Technical

Everything is new, nothing is the same

A lot of people get their first introduction into literary theory with Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces, and a not-insignificant portion of those people sort of stop right there. Usually after having skimmed the blurb on the back cover and decided that they’ve learned enough. Because while the book itself is a series of insights into the interconnected nature of old stories, myths and folktales that share symbology and rhythms, what these certain people take away is that every story is the same. Which is an absolute lie.

Managing your heroes and villains

The classic comic book argument, besides all the ones about what spandex actually looks like, is who would win in a fight: Batman or Superman? This being the classic way of determining a character’s superiority in superhero circles. Now, there are many points to be made for each side, most of them as pedantic as they are tedious, but I posit to you, dear reader, that neither of them are in the running for top dog of the DC universe. They are both outmatched by the Joker.

In defence of the ridiculous

There’s something we’re all guilty of. I’ve done it, you’ve probably done it. There’s someone probably doing it right now. Somewhere out there, they’re having a laugh at the ridiculous science that’s all over silver age comic books. Square-jawed men falling into vats of chemicals, or being bathed in radiation, and coming out of it as square-jawed men with superpowers. It’s all completely ridiculous and we need to acknowledge the fact we both don’t do enough of it, and yet also do far too much of it.

Plotting, planning, scheming, and eventually doing

When I was much younger, in my teens, I used to think that I had no need for extensive planning. I’d just sit down and let it all flow from my mind, connect those plots together using nothing but my raw natural talent. Like most things that rely on “raw natural talent”, this was an exceptionally bad idea and I should have never been so thoughtless. Plans are cool, and the more you plan the cooler you will be.

What is fun, baby don't hurt me

This particular entry is not about writing stories, but telling them together, through the medium of tabletop games. Now I know it might seem weird for a huge nerd who writes stories about fantastical things to be interested in pretending to be an elf or robot for hours at a time, but you’ll just have to trust me when I say it can be a heaping pile of fun. However, like most fun things in this life, there’s a sort of gradient of fun involved. There are things which can accentuate, and also hinder, the process of having fun.

Monkeys with Symbols

When I first heard the term “semiotics” (many years ago) it put me in mind of some sort of medicine. In a way, that’s sort of what you can think of it: medicine for your stories. Semiotics is the study of signs and symbols, such as why we associate the colour red with passion and aggression, and it can extend into the written word. It’s an interesting topic to study, and it can help a budding writer put hidden depth into their work.

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