Friday, July 15, 2016

Hiatus until August 5

This blog will be going on hiatus until August 5, as I take care of some delightful life developments.

This space filler is here for happy reasons.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Monsieur Scaley Fang McLeatherskin, the Sneak

If you're ever in a horror movie, avoid the long grass.
Yes, even if the creatures you see appear harmless and cute.
In practically every horror monster movie I've seen, the monster has snuck up on side characters and then devoured them. It's one of the tropes of the genre, a monster eating a redshirt to show how awful the monster is.

Sure, sometimes the sneaking occurs in a city, or in the halls of a spaceship, or in a forest, or in long grass, or the halls of an old mansion. Sometimes it ends with a chase. But it always ends in a snack for Monsieur Scaley Fang McLeatherskin. (Or Madame if there's a sequel; Monsieur can't lay eggs, after all!)

Have you ever written or read or seen a version of this trope that feels entirely different and new? What made it unique?

Would a monster movie without this trope have as much impact, or are there other ways to create monster horror without having the monster kill a redshirt character?

Friday, July 1, 2016

Timelines--do you use them?

When watching CSI shows, they usually have a murderboard, with a timeline that gets filled in as the investigators discover more info about the victim's last days.

It's interesting to watch, but also reminds me of making timelines for my writing. When lots of things are going on at once, I find it helpful to make a timeline to keep track of what's happening, when. I even make them for pre-story events, which is useful for keeping track of birthdays, how old characters were when certain things happened, etc. I tend to be more a pantser, which makes it even more important to be able to see when things happen, so I don't cross storylines by accident. But even when plotting it's a useful way to keep dates straight.

When you're planning stories, do you ever make timelines?