Here are the past week’s posts:
Okay, I guess the word “post” might be more accurate. I know that it wasn’t much but compared to the lack of reviews the previous week… Anyhoo, the series is really promising so far.
I was going to post this week’s update sooner but time got away with me and the internet went down whilst there were upgrades to our telecommunications infrastructure. I suspect that there might have been hamsters involved but the technicians are keeping it under wraps due to the pesky varmints being illegal in Australia. In any case, time will tell if the overall service improves. I hope so.
ANIME & MANGA
I didn’t watch much anime this week other than catching up on my weekly fix of The Rise of the Shield Hero. I did, however, manage to do some research on some promising anime and manga series via Youtube on top of my usual scan of manga fansubs for anything interesting. This was a motivating factor in me reading the first volume of After the Rain. Feel free to read my review (linked above) if you are interested in my take on the series.
READING & WRITING
I dived back into the book Story Structure Architecture this past week, going over story beats based on genres (and “situations”) I am currently working on. It is one of the best books on story structure I have come across in recent years. The use of examples and quotes provides further insight into the mindset behind specific structures. Another good book is 5 Secrets of Story Structure by KM Weiland. If you aren’t familiar with KM’s book catalog (fiction and non-fiction), podcast, vlog or articles on writing, then I highly recommend you check out her website for more info.
I also spent a lot of time watching more videos on writing this past week. It moved from structure to screenplay stuff as one of the things I got stuck on was geared toward this structure. A lot of the material can be easily translated to text-based fiction. Two videos by an acting coach John Windsor-Cunningham proved to be especially useful. Yeah, yeah. I know that the exercise mentioned in the first video is pretty standard, but sometimes you need to go over these foundational exercises every so often to get back to basics. If you can’t get inside the head of a character, how can you perform them or write from their experiences, fictional or otherwise.
I actually got quite a bit of world-building done this past week. Unfortunately, I hit a snag on one of the projects and have decided to give myself a break on it whilst I work on something else. The idea of hitting my head against a wall might appeal to some people but I figure that the answers will come to me later on. In the meantime, I can use some of my creative energy to work on something else. In this case, it is back to Wilhelm and the Elf with me. The amount of work that has already gone into the world and plotting the various series set within it has been monumental.
What have I been listening to this past week? A bit of electropop, sythwave, synthpop, electroswing and hard rock. I know that hard rock and electroswing might seem a bit removed from the sythn stuff, but… I have unusual tastes. In a single sitting, I can go from bubblepop to thrash metal. Music is a great way to artificially evoke moods, which makes it useful in the writing process. However, you need to mix things up a bit if you hope to manage those associated highs and lows.
Anyway, here are some of the repeats listens for the week:
- Ultralife (album) by Oh Wonder: I heart the crap out these guys. They always manage to lift my mood.
- Survival Sounds (album) by Rubblebucket: Quirky alternative band. They might have been abducted by aliens at some stage.
- Meaning of Life (album) by Kelly Clarkson: Well, I am a sucker for her music…
- Delirium (album) by Lacuna Coil: Evokes the darkness of Wilhelm and the Elf book 1. I heart the crap out of Alyyri and Wilhelm, but necromancers suck ass.
- Turbulence (album) by Monoral: Whenever I am reminded of the anime series Ergo proxy, I bring this sucker out. The song Kiri is one of my personal favorite intro/outro tracks. It perfectly evoked the unspoken connection between the two protagonists. The transition and build-up, then reflection after resolution… what you’d expect from a good story.
- Come to Life (album) by Natalie Imbruglia: Another old album but it has so many lovely tracks on it. This album from 2009 delivers such lovely tracks, not overly surprising for Natalie Imbruglia, an artist I have been a fan of for over a decade.
- Endless Summer (album) by The Midnight: Anyone that loves synthwave has likely heard of The Midnight. Even their sadder tracks have that element of hope within, the notion that the darker, sadder moments are not the end. They also collab with artists like Nikki Flores, with that trademark saxophone playing in the background.
Film clips? Why the heck not?!!! Here goes:
Okay, that was a bit of a troll on my part. Tiny Tom was awesome, his comedic performances show just how well a performer can keep a straight face. The song, oddly enough, gained him quite a following back in the day. It is silly and fun, with the nice pairing of high 1920’s vocals and ukulele. Each time I listen to it, I find myself giggling. The ’60’s and ’70s saw quite a few comedy song releases, including Shuddupayaface by Joe Dolce. The idea that music isn’t just love and heartbreak is nothing new, but recent years have seen a steep decline in comedy songs. Tracks like What Does the Fox Say? give a glimmer of hope but not enough artists are up to the challenge. We need the Weird Al Yankovic’s and The Lonely Island to give us a semblance of what it is to get a Dick-in-a-Box whilst we are living in an Amish Paradise. We need
Time for some real clips. I’ve decided to embed several versions of SYML’s song Clean Eyes to show how much production and arrangement can change how a song sounds. I initially listened to the mix by The Midnight, then decided to check out of the original. Add the acoustic version to the collection and you have three completely different listening experiences.
I played a bit more Path of Exile this week. It felt a bit less of a chore but I still found my head wandering to writing-related matters. It is a little distracting when you are mapping and your brain decides it is a great time to deal with some world-building. Both avenues can be a lot of fun. And yet, I find myself wanting to play an otome or other visual novel game as far as my gaming is concerned. Some of the creators of these games have some interesting ideas as far as storytelling is concerned, which often translates into some entertaining, interactive storytelling. I won’t go into further detail, but suffice it to say that I really like the game format.
There have been noticeable signs that autumn frosts will soon be upon us. However, the pumpkin and cucumber vines perked up with a bit of run that we had halfway through last week. No, they don’t have any female flowers and likely won’t have any before the frosts arrive. The sweet potato vines have been consistently flowering, which is neat. I love those lovely purple flowers but I hear that they are poisonous to some animals.
I am still trying to decide whether to plant tomatoes in the garden bed under the front steps. I find myself annoyed with how much effort it has been to keep the weeds down. I really should place cardboard down to suppress them but even that seems like a chore. At least the worms seem happy. The wee worms have been digging the occasional watermelon skin I’ve been throwing into the Worm Cafe.
Well, that is it for this week. I hope that some of the links and subject matter has been of some interest to you. I don’t claim to be an expert on any of the subjects and highly encourage you to point out if I have said anything in error. I also encourage you to offer your own rebuttals and/or takes if they differ from my own as I am always up for a discussion. I suppose it is time to leave you with the word of the week. Which one to pick…? Okay, got it! The word for this week is… Vanner. Be sure to look that sucker up.
Here’s wishing you an awesome week!