mcity: (Default)

There are two more on the next page.

I think this means I'm a BNF now. BRB, gotta go hit up fans for an iPod.

(Seriously, where are these people coming from?)


May. 5th, 2012 10:40 am
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>stay up until 2 AM writing a fanfic
>find app I used, despite being online, has not automatically synced to GDocs
>lost every bit of work I did yesterday
>I was about three paragraphs from finishing first chapter
>it even rolled back the title change
>have to rewrite several pages of story
mcity: (Default)
You don't need to give them big words, for starters.

I read what's probably an unhealthy amount of fanfic. One of the trends I've noted is the whole smart people=big words thing, even when the character in question does not talk that way in canon. Notably, Twilight Sparkle from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

As far as I can recall, almost every time Twilight appears, even if only for a few seconds, she

1. Learns something.
2. Teaches something.
3. Organizes something.
4. Tries to understand something.
5. Some combination of the above.

The show is remarkably consistent with this. Take "A Friend in Deed", where Twi shows up for about five minutes. She spends all of them reading a book or advising Pinkie Pie. That's 1, 2, and 4. These traits became even more important in Season 2, where Twilight became one of the main cast instead of the main character of the series. And since they couldn't resort to the old glasses+sweatervest=smart symbolism, they were forced to pay special attention to how they wrote Twi, especially since they couldn't have her busting out the big words on a show aimed mostly at kids. I can't really remember how Twilight was characterized in it, but Lilpip of "Fallout: Equestria" similarly shows herself to be a clever and resourceful protagonist by being clever and resourceful.

You know that gag where the smart person says something in technical language, and then the regular folks get others to explain it? MLP's used that gag exactly once in two entire seasons. But fanfic has her using big words all the time.

There is a reason the pollysyllabic genius is rarely the/a primary protagonist. Even Holmes has Watson. One notable exception is Cryptonomicon, which has two really smart guys, WW2 Cryptographer Lawrence Waterhouse and modern day computer guy Randy. Waterhouse is, as his dialogue, actions, and thought processes show, really smart. And more than a little eccentric. He doesn't talk quite the same way as everyone, but is still accessible. Even his contemporary, Marine Cpl. Bobby Shaftoe, is fairly smart himself. Randy is a 90s guy, and he talks just like everyone else unless it gets technical, and so, more or less, do his colleagues. Here's a sample of all three!
mcity: (omg onoz)

You know, the one I started to write in 2001? With teenage superheroes, a world where superheroes are common licensed, and can merchandise their likenesses, a deep and complex plot and likeable, Whedonesque bantery characters, and so on and so forth, spanning three books?

Yeah, the basic world here is almost identical. The actual characters, and plot, IDK.

The worst part is that it's seems like a really good series, it's dirt cheap on Kindle, and I'd like to read it, except I don't want to appear to be ripping off the series more than I already would be. Then again, many of my ideas aren't particularly original. I just do what Scott Adams recommends; crib from a lot of people better than you and file off the serial numbers. If you use humor, you can call it a parody.
mcity: (Default)
Remember when I ranted about someone going "Thank you, Mr. Exposition" in a fanfic? Apparently, it's a thing. (TVTropes) Specifically, a reference to a Slappy Squirrel bit from Animaniacs. Thing is, on Animaniacs, everyone is aware they're in a cartoon. You can't just break the fourth wall or lampshade things whenever you want, and constantly doing so lets the audience know that you are unwilling or unable to improve the flaws (TVTropes). There's nothing wrong with exposition, only when it's poorly done. It is necessary for someone to tell someone else something in just about every story. If you don't think you can write it in a compelling manner, consider the following;
  • Who is explaining?
  • How are they doing it? How do they phrase and summarize things?
  • Who are they explaining it to?
  • What reactions does their audience have, verbal and otherwise?
  • Can this information be summarized, in whole or in part, by the narration, or is there vital, specific information in there?
I had some of this in mind when I wrote inPrototype 1-03., and managed to summarize the situation pretty efficiently in just one paragraph (after the break), while still leaving room for Zeke to clarify any specific points I didn't cover. Wasn't on purpose, but it worked anyway. It's still very weird to occasionally learn that I'm slightly more clever than I normally think I am.
mcity: (Default)
Done for a prompt at io9, heavily inspired by "The Quantum Thief".
It had all been going so well.

The disguise had worked very well; it was like everyone else's, with one minor difference. While their masks changed a human to a swan, an ape, tt a peacock, his changed an automan to a human pretending to be something else.

It was a fine display, as much as he could appreciate such things. There was a certain amount of visual alteration past which one Simply Must Not Stray, of course. A fetching pattern of feathers emphasizing a maiden or miss's cheekbones, yes. A beak was a bit gauche. And laying eggs, no matter how holographic, was right out.

Read more... )


Mar. 30th, 2012 07:57 pm
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You should not write that "Alice sees the form of Bob" unless shapeshifting or bodysnatching or suchlike is involved. If you want to convey uncertainty on Alice's part, say something like "Alice sees...Bob?" or "Alice sees what looks like Bob." Without uncertainty, it's just "Alice sees Bob."

Similarly, Carl's face does not "adopt a frown", unless you're implying the frown is a false expression, or the tone of the story actually requires such verbiage. "Carl frowned." There you go.

And it is not necessarily funny that you're breaking the forth wall, no matter how wacky the injoke.

Think of writing like a taxi; your job is generally to get the reader to their destination as quickly and efficiently as possible. Purple prose is often the sign of someone writing like they think a writer "should" write, instead of using the writing to tell the story.

Read your stories aloud, and see if anyone talks that way. If you have difficulty saying it, it's generally time for a rewrite.
mcity: (Default)
Alexis: So when were the students allegedly threatening the police officers? Is it when they said they would block the police? Oh, sure, real threatening.
Me: No, that would be the point seconds later when they threaten to stop "protesting peacefully" if their demands aren't met and outnumber the cops by dozens, as you have been told at least a dozen times throughout the thread.
Alexis: Gosh, SOMEBODY keeps responding to my posts even though I have them on ignore and can't see them. How rude. The important question is...
Me: So not only are you going out of your way to look at my posts when you can just ignore them, you think that because you don't want to read my posts, I shouldn't respond to yours? I have no problem continuing to show people how wrong you are.
Alexis: It's only courteous to respond to people addressing you.
Me: So why have you not responded to several of my posts, such as #217, where I unarguably proved you wrong?
Alexis: SarcasmSarcasmSarcasm, bye!
mcity: (Default)

I'll have Chapter three ready in 2017.

Hopefully, I'll have kissed a girl by then.

mcity: (Default)
"So, what were you up to last night?" said John, as he sat down to his laptop. "You didn't come in before I went to bed."

Sherlock yawned. "Worried about me? I'm a big boy, John. I can write my own checks and everything."

"As your doctor, I have to recommend that you get a healthy amount of sleep. Or any amount of sleep. Any at all."

"Nothing strenuous. Just a little bondage."

"Ah. Did someone handcuff you to a radiator again?"

"No, I wasn't the one restrained."

"Ah. So you were the one doing the handcuffing."

"No, she was already restrained when I got there."

His roommate turned from his computer, locked his hands around his mug as if to protect it from whatever Sherlock was about to say, and looked him in the eye.


It's not smutty. Not exactly.

I really like this format, where it's just two people talking to each other. That was basically the premise for one of my most popular fics. Just banter, banter, banter. I'm not sure how it'll hold up over a longer format, but that's what I'm going to find out.
mcity: (Default)
>google it
>there's a wikipedia page on the postal history of the Bahamas

Of course there is!
mcity: (Default)
No, it's not an H-Game.

You play a kid in the near-future with a fancy hover-skateboard. He ends up in an experimental military high-mobility suit with bullet-time. Gameplay consists of skating and shooting through varied locales as he's conscripted into the struggle. You get bonus points for chaining tricks and shooting, like in Vanquish. Conveniently, there are rails everywhere. Mission control sends you upgrades with the points you earn. Upgrades arrive via rockets falling onto the battlefield. This is fluffed as Command, obviously not trusting some random kid with the cool stuff, even if they can't get the suit off him, until he proves himself.

Also, there's a cameraman following protagonist and his unit around, who sends his exploits to the brass, public, and embattled defenders, raising morale. Gameplay environments would be like Crysis 2; large areas linked by set pieces.

So you're sliding down the rail of the mall escalator. You see bad guys filing out on the left, the right, dead ahead. You heel-kick 360 tailspin back-goofy-foot off to the side, and activate your bullet time as you leap through the air. Narrowly avoiding the balloon kiosk, you land on your side, sliding toward the Sports Centre. As you crash through the window, bad guys fall before your fire like wheat before a thresher. As your GoFast Meter runs out, you spring to your feet and narrowly dodge generic mook as he swings a speedbag at your head. A smack with your gunbutt, and he's down. One liner. You crouch behind the protein shakes for cover as your GFM recharges and the bogeys close in, and activate your skatewhatever. With a combination of skating skills, slowdown, and high-speed lead delivery systems, you clear the store of tangos. Going out the front is...challenging, so you head for the service door in order to flank the bad guys in the other stores by sneaking in through the back way. You don't have the key, but you can easily open the door with your large amounts of military weaponry, unlike just about every game ever. As you exit, a message pops up on your screen.

"TROPHY ACHIEVED: Good Neutralization Combatant."

Oh yeah.

Basically, Tony Hawk meets Max Payne.
So, Vanquish?

On memory.

Jan. 14th, 2012 12:46 am
mcity: (amazing)
To remember things without paper handy, I used my fingers. I started with my index, and turned whatever it was into the Radio Phonetic Alphabet. "Milk", for example, becomes "Mike", and I imagine Michael Jordan dancing on my finger. Alpha is an Alpha symbol. Bravo was Johnny Bravo. Charlie was Charlie "Winning" Sheen. Delta is Jason Bourne (Read the book!) Echo is Echo from Dollhouse. And so on. It was less than effective.

"Sherlock" mentioned the memory palace mnemonic technique in S02E01. Now, I had actually heard of it before, thanks to Derren Brown. I, being I, decided to take the mustachioed magician's method and put a little backspin on it. I decided to mix it with another technique from the novel "The Pigman", involving imagining the objects touching each other. So I imagine alphabetical things that are on, near, or contain other things. Armoire, Beneath the armoire, a Chair, Diamonds, Elephant (toy), Fireplace, golf Clubs, Hatrack, Icebox, Jumper, Kite. This worked so well I was up to K before I realized I had forgotten the first two.

I decided I needed to specialize. Study/Den/Library for things related to personal art and writing. Garage for schoolwork. Kitchen for shopping lists. Living room for everything else. I spent something like half an hour trying to find items that were at least vaguely appropriate to each room. The Living Room, for example, seems to belong to a family with lots of kids with lots of afterschool hobbies, who are always leaving stuffed Arachnids and Kites and Jumpers and Trumpets and Umbrellas about. I came up with a Blotter for the study while I was trying to get some sleep last night, and since all three of my main categories lacked As at the time, I stuffed it into an imaginary Armoire, under the classic system. Then I realized that I didn't need to strictly adhere to the themes, and bizarre, illogical items might actually be easier to remember.

And that's why the Queen is in my Garage between a Poker Table and a Roomba.
mcity: (Default)

This is Irene Adler, professional name "The Woman", introduced in "A Scandal in Belgravia", the first episode of the second series of the BBCs hit series "Sherlock", which is more or less the Doyle books set in the modern day. For example Watson's stories are now a popular blog, and Holmes still scoffs at the absence of science and logic in the comments.

Like, oh, just about every version of Holmes in existence, she's portrayed as a love interest to the sexually oblivious Holmes. Holmes helps people for a living, out of the sheer intellectual joy of it. Adler's a professional dominatrix, who is decidedly not in her line of work for intellectual reasons. Holmes is basically asexual, Irene is bi, and hits on everyone, everywhere, all the time. Sherlock wears the same basic outfit at all times, Adler has an large closet. Sherlock is smart, so is she. Sherlock is Connected, so is she. Adler's sleeping with her assistant/partner, and Sherlock isn't, no matter what the fanfics say. Said assistant is, naturally, submissive, while Watson is anything but to Sherlock. Und so weiter.

Basically, she's just begging to have fanfic written about her. In fact, she's like a fanfic Mary Sue, only better written, with actual flaws and weaknesses and stuff, like her habit of objectifying people. Sherlock turns people into puzzles. She turns people into sexual objects. And then blackmails them; the letter from A Scandal in Bohemia is turned into a camera-phone, and the question becomes not merely finding it, but figuring out the password.

A brief aside: the show actually does update the themes of the Doyle canon to the modern day. Sherlock uses nicotine patches instead of opium, and the close friendship with Watson is viewed, by modern sensibilities, as very, very gay. It's a running gag in the series, despite Watson's parade of girlfriends (he was a ladykiller in the Doyle canon, and modern interpretations, led by the Ritchie films, have stived to restore him to his status as Holmes competent, ladykilling partner, rather than the popular image of a bumbling nincompoop of a sidekick). The actors admit it, the producers admit it. So we have, of course, slashfics. There's even a very, very popular kinkmeme.

Some fans don't like Irene, sez TVTropes, which confused me. Why would any significant amount of people not like h--

Oh. Hang a sec, this'll take some explanation.

"Supernatural" is a show about two denimed brothers who travel the country slaying monsters and ghoulies and long-leggedy beasties in a cool car and are more than a little codependent. One of the running gags of the show is jokes about how people think they're gay, despite their denials.

This woman is Bela, a brown-haired upper-class Englishwoman with a traumatic past who..."collects" and sells supernatural artifacts to the highest bidder. She's the amoral yin to our boys' yang. Also, she's a more realistic version of Lara Croft.

While she is attracted to Dean, the older and shorter of our two denim-clad balls of daddy issues, there is basically no chance they're ever going to be in a relationship, or even sleep together. He simply does not trust her, and for good reason. Bella is a fan-favorite character in the female-dominated, slash-heavy fanbase, for all her resemblance to, again, a better-written fanfic Mary Sue. Sex positive, competent, an occasional guest star who's a counterpart for the main characters, has her own adventures, and is almost completely ignored in fanfics in favor of slashing the two male leads.

Jo Harvelle started out the show as a wannabe monster hunter, a daughter of a hunter, with a crush on Dean. Fans didn't like her much. A few seasons later, she showed up with more maturity, but most importantly, telling Dean she wouldn't sleep with him even if it was the last night on Earth. (As it probably was.) The fanbase loved her.

You may be noticing a pattern here.

The bottom line is that whatever female-dominated slash-heavy fanbases may say, they don't want Strong Female Characters. They want Strong Female Characters who can be easily ignored for their slashfics. Though to be fair, they do this with het shipping too. Just look at the "Avatar: The Last Airbender" fandom. Or better yet, don't.


Dec. 5th, 2011 10:44 pm
mcity: (Default)
Action horror game where the enemies don't roar before attacking. They can and will sneak up on the player when they are moving in the opposite direction, and the only real way to detect them is to frantically check your back all the time or listen carefully for the faint rustle, which can be difficult in the middle of a melee when larger, hardier enemies are roaring and charging. For extra distraction, ranged enemies will attack the player, and on occasion the ranged foes will draw the player into ambushes while the stealthier units harry it from behind. (To have an incentive for the player to chase them, there are alarms the ranged foes can activate, which draw even more monsters to the area.)

Yes, I'm proposing a game where the enemies use MMO tactics on the player.

EDIT: Big, churchlike area with lots of glass. Player thinks they'll hear the sneaky guys coming. Then they keep hearing the sneaky guys on the glass, really close. Then they realize they're crawling down the columns. The far side of the columns, so the player can't stand in the middle, or they'll be overwhelmed by several sneaky guys at once.

This would be the controller-snapping part of the program.
mcity: (Default)
>>I abandoned it seven years back
>>want to be able to browse it easily in case I need to reference something for my autobiography
>punch in new design
>only the front page updates
>none of the older entries

Well, I'm going to wait a day or so to see if the new template rolls over, then I'm going to back them all up manually. Then I'm going to put them on Google Docs. Then I'm going to burn them to CD. Heck, I'm surprised diaryland is still even running. It's so laughably simple, in this high-tech, social-networking, cross-linked to Facebook world.

Funny thing is, I finished the design months ago, but somehow thought I wasn't. So I've been procrastinating for months on something that didn't actually need to be procrastinated on. WE NEED TO GO DEEPER.

'Inception' Trailer 2 HD - YouTube:
mcity: (Default)
>that was yesterday
>story is now three pages long
>I've had to reformat the entire story


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