Posts Tagged ‘RAGE’

FUCK YOU, ITUNES.

FUCK.

kathleenbird

 

 

YOU.
octopusnope

 

Love,

bullshit

~ Ian

PS: Fuck you, iTunes.

a story

Posted: February 10, 2013 in Uncategorized
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I was at the bookstore yesterday, and I saw a hipster-type guy talking in an incredibly pompous and longwinded fashion to a girl who was clearly bored out of her skull. He seemed to be trying to impress her with his intellect (it was NOT WORKING), and so he kept talking about some writer whose name was “Bourgé”.

Naturally, I assumed that he was talking about some existentialist French writer, some guy that hung around a lot with Sartre and Camus and smoked cigarettes while being pompous and annoying. It was only until he started talking about how the streets in “Death and the Compass” match up with a dream version of Buenos Aires that I realized that he was talking about Borges.

Which, by the way, is not pronounced “Bourgé”, because Borges WAS NOT FRENCH. His name is pronounced “BORE-HESS.” GET IT RIGHT, HIPSTER DUDE. YOU LIVE IN CALIFORNIA. YOU SHOULD AT LEAST KNOW HOW TO PRONOUNCE SPANISH WORDS CORRECTLY.

It’s like the people who pronounce the second word in “Axolotl Ceviche” like “seh-veesh.” IT IS “SEH-VEE-CHAY”. NO EXCEPTIONS*.

So, yeah. Before trying to impress a girl with your intellect, always make sure you know how to pronounce the name of the writer you’re rambling about.

~ Ian

*Okay, fine: I’ll admit it: ceviche can be pronounced “theh-VEE-chay” if you’re in Spain. But I am not in Spain, and the kind of Spanish spoken where I live is a dialect of Mexican Spanish. Therefore: “seh-VEE-chay”.

THE LOTUS IMPERIATE IS SO CLOSE TO BEING FINISHED YOU GUYS OHMYGOD GUYS YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW.

BUT I HAVE LOTS OF PHONOLOGY HOMEWORK TONIGHT AND I JUST WANT TO GET THIS BOOK FINISHED SO BAD BUT I CAN’T BECAUSE SCHOOL AND BLAAAARHAHAHAHGHGHGH*.

*ahem*

Yes. It really is almost done. And that’s why I haven’t been blogging much lately. Because all my creative energy is going into my book, blah blah blah, if you read my lame blog regularly you already know.

Okay. Spasm attack over.

Cool thing for Wednesday begun:

Why don’t you check out the graphic novel Shards: Tales from the Ruin Nation by Alex Steacy? I found this work because Alex is a regular at Canadian funny farm LoadingReadyRun, but I didn’t know that he was also a talented writer and artist. It’s quite good: a collection of short stories set in the same universe, each one illustrated by a different talented student artist. Makes me want to go write some comics, myself.

Best of all, it’s ABSOLUTELY FREE, on Alex’s website. So why don’t you go over there and check it out? It will literally cost you nothing, and you can read a cool thing. There is literally no downside to that.

Unless you hate comics, or something.

Which, you know, you might. But that’s neither here nor there.

~ Ian

*Blaaaarhahahahghghgh is so totally a word. I don’t care what WordPress’s spellcheck says.

So, I was watching the X Games (because if watching men do backflips on snowmobiles while forty feet in the air is wrong, I don’t want to be right), and a commercial for THIS came on:

HanselGretel-Poster-IMAX-610x956

GOD DAMMIT HOLLYWOOD THIS HAS GOT TO STOP.

People often talk about how movies and books are too saturated with vampires and zombies these days, but that doesn’t bother me nearly as much as the fact that every hack seems to want to do dark, gritty reimaginings of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. 

THIS IS NOT ORIGINAL NOR CREATIVE. IT IS JUST FUCKING LAZY.

It seems like it happens every goddamn year. We’ve gotten Red Riding Hood as a werewolf hunter, and Snow White as a leather-clad warrior maiden, and now this nonsense!?

And every time that one of these shellacky Hollywood “reimaginationings” of fairy tales comes out, they always have the same tagline: “IT’S A CLASSIC STORY WITH A NEW TWIST!!!!!!!!!” Umm, no. It’s not. There are already tons of “dark, gritty, updated” versions of these stories. What you are doing is not “new”. It’s formulaic, and please please stop this red stuff coming out of my ears is blood my brain is bleeding.

You know what you should do? Like, an erotic tale starring adult versions of Dorothy of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, and Wendy from Peter Pan. That could be interesting.

What? It’s already been done?

…Alan Moore, you smeghead.

~ Ian

 

GOD DAMMIT

Posted: December 24, 2012 in Uncategorized
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Nothing quite like finding out, on Christmas Eve, that one of your main characters’ names means “penis” in Japanese, and the name of your Japan-analog country in your world means “murder”. Which means that you have to change them both to something else, because your book is set in an Asian-inspired fantasy universe and you don’t want to be seen as a complete fucking racist moron.

Oh well. That’s what first drafts are for: making mistakes early so you don’t have to make them later.

I’m an idiot…

~ Ian

a note on terminology

Posted: December 19, 2012 in Uncategorized
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I really hate that people who hate gay and bisexual people are called “homophobes”.

That’s a bullshit term, really. “Phobia” means an irrational, uncontrollable fear.

If you’re a homophobe, you’re not afraid of everyone who’s not straight. What you are is a fucking bigot.

~ Ian

You know how some writers have these little annoying tics that they have, where they get obsessed with certain phrase structures and keep using it over and over again?

Well, I think I’m having that problem right now.

Or, rather, I’ve had it for a long time, but I’m only beginning to realize how frigging annoying it is.

I overuse parenthetical statements.

More specifically, I overuse parenthetical statements with em-dashes, rather than the more usual commas or parentheses.

I just did a count of em-dashes on The Lotus Imperiate, and I found out that there are 232 em-dashes in the whole document.

In a manuscript that is currently 219 pages long.

THAT IS A TOTAL OF 1.05936073059 EM-DASHES PER PAGE!

It’s incredibly annoying, because I want to destroy every parenthetical statement that I put down on paper. I want to cleanse my body of this foulness. It happens often enough that even I notice it, and I’m the writer. I’m not supposed to notice my individual stylistic tics.

So, what am I supposed to do? Is there some sort of chemotherapy by which I might purge myself of this disease? Some sort of em-dash enema?

An emema, perhaps?

~ Ian

I was trying to do some black-and-white night photography up at UCSC last week.

These were two of my less-successful attempts.

I’ve finally had enough. I’m about ready to snap with rage and boiling anger. And why is this?

Three words.

In medias res.

If you don’t know what in medias res means, it’s Latin for in the middle of things, or something similar. It’s a storytelling technique that basically can be summed up as starting the story in the middle, rather than at the beginning, and having previous events revealed either in flashback or through the narrative of the story itself.

Now, if taken on the face of it, this is the most common storytelling technique in the world. All stories begin in the middle, rather than at “the beginning”.

I’ll give an example: Star Wars. The story begins in medias res, with a star destroyer hot on the tail of Princess Leia, a pitched space battle, action, tension, the droids getting escape-podded down to Tattooine, and finally ending up with the principal players all ready to set out on their galactic space-romp. It doesn’t start you off with the whole history of the Republic and the Empire, boring you with the details of Luke and Leia’s childhoods, until we finally get to the action. (Okay, I’ll admit it– when I say Star Wars, I’m discounting the prequels. Largely because A New Hope came first, but partially because the prequels are complete bullshit.)

Without in medias res, all books would be a trillion pages long. Every film or TV show would last as long as the universe.

So you see why it’s useful.

So why does it piss me off so much?

Well, simply put, because it’s terrible, lazy storytelling. Most of the time, when you see in medias res used, it’s on terrible third-string procedural dramas– say, when we see the grizzled veteran police detective get shot by a mysterious crime boss who nobody has ever seen before, and then suddenly there’s a cut to three days earlier, when he’s in the station tracking down a drug runner who’s terrorizing the denizens of South Ethnicville…

I can see why people use it. It’s a way to create tension in your story. When Detective Hugh McStubble gets shot, it’s meant to provoke a reaction in the audience: “Is he okay? What will happen to him? WHAT CHAIN OF EVENTS LED TO THIS OCCURRENCE?????”

Of course, it’s not real tension. It’s fake tension, and it supports the weight of the story about as well as a bungie cord made of bubble gum. It’s an easy device, true, but it’s still a device. You can’t artificially inject tension into a story by using hackneyed plot devices like in medias res and expect it to work as well as a good story well-told. A story isn’t a sequence of narrative tricks all strung together. It’s something that needs to feel natural. A Rube Goldberg device of tropes and plot devices isn’t a story. You know what is a story? A goddamn story.

It’s the same problem I have with TV Tropes. Let’s face it, that website is amusing, and also a huge waste of time. But I don’t like the fact that it seems to be teaching people that writers create stories by taking a bunch of tropes and putting them together. As if a story is some kind of recipe you have to follow, or some kind of chemical reaction as predictable as baking soda and vinegar. And I feel like a lot of the more terrible genre I’ve read lately seems to think that you need to follow some kind of recipe to make a successful story, whether you’re reading out of a cookbook entitled Lord of the Rings or The Great Gatsby. It’s the TV Tropes mentality, and unfortunately it seems to be taking hold everywhere.

You don’t create stories– good stories– by following a recipe. You do it by telling the story well, and telling it in a way it hasn’t been told before.

Argh. This got kind of ranty. Forgive me, gentle readers. I’m tired and annoyed, and I wanted to get this ramble about in medias res off my chest. Believe me, it’s been brewing for a long time. I just needed to ramble about writing for a while, and all I could think of was taking potshots at a lazy, overused plot device.

Not that in medias res doesn’t deserve my rage. It does.

So.

Never use it.

~ Ian

Some Advice For Spambots

Posted: August 16, 2012 in Uncategorized
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I’m getting really annoyed with spam that goes like this:

I love this post! It’s so awesome, it is like drowning in a sea of fresh lemon-scented kittens! I will share this with all my friends and family. Thank you, Axolotl Ceviche. You have changed my life with your words!

To which I will respond: dude, you’re kind of undermining the compliments that you give to me by having the screen name “Sexy Asian Women Porn Hotline”. Or something of that nature.

Seriously, spambots: commenting on blog posts is about engaging in dialogue, not splooging all over the writer’s face with flowery compliments. I’m just glad that Akismet catches most of the spamposts before they get out into the world.

~ Ian