The Reality of Child Sex Trafficking Rings…

In the wake of what’s been going on in Hollywood recently… I felt the need to repost this…

James Harrington's Blog of Geek and Writing

… I don’t want to post this. I REALLY don’t want to post this. As all of you know, a lot of my writing advice and posts lately have been about the realities and forms of evil.

Well if you remember yesterday, I posted about just how rare true evil actually was, and how sometimes even the most evil people believe that what they’re doing is for the greater good…

This isn’t one of those times. This is one of the other times I referred to, a complete and utter breach of everything moral and ethical, a violation of taboo, and… I really can’t say anything else.

To anyone who knows who he is, Sargon of Akkad is a fairly prolific Youtuber who does a great deal of political/social commentary. He’s far from unbiased, I’ll admit, but he does a fairly good job of going after both sides of the…

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Marvel Comics Endsong…

Perhaps it’s time for Marvel to consider ceasing production of its comics. I think we’ve gotten to that point. They’ve pretty much proven that they don’t know what they’re doing anymore or they’ve taken on the disastrous business model of trying to appeal to extreme political ideologues who are too busy being offended by things to read comics.
I mean it’s bad enough that they keep altering their characters with no Rhyme or Reason or explanation in the name of diversity, but to then accuse all of their readers of being racist for not liking this, it’s just really telling of how out-of-touch these creators actually are. Now they’re even pulling a Paul feig and attacking the people who sell their comics with accusations of bigotry.

Diversity is and always will be a great thing, but that’s only if it’s actual diversity. Wiping one group of people off the pages to make way for another group is not diversity.

Example: Marvel did a run of the X-Men where the team was all women. That’s not diversity that’s gender segregation. Essentially they took a team that had characters from nearly every region on Earth, as well as a fairly balanced gender percentage, and made it less diverse in the name of diversity.

Stan Lee and Chris Claremont, both pain the idea to age out their old and create new ones to replace them as time went on and the need arose. This would have enabled Marvel to bring in far more characters from Minority backgrounds that they otherwise wouldn’t have. This would also have had a lot less people taking issue with it. Instead they took the disastrous approach of altering characters with no explanation other than it’s an alternate universe we can do what we want. Well you can to a point, but once you’ve reached the majority of your audiences suspension of disbelief, you’ve gone too far. What’s worse is that Marvel apparently doesn’t know how to write these characters. I’ve read some of the Iceman comics, and they are so stereotypical that I can’t imagine any homosexual person reading them wouldn’t be offended.

America Chavez has been openly criticized for being offensive in a stereotypical manner towards Latinos. So their efforts to become more diverse by throwing what they considered diversity in people’s faces, they’ve actually created archetypal stereotypes of actual characters, that could easily be compared to their respective representations version of black face.

The problem is that these writers do not treat these characters as people. They treat them as a means to promote an agenda. As a result though this may not be the intention, they’re not seen nor treated as people. Thus they are never viewed as equal in the eyes of the other characters or in the readers. 

This was not the case in the old comics. Yes they had their problems but for the most part every character was treated as a person. They were looked at as living breathing people first, and while they’re superficial traits were addressed they did not take Center Stage. Instead the focus was on telling a good story.
Marvel Comics has, for all intensive purposes lost this ability. Every single Marvel subscription that I have had through my local retailer, I have cancelled after a few comics for this reason. The story simply aren’t good, the politics is in your face and offensively preachy, and Marvel either doesn’t seem to care or doesn’t understand that. So while I think Marvel for seven decades of great stories, I think I’ll be sticking to independent comic books and in some cases DC for my reading material.
My only advice to Marvel going forward would be to keep the writers working on your Comics away from your Cinematic Universe. It is pretty much the only thing keeping you afloat at this point.

But that’s just my opinion, readers what do you think? Is it time for Marvel to cut ties with the comic book industry? Has their day in the Sun come and gone? Can they bounce back? 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.

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

Political Overload… Too Much Already!

 

I’ve touched on this before, but with everything going on and with some rather intense political discussion going on with some of my friends… I kind of wanted to tackle the current situation.

We now live in a world where almost everything is politicized. Those of us who are long time fans of Marvel comics have seen the paradigm shift in content, video games have taken their lumps, commercials have taken theirs, literature has always been politicized, but like comics it seems to have gotten a lot worse, and sports has also entered the mix. Though inserting politics into sports is nothing new (thank you Bob Costas), it’s certainly rare that we see it at this level.

It is an unfortunate trend in the United States which is currently a hugely politically polarized country. It has seeped into almost every aspect of our lives, including our cultural institutions.

So one might ask the question… why is this happening? Well… honestly in my opinion, it is a lack of restraint on the part of many politically minded people. When we talk about the NFL, Colin Kaepernick certain had a huge hand in politicizing football and Donald Trump made it considerably worse with his own comments.

So what’s the issue? People are speaking up about things that they feel are injustices or are speaking out about causes that they feel are important, what could possibly be wrong with that?

Well nothing, for the most part. Just like there is nothing wrong with your friend talking about how much he loved a movie he saw… at first. However after the first hour of listening to him go on and on about it, you start getting bored and if it continues for much longer… it almost gets to the point where you don’t even want to see the movie.

A very enlightening study done by the APA (that’s American Psychological Association… not the Acolyte Protection Agency), showed the people got sick of seeing political ADs really quickly during the election season.

What’s worse is that we also see companies under pressure to add politics into their advertisements for things that are not political, but consumers largely do not like it.

We saw this with Budweiser commercial featuring Amy Schumer and Seth Rogen…

The result of this ad were slumping sales and Budweiser axing the campaign. People simply didn’t want to hear about it and voted with their dollars.

So this is quite the enigma… customers do not like this and wind up spending their money elsewhere, yet for some reason advertisers are feeling subtle pressures to insert politics anyway. Like somehow its important that they let people know their political stance and if they are with some perceived notion of ideological correctness, that will sell more product.

However the numbers have shown otherwise.

So why do they do this?

Maybe because they have a devil may care attitude about their brand and view their political leanings as more important? More likely though, as is the case with Marvel, they have completely mislabelled their readers. While it’s true that the majority of millennials are left leaning, that doesn’t mean that entirety of their audience is and it certainly doesn’t mean that they’re as partisan as the company.

In Colin’s case, I’d say it was the former. His politics are more important than his brand. He believes in the issue and forget consequences, he’s going to make his point… unfortunately this got blown way out of proportion thanks in part to Trump.

Here’s the real problem though… The media has been framing this entire thing as a showdown between the NFL and Trump… however if you look at this a lot more closely, that’s not the case. This really boils down to the NFL vs. the fans. As I stated before, you have a fanbase that is largely apolitical when it comes to sports, they use sports as an escape from every day life and politics, so they don’t appreciate it when politics comes into play. I don’t think the NFL quite realizes this.

So they can attack Trump all they want, and that’s fine, they’re well within their rights to do so… however the fans are already leaving. You’re already seeing a lot of people go from Professional to College football because it’s more enjoyable. However with situation may have turned what was a brook into a river. In the end, Trump has nothing to lose here, but the NFL has everything to lose because once the fans are gone, the tickets stop selling, and the sports packages stop selling, so too does their paychecks.

They may think they’re injuring Trump, but the reality of the situation is that this is not what’s happening.

Anyway, those are just my thoughts. Let me know what you think below.



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.

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

 

Defending a Movement Vs. Its Rights

 

As a writer… I’m always vexed when the issue of Freedom of Speech comes up.

There has been a lot of talk lately about protected speech vs. unprotected speech, as well as when physical violence is acceptable and when it isn’t. I’d like to try to tackle this without getting into a massive political diatribe, because that frankly helps no one.

Now often times, I hear people defending the free speech of people like Neo Nazis, the KKK, White Supremecists, 3rd Wave Feminists, Anarcho-Communists, and BLMs, among other groups that are either hate groups or people of questionable morals. The thing that really irks me is that there are people out there who see fit to shut these people down either by violence, fear, ruining their careers, or simply silencing them on social media.

The problem is that when someone tries to speak up and say ‘well wait a minute, these people are disgusting and horrible, but they’re not attempting to incite, they’re saying what they believe. They have every right to do that!’ They are immediately lumped in with said groups, accused of defending them and their position.

Defending someone’s position is when you try to justify the remarks they make. It is coming up with facts and arguments that support their cause. That is not what these people do. These people do not come up with any defense of hate or intolerance, in point of fact they are fighting against it. They are literally saying, “We don’t agree with their position, but you trying to shut them down through violence or intimidation, you are putting yourselves on their level.”

That is not the same thing, not by a long shot.

I can’t speak for Europe or other countries, but in the United States, yes hate speech is protected speech. Anything that does not incite a person to violence and does not infringe on another person’s rights, is PROTECTED under the First Amendment. People have the right to voice their opinion and their ideas free of prosecution and free of being attacked.

The First Amendment and the right to freedom of speech is arguably the most important right we have. It is not only a tool against tyranny, it is also an effective weapon against hate.

A recent poll in California shows that most of its left leaning populace wants to restrict free speech. 

Jim, you’re being disingenuous! They just want to restrict it for White Supremacists!

I’m actually not being disingenuous and I left that out intentionally. You see… the full title reads as follows;

Poll: Most California Democrats want to restrict free speech from white nationalists

The ‘for white nationalists’ part is a qualifying statement…

qual·i·fi·er
ˈkwäləˌfī(ə)r/
noun
  1. 1.
    a person or team that qualifies for a competition or its final rounds.
    “he is now 14 and trying to become the youngest qualifier for a PGA Tour event”
  2. 2.
    GRAMMAR
    a word or phrase, especially an adjective, used to attribute a quality to another word, especially a noun.

In other words any qualifier could apply, thus without it, the headline still rings true. You are restricting freedom of speech.

The issue here is who decides what is hate speech and what isn’t?

People like this:

 

You might as well tear up the constitution right now. Also, who decides which people are white nationalists? Who decides who among the population are Nazis? Who decides who are communists or feminists?

Right now, there are large group of people indiscriminately attacking people who don’t agree with their narrow view and label them all across the board as Nazis. Are they to make that decision?

Case in point, in a modern society where context is so important, you can’t govern what speech is acceptable anymore than we already have. Speech that will incite violence and get someone physically hurt is the limit to what you can prosecute. Any more than that and you’re guaranteed to wrongly infringe on someone’s rights.

This isn’t a scholarly quote, but the writers of Star Trek TNG were absolutely correct when they coined the phrase;

“With the first link, the chain is forged, for speech censored, first thought forbidden, first freedom denied, binds us all irrevocably. Those words were uttered as wisdom and warning. Anytime a man’s freedom is trodden on, we’re all damaged.” 

The Supreme Court has been very clear on this legally. For the right to speak, and the right to hold ideas to have any meaning, we cannot discriminate based on content or on viewpoint, because if we do, any speech or any idea is not beyond the chopping block.

If you believe in the tenants of Free Speech, then you believe that they must apply unilaterally and cannot be selectively revoked, because then its no longer freedom of speech at all. If we cannot hold up the one core value of the first amendment, then it may as well be scrapped.

So if we damage ourselves by trying to ban hate speech, how do we combat it?

The same way you combat anything else. With other ideas. I hate using this example, but let’s consider for a minute… what would have happened in Charlottesville had counter-protesters and ANTIFA not shown up?  Well what’s happened at past KKK and White Supremacy rallies? Usually 2-3 hunderd people would show up, spout their nonsense and bile, and disappear within a few hours. They would be quickly forgotten and that would be the end of them.

This did not happen…

By championing attacking people based on their personal beliefs, by trying to legally or physically silence them, you are giving them what they want. You are turning them into martyrs, and making the additional mistake of lumping anyone who questions your methods in with them, you are swelling their ranks. How? Simple… there are people out there who lean the same way they do. They’re on the same side of the spectrum, but not quite at the extreme. Then they see what you’re doing and what you believe… well that’s not good, not at all. So in some of the more teetering cases, they’re going to lock hands with those hateful people because in their mind, YOU ARE THE GREATER EVIL!

I don’t know that I’d agree with that, but at the very least, you’re just as bad. These people show intolerance for other people based on a race, ethnicity, or gender. You are showing intolerance for ideas you don’t agree with.

As I said above, the best way to combat bad ideas is with good ideas. If you want to counter protest, then fine, great. Go to one of these rallies or protests. Go up to one of the people you don’t agree with and actually talk to them. Understand why they think the way they do, get some context and understanding. Once you have that, you can better challenge their world-view and understanding because you understand it a little better.

This is how the First Amendment works and why it has worked so well. In the United States, hate movements have been reduced to a few hundred people per event. There’s a reason why those numbers have begun to swell… because groups that attack them, essentially give up the moral high ground and reduce themselves to these people’s level. Thus, you are proving their point.

Allow me the luxury of an example…

I once sat down and had a conversation with someone who was against the removal of the Confederate Flag, against the removal of the statues, Robert E. Lee was a good man who should be honored, and professed that the Civil War was not about slavery.

When I asked her why she felt the way she did, she very eloquently justified each of her points…

  1. The Confederate Flag wasn’t a national flag. It was a military banner, rejected as the national flag by the Confederate Government. It’s use today wasn’t meant to spread hate, but to honor those soldiers who had fallen in battle.
  2. The statues shouldn’t be removed for the same reason. These people fought for their land. Just because the reason for raising succession may have been slavery, but not everyone in the South owned slaves and may who didn’t, viewed what was going on in Washington as an attack on their sovereignty.
  3. Robert E Lee was part of the U.S. military before the war. He opposed succession, but when it was democratically decided on, he viewed it as his duty to defend the people of his state. Back then before social media and nation-wide events, people were more loyal to their locality than they were a national government.

I had to admit I was surprised. There was nothing hateful about what she was saying and, while I don’t agree with a lot of her points, I understood better. I responded by letting her know that I didn’t agree. Most of the statues should be removed because they were put up during the Jim Crow era in an effort to disenfranchise former slaves. Honoring one’s history is one thing, weaponizing it is something else all together and should not be tolerated.

I also noted that Robert E. Lee didn’t want any monuments to himself. This was documented. I couldn’t comment on her points about succession. I’m not a Southerner, nor did I live back the, so I can’t comment on the validity of her belief of why people fought in the war. I do know that there is quite a bit of documentation out there to suggest that people were far more loyal to their localities than to the nation as a whole, but I’ll leave that for someone with a little more scholarship on the matter to dissect. The Civil War was never an era I was particularly interested in.

She actually didn’t know about the Jim Crow era history of those statues and conceded my point. I don’t know if I changed her mind or not, but we had a good discussion and walked away with a better understanding of why we both believed what we did. No fists, no angered words, no nothing like that.

That is how you combat ideas!

NO WAY! I am not sitting down with some hateful bigot! They’re not worth my time and you cannot change people like that! 

Well… that’s unfortunate… because that’s the only way you learn and grow. By dismissing these people, you’re not only doing a disservice to them, but to yourself as well. You can’t fight an ideology or belief if you’re not willing to engage with it. You can’t defeat a bad idea by ignoring it, and you can’t stop an opponent by banning them.

To quote Nelson Mandela;

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

Defending a group’s right to share their thoughts and ideas, regardless of the content, does not equate to agreeing with said thoughts or ideas.

This is a simple concept that has been lost in recent years.



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.

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

 

Why You Shouldn’t Bother with TSCC

… perhaps that picture isn’t the best non-motivator.

Oh well.

If you’re a Terminator super fan like I am, chances are you’re not thrilled with where the series has gone.

Terminator 1 to me was a Jason-style slasher flick. Borderline horror movie. It was good as movies go, definitely ahead of its time. However one that could have wound up on the ‘forgettable’ list.

Terminator 2: In the 80s, James Cameron was a visionary… how far he’s fallen since then… However, this is a story for another post. Terminator 2 did for this series what Aliens did for the Alien series… set the bar WAY too high. It completely changed the medium of the series from an unstoppable back guy who kills anyone who gets in his way, to an emotional, heart-felt, action/adventure movie. You found yourself suddenly rooting for the guy you were fearing in the last movie… even though you knew he likely wouldn’t survive. The special effects were way ahead of their time and the story blew me away. I will argue that Sarah herself was a little TOO crazy in this movie… and hard to like, but I’ll give it a pass.

Terminator 3: … I think most people try to pretend this movie doesn’t exist. Outside of a fan service bad guy… this movie did nothing except give the studio excuses to make more movies and completely invalid everything that happened in T2. Suddenly Miles died for nothing and the second terminator was wrong. UGH! The Golden Age of Terminator was clearly over. I still watch this movie because… well as action movies go, it was passable!

Terminator Salvation: A movie that covers the resistance movement??? RIGHT ON!!! We’ve been waiting for this!! I’m not really a huge fan of Christian Bale or Sam Worthington, but they did a serviceable job in this movie. This clears up quite a bit about how Connor and Reese meet and how Connor becomes leader of the resistance. I will say that Connor is a little more deified than I would have liked, but I suppose that was unavoidable. All in all, it was a good movie, minus the absence of Arnold.

Terminator Salvation Animated: … I own it, but haven’t watched it all the way through. It’s okay… but I can’t really speak to the story. Moving on…

Terminator Genisys: When I heard about the premise for this movie… yeah I wasn’t enthusiastic. How could anyone do better than Linda Hamilton? I admit I didn’t hear/see anything more until I showed up at the movie. Then I saw her… “Wait… that’s Daenerys Targaryen… YOU CAST DAENERYS TARGARYEN AS SARAH CONNOR!?!?!?”
Keep in mind, this was back when she was still being stripped naked and bent over by her Dothraki king. Then I see her actually go to work in the movie and… I was pleasantly surprised. Daenerys (yes I know her name is Emilia Clarke, but lets face it, you all know her as Daenerys), actually pulls off a good Sarah Connor. I wasn’t a fan of their stand in for Kyle Reese, and Arnold… I’ll admit I liked how they explained the Terminator’s age. I honestly thought it was a good movie. I know I’m in the minority when it comes to Genisys, and what happens to John isn’t really well fleshed out, but I actually enjoyed that movie. Bring on the torches and pitchforks!

So where does the Terminator Sarah Connor Chronicles fit in? Honestly… it doesn’t. I’m not going to pretend that the timeline makes ANY sense whatsoever!!! BECAUSE IT DOESN’T!!! People have written books trying to explain this away. Near as I can figure out… TSCC happens as a result of John Connor’s survival of Terminator 3, at which point he sends Cameron back to invalidate that stupid movie. (Thank God)
And then the John Connor from TSCC somehow sends another Terminator back to just wipe the entire drawing board clear and start ‘fresh.’
Confused? You should be, but this is the best I’ve got. Let some other quantum theorist figure the rest out. I subscribe to the divergent timelines theory and that doesn’t hold up here.

Anyway, The Sarah Connor Chronicles stars Lena Headey as Sarah Connor and… OH MY GOD, YES!!!! I’m sorry, unpopular opinion, Cersei blows Linda Hamilton and Daenerys out of the water. I know, I know, most people love Linda Hamilton’s performance and she’s the iconic version… but honestly, I don’t see her portrayal being sustainable in a TV series. She was just too belligerent and insane to make an effective character for long. Lena’s Sarah Connor has that emotional instability, but tempers it with far more motherly instinct.
Thomas Dekker as John definitely reminds me more of T2 John than T3. I’m happy with his performance.
Cameron… what can I say about her? She’s portrayed by Summer Glau… and her previous smash role in Firefly should have been foreshadowing as to what would happen… She portrays a TOK715 from the 900 series of Terminator. Near as I can figure out, she’s a recon Terminator… perhaps even an infiltration unit as she is far better at passing for a human than the T800 series. Though her programming seems more advanced, she definitely seems less advanced than the T1000 series.

The series focuses in several different themes. Sarah is haunted not only by the future and what could happen to John, but also the prospect that she may not be around much longer due to cancer.
John’s story is more of a coming of age tale where he has to deal with the prospect of being humanity’s savior, and also being a normal kid.
Cameron… is the Commander Data of this story. She’s seemingly emotionless, though I’m not convinced of this, but she strives to better understand humans while at the same time protecting John and Sarah. She’s also quite possibly self-aware.

The third and final theme, and perhaps the most interesting one, is the connection between Cameron and John. A potential romance between a human and a terminator is something that was never explored before. I know it turned off a lot of people, but I actually kind of liked that idea.

So with everything positive I said about the show… why on Earth am I saying not to bother with it? Because its just not fleshed out. Unfortunately, the show only got two seasons, was plagued by poor reviews, and was ultimately cancelled. I watched the show religiously and enjoyed every minute of it.

Cancellation means that they didn’t answer WAY too many questions and the Season 2 finale was a cliffhanger that really hurt. All of the plot lines from seasons 1 and 2 were left wide open and literally nothing is accomplished.

Because of this, the series is little more than a fragment of what would have been an amazing series. If you really want to experience it, I’d recommend the first season ALONE! The second season essentially opens way to many plot threads that, thanks to its cancellation, go nowhere.



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.

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

The Devil in the Pages: How to Play Devils Advocate

Hi Jim,

I saw that you give out writing advice and was hoping you could help me. See I’m taking my first shot at writing a political satire story, but am finding it increasingly difficult to write from the perspective of someone I don’t agree with. It’s getting very hard to write without sounding superficial or condescending. Do you have any suggestions?

Best-
Maria


Hi Maria,

That’s a good question and one that isn’t always easy to answer. As human beings, we all have preferences, beliefs, biases, and worldviews that are specific to us. Many of our core values and beliefs are deeply integrated into our personalities and often very difficult, if not impossible to change.

So with that in mind, how do we work through them. How do we betray our own senses and beliefs and become the devil’s advocate?
The way I see it, there are a few ways…
1. Get involved in debates. On my private facebook profile, I’ll often post a political question or issue based either on current events or something I’m writing about. My friends list is full of people from both sides of the isle… some more mature than others. Most of the time, I’ll get a couple of troll posts, as well as childish name-calling going back ad forth. However, then one or two people who are looking to have a ‘drop the mic’ moment come in with an intellectually sound, cited argument. Reading through these arguments can often give you the answer you’re looking for whether you agree with them or not.

2. Have someone else write it. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with collaborating on a work with another person if you’re completely stumped. Just make sure that this other person has the maturity to post their views without going into attack mode.

3. Do a little soul-searching. This is something I typically do when I debate points. I come up with my argument and then carefully examine it to see where someone could poke a hole in it or use a piece of their own logic to refute it. In that way, you start thinking as they do and very quickly, you can form a cohesive argument.

Remember though, just because you’re writing it, doesn’t mean you agree with it. There is such a thing as playing devil advocate and its a perfectly reasonable thing to do in order to get a point across.

I remember back in college, trying to write a short story from a German soldier’s perspective during WW2. My goal was to have the soldier condemn what Hitler did, but defend WHY Germany let him come to power in the first place. This soldier wasn’t supposed to be the moral or ethical right, but I at least wanted people to know that perspective in order to gain a bigger understanding of the context behind World War 2. In the end, the soldier would be executed following the Nuremberg trials.

Well… I live in the United States. All of the known Nazis have long since been deported. Any that could still be left are likely either dead or in hiding. However… their children and grandchildren remained. Most didn’t want to talk about it, but a few were able to give me some insight into the how and why that we aren’t really taught in school.

So I was able to find some information that helped me make a decent argument.

Anyway, I hope this helps.
Readers, what do you think? Do you have any advice for Maria? Let her 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.

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

 

Prequelitis

I think I can speak for everyone here when I say that we’re all pretty tired of prequels am I right?

Earlier in the week I heard through the grapevine that Game of Thrones was going to have a couple of spinoff series dealing with events that happened before the events we all know and love.

The response I’ve heard; A collective groan.

Of course, we’re all excited to see a new series coming out in the same universe… but did it have to be a prequel?

Star Trek Discovery is set to be a prequel and all I hear on their facebook page is how upset the fans are. Per Midnight’s Edge  Netflix is actually furious because they paid for Discovery, thinking they were getting a cutting edge, new series, and what they got was an unwanted prequel.

So why are we, the viewing audience as a whole, suffering from prequelitis, and why isn’t Hollywood and many literary writers picking up on that? Well that’s a loaded question. Let’s go through the subjects one at a time.

Fans are tired of prequels, why? Well there are several reasons… First, there are no real surprises. We all know what’s going to happen. I remember seeing The Phantom Menace when it was in theaters and just sat there looking at the main cast like, “Let’s see main cast… that guy’s dead by A New Hope, that guy dies in A New Hope, dead by A New Hope, Dead by A New Hope, he’s the emperor, he’s Darth Vader…”

I mean when you’re doing a prequel, unless you’re going to take a radical departure from the established story, you’re really limited by what you can offer. The few times people have taken a radical departure from the established story, the backlash from fans is relentless, again Star Trek Discovery being the current example.

Well can’t you just say its an alternate universe???

Shut… the hell… up!!!

A second problem with prequels is that they have a tendency to poison the original story. If there is a piece that doesn’t make sense, it really turns the fans off when the studio has to retcon the inconsistency off-screen. In addition, something may happen in the prequel that will then sour fans to the sequel in other ways. Consider Anakin Skywalker’s fall. After watching Episode III, I couldn’t help but shake my head when Obi Wan gave Luke his father’s lightsaber… you know, the saber that slaughtered innocent children… on more than one occasion!?

But I digress…

So with that in mind, why do writers and movie makers keep doing this, knowing how prequels are quickly becoming box office poison? Well I think the phenomenon is now slowing going away in favor of another Hollywood travesty; the reboot/remake… which is arguably worse. However to answer the question as to why this still happens… it’s because it is safe. These days, new stories and original scripts are really seen as box office poison in their own right. Prequels showing the titles of a beloved work is sure to attract the original crowds thus making money, even if the movie is royally bad.

So why don’t they just make sequels? You know, continue the stories!

They did… sequelitis was a thing once too, don’t forget. The result was the market being awash in disposable dollar-bin movies that didn’t respect… or went so far as to ruin the original stories. (Blues Brothers 2000 or Love Never Dies, much?)

Okay, then what is your answer? 

Well… I mean there isn’t really one. Prequels, sequels, and remakes are always going to draw a crowd, even if people in general don’t like them. So like it or not, they’re still getting made. I’ve got news for all of you, the Back to the Future remake is coming. It may not be today or tomorrow, but it will happen. It is an inevitability.

However I actually already did answer this question once when I myself was confronted with the ‘no sequel, no publishing’ problem; write a concurrent story. Yes set your new story in the same universe with all new characters and send those characters on an adventure that was sparked by the events of the first one. Allow characters from the first story to make brief appearances and cameos, but make them side characters with one or two scenes, tops. There is so much potential, so many options, and so many ways to expand your current world. Sadly, I don’t think anyone in Hollywood reads my blog so…

So what, stop going to movies? Avoid the box office and just watch the movies we know and love?

I’m dubious to say no, but that’s more because Hollywood is home to one of the biggest child sex trafficking rings on the planet and they deserve jail cells, not the mansions they get.
However… no. Do not do that. As I said in a previous post, Hollywood isn’t out of new ideas. There are movies with original scripts coming out all the time. You know the movies that are at the box office, but you’ve never heard of them? There’s no advertising and only a few screenings? Those are your original scripts. They don’t get much in the way of ads nor do they get a ton of funding, but they are out there. I’d encourage everyone to vote with their wallets. Go see those movies or read the non-prequel/sequel books. There are plenty out there.


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.

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