Posts belonging to Category Reviews and technique

A Comparison of Anachronisms (or, A Tomato in Sparta)

I’ve already mentioned my tendency to get inspiration from books in military reading lists, but most of those are, well, military-related. Politics, governance, various aspects of what it’s like to be in a war, strategy, the occasional riff on globalization—not technique, so much. And then I was reading Steven Pressfield’s Gates of Fire, a novel [...]

“Cloudy”: With a Chance of Sledgehammers

Sometimes, there are people who just don’t realize they’ve gotten a message across, so they pick up a sledgehammer and pound it in, again and again ad infinitum, nauseum, etc, even to the point of the defenestration of the offending book, DVD, video… you get the idea. Such was the case with ‘Cloudy with a [...]

Ravyn vs. Ron Miller’s Silk and Steel, Part 3: Highlights

Still here. Still snarking Ron Miller’s “Silk and Steel” as scanned by vandonovan. I almost feel guilty; this text is like shooting fish in a barrel. This time, I’m going to start skipping things; we’re getting on for the point where it stops quite qualifying as something [...]

Ravyn vs. Ron Miller’s Silk and Steel, Part 2: Contradictions in Terms

Welcome back to the dissection of the two pages of Silk and Steel scanned by vandonovan of LiveJournal. (Who apparently decided to read the whole book; one must salute that kind of bravery.) Last time, you got a mere taste of the horror; this time, we’re getting into the [...]

Ravyn vs. Ron Miller’s Silk and Steel, Part 1: The Establishing Clause

As most of you have probably gathered right now, I am one of those people who is death to bad writing. So you can imagine my response when, last Saturday, this scan of two pages of monstrosity from vandonovan from LiveJournal was tossed to me by one of my friends. [...]

“Up”’s Fifth Main Character: Ellie Fredericksen and Presence in Absence

It’s not often I watch a movie and find multiple techniques worth discussing, but watching “Up” definitely made for an exception to that rule.
Along with a beautiful display of economy of dialogue, “Up” demonstrated a technique I have a distinct fondness for: making a physically absent character as active a part [...]

Pixar’s “Up” and Economy of Dialogue

Over the last year, I’ve found a lot of inspiration and a number of lessons in children’s movies. So when Pixar’s “Up” made it to theaters, I ventured out, notebook in hand, to see what I could find. “Up” did not disappoint; in fact, it was worth several pages [...]

WALL-E and Exposition

So what can we learn from a story in which the main characters have a vocabulary of six words between them? A lot, apparently. The movie’s writers may want us to question what is human, to look into the idea of love and loyalty and duty, to see the dark path down which consumerism and [...]