Thursday, September 5, 2013

Enough serious writing stuff. Cracked has identified six real-life superheroes!

Yes yes yes, this article is over a year old, but I didn't see it until now, therefore it's news.

Presenting... Electric Man! Or, that sounds like he gives off electricityElectroImmuno Man!*

"Everybody's reaction to electricity is a little different; it's influenced by everything from how thick you are, to how moist your skin is, to other changes in body chemistry. Xiangang appears to be an outlier on the high end of the scale. According to testing, he has a resistance seven to eight times greater than the average human being, which grants him the ability to handle live wires without safety equipment, though, again, it behooves us to ask why in the hell he'd want to."

But wait, there's more! The Human Ice Cube! Marathon, the Eternal Runner! The true Last Samurai, who brings a sword to a gunfight, and wins!

Before you ask, I rigorously fact-checked the dude slicing a speeding bullet BB in half by googling "Isao Machii hoax." He's clean. 

Read the whole thing.

*Marvel executives, leave a comment & I'll put you in touch with my agent.

Expectations vs. that other thing

It’s funny, how nothing ever matches your expectations. You go somewhere new; the things you expect to love are boring and the things you expect to hate are okay. You start a new job, and realize you like the humdrum bits better than the big exciting projects.

When I first started writing, I had this odd idea that dialogue would be easy—I carry on conversations all the time, how hard could writing them be? Descriptive prose, now that would be hard. 

How could you possibly really and truly convey the jagged, black latticework of bare wintery twigs against a sunset? (As ‘jagged, black latticework,’ apparently.) How could you explain that a character’s face was somehow ugly and beautiful at the same time? 

A picture is worth a thousand words—do I need at least a thousand words to set every scene?

Well, as it turns out, dialogue, even to someone who babbles compulsively, is hard. It comes out wooden, dry, and not remotely like what any real person has ever actually said. Describing the scene is easy. Which is good, because when you decide to set your story on an imaginary world, you do really need to flesh out what it looks like. I can always slash it down to something concise in draft three.

Plus, if I keep rambling on about the color of the ducks (dark brown, with pink wings), I may eventually figure out what the people ought to be saying.