Tag Archives: Conclusion

CHALLENGING THE STATUS QUO: Nudity Revisted: The Conclusion

I received a comment on Facebook in response to this article which merits revisiting the content.

Accepting your arguement, what’s the incentive to change the status quo?  If nudity were to suddenly become acceptable and widespread, it would no longer be exciting and would no longer give us the thrill.  That wouldn’t be nearly as much fun for most Americans who want to be seen as good and want (very much) the BE bad.   Also, the beer companies would have to make commercials that made sense or featured nothing but football and racecars–where would all of the large chested skinny chicks find work?

In truth, I wrapped up the article too quickly and didn’t finish with a strong conclusion. Forgive me; it was a long day and I’d felt the article ran too long already. This is one of the pitfalls of working for yourself: You don’t catch everything.

The commenter above is exactly right. Here’s the counter-intuitive conclusion to my nudity article:

  • If you’re a happily lecherous male who enjoys oggling the female form, there is no incentive for altering the Status Quo. As was pointed out, we enjoy the women at the beach and on television; why would we want to stop? We don’t.
  • If you’re a concerned mother of a small boy who wants to not see him corrupted into the the above male, you have every incentive for altering the Status Quo. It is your over-protectiveness (and the government’s) of all things nude which convinces him of the magic of a Playboy when he finally acquires one. And don’t worry — he will. You can make it so his experience goes one of two ways:
    • So what? I’ve seen it all before.
    • Ooh, la la! These chicks are HOT! Come to daddy!

The decision is yours.

The Heroes’ Council Revisited (and) Adding Scene 3.5 After Scene 9

I’ve come to discover that the “no comments” link here on the blog is a little misleading.

I have the blog set up to post directly to Facebook; sometimes friends comment there. Just as often, readers email me comments or suggestions instead of posting here.

Several people have gotten back to me with advice about the Heroes’ council. Some advice was to cut it out; others suggested tell it from a POV that would be more interesting than just listening to a bunch of old guys talk, or add another twist.

All of the suggestions combined boil down to one simple goal:

Make it interesting.

Of course, putting it that way is rather vague, but the crux of it is to add a character, or agenda item, or twist, or perspective to make it interesting, because on its face, a bunch of old guys debating political action isn’t necessarily by itself all that fun to watch.

I had already written most of the scene, but disliked the “I’ve seen it all before” feel. Last night I redressed it a little bit. The interesting angle (to me) was Damek’s ability to hear the thoughts of those present. And yet I didn’t want to fall into the trap presented by third-person omniscience, where the narrator seems to bounce from person to person so rapidly that the reader becomes disoriented and disconnected.

Many of other men’s thoughts/feelings are generalized, summarized, or grouped together when they are similar so that I can rattle off the description more quickly and move on to the dialog again.

I was also able to give the whole scene what I thought was a sharper impact upon conclusion, in not just one, but two angles of dialog. But I’ll have to wait until I’m ready to preview it here (I don’t think it’s ready yet) for you to tell me if I’ve succeeded.

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Part of my struggle to move from amateurism to professionalism in writing requires me to embrace new methods I haven’t previously used.

One such method is writing non-chronologically. I’ve always done the traditional thing, starting a novel on page one. I spend about a week on the first sentence, another week on the first page, and then dive in more fully. Whatever happens next is whatever I write next.

This is not necessarily the best method for completing a novel. One of the critiques I’ve gotten for Perfect Justice is that the beginning doesn’t entirely set up the ending.

Well, “no duh” as I used to say; when I started writing the story, I had a different ending in mind than I did when I got to the end.

This is why some people write the ending first — not only do you have someplace to go, but you know exactly what it is. You can then insert a clever turn of phrase or choice bit of dialog 300 pages earlier which directly impacts the conclusion.

I haven’t written the ending for FRAGILE GODS yet (though I have outlined it), but I have a pact with myself that if a scene jumps out at me before I reach it in prose, I will dive in and write it without waiting one, two, or fifty chapters in the interim.

What I didn’t expect was to apply this in reverse…having already written 8 or 9 consecutive scenes, it became clear to me that an idea I had was far more appropriate as scene 4 than as scene 10. It’s a scene about the Jek’s farm after the tragedy in Scene 2. As far away as Scene 10, it was just distracting, whereas after scene 3, it helps build suspense.

OLD SEQUENCE:

1. Damek (A)
2. Jek’s Farm (B)
3. Damek (A)
4. General Shoji (C)
5. Damek (A)
6. General Shoji (C)
7. Damek (A)
8. General Shoji (C)
9. Damek (A)
10. Jek’s Farm (B)

Viewed that way, I can tell the return to Jek’s farm is a bit jarring so late in the game. Plus it introduces a new character, one who plays a huge role in story later. Introducing her earlier allows me to weave three story elements together like so:

1. Damek (A)
2. Jek’s Farm (B)
3. Damek (A)
4. Jek’s Farm / Issia (B)
5. Damek (A)
6. General Shoji (C)
7. Damek (A)
8. General Shoji (C)

“Wheel of Time” conclusion is being split into three books.

wheeloftimeThose of you who have been following along already know:

After Robert Jordan’s wife read the first Mistborn book, she was so impressed she asked Brandon Sanderson to finish the Wheel of Time series.

This initially meant completing just one book, A Memory of Light. However, as Brandon dug his nails into it for real and began to work 16 hour days, he found himself estimating that 400,000 words wouldn’t even nearly finish the book. He and Tor would much like to get Wheel of Time fans a book in 2009, and finishing the WHOLE story (now estimated to take about 800,000 words) will not be possible in that timeframe.

Solution? Split the book.

You can read Sanderson’s own notes on this project and this difficult decision here. I’ll warn you; I think he manages to ramble more in that article than I do, and that’s saying something. But if you’re a Wheel of Time fan, it’s all good stuff to know.

For those who are RJ fans and aren’t yet familiar with Sanderson’s work, be it known that I consider Sanderson the better author.