Posts belonging to Category Reviews and technique

Learning from Video Games: Zelda and the Art of the Game Shepherd

Yesterday, I wrote about the game shepherd NPC. What got me thinking about that character type (or at least, what got me thinking this time) was that one feature that all of the 3D Zelda titles share—their local equivalent of the game shepherd, someone to look over Link’s shoulder and tell him about things that [...]

Review: The New Death and Others

Disclaimer: This review was requested by the author of the book, and written and published in exchange for a pdf copy thereof (see end of review).
If there’s one thing I learned in creative writing, it’s that writing short stories—getting the pacing and the characterization and the plot all to fit together in only a few [...]

Reality Hunger: A Freewriting Review

I find Reality Hunger: A Manifesto , a book calling for “a blurring of any distinction between fiction and nonfiction”, on the new nonfiction table one Wednesday morning at the library. There are things I should probably be reading, but it takes dibs: I love this book by the time I’ve finished the first chapter. [...]

Impressions on Feed and Deadline

The problem with summarizing several books at a time, I’ve found over the last few book posts, is that it’s really hard for me to get across what resonated with me on each of them without either neglecting a few or going into a wall of text. And then there was this week’s batch, in [...]

Kung Fu Panda 2: Please, More of That!

I’ll admit, picking up technique wasn’t particularly on my mind when I went to see Kung Fu Panda 2, aside from testing the premise that the best way to see a kids’ movie on opening day is the middle of the afternoon during the school year (today’s experiment: successful). But to say I got blogfodder [...]

Irritated by Athena

I read The Athena Project for two reasons: one, a patron had recommended it as something I might like, and two, I needed something to read as a painkiller and it was right there. You’d think the premise—an all-female special ops team vs. terrorists trying to reactivate a long-lost pseudo-occult Nazi project—would be right up [...]

Earned Suffering and “Hello Kitty Must Die”

Of all the books I read last week, the one that stood out the most was Angela S. Choi’s Hello Kitty Must Die. (Warning: spoilers follow.)
The idea of earned and unearned suffering is practically at the heart of this book, as narrated by its Chinese-American lady lawyer protagonist, Fiona Yu. Given that the other main [...]

Comparing Rapunzel Adaptations: Split Ends

Yesterday, I compared two Rapunzel adaptations, talking about the elements they shared with the story and each other (or in some cases, just with each other). But the most important part of differentiation is differences, so I’m going to look at some of the major ones between the two stories. There may be spoilers; read [...]

Comparing Rapunzel Adaptations: Two Strands of Hair

I’ve talked a lot about fairy tale adaptations this week; I’m sure I don’t need to say that I think being able to differentiate yours from the numerous other adaptations out there is one of the most important parts of the creation process. But how can you get a unique plot out of a story [...]

Antagonists and the Details That Redeem Them

This was inspired by (and, in fact, supposed to be a comment to, before it turned post-length on me) the recent Hathor Legacy article “Pride and Possession”. In it, Gena responds to seeing a debate on whether or not Mother Gothel might not have been so bad after all (I’ll admit, this concept rather scares [...]