Archive for July, 2009

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Okay, so wow.

July 31, 2009

Watch this video, then take any and all of his comments about ugly design (vs. design that follows the rules) and apply them to crap!fic (vs. storytelling that follows the rules), and you start to understand why I adore crap!fic.

Serious, serious love here, folks, not only for the vid, but for crap!fic in general.

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And also done!

July 31, 2009

Wiki articles are complete and posted. Next on my list is my print-to-Web usability testing and essay writing. And the grad project testing and writing. And the wiki essay. And the blog essay. And the …

Screw it. List-making is depressing as hell.

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Done!

July 30, 2009

I hope, anyway. I’ll probably take a last look tomorrow, but my flowerpot essay is essentially done. Next up: my print-to-Web project.

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Damn it, Brain!

July 30, 2009

Yesterday, I woke up while still dreaming about the zombie apocalypse. I blame Astolat for that one.

This morning, I woke up having earlier dreamt about my house inspection (happened yesterday, went well) and that the inspector was zapping me with a thousand points because she couldn’t get into the garage. I called bullshit, because I’d opened it for her, and there was this whole big thing that was ultimately resolved, and then I segued into Las Vegas, where, you guessed it, the zombie apocalypse was ongoing. Complete with zombie hookers.

Head, meet desk. Lather, rinse, repeat. And again. And again. And…

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POV Pitfalls

July 28, 2009

At the moment, I’m reading Greywalker by Kat Richardson. It’s urban fantasy, but more important, it’s well-done urban fantasy. I’m not even 60 pages into it, and I already like the protagonist. I also like the writing, despite the first-person POV, because Richardson doesn’t fall into the trap of having the character give random info dumps about herself.

Richardson maintains a true first-person POV, which means the character isn’t really thinking about her physical appearance unless the action calls for it. For instance, we know the character is female at the start, only because her narrative reads, “I groped for my purse…” (a quibble: you’re a P.I.; why the hell do you keep your gun in your purse?). Later in that same paragraph, we know she has long hair, but only because the guy she’s fighting grabs her long ponytail. We don’t even get the character’s full name until she introduces herself to someone at the start of chapter 3. This is the way information should be presented in a first-person POV.

In contrast, we have Death’s Daughter by Amber Benson, which starts with (the formatting is hers):

My name is Calliope Reaper-Jones, and I think I’m losing my mind.

Calliope goes on to describe her day job, her friends, the way her life works — it reads like a boring blog — instead of letting action tell the tale. Shortly thereafter, she goes into too much detail about the clothing she’s about to put on, and while I can buy that to a certain extent as character development, overall, it fails. I, as a reader, don’t give a shit what Calliope is wearing, especially with a dragon downstairs (yes, really, the info dump about her wardrobe comes after the realization there’s a dragon downstairs). There are other problems with the writing, but the info dumps are my main gripe.

First-person POV is a tricky thing to write. You can’t really include a physical description or history of your character unless the story goes there or someone else comments on it. Even if you have another character speaking, the commenting will be imprecise: “I know you want to be in a size 12, but face it: you’re at least an 18. So quit bitching and get something that fits you for once.” This sort of dialogue is useful in a first-person POV, not only for the description (we know the narrator is overweight) but also for what it tells us about the narrator’s personality that we might not otherwise get: she’s vain about her appearance and hates the fact that she has to wear larger clothes.

Anyway, this post started out as a recommendation for Greywalker and ended up veering off into personal pet peeves about first-person POV, so I apologize. That said, do give Richardson a shot. I’m only 60 pages into Greywalker, but I’m reasonably certain it will be good to the end. Her writing strikes me the same way Jim Butcher’s does, which is as a solid piece of story-telling.

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don’t wanna

July 27, 2009

See the title of this post, add a sullen tone and a sulky pout, and you pretty much have my attitude for the day, which is why I’m heading over to Wayne in a few minutes: this is the perfect time to deal with the city’s building department.

[sigh]

It’s also the time to get some cash to P, who managed to run afoul of the IRS and get his bank accounts frozen.

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For the record…

July 25, 2009

For the record, it’s a great deal easier to type and do homework when Mortimer isn’t trying desperately to get my attention by keeping both my hands occupied with scratching him.

Just sayin’, is all.

Not too full of himself, is he?

Not too full of himself, is he?