%
Cyberpunk: 6%
Military SF: 6%
Apocalyptic: 4%
SF/Horror: 2%

Laslty, in this poll I was surprised that Apocalyptic didn’t score higher considering hit shows like The Walking Dead and post-apocalyptic books always seem to do very well.

Happy Reading.