Tag Archives: plot holes

Another bachelor weekend

Old What's her Face* decided to go to Nevada for a visit. She didn't make her mind up until last night. This is starting to shape up into a productive writing weekend. The question becomes one of whether I'm up to the task or not.

I've had a lot going on with promoting The Playground. I still have more to do, but at least I have some time to do it.

My daughter, She Who Cannot Stop Talking, took up most of my morning. She's been in kind of a funk lately, and it sounds like she's working her way out of it. That's kind of how life works, and I'm happy she is turning the corner. There isn't much I can do for her except listen. I'm a good listener.

I managed to get my wallpaper changed for the new month. It is kind of a science fiction piece with a nice vertical element. Most of the uber cool stuff goes behind the text window, but it's interesting enough to work. You still get some Chinese lanterns and such.

I got all my critique work printed out. I still have to work through it, but I have a couple of days.

I dedicated some of my time to exchanging emails about future Lisa Burton Radio shows. I also sent out a new questionnaire. The next couple are going to be really fun. (I promise.) I'm looking for more guests, so keep this in mind as one of your promotional stops.

The biggest unexpected benefit to me is collaborating with other authors on these posts. It's different than sending one of my posts off, or pasting something a guest provides. We have to work together to make these fun. I'm learning a lot, and expect to learn even more.

I'm appearing over at Helen Jones' blog today. We're having some good discussions about the importance of research in speculative fiction. Stop by and weigh in. What kind of strange research have you done?

I spent some portion of my day surfing through various social media. It's part of the job, and I'm not disappointed that social media seemed a bit quiet today. Still, someone say hi out there in cyberspace.

I bought and read a short story today, and it left me wanting. It just didn't deliver for me. There was nothing wrong with it, but everything in it felt like low hanging fruit. It was supposed to be a pulp adventure, and it was. It just needed a little something more from my point of view. A little bit more thought might have kept it from being so predictable. I'm not going to trash the guy, and I'm not returning the book. I understand how hard it is to write a good story. I'm not going to review it either.

This afternoon, I added 500 words to my own short story. Every story has some issues to work through, and this problem is interesting. It's a revisit to Jason Fogg, who first appeared in my Experimental Notebook. He's married now, and they're having financial issues. Good way to have readers relate, because we've all been through it.

I know exactly what I want to happen to he and Riley, and how they're going to come out at the other end. There are some interesting human elements to this one. The problem comes from having some detective job for him to meet these struggles and growth points. It really doesn't matter what it is, it just has to be interesting all on its own. It also has to provide that element of danger, and a twist of some kind.

I have something that might work, and the job isn't the point, the human element is. Still, something tells me a complete rewrite is in my future with this one after I get it hacked out. I want those who like the noir detective element to feel satisfied too. We're going to learn that Jason isn't invincible in this story and I'm excited about that.

I'm about to step it back for the day. I need to find out if Ichabod and Abby can save Sleepy Hollow yet again. After that, I'll surf through Helen's blog a few more times to play in the comment section. I may even watch a super hero movie tonight and drink a beer.

Come to Helen's site and say hi. Drop me an email about your character being on Lisa's radio show. Leave a comment here about your own plot struggles. (Hurry, before my daughter decides to talk my ears off again.)

* Entertaining Stories, protecting my wife's identity since 2013.


Filed under Writing

I have a Confession

I’ve had company for a couple of days, and am hurting for recent blog fodder. I updated the signature line in my email form, and that isn’t enough to carry a blog post. People who I exchange email with will get easy access to my Amazon author page and my blog.

So my confession is…I watch bad movies on purpose. You know the kind, they’re on the SyFy channel every weekend. I enjoy laughing at how bad they are. I also enjoy finding the story and plot errors in them.

If nothing else, they may help me avoid some of the common things these movies do wrong when I write my own stories. The one tonight had characters I didn’t particularly care for making absurd decisions that served the plot, but not the character.

Two people, a child and a blind babysitter, left the safety of a secure house to run into a cornfield when the killer wasps showed up. It was the BLIND babysitter’s idea. The only exterminator in town blows up his vehicle full of pesticide (on purpose) to stop a small swarm of killer wasps. Never-mind that it had decent extermination equipment in it, or that it was their only ride out of town. Makes me wonder why they didn’t just drive away and let the authorities deal with it.

The little girl winds up eating a magic peach that makes her become the wasp queen. (The peach was injected with something that bothered the wasps.) She didn’t turn into a wasp. She didn’t gain control of the wasps. It didn’t do anything except make her attractive to the wasps. (Major letdown. A queen ought to be good for something.) The wasps sealed her in a hive and apparently had no more use for her. (Okay, the wasp zombies took her to the hive. Yeah, the wasps made zombies out of the people they attacked.) In other words, instant victim, just add water. (Or peach juice as the case may be.) Heroes always come across better if there is a victim to rescue.

There was a mad scientist character behind all this. Robert Englund, of Freddie Krueger fame, got this job. The government forced him to make military grade wasps. Turns out he wasn’t sicking the wasps on the town. He was trying to find a way to get rid of the wasps.

When it came time to rescue the little girl, Robert Englund simply walked up without obstruction, tore open the hive, and pulled her out. (Without his fancy fingernails.) What a letdown. That’s it. Of course the government showed up and shot him whilst blowing the wasp nest to hell with helicopters.

Most of these movies have one good idea behind them. Military grade wasps as a biological weapon is a decent idea. They’d be more useful as a weapon without the zombie residue. If someone had spent a little time on it, there could have been a decent story here.

I like to laugh at how bad some of these movies really are. I also think there’s a value in learning what not to do. Does anyone else watch these things? They must, or they wouldn’t keep airing them.

Bring on Sharknado II.


Filed under Writing