Advice on writing is a funny little phenomenon, in that the first thing people try to do when presented with “rules” is argue about the nonexistence of rules. Active verb tense? Hemingway wrote in the passive! As few words as possible? What about all these long-winded classics!
Well, typically, the challenger in this situation is not Hemingway, and isn’t writing a long-winded classic. I get the aversion, though. Writing is so much about pursuing an individual’s individually conceived concept that any imposition of rules is perceived as impeding that concept. And honestly, plenty of people have broken plenty of rules to find enormous success, so there’s always an exception. But they are good guidelines. I don’t think I’ve ever read a passive sentence that couldn’t have been better active, if it doesn’t serve the story, and I’m the first to skip over a long-winded passage, if it doesn’t serve the story.
And I think that’s the golden rule: anything goes, as long as it serves the story. Writing, at its core, is conveying a story no matter how you encounter it. The story of “STOP” at this octagonal chunk of metal that says stop, the story of your Facebook friend’s current state of mind, the story of the man who won the lottery last night in the newspaper, the story of a boy who lived, what have you. As long as the words serve that story, from the singular sparse STOP to however many words make up Harry Potter, it’s all acceptable.
Oh, I’m so sick of people calling things “sensationalism” when it really isn’t. Specifically, I mean the allegations that gaming websites like Kotaku or Rock Paper Shotgun that regularly talk about gender issues in games are only doing so for pageviews, to make more money by stirring up controversy. Which means we’ve entered this really obnoxious territory where the majority of users of these sites (which are, predictably, straight white males) get to decide what’s a legitimate gender issue.
Of course, all the “controversy” these sites call up usually consist of about infinity and one comments saying things like “Aren’t we all just gamers? Why does it matter if you’re a guy or a girl or straight or not or what color your skin is?” I don’t need to tell you, dear follows, where the logic in that fails, because you’re probably already smacking your head into your desk over how obnoxious that “logic” is.
Is it possible to defect from being a white male? Can I be an off-white person or something?
I finished packing a box and gave the contents a once-over before closing it up.
Three Mr. Potato Heads (one original, one Yoda, one Batman), a little dragon statue, a Moogle doll, my collector’s edition of The Sorcerer’s Stone, Sherlock Holmes anthologies, collected Bradbury, complete Hitchhikers Guide, and a NERF gun.
I hope I never change.
“How do you ask a guy if he has a boyfriend?” my dad asks.
“Uh, I’ve got a girlfriend, dad.”
“Not you. One of my friends put on Facebook that he has a boyfriend.”
“See, you don’t have to ask, because that just answered it.”
Trying to get the electricity for my new place all smoothed out via phone. I talked to a machine for a second before a human took over. Then I got transferred back to a machine. But whenever it asked me for information, it inserted a brief soundbite of keys clacking on a keyboard.
I am on to you, robot.
I think mostly they switched me back to the synthetic voice so I couldn’t hear the lie when it told me I would be transferred to a “move-in specialist,” who was actually a person meant to sell me internet connections and phone service. Worst of all, when I asked her the sort of questions someone specialized in moving in should be able to answer, she was baffled. And tried to switch me back to a robot.
While I’m talking about Videographical games, dear followers, I’m starting to get the impression that something called ‘Bioshock Infinite’ might be something I’d like. Am I right?
Oh, oh, I know!
I think you might like it very much. You’d probably be ridiculously at odds with the violence…but so was everyone else. They wrapped a really fantastic story and a really great pair of leading characters in a very gamey game. As in, when you need health, you basically go dumpster diving and become the world’s most severe kleptomaniac for all the other items. There’s also a moment or two where characters that had no excuse to be anything other than brilliantly executed end up taking turns for the worst, but it’s mostly forgivable considering the player character is ridiculously well done and his companion is basically a Disney Princess mixed with a Doctor Who companion.
You should end up liking it quite a bit as long as you can find it in your heart to forgive the game for being so damn game-like at times.
The new Xbox was revealed today. The Xbox One. It sounds like a pretty abysmal console, almost more of a cable box than a video game system, so I’ll probably tend towards Sony if I get a next gen console.
But wait, what’s this? Microsoft is teasing the return of a classic Rare franchise? It might be Banjo-Kazooie?
Don’t you fucking dare, Microsoft. I refuse to buy your console, even if you bring out a new game in one of my favorite series of all time. Goshdammit, I’m warning you Microsoft, I will borrow a console if I have to. DO YOU REALLY WANT THAT? DO YOU?
What would you say you know a lot about?
Video games, I think. In terms of history and their modern state. It’s part of why I would really like a future making them, because they’ve been such a part of my life for so long that I think I have actually built a symbiotic relationship with them.
Writing too, but not to as great an extent. Not for lack of trying, because writing is so much in execution, and I have a lot more to do before I can say that I really, truly know a lot about writing. But I know the rules (and I know that they’re meant to be broken), I know a lot about structure, point of view, crafting metaphor and theme, all these things. I just need to do them before I can say I’ve got any real amount of expertise in this realm. (I also know that it’s difficult to do these things even knowing about them, so I guess that makes me fairly well informed on the matter.)
Outside of that…I know a little about a lot, but that’s not really an answer to the question here. I’ve always wanted to know all the things about some very specific thing, but I’m too taken with the grand nature of the universe and all the fascinating things in it to spend too much time on any one thing. My head seriously spins when I think of all the things I wish I knew much more about.
I just got home from seeing Star Trek Into Darkness (fear not, no spoilers!). It was pretty enjoyable in that popcorn flick way I expect out of Abrams, and I was right on the money in thinking it’d be Star Trek, but not really Star Trek. I mean, I’m not exactly a devout fan of the show in any of its incarnations, but I know a decent amount about it, and I know that it certainly didn’t rely on flash and spectacle to fill out the space between plot points. This movie’s fun, but it’s not even a bit smart, it doesn’t really have anything too thematic, and I think I might have had as much fun with it as I did because I spent most of the movie thinking of a Star Trek/Mass Effect crossover.
The one truly bad point of the movie was the incredibly unnecessary topless bit. Seriously, not an ounce of lead in, not a single line of followup, not a shred of a purpose, it was three seconds of the movie that added up to nothing but me rolling my eyes and wondering why anybody thought that was a good idea.
Otherwise! It was pretty good! Now I’m going to go make James Tiberius Shepard and replay the entire Mass Effect series.