Archive for May, 2009

Making Progress

Posted: May 15, 2009 in writing update
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Got in a couple of hours of solid work yesterday and finished off the second of the short stories I had in progress (for a given value of finished.)

It came out to around 9500 words in the end, a decent length for a short story. I’m sure that with time I could make it better but it is good enough for what I want for now.

The other two short stories I hope to finish editing in the next few days, ready for people to have a read of.

I managed to get some writing done this week. Not a lot, but its a start compared to previous weeks. I also started getting back into posting on this site again. After such a long break it feels good to be making progress again, and I am positive about what is to come.

I hope to soon have the four short stories I have been working on finished off, at least to the best that I can make them for now. Once that is done I have plans for them. More on that later.

Got a few errands to carry out now, but after that back into the writing.

Primal vs Intellectual

Posted: May 13, 2009 in General

This post is, in a way, related to the previous post I made, on Dwarves vs Elves, though it goes beyond that.

There are a number of never ending debates out there. Some, such as Cats vs Dogs, are fairly widely known, whilst others are more localised and often unknown outside the more geekish elements of culture. These are things like Dwarves vs Elves, Werewolves vs Vampires, Pirates vs Ninjas.

I have a theory, though it has yet to be tested, that if you were to ask someone who they favoured, Cats or Dogs, you could pick with a fair degree of certainty their answers in the other debates.

Lets list a few and see what you choose.
Cats vs Dogs
Dwarves vs Elves
Pirates vs Ninjas
Werewolves vs Vampires
Romulans vs Klingons
Narn vs Centauri
Horde vs Alliance
Swords vs Sorcery

My theory is that if you went with dogs, you would be more likely to choose Dwarves, Pirates, Werewolves, Klingons, Narn, Horde and Swods. On the other side a cat person would be more likely to go for Elves, Vampires, Romulans, Centauri, Alliance and Sorcery. In my case I am a dog person and went every single choice on the dog side.

In thinking about his I labeled this as a debate between primal and intellectual.

The primal side is the wild side, doers, not thinkers. They react on instinct, are fierce and proud and often rely on brute force and ignorance to solve things.

The intellectual side is the exact opposite. It is the side of the thinkers, the refined and cultured types who prefer to plan and plot before acting.

Of course the primal side can go to far, becoming bloodthirsty and barbaric, yet on the other hand the intellectuals can become arrogant, spiteful, and petty.

And the worse villains. A primal villain will simply kill you. An intellectual villain is likely to take sadistic pleasure in victory and prolong the torment to let you know just who has won.

At least, that is my theory.

Dwarves vs Elves

Posted: May 11, 2009 in General
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Dwarves or Elves. It is an old debate, and one, like Dogs or Cats and Pirates or Ninjas, is endlessly debated with no resolutions. On one side you have those who know the truth and on the other the recalcitrants that refuse to acknowledge what is obviously the truth. On one hand you have a race that is honourable, hard working, loyal, dependable and on the other is an arrogant, proud, xenophobic people with delusions of superiority.

But now that debate can be put to rest. The Dwarves and Elves themselves debated this very topic, and the winner is obvious for all to see.

For myself I have always been a fan of Dwarves, ever since I can remember. Early influences were of course Narnia, The Black Cauldron and of course The Hobbit.

Dwarves, unfortunately, have never had the respect they deserve, unlike those upstart Elves, and have become more and more likely to be used as comic relief, and as badly stereotyped Scotsmen.

In the early days, back when I was a teen, I also liked the Elves. But as I got older the more Elves began to annoy me, until now days I hate them with a burning passion. Why the change of opinion? It is because I grew up in my opinion. Elves appeal to teenagers, as they share the same superior, know-it-all attitude. Lets face it Elves, as normally written, are arrogant, angsty and superior at everything. (The Inheritance series is a classic example of this, and, not surprisingly, written by a teenager. Vegan elves who wear leather? Think a bit harder.) The there is the fact that Tolkien’s Elves have been ripped off so badly and often it is beyond a joke.

Elves of today are a far cry of Elves of mythology, which is why I like Pratchett’s Elves, whom are vicious and evil and malevolent, just the way Elves should be.

When I started writing in my world, my aim was to have Dwarves front and centre, to make them in my world what Elves were in Tolkien’s – the superior race. Looking back, I probably overdid it a bit, but I was young then, and since then have wound it back a bit until the current situation where they are no longer Dwarves as commonly seen, but a race called the Arduq, ancient and mysterious, spirits of earth who emerge rarely from the deep deserts on tasks few understand or can fathom. Hairless and beardless, their skins are the colours of stones and metals and they also work alongside the dragons. They are sometimes called Dwarves, but that is a result of a mistranslation of one of the names they give themselves – The Diminished.

Elves also existed int he early days of the creation of the world, and were, sadly, clones of Tolkien’s Elves. As my opinions of Elves changed, so did their place and role in my world. I am still deciding exactly how, if at all, to use them. Their current role is that of of a race called the Aelfir, a race not of the world of Sharael and who fill a role somewhere between that of a Vampire and a Wraith. Not a pleasant people, but there are exceptions.

I’ve seen the new Star Trek movie and thought I’d give a brief review. Firstly I’ll say I’m not a Trekkie. I’ve seen the odd episode and movie, but never really got into it nor followed it. I did have a flatmate once who was a Trekkie, and I learnt most of what I know through him.

Babylon 5 was the first SF show I really followed – only missed one episode in the five years it was on. Since then Firefly and Doctor Who have also been SF shows I’ve really enjoyed.

But back to the movie. Warning, there will be spoilers.

The movie has been called a reboot of the Star Trek universe. And that it is. Time travel is involved which totally rewrites Star Trek history. That is if you consider it canon, which some Trekkies aren’t.

The movie starts with the Federation Starship Kelvin investigating an anomaly in space, from which emerges a vast spaceship of unknown origin. Following the death of the captain, the first officer orders the evacuation of the crew, including his wife who is in labour. He stays behind to cover the evacuation, but before he dies, his wife gives birth to a son whom they name James Tiberius Kirk.

Hang on, Kirk’s father doesn’t die in canon say the Trekkies.

Ah, but this is the reboot Star Trek universe. Without going into too many details and spoilers, an event in the far future causes an event in the past that rewrites history. Yes, we are talking time travel here. Not exactly a surprise in the Star Trek universe.

This time it is a little different. At the end of the movie this alternate reality hasn’t been reset and history continues down the other trouser leg of time. It is a neat trick that allows them to, in the future, write further movies that, while set in the Star Trek universe, aren’t beholden to the old canon.

The movie itself is a lot of fun and has a number of call outs to the past; the obligatory red shirt, the green alien chick for young Kirk and familiar lines.

It is also an accessible movie for those who haven’t seen Star Trek before, and not just for the Trekkies, which The Onion had a go at in the following clip.

Been a couple of weeks since an update – bad me.  Once more very little progress to be noted in actual writing terms, but I have been doign some planning, so it hasn’t been totally devoid of anything.

But enough is enough.  It has been about a month since the rough draft of Winter Wolves was completed and I have very little to show since then.  Time to get stuck back into it

I am, for the next little while at least, going to be working on some short stories.  I have four that need tidying up and ideas for a bunch more.  I want to get them done and out there as a kind of background introduction to the world of the novels, as well as to hopefully attract some interest.

I also want to try and daily add to this blog with post of general interest (at least to me).  That is another aspect I have slacked off from.