Cliche’s and Stuff

Time for more rambling! This time, I will talk about cliche’s tropes and the stuff. And I’m not even going to add the accent to the e of cliche. So, cliches are things that are well-used, predictable, all that good stuff. It’s sort of like comfort food. You know what’s going to happen. Tropes would be more like building blocks, certain things that come together to form a story. They can be characterization or location or even plot points.

Now, people might see them as bad. If they are used too much, the story will become predictable. But that is not necessarily good or bad. Predictable stories, if well written, can still be fun and fine to read. They probably won’t be the masterpieces, though, but not all works are.

Consider them as tools and rules. As a first time person forming plots, stick to what is known. It won’t blow anyone’s socks off, but you can get the hang of characters, moving them along the world and setting up conflict. Then, as you get better at forming plots, you can start to break the rules. There is a big difference to doing things randomly and deliberately setting up expectations only to subvert them. You should have a reason for breaking rules, a certain thing you want achieved. And you can’t properly break the rules if you don’t know why they are there in the first place.

For that reason, I think cliches and tropes are still important to have. For stories for younger readers, I would suggest sticking closer to well-known happenings. That’s because it become really hard to subvert the rules when none are established at all. For savvy readers, maybe do a double/triple fakeout. I guess eventually everyone will be savvy enough that untwists and twists are both surprising.

So don’t just set out to avoid all cliches and tropes. They are useful tools and information that can help guide your story, even if your goal is to guide away from what’s been established. Understanding the cliches help to make a better story.

Maybe there will even be a genius move of going sideways and breaking new ground. All original ideas might have been already used at some point in the past, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to create a personal mixture of ideas that feels unique to the writer.

And my thoughts now running wild. See you next week.

 

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Why I Seem to Like Everything

This will be a shorter post the topic of which is, Why I Seem to Like Everything. I’m talking about what I review. Most of you might notice that I am positive with what I say, though I do like certain things better than others. Part of the reason is that I am easy to please. I like most things. Doesn’t make me a great reviewer, but there you go.

Also, I do not require things I watch to have some deep meaning or explore some human condition. I fully go for things that are fun above all else, and I am okay with those lightweight shows that don’t add much to talk about but are just fun.

That brings me to the second reason why I seem to like everything I review, and that is since I am not a professional reviewer, I get to watch what I want. That means I am mainly talking about things I already know I enjoy since I get to pick what I talk about. What I don’t enjoy, I don’t watch past the first episode or two, and that means I do not have a complete picture on the show. I don’t like to judge a show based on just a few episodes, especially since sometimes I do enjoy what I see but it’s just too heavy for me.

So, you should keep that in mind when reading my review, or indeed any reviewer’s review. What their preferences are and such. If you completely disagree with a reviewer, then you’ll know if they say they like something that you won’t or vice versa. So you’ll know by what I watch that I tend to like fantasy stuff, crime dramas and the like. There are a few shows I watch that I don’t review. You won’t find out about those. ;o)

Jurassic World

The newest Jurassic Park movie is here, and now they are Jurassic World! I’ve seen the first two Jurassic Park movies, though since I was so young at the time, I sometimes mix up what happened in which movie. It was great, dinosaur stomping fun, though, and this one is no different. Some minor spoilers. Five words. Velociraptor riding on a T-rex. Find out when that happens in this movie!

After 3 failed attempts at making a theme park out of dinosaurs, it actually seemed to happen in this movie. Everyone is happy, dinosaurs have become so last season that ticket sales are declining. Thus, they need new, better, more exciting dinosuars. How do they do that? Genetically making one, of course. If you are thinking that is a bad idea that can only cause disaster, then you are right!

I can’t remember the first Jurassic Park movie, and I have not seen one of the many repeats on TV thus far, so I won’t be making any comparisons to it. Jurassic World brings out a whole new set of dangers by having a successful and thriving park full of guests. Over 20000 people as pointed out in one scene. Now loose dinosaurs are a real issue.

I think the film wanted to stay away from showing overt sercurity team VS dinosaurs, though. Most of the trouble with the people happen offscreen while the main character’s are dealing with the genetically modified super-dinosaur. It might have changed the tone of the movie, but I think it would be cool to see more of the security detail dealing with the dinosaurs. At least a few of them were even the focus of a single shot, so when they had no other characterization beyond that, it felt a bit lacking.

The main dinosaur action is great, though. I think it’s less tense than the velociraptor scenes in the previous movies, but the modified dinosaur gets some tense scenes. I think this is a louder, flashier movie compared to the previous ones.

One thing I enjoyed is that while there are human characters that can be seen as morally wrong, they aren’t the giving that much attention in terms of conflict. I tend to find it annoying how huge disaster movies always want to throw in some kind of human conflict. No. Let the characters deal with the huge disasters! Not some asshole. In this movie, the main conflict was the super-dinosuar through and through. The potential sequel hook, though…

The climax was great! I don’t care how silly some people might think it is, it is great.

Jurassic World, grander, more technology and deadlier dinosuars! I had fun at the movie for sure.

And I will be honest and say I could not tell the difference between the raptors. No racist. Maybe on a second viewing.

iZombie, Season Finale

Woo, the first season of iZombie is finished. And it is an entertaining and fun show with a supernatural detective. There have been vampires, werewolves and, now, zombies. I really like the concept of the show, and how the main character, Liv Moore, is a friendly zombie that gets memories (and personalities and skills) of the people she eats. Of course Liv works at the police department medical examiner’s office. That’s how she gets all those brains without needing to kill anyone.

But of course there are more zombies than just her, and they aren’t so lucky in their supply of brains. The main bad zombie, Blaine, is the one supplying the brains, though he’s also the one infecting people and making a lot of money off of selling them food. While his story and Liv’s only intersect a few times over the course of the season, there is always a tension going on since you see what he’s up to and know it’s pretty horrible.

Of course the people in Liv’s life slowly gets caught up in the zombie world. I am interested to see where season 2 goes with Liv’s relations with her friends and family. She has an interesting dynamic with them, what with her actually being more open about life as a zombie than when she was alive.

I feel her brother and mother were underutilized, though, and the sub-plot with the brother didn’t pan out as well as it could. Of course, that could just be a setup for the second season. If Blaine comes back and makes him a zombie, that’ll be a proper whoa moment.

As for the crime of the week, they always keep Liv’s ability to see the memories of people she ate relevant. And each week, she gets some new personality quirks based on whomever she ate. It’s really fun to watch and brings something new to each episode. At times, it even pulls off a really sad moment because of her meals delusional tendencies.

Because her memory abilities are always there, it keeps her zombie-ism at the front of the show, even if she doesn’t go into zombie mode all that often. And the zombie plot that’s ongoing pretty much means you won’t mistake this for just some normal crime procedural show.

I really enjoy iZombie. It’s fun, funny and can hit the serious points when it needs to.

Milly, Magems

This will probably be a shorter post. And with my rush of posts dwindling down, I might go back to one post a week. Well, you’ll be able to see what I do when it happens.

But for now, back to the world of Milly for one last post. I realized a short while ago that I’ve never talked about one part of the world, the magems. First up, I will admit they area  pure aid to help move the plot along and make the world more fantastical. I didn’t want to get into the learning of magic, and not everyone can be a wizard anyway. Now, with magems, there is a way for Milly to use magic without needing to learn how! And it makes life super convenient for those medieval times.

Of course magems is a contraction of magic and gems. The different gems has a different charge capacity. In the world of Benaville, gems are common enough that their value solely comes from being able to hold magic. And once the magic is all used up, the gems turn to dust.

The order of charge from lowest to highest is: Agate, opal, carnelian, jade, topaz, garnet, sapphire, emerald, ruby, diamond.

Then there are the special magem materials Moonstone, Sunstone and Obsidian. Yes, moonstones and sunstones are real things. I did not take them from Pokemon.

Now magems provide their own set of problems, and that is inventory. I need to keep track of what magems Milly has and how much charge they have available. Though it has yet to really happen, I might try to make a situation in the future where a needed magem runs out of charge, so she’ll need to improvise.

Part of the reason I let Milly become an official of the government in the second book was because I could reset her magems and can continue to do so every book. Now each book has a fresh set of magems!

Oh, and you all know that Obisidan Magem is going to be special. It’s not going to be used until late, late into the book, though, so I’ll be keeping on mentioning it every so often.

That’s about all the information I have on magems. They are a simpel way to use magic for the people, and they allow me to ignore the laws of physics and convection when it is convenient. Yay!