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Book reviews

Writers read, it's a given. Other writers influence how we approach ideas, what we can discover from successful books, abd what we don't like. While I read a lot, i don't review a lot. Below are the book that I have decided, arbitrarily, to review.
 

The Fallacy of Comparing Modern Writers to the Golden Age of Sci Fi

There’s a conversation going on in my writer’s group about science fiction that I wanted to pull out and discuss with a larger, different audience.

In a nutshell, there’s a large contingence of up-and-coming or as-yet-unpublished writers who believe that the golden age of science fiction was in the 1980s or beyond, and that modern sci-fi isn’t as good.

It’s a conclusion that is hard to argue with, partially because the goalposts can be moved at any time. Still I feel compelled to make a case against this perspective, and I need more space to do so than would be allowed in that group.

So here we go.

READ ON

Getting the Gang Back Together

When I was a kid, I was a model maker, and was absolutely obsessed with Star Wars. Of course those two paths crossed (to someone’s great profit, I’m sure). I started buying modeller magazines to see how to make them look more realistic (I gave up on those magazines quickly because they all seemed too focused on diaramas instead of minute detailing of the vehicles) Along the way, I did learn how to weather and score models.

Yeah, then 1977 happened - that little film called Star Wars - and my focus changed... Read More

Are Stormtroopers Really Bad Shots?

Poor stormtroopers, forced to wear limiting armour (you try shooting when your eye slot is so small), relentlessly teased for the inability to shot straight.

What do people know about them? They were the successors to the clone army that defeated the Jedi, supposedly inheriting a peaceful situation. Their activities tended more towards policing than large scale military action. They can’t hit the broad side of a barn.

We know that Lucas modelled much of the Star Wars military universe after World War II films. Maybe the weaponry inaccuracy was also a reflection of that source. It’s not just the stormtroopers who are bad shots. So are the heroes (although the heroes are all Hollywood Grade A good shots when the plot needs). READ MORE

How a Scene Evolves from First Draft to Last

Rewriting a scene is where the magic happens. First drafts are usually crap (although sometimes they have nuggets of brilliance). Many writing teachers will tell you this, but it’s something that every writer needs to learn for themselves.

I want to compare a scene I wrote three years ago as a first draft with the second draft of the scene, which I wrote last week. 

The text still isn’t perfect. I even did two edits to it as I was re-reading it for this blog entry. Is this important? Individually, the small things like which version of the sentence is better aren’t important, but in the big picture of building a well-crafted story, yes, these little decisions add up - to either a good or bad reader experience. READ ON

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