Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Three Paragraphs - Action

Action is the second sort of paragraph necessary to writing fiction.  Unlike description, the moment you start writing action sequences, time is passing in a story.  Action usually comes in after description and shows the changes of status and position of a character.  The reader uses the previously established description and takes that avatar, to use a computer gaming term, through the manipulations described in your paragraph in order to picture the action of the story.

Sing the Midnight Stars by CMJ Wallace

This book is mis-advertised as a detective thriller. It certainly has aspects of that, but it is more appropriately categorized as a story of intrigue. The killer mentioned in the blurb falls increasingly into the background as the book moves around. Which is not to say that his or her presence does not continue to be felt. Regardless of this, the book is a very intriguing run, pun unintended, and has kept me interested throughout.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Three Paragraphs - Description

In writing fiction there are, essentially, three separate types of paragraph: description, action and dialogue.  The proper use of these paragraphs is one of several essential basics required to write a successful story.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Aoife and Demon by Shumila Ghyas and Humeira Kazmi

The premise of the plot is intriguing and the setting is rather interesting. The characters are interesting and I am more than interested enough to see what happens in the next part of the book. However, it is not without difficulties.

The Forest Bull by Terry Maggert

This book is another strike in the campaign to reclaim certain horror icons from the supernatural romances. From start to finish it keeps you entertained and eager to find out what happens next. The central characters are well developed and entertaining and the villains are gloriously unrepentant.

Hero for Hire by CB Pratt

Myths held the place of comic books when I was growing up, Judeo-Christian, Greek, Robin Hood and Arthurian to start and then moving on to Norse, Japanese and myth in general.  So I've been living something of a dream recently with the resurgence of fantasy based on world myths.  What with things like the Dresden Files, the Scion RPG by White Wolf, Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson stories and now, it seems, Eno the Thracian.

Shadowed by Ken Hughes

One of my brothers has often stated that enhanced or extra senses are the most dangerous and powerful abilities that a superhero could have.  This story lends credence to that statement.

Cowboy Ending by Adam Knight

An excellent story all around.  I wasn't even aware of just how long it was until I checked it's length bar on my kindle after the fact.  The story reads quickly and maintains a high degree of interest throughout.  It is somewhere between a superhero origin story and an urban fantasy.  Though I tend to include superhero fiction as a kind of urban fantasy.

Tenjin by Simon Gillen

Tenjin has a curious style that mixes elements from disparate sources that make this a spiritual successor to classical Chinese novels and Fistful of Dollars. The main character is very much in the nature of a hero out of a spaghetti western or a film noir. The main character immediately strikes you as a man of imminent practicality and a sort of outwardly grey morality. Tenjin is strong, for a mortal, but where he really shines is his cunning mind which takes heavy advantage of the fact that most people think he is too big and ugly to be a good liar. He exists somewhere between a true anti-hero and those noir heroes who don't view themselves as heroes.

Daughter of Mythos by Melissa Drake

Daughter of Mythos falls into the category of stories where a seemingly normal teenager has a hidden heritage that makes them a powerful force for good in the world. It is a tried and true story mode and this book does it justice. As a young adult book it is an excellent introduction for a young reader to the genre. It is also quite enjoyable for a long time adult reader of the fantasy genre. There are the expected subplots to these sorts of stories. Some of them end as expected, some of them threw me off my predictions, which I consider an applause worthy feat. Anybody who has done any significant amount of reading or (especially) writing can sympathize with me as to the tendency for stories to no longer be surprising.

Djinnx'd by Nicola Rhodes (Dead Link)

The adventure follows along a number of familiar themes in an original and pleasing manner.  I found myself halfway through the book almost before I realized it.  There were a number of things that I expected and a number of things that took me for a pleasant loop.

Legacy by Jon Davis

I had a lot of fun reading this story. It is a superhero story that has blended classic elements of Gold, Silver and Iron Age comic stories quite nicely. A protagonist with a clear moral framework and strength of character and the initial threat of the meteor are both very much Gold Age in nature. Later on we start to get shades of the Silver-Age with its growing moral complexity. Meanwhile, the seriousness of the battles and the collateral damage and death of innocent bystanders is very much something out of the Iron Age. These elements don't develop one into another like some representation of the development of comics in micro form. No, these elements exist side-by-side as a coherent whole. There are other, specific elements that I could mention, but not without spoiling the story.

The Raging One by Lexy Wolf

This story is an imaginative fantasy setting that makes clever use of traditional archetypes from Western fantasies. The setting is well-defined and sprinkled with just the right number of fictional words to give each of the four countries character. We aren't given full sentences in the various languages, but the words we do see seem to have a similar sound indicating a shared history, which makes sense given what we are given of the setting. The creatures and landscapes are intriguing, ranging from forests of giant trees and animals to desolate wastelands and vast oceans with cities thrown in as well. The way she treats the various sorts of powers is intriguing though we only see a few parts of the whole actually explained, there is a definite consistency to the powers.

The Prodigal's Foole by RB Wood

The Prodigal's Foole strikes a chord with me as one who is a non-practicing Catholic and yet still a firm believer and a fan of science-fiction and fantasy. A trace of the disillusionment I felt as I learned more and more about the history of the church seems echoed here, but at the same time the people involved are, for the most part, generally of good morale fiber. It really does bring home the fact that Faith is not an easy matter of simply believing what you are told. It takes work, it requires active effort and it can be tiring. I have said to people before that I have felt that at least my path to Faith was through skepticism, that you have to actively test and question your beliefs constantly in order to make sure they're real beliefs and not just repeated propaganda. The main character seems to be taking that same route, though it seems that initially he chose simply to forget the whole idea for some time.

Cast of Illusions by Ashley Barnard

Cast of Illusions, by Ashley Barnard is a wonderful story that can appeal to both fans of fantasy stories and lovers of classic Shakespeare alike.  The story very much reads like something of a love-letter to Shakespearean theater and style.

Computer Games I'd like to see

I'm going to organize this by Game Genre first and then Story Genre and list some similar games and things I was dissatisfied with on th...

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