Blog for author Gloria Oliver. Postings on anything and everything including movies, books, conventions, life, what have ya. Come visit me at www.gloriaoliver.com
Sunday, December 20, 2009
The Writing is the Thing - But Where has it Gone? TV Commentary
First off though, I'd like to say this - writing for TV is HARD! Not something to be taken on on a whim. I've no experience doing it myself, but have heard from enough from those who do to understand it can be a thankless and often frustrating job. Mandates are handed down by suits who care nothing for plot, integrity, or the vision. So it could be that this issue I'm about to present might not even be their doing but the influence of things they can't control. I don't know. But whichever it is, I feel the need to point it out in the hopes that someone can perhaps shine a light on those responsible and maybe fix it...
Hope springs eternal!
I watch a lot of TV. I didn't use to as about 5 to 10 years ago there wasn't all that much to watch. But there's been a lot of stuff to interest me lately. Yet there have been some shows that I loved at first that going into second or later seasons, things change, almost abruptly sometimes, and it's no longer the show I liked.
It is TV, so there's always a level of suspension of disbelief. And that's fine, I can handle it. What I can't handle is when suddenly characters behave in ways they never have before for mere plot convenience, when stated facts for the universe are suddenly ignored, but worse, when the audience suddenly is treated like they are too stupid to understand things (especially if its a SF or Fantasy show) and believe they can get away with whatever...
"Avatar the Last Airbender" was a gorgeous, beautifully written, intelligent show about a boy suddenly having to carry the burden of needing to save the world. He had helpers and tragic enemies and I was enjoying the heck out of it. Episodes 2.10 and 2.11 ruined the show for me. Built as Big Production Can't Be Missed episodes, they were actually slaps in the face. Here are these kids trying to save the world, but suddenly it's okay to steal from a non-human who took them in an cared for them and destroy the objects he's been set to guard for hundreds of years. And there wasn't one qualm of guilt on any of them. Worse, Apa gets stolen, and though there's no proof the bison has been hurt, and this not being the first time his friend has been taken or has disappeared, Ang goes into a maddened murderous RAGE! Excuse me? Bison disappears every three episodes people! Maddened Rage? When Zuko doesn't learn his lesson for the umpteenth time and realizes how he is being used, that was it for me. See ya!
"Battlestar Galactica" I was desperate to like. Had loved the show back in the 70's even saw the movie at the theater with the giant sursurround speakers making the whole place vibrate! Richard Hatch had been trying to bring the sucker back forever. Two hour movie had to hold back the horror as the imagination of those involved obviously didn't go far (20th Century Earth with some plastic to the ties - please!) probably budgetary. Nuclear weapons, no really? And sorry, the battlestar would have been destroyed in that major battle. Look up info on nukes and radiation people! The science was abysmal! And aside from pretending to sort of keep some of the names and traditions from the original, it wasn't. But it had some social plots of interest and a funky take on Cylons, so I have it a whirl. They lost me when suddenly Apollo started being the changing character of plot convenience. BLEAH. See ya! Wouldn't want to be ya!
More recently my trouble has been with "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" cartoons. First season was a lot of fun! Second season has taken a turn that has been pissing me off pretty much every episode. And there was no need for it! It's as if the writers/suits took a drug to make them forget what the Force is capable of aside from holding a lightsaber and moving things with their minds. Worse, is things like episode 2.7 stating FACTS about zombie activating worms used by the queen, then in 2.8 using said worms in ways totally contradictory to FACTS given in 2.7!!! What the???? They've been doing this type of thing all through season 2! I have no idea what's happened over there. Come on guys!!!!
Ah, but here's the one that really hurts. Here's the one that makes me ache and despair. (Yes, I am a drama queen. Get over it. :P) I've been obsessed with "Supernatural" since not long into season 2. "Supernatural" is actually my first obsession EVER. For four years they've been giving me yummy goodness, every department of this show so on board it screams from the screen. Yes, not all the episodes have been perfect. They've had a misfire or two a season, but even those had things to make me not care and 90% plus were awesome more than making up for it. I don't expect perfection, no matter what I sound like. I know things happen. Then we hit season 5...
8 out of 10 episodes so far this season have been abysmal in the writing department. I've no idea what's happened, but I hope they get a clue soon, despite 30% of people in a survey saying it is the BEST season ever. (Are we watching the same show????) It's like every cheesy TV trick ever used is now making it into all the season 5 episodes. Monsters not being taken care of and conveniently forgotten about as if things were resolved (Poker Witch 5.7, 3rd Killer Ghost Boy 5.9). Ridiculous amounts of time being glossed over by how the events are shown (ghost boys attack Sam and Dean minutes (like 5 if they're lucky ep 5.9) after fanboys go off to dig graves - digging graves (which they needed to do 3 and only did 2) take more than five minutes to unearth!!!!
Episode 5.2 Sam kills a couple of teenagers having been led to believe they are demon possessed yet the demon knife did not do its usual loud and bright light show and Sam never noticed! Please people, he's been killing demons with this things for 2 plus years! I think he'd notice that it didn't do the usual! Even if he did not understand why not, and was being tempted by what he thought was demon blood, he should have noticed!
Episode 5.5 This one REALLY made me angry. Suits - we're NOT stupid!!!! First victim we see die and they show all the a typical signs of a ghost having done the murder. Boys never even use the EMF reader on the car. And though they themselves did not see the cold temps and other ghost signs, kept assuming it was ghosts. These guys are experts, they don't assume! Worse, it turns out it is not a ghost but a god. Uhm sorry ya'll but the gods don't have the same signs as ghosts! And if one did, it should remain consistent, which it didn't!!!! Then lets have people be unconscious and remain standing up for filming convenience, why don't we. Hello????
Would point out more but it's just too depressing...
What's truly sad is that all the other aspects of the show have been spot on. Direction, props, sets, the awesome acting. Yet it's like the writers are burned out, being sabotaged, or who knows what. And there are plenty of other shows out there that have remained consistently good overall throughout their runs! So it can be done!
Please guys, this is probably the last season, the one where all the things you've been building up for four years are finally culminating. Don't blow this! *cry* Don't let my first obsession ever be in vein! (And you know it's bad cause I do not want them renewed for a season 6.)
Okay, I'm done. Sending good karma SPN's way hoping second half is back on track. Don't make me beg ya'll!
Sunday, December 13, 2009
The Life of a Work In Progress
There will be several spots where the starting number won't match the previous sessions end number - that's normally somewhere where I deleted notes I'd added at the end of the book I no longer needed.
There's also a huge gap in there or two where "Supernatural" took over my life. The muse went totally nuts and she had to be followed. Will try to add how much I wrote during those times as while the WIP may not have gotten attention, the writing of things never stopped.
Date Start End Words Days Since
3/22/2007 8,165 8,670 505
3/26/2007 8,670 8,950 280 4
3/27/2007 8,950 9,283 333 1
3/29/2007 9,283 9,860 577 2
3/30/2007 9,860 9,865 5 1
4/2/2007 9,865 10,217 352 3
4/10/2007 10,217 10,435 218 8
4/19/2007 10,435 11,125 690 9
4/20/2007 11,125 11,400 275 1
5/9/2007 11,400 12,182 782 19
5/11/2007 12,182 12,642 460 2
5/18/2007 12,642 13,294 652 7
5/21/2007 13,294 13,815 521 3
Then Supernatural took over my life!
(June 2007 - "Sacrifice of the Heart" SPN fanfic - 26,167 Words) This is when they got posted
(July 2007 - "Appeasement" anthology submission - 4,600 words)
(July 2007 - "Jess" SPN - 32,376 Words)
(Sept 2007 - "Our Separate Ways" SPN - 24,400 words)
(Sept 2007 - "Serving the Public" - anothology submission - 5,000 words)
(Nov 2007 - "Broken Idols" SPN - 7,638 words)
(Dec 2007 - "Of Grief and Guilt SPN - 23,828 words)
Hah! You thought I was kidding didn't you? Totally took over! That's over 100K words in 6 months! I was SMOKING! Booyah! Go, Muse, Go!
12/27/2007 13,815 21,052 7,237 220
Multiple sessions forgot to list them! :(
12/28/2007 21,052 22,152 1,100 1
(June 2008 - "It's Not Working" - SPN - 2,234 words)
(Aug 2008 - "Heart of the City" - SPN - 48,344 words)
(Re edit of novel "Price of Mercy" already accepted by Zumaya Publications)
8/27/2008 22,152 23,012 860 243
8/28/2008 23,012 23,435 423 1
9/2/2008 23,435 23,815 380 5
9/20/2008 23,815 25,570 1,755 18
(Nov 2008 - "Weight of Failure" SPN - 28,297 words)
(Dec 2008 - "Snow" SPN - 6,032 words)
(Jan 2009 - "Dark Secrets" SPN - 35,524 words)
(March 2009 - "Winchester Interrupted" SPN - 31,235 words)
(March 2009 - reworked future WIP beginning Inner Demons into 1st Person)
(July 2009 - "Switch" SPN AU - 63,767 words)
9/1/2009 25,570 65,243 39,673 346
(Another chunk of Multiple sessions I forgot to list. Ack! Life was errr turbulent in late 2008 into 2009. Bleah!)
(Aug/Sept - Blog Week postings for Novel.net - 6,834 words)
9/2/2009 65,243 66,288 1,045 1
9/3/2009 66,288 67,501 1,213 1
9/4/2009 67,501 68,233 732 1
9/9/2009 68,265 68,917 652 5
9/10/2009 68,917 70,103 1,186 1
9/11/2009 70,103 70,410 307 1
9/21/2009 70,410 70,850 440 10
9/22/2009 70,850 71,182 332 1
9/23/2009 71,182 71,448 266 1
9/24/2009 71,448 71,740 292 1
9/25/2009 71,740 72,456 716 1
9/29/2009 72,456 73,295 839 4
10/1/2009 73,295 74,058 763 2
10/2/2009 74,058 74,841 783 1
10/5/2009 74,841 75,197 356 3
10/6/2009 75,197 76,216 1,019 1
10/7/2009 76,177 76,839 662 1
10/8/2009 76,839 77,653 814 1
10/9/2009 77,653 78,496 843 1
10/12/2009 78,496 80,003 1,507 3
10/13/2009 80,003 81,278 1,275 1
10/19/2009 81,278 81,725 447 6
10/20/2009 81,733 82,127 394 1
10/21/2009 82,127 82,949 822 1
10/22/2009 82,949 83,519 570 1
10/23/2009 83,519 84,268 749 1
10/26/2009 84,268 84,796 528 3
10/27/2009 84,796 85,599 803 1
10/30/2009 85,599 86,628 1,029 3
11/2/2009 86,628 88,339 1,711 3
11/3/2009 88,339 88,588 249 1
11/4/2009 88,588 89,092 504 1
11/5/2009 89,092 89,591 499 1
11/6/2009 89,591 90,420 829 1
11/9/2009 90,420 91,239 819 3
11/13/2009 91,239 92,295 1,056 4
11/16/2009 92,295 92,983 688 3
11/17/2009 92,912 93,180 268 1
11/18/2009 93,180 93,458 278 1
11/19/2009 93,391 93,883 492 1
11/20/2009 93,883 95,456 1,573 1
11/23/2009 95,456 95,831 375 3
11/24/2009 95,831 96,181 350 1
11/25/2009 96,181 96,635 454 1
11/30/2009 96,635 97,209 574 5
So let's summarize this mess.
SPN madness - 329,842 words! (Holy Molly! Yeah, 3 books worth in 2 years - Muse went INSANE I tell you! And she would NOT be denied!)
Other - 16,434
Re-edits and edits - who knows!
Jewel of the Gods WIP - 97K - Almost 3 years. Way, way, way longer than I meant it to. lol.
So there you have it! One author's road to a finished WIP. Bwahahahaha!
Friday, December 11, 2009
FridayFlash - The Tree
Miaka sensed immediately that something in her kingdom had changed.
There was a new scent filtering through the house -- one that spoke of nature and outside. It sent a tingle through her furry frame, awakening primal instincts. She scurried to the corner of the hall, curious, watching her larger housemates struggle with this brown thing with green needles and that marvelous scent. They set it into a red bracket in the corner of the big room then cut away the net around it, which allowed the thing to spread out, small brown arms full of green reaching out, beckoning to her.
Boxes were brought in from the garage and set on the floor. These smelled of dust, glass, and metal.
She slinked around them and the tall outside thing, sniffing, cataloging, her small dark eyes bright.
Round, shiny items were taken out of the boxes and hanged off the arms of the tall mysterious thing. The sunlight glittered off their colorful bodies, making her dizzy and filling her with strange excitement.
Her housemates talked and worked, moving her out of the way when she got too close.
Eventually all the activity died down. Those who fed and played with her stood before the towering thing and stared with seeming pleasure.
The boxes were closed up and hidden beneath the couch or taken back to where they came from.
Miaka stared at it, too, and realized that this thing, it was for her. Must be hers. The tantalizing scents wafting from it told her so. She climbed the couch with a blur of speed then stood poised on the back studying what called to her soul. Yes, this was hers to do as she saw fit!
So moving over the top of the couch, she calculated angles and trajectories then she rushed at it, leaping through the air to land in the embracing branches.
The thing jingled and jangled as she dove deeper into the interior. Reaching the central core, she went upwards, her blood singing. She became as tall as her housemates. Taller! She was the owner of all she surveyed!
Her lofty perch began to sway.
“Miaka! Miaka, no!”
“Oh my God!”
She rolled as the thing bounced and ran off under a chair amidst the sudden yelling and running around by the others. Peeking out, she saw there was no need to worry. Her housemates were setting up her toy upright again.
Soon she would reign supreme once more.