Ruining my Childhood.

I’ve heard this phrase over and over. We saw it come to a height during the Ghostbusters debacle, but it’s been around since before and long after. Mostly, people who use this and similar phrases are mocked as being man-babies, among other less flattering things.

What does the phrase mean? Well basically when you say that something is ruining your childhood, they’re saying that something new, a new take, a new development, a new twist, etc. are tainting something that they loved during their childhood and possibly making them look back and reflect on what they liked about it in the first place. In theory, this could depress a person and make them think that perhaps they wasted some of their life being a fan of whatever it is that is being ruined.

Oh come on, that’s kind being a little oversensitive, isn’t it?

Well… yes, to a point. However that doesn’t mean that these people should be dismissed.

Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of melodrama involved here, but you will not catch me calling anyone out on it. Why? Because for all I know, there is a legitimate gripe behind their statement. Perhaps the subject matter is something they saw with someone they loved who is now gone. Perhaps, just perhaps a child’s fondest memory with a parent was when they watched a movie, read a book, etc. before they died.

I don’t know the case each time someone uses that statement, therefore I am not in a place to judge the validity of their accusation.

I hate to do this, but yet again, I’m taking a middle-of-the-road stance on this. If something is ruining your childhood, perhaps there is some soul searching that needs to be done. If there is a reason you feel that way, look nothing can ruin the original source material that you enjoyed. No matter what comes out, no matter what replaces it, no matter how badly a story is damaged by a sequel that comes along later by an incompitent writer/director/etc, the original is still there. It’s waiting for you, it’s okay. Go, take that old book off the shelf. Go watch that old movie you love some much. It wants your attention. I think you’ll find that when you do go back and look at it, it’s still there, and its still as good as it was… unless its  Star Wars… which is why I highly recommend the non-special edition versions that are available on DVD. 

Now, to film makers and their backers, you have a responsability to the fans of the established work. You may think that you can put shit on a stick and people will pay for it, but that’s not always the case. Look at the backlash Sony took for slamming fans of Ghostbusters who didn’t like the direction the franchise was taking. Like I said, they did what they did, without taking into account that destroying childhoods may in fact be a legitimate gripe. It’s this, amongst many other reasons that myself and many other movie-goers are completely disillusioned with Paul Feig’s, Melissa McCarthy’s, and Sony’s work all together and will not pay to see their movies anymore.

Don’t make their mistakes. You have a responsability to the paying audience and fans to put out something worthy of their time. Make it good!

To ALL my readers, if you feel that in some way things like what I mentioned above have negatively effected you, I have an open door policy with you. Email me, I’d love to talk to you. I am not a credentialed therapist, but I have studied psycology and spent part of my adult life working with children who have severe psycological issues. Please feel free to email me.




Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

You can also add me on Twitter!

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

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The Nazis are Bad!

There seems to be a rather annoying trend… I won’t say recently because it’s been going on for years, which is why it’s getting annoying. This trend is something we see in all mediums and it follows the same basic formula:

Bad Guy + Nazi Imagery = Effective Villain.

That’s right… is your bad guy lacking in back story? Are they just not cutting it evil-wise? Well then, bring in some Nazi imagery! Once you do that, if your audience isn’t ‘crap their pants scared’ or made with rage, then you need a new audience.

I started noticing it a while ago, but we really get good examples of it in Harry Potter:
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… Does this look familiar?

1st.png

Similar color schemes, similar message, etc. etc. etc.

Another good example is Star Wars The Force Awakens:

Okay… as Epic as that Speech is… yeesh…

Needless to say… these examples and too many like them are beyond blatant.

Look I’m not here to say that the Nazis aren’t bad, nor am I going to say that they shouldn’t be smeared in commentary. My grandfather came home with horror stories about what he saw when his battalion liberated some of the camps. I have first-hand witness accounts from a family member… so no one is going to dispute Nazi villainy on my watch.

That said, this formula does tend to get blatantly overused. I see it all too often in cases where the bad guy isn’t ‘bad’ enough… but then I see it in stories like Star Wars where it’s just completely unnecessary. We know the first order, we know their backstory and we know why they’re evil. The Nazi symbolism and imagery is completely unnecessary. If your reasoning for doing it isn’t because your villains aren’t well-written enough, why are you doing it?

Because the Nazis were evil and this is social commentary against them.

Well… you know what? We’ve got literally thousands of books, movies, documentaries, etc. telling us that. We know they’re evil and anyone who doesn’t think so, isn’t going to be swayed by your movies.

My only point here is that it’s been overdone. I mean if you’re going to do social commentary in your medium about the evils mankind has committed, why not one that’s a little more glossed over:

The atrocities of the Soviet Union pre, during, and post-WW2 which were arguably on a scale much larger than anything Hitler had been able to accomplish.

The Chinese atrocities following WW2?

The Vietnam atrocities on both sides.

The ongoing ethnic and militaristic cleansing in Africa?

Or how about something more modern, say… What’s going on in the Middle East right now?

But people may not recognize those as easily…

Maybe that’s the problem? People keep saying that they want to show that the Nazis were evil so that things like what they did will never happen again.

Sadly, they are happening again. Maybe not on such a huge scale, but they are happening again right now, as I write this and as you read it. So maybe its time to use that imagery and bring attention to it.

So I just want to say one more time, I’m not opposed to Nazi imagery when creating villains, I just think it’s kind of overused.

What do you think? Should we continue to use it as heavily as possible to keep such wide-scale genocides from happening again or should we switch focus to more recent tragedies?
Let me know in the comments.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

You can also add me on Twitter!

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Drawing A Line In The Sand

Hi Jim,

You seem to have such a disdain for politics and social issues such as diversity and progressive views… Yet your writing in both Divinity and Magnifica is indicative of a progressive mind. It’s really kind of confusing to compare your books to your blog. What’s more, you keep your political affiliations quiet. Can I ask, why do you do this? What are your political views and don’t you think that it would help your readers put your writing into context?

Just curiosity,
Mayei



Hi Mayei,

I’m going to start off by correcting you. I have no issues with the CONCEPT of progression nor diversity. Not at all. In fact, despite the political mantra, everyone who thinks forward is in-essence, progressive.

My issues lie more with regressive people masquerading as progressive and corrupting movements that were once used for good. (Feminism, Social Justice, #BLM, etc.)
I also take issue with writers, artists, and movie makers using diversity to cover up bad writing.

These people include, but are not limited to those who block others (including myself) who disagree with their view points and try to have a logical discussion about them, people who hide behind double standards, attempt to ruin your life if you disagree with them, those who thrive on creating discord and division for their own gain, doing the exact opposite of what the equal rights movements intended, and so on.

My question to you and all of my readers is how does knowing who I support help me or you? Has Trek Against Trump improved your view of Star Trek?

Did the controversy surrounding Ghostbusters improve the movie profits?

Does any of the Hillary protestors enriched your life?

Has the actions of groups like BLM or Al Sharpton helped to bridge the gap with police or help equality?

Has any of it helped?

I’m not trying to be a jerk, I’m asking seriously because from my perspective, the answer to each is ‘no.’

So then how would it improve my stories or my credibility by taking a side or proclaiming my love for one candidate or one side over the other?

The answer is it doesn’t. To quote a great Episode of Star Trek:

 

“All you have to do is read my books, what I am is pretty much there.”

-Mark Twain (Star Trek TNG: Times Arrow Pt.2)

By coming out and boosting for politics one way or another, I alienate part of my audience just as others have alienated theirs. In this day and age where everything is so divided, politics is a game where no one wins, so I do not play.

I actually wanted to join with the black lives matter crowd as several of my friends had… however upon doing research, I couldn’t in good conscience. So I basically asked other people who supported the movement to provide me with some proof that the killings of Brown or Garner were racially motivated and if they were able to, I’d join. The responses I got ranged from a smug superiority; ‘Look, I’m not going to get into a debate over my view.’ to hyperbole ‘Shut up, racist. It must be nice to have your white privilege.’ (I’m actually Irish Catholic and have experienced bias and hatred, and know that my ancestors weren’t treated much better than freed slaves… but okay…)

Another time, I tried to speak to someone about gun control and the difference between a right and a privilege (keeping in mind that I really didn’t get into my own feelings on guns.) The response I got was less than flattering…

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(I’m really starting to think that political activism over a certain age on either side has a side-effect of mental illness.)
In any case wishing death upon someone’s family whose only crime is disagreeing with you in a debate is where I draw the line… Especially from a fellow writer.

Occasionally, I will call out the wrongdoings of a person or group of people who either misuse social issues or pervert the causes they claim to represent for their own gain because I have no time or tolerance for societal leaches and I feel like I’m doing at least some small service by pointing out when such things occur.

In terms of the election, I do have my leanings, and should I choose to vote, I’ll vote my heart and values for what I think is best for my country. That’s all anyone can do. As for the rest of it…

I’m not a feminist, a social justice warrior, I don’t go to rallies for any group of people, and I can rarely be found in a church. I’m a humanist. I don’t think giving one group of people an advantage over another because of mistakes of the past solves a thing. We’re all equal, we should all be viewed as equal and equally capable of greatness and that’s all there is to it.

I hope this helps, because that is about as far into this as I intend to get. I’m not into activism or preaching. I just write and sometimes people read my work and enjoy what I say. I can’t change people’s political view, after seeing how ingrained they are, nor should I ever have tried.

Readers, what do you think? Do you think knowing a writers ideology/religious or political stance/baises helps when you read their work? Do you care? Let me know in the comments.




Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

You can also add me on Twitter!

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

LOGAN: Wolverine 3

 

Oh God… you know, I get the impression that I will not be leaving this theater with dry cheeks… On one hand, its because this is Hugh Jackman’s last appearance as Wolverine. That alone is enough to make a respectable fanboy cry. This is a rare form for an actor as he has faithfully portrayed the character and gave the role his all, literally for the better part of 2 decades (well… 16 years, but who’s counting?)

Secondly because I’m pretty sure either Logan or Picard… ahem, I mean Professor X, or BOTH are going to die at the end of this movie… 😦

Plus given the tone, the hints… ‘She is like you, Logan. Very much like you.”

untitled

(Gee… I wonder who she’s going to turn out to be…)
mvc3_x_23_render_by_triggerhappy039-d3aqb5a

Yeah… I think everyone picked up on that one pretty quickly.

Anyway… this movie looks amazing. It’ll be a tear-jerker, but amazing none the less.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

You can also add me on Twitter!

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Writing the Devil

So no one really asked me about this one, but it was a question that I thought I’d pose. Since most of my stories have a good vs. evil, religious, element to them (no they’re not preachy!), I thought I’d bring this up.

How does one write the devil? Is there a right way? Is there a wrong way? Well… honestly I don’t know. The devil comes in many forms; Lucifer, Satan, the Morningstar, Diablo, Dragon… the list goes on.

I’ve also seen him depicted in many ways as well:

– A revolutionary angel kicked out of Heaven for trying to take over. His wings are bloody and he has lost most of his angelic powers in favor of demonic ones.

– An antagonistic angel that is part of God’s ruling council, even though he really doesn’t get along with anyone and tends to challenge God on most things.

-An idealistic freedom fighter who lost his way while trying to free his brothers and sisters (angels being servants to God) from bondage.

-A hideous demon with red skin, horns, and a horribly long tongue.

-Tim Curry… that’s pretty much all I need to say. The man could’ve depicted the devil perfectly; a sly individual who always looks like he’s got something up his sleeve. (No disrespect intended, I am a huge fan!)

-A massive, multi-headed dragon that is almost incomprehensible.

-A demonic creature without form that can appear any way it pleases.

-A beautiful, seductive, woman looking to lure an unsuspecting sinner to his doom.

-A righteous angel that, while not evil, is given the task of judging and punishing those who commit evil.

-A bored man-child playboy who drives a sports car around, wreaking havoc on the city he lives in, making deals with people, and causing mischief where ever he goes.
(Yes, I do love the show Lucifer.)

Honestly, I could keep going, but those are the ones I see the most. So which would I use? Well… honestly I’ve done it a couple of ways, depending on the narrative that I’ve been going for. However, now I’m trying to build out a new story dealing with the devil and a new narrative.

So for the devil, I think the character would be pretty much whatever it wants. Is it evil? Yes and no. I have written in many of my stories that the devil was a revolutionary trying to free his people from eternal servitude. To him, the idea of serving humanity, a species that is in his eyes is inferior in every way to the angels, is the last straw in an eternity of indignities. The devil initially had the best intentions, but countless eons in Hell, being perverted and corrupted by evil would change him into something, knowingly or otherwise, that is wholly evil.

So in earthly form, as it will be appearing to humanity, I think it would be female. She’d be beautiful, mischievous, seductive, but also friendly, outgoing, and incredibly likable. I think I would a really then throw everyone for a loop when she turns out to be the bad guy.

Anyway, let me know what you all think? How would you write the Devil?



 

Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

You can also add me on Twitter!

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Does Politics Ruin Everything?

It’s a question I’ve asked myself over and over again…

Does politics ruin everything? Yes. IF YOU LET IT!

Did politics ruin Ghostbusters? Yes, because of the shallow girl-power message, the blatant hypocrisy of the cast and crew, and the shilling of its supporters… because YOU LET IT!
The first two movies are still there, they’re still good, they’re fine and you can go back and watch them whenever you want. Forget this new movie and let it fade into oblivion if you feel it’s ruined anything.

Did Politics ruin Star Trek? Yes, the insertion of a token gay character that was so blatant that even outspoken Gay Rights Spokesperson George Takei didn’t like it, the Social Justice… I mean Star Trek Panel in San Diego, how Discovery is being pandered, etc is ruining the series… BECAUSE YOU LET IT!
The old shows and movies are still there, they’re still good, they’re okay and you can go back and watch them whenever you want. Woo Hoo!

Have you been completely turned off to the likes of Amy Schumer or Ted Nugent because they can’t shut up about politics? Well their CDs, recorded shows, and other words are still out there for your pleasure. They’re still there. They’re okay.

Did Marvel ruin its universe by forcing even more diversity into its already diverse universe? Well… to be honest they already ruined their universe in the early 80s when they abandoned Claremont’s ideas for retiring old characters and bringing in new ones by resurrecting Jean Grey.

Okay bad example…

Are video games and literary fantasy being ruined by a regressive crowd that is trying to force their ideals and ‘Do as I say’ mentality on the people who create them? Only if the readers and creators let it happen.

Are college campuses becoming a place that you want to send your children to less and less because they are becoming less tolerant of other people’s beliefs, Bias Investigation Gestapo are becoming the norm on each campus, and freedom of speech is being trampled because people are becoming too sensitive? Yes, because we let it happen.

Look, it’s quite simple. These things happen because we let them happen. If you don’t want ghostbusters being ruined, then either don’t see the third one, or go see it and judge for yourself and if you don’t like it, forget it ever existed. If you don’t like the direction Star Trek is going, watch the old stuff. If enough people don’t watch the newer shows, they will fade into oblivion and hopefully the studio will learn its lesson.

My point is, loud mouthed activists, regressives on either side, and political pundits try to make you believe you need them. They need you to think that you can’t stand on your own or think for yourself because if you do, they become irrelevant. If enough people ignore them, they will vanish into oblivion.

So at the end of the day, vote your heart, watch/read whatever show whets your appetite, and ignore the trash that has become over politicized. If enough of us do this, then the trash will go away. It is as simple as that. No matter how far groups like Trek Against Trump try to ram their opinion down your throat, you can always spit it back out in their faces. Please remember that!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

You can also add me on Twitter!

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Writing Fantasy

I loved the Skyrim picture in the bottom… My request is: can you give me some advices about how to write a good fantasy story?. I`ve been writing since… forever, but I want to do things in a better way now. I apreciate the help. Thanks!

Emaleth



Hi Emaleth,

Phew, that’s a loaded question. How to write a good fantasy… Well honestly what’s good and what isn’t is a very subjective term, but let’s see what I can do.

So honestly fantasy is really used in many cases to deliver messages about various topics; history, politics, feelings and emotions, and current events. Now this isn’t what its used for 100% of the time, but it is an effective means of delivering these messages in an entertaining way. No one likes being preached to, so this is a very good way of going about it.

Let me provide a few examples…

Lord of the Rings: Tolkien wrote his story about World War 1. He wrote about the climate at the time and made several metaphorical comparisons to the effects of the war.

Skyrim: This is perhaps one of the more obvious ones. Go back and take a look at the history, cultural, and religious effects that took place in Europe as the result of the Roman Empire being forced to withdraw from Nordic, Gothic, and Celtic lands. Skyrim tackles the effects of the Roman occupation and the struggle for independence. The story tends to veer off depending on what side you choose, and arguably paints the history side as a negative (Nords win), but that’s why it seems so similar.

Divinity: My book tackles religious dogma, corruptions, and hypocrisy, while trying to tell an adventure. I wanted to make it clear about how some church leaders would be more interested in their own political standings than finding religious truth.

The NeverEnding Story: Well, depending on whether you read the book or watch the movie, we see a world being destroyed because of people losing hope, not reading, and really not using their imagination. It was a cautionary tale of what has happened.

So really I think fantasy is used best to speak on different issues. I would take an issue you’re passionate about switch a few things around say switch races with fantasy races, switch political bodies with different kingdoms, political leaders with characters that you created yourself. That is how you do it.

That said, this isn’t a rule. If you want to write an adventure dealing with elves, dwarves, or any creature or theme of your choosing, go for it. It’s called fantasy. There are no rules.

In the end, my advice is, write what you love. If you want to write about sociopolitical issues, great, write them, and then make the changes and add fantasy elements.

Anyway, hope this helps! Thanks for the message!!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

You can also add me on Twitter!

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim