WRITER’S BLOCK PART II: STORY

“Life goes by so fast, You only want to do what you think is right, Close your eyes and then it’s past.”
-Social Distortion, “Story Of My Life”

Characters can carry a story, but they also can hide the plot, and if it’s a good tale that needs to be told, then wouldn’t it be so much better to have both aspects be great? Just like relating to a character in some way, you can provide a relation to a situation in reality, even if your character (or you, you know you do it) lives in a fantasy.

Fact and fantasy (not necessarily the genre) are quite similar despite the obvious difference (that doesn’t make sense). Take a historical documentary for instance: The reader must get involved with the situation to understand the true degree of the words. Since it was in the past, and did in fact happen, there’s no possible way the reader can enter into the situation they will never encounter without using imagination to understand the truth. Despite what Back to the Future, The Butterfly Effect, or that new movie with the teenagers in it claims, time travel isn’t available (yet) so you have to use your imagination. In Driving: An Unofficial Guide, I talk about the daily commute, but through imagery and relatable situations the reader feels like they’re in the car with me (at least I hope they do) even though they probably will never be my passenger.

When it comes to fiction, the story must be factual in the sense that it must be consistent. An author or writer can make up a world, a crime, a relatable life situation, and so on, but it must be ‘true’ in order to write it per se. If you don’t believe in your story then your reader won’t either. In The Moirai Medallions, dragons are part of the world, they’re real, they’re fact in that story. In the current book I’m writing, Endless, the character is going through a fictitious, but realistic situation, so the subject matter, say it’s suicide (it’ s suicide), should be true to form if based on real life problems and the theme follows suit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vn_PSJsl0LQ

A great story comes from a good idea and an even better outline. Let’s take a movie script for instance. The ‘experts’ say a screenplay shouldn’t surpass 125 pages, whatever, I’m sure many do, but it’s a good base. Find twelve main parts or big events in the plot (including beginning and end), and try to get ten script pages between parts; to break it down even more, add five subjects within the twelve main parts at two pages each and you have yourself a 120 page script.

With books you can do the same, but by word count. Of course the word count range is very broad depending on the genre, but we will focus on a fiction book. Five big parts, five medium parts to each big part, and then five small parts to each medium part; at 1,000 words per small part, you have a 125,000 word novel which would average around 500 book pages depending on the formatting or design. Organization for story development is very important (to me at least).

Three things I can recommend: Sometimes start with an ending and write how you got to that conclusion (the audience is in it to see what happens at the end, so you may as well put a lot of energy into that), Research every detail if you’re not 100% sure (research, research, research, and then research even more), and give the made-up world unique characteristics and make sure stories involving the real world are specific in culture and exclusivity (something we know exists, even in a futuristic world, like if the Great Wall of China was torn down during a war in 2568).

Be creative, be factual, be consistent.

‘PULLING A KANYE’ NOW A REAL PHRASE

“Cos I’m a brat, And I know everything, And I talk back, Cos I’m not listening to anything you say.”
-The Living End, “Prisoner Of Society”

From time to time, celebrities attempt to put their opinions above the public’s general likes and dislikes. Maybe it has to do with the psychological need for attention, or maybe they just believe they’re larger than life, but there’s a time and a place.

Kayne and taylor people com
Photo courtesy of people.com

Remember when Kanye interrupted Taylor Swift at the pointless 2009 MTV Video Music Awards or whatever they’re called (not just that certain broadcast, all the years are pointless)? You should, it’s in the picture above. Well he did it again, and to a much more established artist in the music industry at a much more prestigious awards show. Though it may not have been as intense as the last time, he did subtly offer insults afterwards about how people need to recognize true art.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M1GMQkrjdI

Let’s take a look at the two true artists centered in Kanye’s opinion.

-Beck: 12 Studio Albums, 12 national and international recognized award, and plays more than 12 different instruments.

-Beyonce: 5 Studio Albums, around 200 national and international awards, and is learning the guitar and plays a little keyboard.

A tweet from Brian Clark (@brianclark) read, “Beyonce: 27 writers and 19 producers, Kanye: 49 writers and 25 producers. Beck: 1 writer, 1 producer.”

I personally think Beyonce has been “recognized plenty and Beck is a true artist, but I may be wrong. He was able to appreciate the situation claiming, “[Kanye] He deserves to be onstage as much as anybody. How many great records has he put out in the last five years, right? You can’t please everybody, man. I still love him and think he’s genius. I aspire to do what he does (Glenza, 2015).” That was very nice of the album of the year winner, but Kanye was coming up to support Beyonce I thought? Speaking of, what the hell does Jay-Z think of these shenanigans? I, as many normal men would, think someone has a crush on a certain somebody. Of course, the popular rapper/musician/producer/whatever else you can put on a resume even if you did it just once, explained, “It was kind of a joke – like the Grammy’s themselves (Glenza, 2015).”

To support Mr. West (this may be one of the few times), I bet if the Grammy’s happened every five years no one would even know the difference. The same performers play, the same people are nominated, and LL Cool J, though he never seems to age somehow, has become a permanent host for all we know and will be forever. It has almost developed into insignificance because not even the musicians are happy with the outcome anymore, speeches are becoming more critical, and everyone has to collaborate. Though there’s usually an outcry of disappointment by fans that their favorite didn’t take home the small iconic trophy, at least the committee gives awards to artist who deserves it the most.

Sam smith hollywoodreporter com
Photo courtesy of Hollywoodreporter.com

Music is changing, as it always does. Each generation, no matter how strange the composition sounds to the generations before, is defined by a certain style and superstars. A horrible example of musical recognition was displayed by the youth after a Kanye performance that featured Paul McCartney. They tweeted, or whatever the hell it is they do now (something easier and requires even less attention probably) that they didn’t know of Paul McCartney, but now he is going to “blow up”; or how they love Kanye for helping unknown artists like McCartney get noticed. If you’re going to say your generation’s music is the best, at least be aware of what came before; but still, not even being able to recognize what of the greats who has spanned musical generations for over fifty years? You must be pretty dumb regarding the topic you claim to know so much about and “love”.

References:

Glenza, J. (2015).Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/feb/11/kanye-west-upstaging-beck-a-joke-like-grammys-themselves on February 16, 2015

BREAKING NEWS: PEOPLE BECOME IRRITATED AT DISNEYLAND

“Tuesday comes and you take out the trash, And you’re sweatin’ so hard that you got a big rash.”
-Marvelous 3, “Get Over”

We have another devastating outbreak on our hands, one that could tear this nation apart. No, no, no, it’s worse than poverty, crime, or obesity, it’s one in which there’s no escape from childhood relationships that seemed forced now that you think about it; play dates and get-togethers that left you wondering what conspiracies your parents had planned, scratching your head with uncertainty. It’s the measles, and you’re scratching because of a rash, not confusion.

measles betcheslovethis com
Photo courtesy of betcheslovethis.com

That may have not even been a picture of measles, but according to Google it is not chickenpox. To understand measles we must first rediscover the virus. Measles cause a red rash and irritation on the skin along with a fever, primarily during youth. Though there’s a possibility the virus is fatal when contracted by small children, a vaccine is now provided in the United States to avoid such consequence. Most cases of widespread outbreaks originate in foreign countries (Mayo, 2015). We try to enjoy our lives via travel and experiencing other cultures, and in return: rubeola. How unfortunate.

Surprisingly enough, the disease was declared eliminated from the United States in 2000 (Corum, 2015). What a harsh way to put it, “eliminated.” This is probably why everyone is scratching and coughing: our arrogance and confident intimidation towards the virus. We trashed-talked and it’s getting its vengeance. Just like any sickness that causes the vague symptoms, measles spreads from a sneeze, handshake, poor ventilated office building, or random kids you’re hanging around for some odd reason without being compensated as a babysitter (youth sports’ coach). The good news is that if you survive the infection, you have full immunity from the virus forever, which is very strange. Wouldn’t it be nice if that was the case for every virus?

Some cold symptoms forcing you to stay home? Full immunity? Not bad; it’s like getting away with a bad crime. Just like most crimes, it spreads when given enough attention by the media. Of course the media isn’t having another slow news season and purposely released a contagious virus in a consistently high-populated area such as Disneyland, but we should take a look at the statistics anyway since everyone is talking about it.

-January 2015 has already had nearly as many cases (102) as 2001 had all year (CDC, 2015) Wasn’t that the year after we “eliminated” the virus? Hmm?
-In the 1963, when the vaccinations began, there were 400,000 cases, now we have it down to much less than 1000 (Corum, 2015) I think it’s safe to say we’ve made some medical progress.
-Disneyland was not the largest outbreak in recent memory. Months earlier, 383 people were diagnosed within an Amish community in Ohio (AP, 2015). Be careful where you buy your furniture and fireplaces from now.
-14 states have reported infections thus far (CDC, 2015). California seems to be Patient Zero on this one. They just have to be better at everything, don’t they? Eesh.

So some kids got sick at Disneyland. Adults get sick at Disneyland, everyone does. It’s pretty crazy the amount of money families throw at the corporation only to uncomfortably wait in the sun for hours, constantly rub up against other park goers whom they don’t want to touch, become nauseous from spinning teacups and “It’s A Small World” on repeat, and to not trust Goofy alone with children. It still beats hanging out in Amish country I guess.

Measles has already topped the whopping four United States Ebola cases that happened in the fall of 2014 by hundreds of people. Combined, both outbreaks account for .0002% of our population. Good thing we didn’t blow this out of proportion.

Knock of wood!

References:

AP (2015). Retrieved from https://www.yahoo.com/health/disneyland-measles-outbreak-isnt-largest-in-110164821372.html on February 6 2015

CDC (2015). Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/measles/cases-outbreaks.html on February 6 2015

Corum, J. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/02/02/us/measles-facts.html?_r=0 on February 5 2015

Mayo Clinic (2015). Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/measles/basics/definition/con-20019675 on February 5 2015

WILSON RUNS OUT OF LUCK, BRADY WINS BACK TROPHY WIFE

“My boyfriend’s back and you’re gonna be in trouble.”
-The Angels, “My Boyfriend’s Back”

Americans love to hate champions, especially when they win often. There’s something about repeat offenders. It’s kind of like that guy who always gets the girl, but you can’t really do anything about it because his moves are good and his game is top notch. Wait, I thought I was trying to make a comparison to the Super Bowl; somehow it was related to Tom Brady.

Brady espn go com
Photo courtesy of espn.go.com

January 18th, 2015: Seattle 28 Green Bay 22 (OT)

The Seahawks did not win this game, the Packers lost it. This wasn’t some magical comeback, it wasn’t because of the 12th Man, and it wasn’t earned, but it was simply given away. That was an over-exaggeration, Seattle is certainly a good and deserving enough to team to reach the Super Bowl two years in a row, but when your defense was essentially dominated and your offense even worse, you don’t deserve to win the football game. Of course, if you can only kick field goals, take a knee off an interception with three minutes left for some ridiculous reason, and drop an onside kick, you probably don’t deserve to win either. An ugly game, Giselle was not impressed or attracted to either team.

pack nydailynews com
Photo courtesy of nydailynews.com

January 18th, 2015: New England 45 Indianapolis 7

The Colts upset the Broncos, and the football world believed that Andrew Luck was about to start his reign in the postseason. Then they went to Foxboro and lost just like everyone does, and they lost by a lot just like most teams do. There’s nothing special about the Patriots; they win with efficient play and great coaching, yet people despise the organization outside of the New England area. Remember, people, the Patriots haven’t won a Super Bowl in a decade so why are you complaining? The early game was ugly, the second game had no personality. The ladies aren’t liking this, fellas.

Colts bleacherreport com
Photo courtesy of bleacherreport.com

Maybe people dislike the Patriots because of the cheating allegations that have turned out to be complete nonsense because the Media needed something to talk about for two weeks before the Super Bowl because there are only two teams left and one game. It’s filler. Deflated balls are easier to grip, correct, but didn’t the referees notice when they were touching the balls on every play? “Deflate-gate” is about as stupid as players being forced to talk to the media. Marshawn Lynch looks like he would have been a trouble-maker in the classroom at a younger age. Maybe he doesn’t like the Media, or he has some weird Law & Order: SVU condition that he is subconsciously holding onto? However, it’s part of his job and in his contract to talk to the press even if he’s simply stating, “Thank you for asking,” or, “I’m only here so I don’t get fined.” Running the ball is also part of his job, and he does that very well, so it balances his performance evaluations out. Hopefully this doesn’t somehow turn into a racial thing, but who knows these days. Can’t we all just get along and play some football? I feel I shouldn’t have phrased it that way.

February 1st, 2015: New England 28 Seattle 24

Let’s get the really important things out of the way: the commercials and Katy Perry. Dodge, Doritos, and Snickers provided some quality laughs, Nationwide and T-Mobile had good (Mindy & Silverman) and bad (dead children & Kardashian-West) commercials which was a little odd, and Budweiser used animal life to take home the “cutest” award and distract the general public from the fact that people usually drink their product with the purpose of intoxication instead of relaxation. Katy Perry was weird and decent (which was expected), but Missy Elliot shouldn’t have been invited as a guest act because no one even wants to invite her to a Super Bowl party let alone the halftime show at the game.

At least the contest was great, and fans needed the excitement to make up for last year’s debacle. The Patriots persevered and the Seahawks finally ran out of luck. After a hot start from New England, Seattle ended the first half with an equalizing touchdown, and eventually took a ten point lead into the fourth quarter. Then that one guy did his thing. Tom Brady led two scoring drives, in large part due to the assistance of Julian Edelman, to earn a four-point lead with two minutes remaining, but giving the ball to Russell Wilson and letting him do what he does best; except he didn’t. A lucky catch (some skill involved) brought the Seahawks inside the five yard line, and the game was pretty much in hand if they just handed the ball to Lynch, but again they didn’t, and Wilson was intercepted by undrafted rookie Malcolm Butler on a questionable, but validated play call. An ice-cold veteran, a tough and utilitarian receiver, and an unlikely hero propelled New England to their fourth Super Bowl title.

Butler espn go com
Photo courtesy of espn.go.com

What did we learn? Brady completed the most passes in a single Super Bowl, and also surpassed Montana as the all-time leader in touchdown throws as he hurled four more, so it seems “deflated” balls really don’t make a difference. Also, the Seahawks are sore losers as they started a fight at the end of the game which was simply pathetic and the prefect display of poor sportsmanship. Good job, Patriots; grow up, Seattle. Lastly, the guy once again came back and got the girl (if the girl was a trophy, and some are considered to be).

Brady trophy host madison com
Photo courtesy of host.madison.com