Writing: PVP vs. PVE

I am going to crossover my gaming and my writing. Let me begin by defining these two acronymns for any non-gamers. PVE is “Player vs. Environment” – almost all single-player games can be put in this category (I know if I say “all” someone will point out an exception – though I can’t think of one!). No matter how you slice it, the player is up “against” the environment the programmers have laid out. No matter what the story is, the computer-controlled characters have a very limited AI available to them to deal with the player. They have limited dialogue and boundaries in motion and thought. PVP is “Player vs. Player” – multiplayer games. Fighting games, all the of Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) games like DOTA, Fortnite, and Smite. (All those games getting turned into esports). Players add a level of complexity game designers haven’t been able to duplicate – a creativity in the way the characters, tools, and world

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Writing: Death of the Author (Part 2)

Wondering why there is a part 2? Because I think this actually goes beyond merely literary critique. Let’s take an example: The Bible. One of the big areas I see this is around homosexuality. And it makes me see a little cross-eyed because every verse that gets brought up is brought up either without the cultural context of the time it was written and/or the linguistic context. I’m not going to break down all the verses (there are 6 and you can Google it for yourself). But when people talk about Sodom and Gomorrah they always talk about man-on-man sex. It ignores the custom that when you feed someone in your house (as Lot did), in that culture – you have taken on a responsibility to protect them. This is huge. I would compare it to spitting in someone’s face in today’s world. It is such a taboo you’ve probably never seriously considered it except as an act of extremity –

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Writing: Death of the Author (Part 1)

This has been on my mind a lot lately. For a lot of reasons. The premise of the original essay (Roland Barthes, 1967) is that the author should be excluded when considering a work of art. You shouldn’t talk about Beethoven being deaf. You shouldn’t talk about Sylvia Plath having severe depression and committing suicide. You shouldn’t talk about J.K. Rowling’s tweets expanding/explaining the Harry Potter universe. When critiquing a work, you should only rely on the text within the work itself. The reader is the space on which all the quotations that make up a writing are inscribed without any of them being lost; the unity of a text is not in its origin, it is in its destination; but this destination can no longer be personal: the reader is a man without history, without biography, without psychology; he is only that someone who holds gathered into a single field all the paths of which the text is constituted.

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Writing: Women are automatically YA Writers???

This came up when a friend asked for women of color or women writers’ books. So I pulled out my goodreads and gave a few suggestions. I included Dragon Pearl because- well because I kind of loved it and I want a bazillion people to read it. I made a comment “YA but doesn’t feel like it.” Someone raised a question with a link to this article. Ok…. Breathe deeply and don’t get angry. So fifteen years ago when I first started looking at being a writer – specifically a Sci-fi/fantasy writer – the general was that women writers were predominately romance novelists. Apparently, they’ve been allowed to break into YA – but GOD FORBID they write for “real” sci-fi or fantasy fans. If The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin is “Young Adult” than so is every single book by John Scalzi – and they are NOT Young Adult. He is not classified as a YA author on any chart I know. The foul language alone in

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Review: Writing “Bad” reviews

Interesting conversation popped up this week that made me want to respond. Read this: https://www.theringer.com/pop-culture/2019/1/10/18176366/bad-reviews-jeff-weiss-a-o-scott-greta-van-fleet-post-malone-bohemian-rhapsodyThen Read this: https://whatever.scalzi.com/2019/01/12/yes-theres-a-point-to-bad-reviews-in-2019/ So I ran across these through Scalzi’s blog (I like his blog, I find it funny and enjoyable). I read these in the order I recommended to you. I then decided I don’t think Scalzi or Harvilla hit on some of the important things I think make a “bad” review actually very valuable. In the past year I think I’ve only post two “bad” reviews – and both of those I would definitely put in quotes because even on those… well let me link them and then defend them:Simon Sinek: https://librinlatone.com/2018/11/20/review-simon-sinek/Freedom: https://librinlatone.com/2018/08/07/review-freedom/ I think there are two reasons people would/should read a review (negative or positive): either they find the review itself entertaining OR they are looking for an informed opinion IF they even want to read a book (or watch a movie, go to a play, etc.). If those are the

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Writing: Fixing Clue

This game has a huge plot hole that has always bothered me.  IF I am the murderer, why would I be helping solve the murder?  Theoretically, my “character” knows they committed murder – but I, the player, do not (unless the rare time you get your own card at the beginning and know you’re innocent) Clue, the board game, was originally conceived in 1949 – so we’re talking a game that’s 69 years old.  The hay-day of board games when manufactures were figuring out how to manufacture those tiny pieces reliably and ship them…. Monopoly was 1935, Scrabble 1948, and Candyland was published in 1949 as well. In case you’ve never played it, the premise of the game is that six people were invited to a house and the host ended up being murdered by one of 6 possible weapons. The six guests are then trying to solve the murder.  But one of these guests WAS the murderer – they know

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Writing: NaNoWriMo

Le sigh.  I want to do NaNoWriMo but with everything going on in my life…. hell 500 words a day has been challenging much less 1,667. I am pregnant which is one of the most exhausting experiences of my life.  The only other time(s) in my life I slept this much was when I was SICK – bronchitis, pneumonia, and influenza.  It’s almost scary how exhausted I am so much of the time.  How much a nap every day means I get to stay up until the uber late hour of 9pm….  and even that “staying up” is staying awake watching YouTube or anime – NOT doing something actually mentally stimulating. My husband and I are embarking on tearing out our kitchen (ok, paying someone else to do it) and master bathroom.  It’s been a thing already and we haven’t even touched anything yet – so far it’s just been the shopping around/comparisons and dealing with an incredibly poor communicator at our bank… (I

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Writing: Novel in Progress Part 3

Part 1: Writing: damnit! Part 2:Writing: Novel In Progress Part 2 Chapter 2 Talia looked around the room where she waited while Goodla checked the other rooms for dangers and traps.  She wandered, looking at the furnishings – so unlike anything she was used to.  The multi-legged ogalla rarely bothered with furniture anything like this.  As Goodla checked each room he checked in with her, Safe.  Clear. Weird but not dangerous. Of course it’s weird. It’s alien. Once Goodla cleared the rooms and rejoined her she lifted a hand.  He held it against his head and she closed her eyes, an old concentration trick as he connected to the ogalla commander on the ship.  There was the instantaneous bonding between the two ogalla and then Talia was allowed in, but she could not reach the depth they did.  Emotions seeped in, but to be clear she had to use the language, We are in a safe room.  We have been welcomed. Could you

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Writing: Agency

I was trolling through YouTube and stumbled across this video about Phantom Menance and because I love burning buildings, I watched it: Here’s the thing, it does a GREAT job of breaking down the plot issue that plagues this disaster of a movie.  My mind (ever narcissistic) went “whew, glad I don’t do that!” And then I realized I did. I have a novel I finished and I like the world and the characters- but I hated my plot.  Oh, it’s not the shit-show Lucas put out.  But I also never put it out. But my main character sucks at agency.  She does have her own dreams and ambitions, and she is constantly having to balance her personal desires with the needs of her role as a Duchess and a political creature.  But I rarely allow her to drive the plot- the plot kind of manipulates her. And rewriting the plot is going to be hard.  It might require some pretty significant tweaks to the character,

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