Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Link is a male but that doesn't mean women cannot be heroes

Nintendo is bringing out a game later this year called the legend of Zelda triforce heroes that gives the player the chance to play as 3 Link clones who work together as a team. A blog asked Nintendo if you could play as a female and they said no because you are Link clones and Link is a male which is fair enough. I like Link and don't mind that he is male. I don't think they should make him female just to please those who would like to play as a female Link. That wouldn't be Zelda would it? But what Nintendo said next had me rolling my eyes. They implied that only male characters can be heroes. Now this might've been something that was lost a bit in translation or maybe it's just another example of how sexist Japan can be but I just face palmed. It's such an old fashioned cliche thought. Of course women can be heroes. I don't mind that the backbone of Zelda is a bit cliche because it's part of what makes the game what it is. You rescue Zelda as Link. And Zelda is not always a damsel. In some games she is Link's equal and fights alongside him. In other games she eludes capture for a long time, or even helps defeat Ganon at the end. I would love a game from her perspective but I doubt it'd ever happen. And even if it did I wonder if Nintendo would put the same effort into it as they would with a traditional Zelda game. And I think it probably wouldn't get the same reaction. People like Link. And that's ok. If you change the formula of Zelda too much people get upset. And again that's cool. Zelda works well how it is. But it bugs me that Nintendo thinks that women cannot be heroes. Women can be more than damsels in distress or the ball that gets the plot rolling. I would like at the very least to see characters like Zelda or Tetra or any of the other awesome female characters from Zelda feature in other games. Zelda in Mario Kart would be awesome. That'd be a good place to start. Women can be heroes Nintendo. Yes it doesn't bother us to play as male characters. But it bothers some of us when you say that only men can save the day. It's just not true.

Is it wrong for writers to have dollar signs in their eyes?

EL James did a twitter Q and A recently and it went hilariously bad. People asked her why did she hate the English language, when was she going to write something original, questions about abuse, etc. I chuckled a little but I also felt kind of bad for her. It annoys me how she has giant dollar signs in her eyes. I realized a long time ago that the chances of making money from writing are pretty slim and that even if I did make it big the stress to constantly churn out multiple novels a year to keep me from sinking financially would be too much for me. So I write for fun. Writing is not a get rich quick scheme. That's not to say you can't make a quick buck...if you're not interested in writing anything of merit. A quick look on Amazon will show anyone that there is a wide variety of cheap smut out there like dinosaur porn! And you can do quite well at it. If you're willing to churn out piles of dog poop at a quick pace with no thought on quality just to cash in. So yeah... you can make money at writing but you're going to be a bit like Brian the Dog from Family Guy. Remember the episode where he writes a Get Rich book and it has five blank pages for people to write their dreams on? Yeah. Like that. So go ahead if you want. Write the quickest, shittiest you book you want and make a quick buck. But you're not going to earn a lot of respect from other writers and some readers. But I guess there's nothing wrong with wanting to make some money. But personally if I wanted to do a get rich quick scheme I could think of a dozen other things that are probably more easier than writing garbage and selling it on the internet. I don't think EL James is the worst writer ever. Her writing straddles the fence between bloody terrible and not that bad. What annoys me about her is how she got her start from fan fiction. Write something original Ms James. It's great you've had so much success with your books. But if you could just do something original than maybe people might back off you a little bit. But even if you don't you're still going to be laughing to the bank anyway. So while I may not agree with you 100% I do have to tip my hat to you for the success you've had even if your books are not my cuppa of tea.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Great ideas that fall flat

I've really gotten into graphic novels this year. I'm now a fan of Saga, Fables, the Walking Dead and Y the Last Man. I've almost finished Y the Last Man and I've both enjoyed it and at the same time thought it was a bit meh. Y has a great start: a plague wipes out every man, boy, male fetus and male animal on the planet leaving women to inherit the world and one man - Yorick - and his pet male monkey alive. I loved this series at first. The premise was utterly fascinating. Can you imagine a world without men? There would be some countries in the world that would fall apart because women are restricted from doing so many things. But other countries would probably be able to pick themselves up relatively quick and get back on with things. Y makes you think about how we treat women and makes you ask the question why do we restrict women from doing so many jobs? Why do we let gender stereotypes restrict what both men and women can do for a living? Men should be able to work with children and women should be able to be CEO's and brickies and tradies and truck drivers in larger numbers. I think gender stereotypes are so deeply ingrained in us as a society that we don't even realize that we are passing them on. Some of these stereotypes I'm all right with. I think women should have equal rights but like HELL I am going to squish a mouse. Nope. That's what men are for. Men with their giant feet. The problem with stories like Y the Last Man is that they have these great ideas that that...fall flat. Y has a great opening, and then nothing much happens for a while. The plot kind of fizzles out. And I've noticed this is a trend. A lot of stories have an explosive beginning and then the middle is flat and boring. Like in Lord of the Rings. I tried to read those books. I got to about the end of the second before I put them down. I hate how so much of those books is devoted to the characters just walking places. I feel like a lot of these type of stories need a really good edit. I just put down Petals in the Wind after getting 200 pages into the 500 page book. I loved the first book Flowers in the Attic but the second was like a steak with a lot of fat on it. The middle of the book is completely pointless and boring. It could've been cut back a lot. I think that book would've been better if it was about 150 pages or so less and more of the plot focused on Cathy planning and executing her revenge on her mother and grandmother. A great opening (or hook) is extremely important in fiction. But do not neglect the middle of your story. You have to have a plot that has a beginning, a middle and an end. All of the exciting stuff cannot just happen at the beginning. And you can't expect the reader to read through 300 pages of nothing to get to the good stuff at the end. Edit, edit, edit.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Rewriting your book from the point of view of another character is really lazy

There is a new Fifty Shades of Grey book out and it's written from the point of view from Christian Grey and tells the story of Fifty Shades of Grey from his point of view. I...hate this idea. If you strike it lucky with a book writing ANOTHER book that is the SAME book but written from the point of view from another character is LAZY and a GREEDY grab for cash. E.L James could've written something new, fresh and original for once in her life but once again she is riding the coat trails of Stephanie Meyer who started down the road of doing this but never went through with it in the end. I have not read Grey but I have been reading the reviews (which are hilarious) I have flipped through the book in the shops and it's a lot like the other ones intriguing with a twist of bullshit. Her writing style straddles the line between intriguing and shit. It is raw, rough and simplistic and cringe worthy but with flashes of something in there...it might be talent growing out of a pile of dirt or it might be the ramblings of a woman who thinks too highly of herself. I don't know. I won't be reading the book. But I look forward to it being mocked.