Let’s ramble shall we?

Wow, you slack off for a couple of days and the stats sure plummet around here. I don't believe the stats are as important as my sanity though, so it is what it is.

Still, blogging is good for me. It is a goal and it has some self imposed deadlines, and those can be positive things. Writing something on a regular basis has merit. I write my fiction in fits and starts. I can be very productive, and my methods probably won't work for everyone. Blogging requires me to write something at least five times per week.

Word metrics get a little bit stale as a topic, but they are part of who I am, and therefore, appropriate to the blog. I finished my short story today about Jason Fogg. It isn't great, and probably needs more polish than my normal short story, but I have faith in Jason.

This led me to thinking about characters. Jason fits into the superhero category. He isn't a hero, but let's use the word anyway. Lisa Burton could fit into that category too. I think it's important for them to have vulnerabilities. They have to be defeatable somehow.

Lisa has some charming flaws, like the idea that she believes she is a fashion icon, but sometimes gets it completely wrong. She's likely to wear one of her pinup outfits to a formal event, because she thinks it's cute. There are some serious flaws too, like her vulnerability to electric shock. She has a software conflict that can seize up her programming at times too.

Jason is a recovering addict, a kind of sex addict. He used his ability to turn into fog to become a peeping tom of sorts. He's married now and struggles to live that part of his life down. I like this better than some kind of internet addiction, because he has victims. I decided that he hates his job too. He knows too much about people, and it's made him a bit crass. I think he's relatable now. While nobody is going to respect someone who creeps on unsuspecting women, it felt more challenging than making him the standard private detective/drunk. There are a lot of people struggling with addictions of all kinds. Many of us hate our jobs, struggle with bills, fight with our spouses.

He also learned that fog is vulnerable to freezing in this story. I kind of like that. He's imperfect, he has a past, and now he has his own kryptonite. Like I said, the story needs some serious help, and I may never release it to anyone, but I'm glad I wrote it. I will polish it up, then figure out if it's worth sharing.

My superhero TV shows were on last night. It was kind of cool seeing John Wesley Shipp and Amanda Pays get a scene together on The Flash. They play small recurring roles on the show, but once upon a time, he was the Flash and she was Iris Allen. I still think their version of the show was better than the new one.

Then there is SHIELD. This was a two hour season finale that turned out really good. Evil was ultimately defeated, but it took a very personal sacrifice to make it happen. Of course it's a superhero type show, and they could return next year too. They sewed things up well, but left lots of teasers to tune in next fall.

I really enjoyed these episodes, but I decided I'm tired of something too. I'm kind of tired of characters who hold out their palms, and powerzzz. I admit to writing this myself, but I think I'll try a little bit harder from now on. Why do heroes and villains need to use their hands to call up earthquakes and such anyway? It looks good in film, and with CG animation we can even see the powerzzz. Does that relate to the written word?

Does this mean that I'm declaring it cliché? Maybe.

You all know the scenes I'm talking about. Maybe it's an attempt to show something isn't easy, or draining on the character. Their muscles flex, the arm vibrates, they grimace and sweat. I really don't know, but can I do something different? Characters with special abilities are a staple of speculative fiction. Everything from witches to supervillains can have mad powers. I've even seen vampires use their finger to glamorize someone under their control. What can I do differently? Barbara Eden and Elizabeth Montgomery never had that problem.

In other news, I worked on two more radio interviews today. These aren't completely new ones, but they have to go back and forth a few times. I feel good about hitting them back over the net.

I also got a new piece of Lisa Burton art. I ordered them four at a time, and shared the first one right away. I may hold this one back for a while. I can wait until the timing's right and come up with a story to go along with it.

One of the big benefits to me this year has been working with other talented and creative people. Sean is a great artist, and I believe his stock will rise over the next few years. I also get to collaborate with some great writers on the radio slots. I've learned a few things, and I've made some new friends too. Authors operate in solitude, and it's nice to get together on a project sometimes.

I'm stuck in a classroom again all day tomorrow. I may be a little slow responding to comments, but Lisa has a new episode of her radio show for you.

My parents are visiting this weekend, so I may not get a lot of chance for updates. Writing fiction won't be an option. It's good for me to socialize though, and I might pop in for an update.

How's that for a ramble?

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57 Comments

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57 responses to “Let’s ramble shall we?

  1. ~REBECCA DAWN~

    What a great post!
    i find that if i dont blog often my stats either plummet or go up. Or I lose readers. Either way, I cant win. I just write for putting my thoughts out there any way. Yet through all years I have blogged I have met so many fun and neat people, and read so many interesting blogs so trying to keep up, whew!
    I didnt watch the SHIELD finale. I just watch it for Bobbi Morse anyway. I love Mockingbird! Instead of the Black Widow movie they are trying to make, they should make one of Mockingbird and Hawkeye! They get married anyway♥

    Like

  2. That’s definitely a ramble. Question first: How does fog deal with powerful winds? Does it get torn apart for a bit or simply blown away?

    Now for the arm/hand/finger power thing. I’ve thought about this since I have my casters who use hand gestures for most attack spells. Nyx doesn’t need these, but I still have her point. Thinking about it, I know why she does this. Our hands are what we aim with and how we manipulate most tools. They are probably the body parts that we have the most fine motor control over, so it would make sense that most projectile or distance powers would come from them. Eyes come in a close second like with Cyclops, but there is still a sense of not having as much control as with our hands. At least that’s what I think about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • As a short story character, I simply haven’t addressed heavy winds for Jason. I imagine him having some control, but high winds would overcome him. He would have to hit the surface and maybe reform. I completely understand about our hands. Particularly where hand symbols are required for magic. I just wonder if I can’t do something different. It’s funny, I thought of Cyclops while writing this. Jeanne did her little nod/jiggle and it worked. Samantha wiggled her nose, and there was even one who tugged her earlobe. I’m talking about that palm forward blast of power. Maybe it’s more of a personal challenge, but I’m going to put some thought into it.

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      • I’ve seen different poses for blasts. Fingers, spread hands, fists, palm first, the Spider-Man style, etc. I wonder if the palm forward method is more common now because Iron Man is still popular. You never see beams coming out of feet though. I know an anime character that had an energy blast from the mouth attack.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, we had Black Sparrow on Flash last night doing something like the vocal version. I may not come up with anything else, but it just seemed so common after Civil War, Flash, and SHIELD. I don’t know how else you would throw a ball of energy, but even a wand could at least change it up.

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      • Black Sparrow? That like Black Canary? I’m not up on my DC villains. It’s funny how even a variation of hand position could work. Take Spider-Man, Venom, and Carnage for example. Each one his a web-slinging ability, but their hands are held in a different position. Spidey has palm up and two fingers down to hit the trigger. Venom does a fist to fire it from the top of his hand instead of the wrist. Carnage simply turns his arms into long web-like tendrils. I might have lost myself.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I let my subscriptions expire about the time Carnage showed up. That all seems different to me, because they are emiting an actual substance. Then they manipulate that substance with their hands. Maybe there isn’t a better way, but I sure saw a lot of it in the past month. It’s usually accompanied by a constipated look on their faces.

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      • Funny thing is I got into comics when Carnage showed up. I wonder if the barrage of comic book movies is part of the reason. Kind of like overexposure.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It could be overexposure. That’s also kind of how cliché happens. Maybe I need to get over it too. Your point about using our hands is a good one. It will be hard to avoid, but hard doesn’t scare me.

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      • It might depend on the power type. I mentioned eyes and mouth. Maybe a tech thing built into the chest, which is another Iron Man thing. It could be all about how you design it. Now I have this image of a character who fires a beam out of their bellybutton.

        Liked by 1 person

      • An artifact like Shazam maybe?

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      • I didn’t know he had an artifact. Thought he just yelled the word, took a lightning bolt to the temple, and got into uniform. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • You may be right. When I was a kid, there was a ring or something in an old cartoon.

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      • Could have been the original and they changed it. Rings are kind of popular, especially in DC.

        Liked by 1 person

      • There is the whole Green Lantern thing, but it involves pointing again. Maybe I should stick to heroes more like Lisa and Jason for a while. Reed Richards and Ben Grimm don’t have to point.

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      • At least there’s a device involved with the Lanterns. Ben and Reed do punch, which is kind of like a violent point. 😀 Telepaths might be one of the few ‘hands free’ types.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t think hands free was my issue, I think it’s when the mythical power emminates from the palm. Clobbering time should always be allowed. As should the elastic choke hold.

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      • Actually, Invisible Woman has her force fields. Many times they’re projected from her forehead. Not sure about the palm thing specific. Maybe we’ll just blame Tony Stark like 90% of the Marvel villains.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Maybe that is my point. Something catches on. It looks cool, and people copy it. I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a melodrama. I’d try to include as much cliché stuff as possible, on purpose. I don’t know if readers would understand unless I explain it though.

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      • I’ve seen people do that and you don’t really have to explain it too much. As long as you make it clear that it’s a parody or one of the goals to make fun of the genre. Hard to do it as a serious melodrama.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Deserves more thought.

        Like

  3. I kinda like finger snapping as Joe Cool movement for a man. I know it can seem a bit arrogant snapping fingers to get the attention of a server or call a henchman, but it is quick and assertive. Unless you want to go for some sort of martial arts move…then things could get really wicked. That would probably require some research and explanation.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Do you watch Arrow? Sometimes Damien Dhark uses his telekinesis without moving his hands, other times he does. As to why Daisy uses her hands, I really don’t know, it would seem to me her hands wouldn’t make a difference. Maybe it is a mental tick, like that is how she focuses her mind to do what she wants. Yeah, I hear ya on the stats, but like you said, it is what is. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m struggling with doing something different than hands too for my heroine. She usually touches someone for one of her powers, the others she communicates with animals. I know the touch is overused too but right now, that’s what’s working for her. You have such interesting posts!! I wish I could open up with the ease you seem to do on your blog. I’m trying to do so more with Writerly Things but it’s slow going right now. I worry that if I don’t start relating better with my readers, they’ll think my stories are stiff and closed as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ll help you with the visual on the superpower. Right before I lose my chit I surge, and well, have you seen Leon the Professional? Remember Gary Oldman’s character, with his pills and his music? That’s the embodiment of what I feel, but I probably look much less attractive and much more hagdragon-ish 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for keeping us all in the loop. Looking forward to the Lisa interview tomorrow. Have fun in class.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I like rambles like this, they make me feel like we’re just sitting and having a coffee together and chatting. Jason Fogg sounds interesting, if you want someone to give it an objective read, even in its rough first draft form (or later!), email it over, I’d be happy to give it a read and comment.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The premise in The Fog sounds rife with conflict. I’m sure you did a great job. Let it sit a while. You may be pleasantly surprised when you come back to it. I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. Just thought I’d throw it out there. Enjoy your class!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. That was a nice ramble, catching us up on a lot of things.

    It’s always good to finish a project, so even if you’re not entirely sold on the Fog story right now, it must feel good to have it done. I think you could do a lot with his character as conflicted as he is.

    Hopefully the class will be interesting. Sometimes, they actually are!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. You always come up with great short stories.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. What a great ramble! Even if you got to mention Jeannie and Samantha Stephens before I had the opportunity. :/ I hope you aren’t too bored in the classroom today. How’s it going? Have fun with your parents! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Remember how, in The Incredibles, Edna was going on about having no capes? Lots of the classic heroes had capes, and I guess one of the writers wondered why that was and decided it was a cilche. But I heard a comic artists say that in a two-dimensional form with static images, the cape flowing behind was a way to show movement.

    I think pointing when you use powers is another example of the same thing. The image is static, but it makes clear the cause and effect. The character points, lightning strikes. No doubt about who was responsible!

    I’ve enjoyed the seasons of Flash and Agents of Shield — Supergirl, too, for that matter, but I’m about ready for a break. The tussle with Dr. Zoom has gone on a bit too long and some of the plot twists seem calculated more to extend the episode count than to enrich the dramatic experience. In Shield — talk about cliches, I’m sick of everybody “accepting their fate” that somehow all revolves around Skye/Daisy. She and Ward have been outstanding characters, but I’d love to see the spotlight rest more on May, for one.

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    • From the visual perspective, it makes sense. Lab coats and all kind of things have added the motion. I’m with you about Skye/Daisy and Ward. I’d love to see more of May. I also thought there were too many episodes of The Flash. It just seems to go on and on.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I think you got it all covered. Hope you didn’t fall asleep in class. Looking forward to seeing what superpowers you come up with. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Pingback: Writing Links in the 3s and 5…5/23/16 – Where Worlds Collide

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