Arlock writes (personal). An outlet for Glossolalia

Posts tagged “Planning & Plotting

Radiation Proof DNA

c0089248-water_bear_sem-splI just love it when an article comes along that is just perfect for one of the stories you’re working on. I was looking for a biological mechanism to provide radiation resistance for a population. Just in time along comes

… once again, water bears are the solution to my problems.

Science Fiction: Hope vs Despair [Re-Blogged]


Why dystopia? Because it’s a cop-out.

It’s far harder to predict the changes and tribulations of an advanced society. So why not just assume we broke all our toys and reverted to barbarianism? After all, these stories sell.

Why not? Because we’re selling despair. Because we’re telling a whole new generation that they won’t succeed, so don’t try. Because there is a lot more challenge in predicting the changes in culture (and to a lesser extent technology), and therefore a lot more potential for good storytelling.

I’m not saying Dystopia bad; therefore Utopia good. I’m just wondering what happened to the golden age of sci-fi where anything was possible and the sky was the limit? Surely it’s better to look forward to a better world than to assume we’re going to screw it up and revert to banging each other over the head with crude weapons. And yes Zombie Genre I’m looking at you too!

David Brin puts it nicely over at his blog Contrary Brin. Go have a look.

Why all the re-blogs? Well, partly because I’m lazy, and partly because there is so much good material out there that it doesn’t need another voice adding to the echo chamber. Instead, I think it serves everyone better to just promote the work of those who have already spoken up.

Source: CONTRARY BRIN: Science Fiction: Hope vs Despair


DareDevil Season 2



Our favourite blind pseudo-ninja is back, backflipping in the rain to beat crime. Took me four days from start to finish binge-watching this show. Six episodes a day, with a two-day break in between. (Broke some ribs recently so getting comfortable hasn’t been easy).  So no spoilers here, but I truly enjoyed season 2.

With the series taking a Mad Max-esque approach of the named protagonist being the window from which we see their world, but not always being the focus of the story, the welcome addition of Electra, The Punisher “You put them down, they get back up, I put them down, they stay down!”, and Karen’s evolution really made the season for me. Still, I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as Season 1, and nowhere near as much as Jessica Jones.

It wasn’t as fresh as Season 1, lacking much of the awesome big-picture politics. In fact, the antagonists in this series seemed to exist purely for the heroes (and anti-heroes) to react to, lacking any real depth of their own. No Kingpin here. There were also a few scenes that were awesome but seemed to be carbon copies of season 1. For example, Season 1’s hallways fight now takes place going down a set of stairs this time and doesn’t come off nearly as well, maybe because we’ve seen it before.

…also I am not going to forgive Ramirez for leaving all those unanswered questions about the Hand and Black Sky.


Fisk (season 1 spoilers)

A Good Season 2 Review (spoilers)

EDIT: Extra Link

io9’s take on season 2 which I agree with 100%


7 Steps To Create The Perfect Writing Space


Clutter can comfort or distract

Sights and Sounds
Everyone likes a view, cityscapes, forests and the ocean can all be a source of creativity, but if it’s not an option put up some posters that are going to inspire you to hammer out those words. The same goes for sounds, some people find them inspiring and do their best writing to music, the sounds of nature or the cacophony of the city. For others, sound just gets in the way. Work out what is right for you.

If you write during the day make sure you have lots of natural light. There is nothing better for the creative mind (and mental health) than getting enough natural daylight. If you write at night make sure your light source doesn’t buzz or flicker. Some people get headaches just from the fluorescent lights, others don’t care.

Whether you’re working under natural light or artificial make sure your not being blinded by it. A nice cheat can be to write out things on paper during the day and transfer/edit that to your computer at night. Think of it as a quick and dirty revision process.

If you can’t sit still, are being sat on by pets, or ache, you’re not going to be getting a lot of work done. You don’t necessarily need a desk, a bean-bag and notepad might be right for you, just make sure your body won’t be constantly disturbing your mind.

Avoid them. Lock off facebook and Tumblr (there are apps for that) leave you phone in the other room and uninstall games from your work computer. Make sure you have the option of locking off your space to really get lost in the writing process.

Your reference books and materials should be kept close at hand. You don’t want to have to break your flow by taking the time to search through other rooms for what you need.

There are two schools of thought on this. One is to keep everything nearby. Carrot sticks or other not so healthy items just an arms length away. Again so you don’t break your flow.  The other school of thought is to keep those snacks the hell away from your keyboard/notes. Not only does this avoid the inevitable “hey what happened to the rest of the packet?” moments, but it also means you are regularly getting up to stretch your legs and in doing so get the blood and creative juices flowing. If you’re anything like me you’ll get up and boil the jug three or four times before actually remembering to make the coffee before it gets cold again.

Related Link

Onion Burns

Novelist Has Whole Shitty World Plotted Out

I’m going to lead with “Ouch”, and then wince repeatedly at least once per paragraph. Still, there is a potential lesson in here for all of us. (Reblogged from The Onion)

Source: Novelist Has Whole Shitty World Plotted Out

Why You Should Never Write Action Scenes

While this article is about script writing, the basics still apply to novels. In particular, no risk = no emotional stakes.

Go and check out the whole thing on John Rogers blog. Link

Raising the Dead

NecromancerGarry McPlottool is dead. Pushing up daisies. Gone to join the choir invisible.

…thing is, he’s THE Garry McPlottool, the star of so many stories you’ve written and even more you’ve just imagined. Queue the literary Necromancer. So the question is “When, if ever, is it good to bring back a dead character?”

I’m not talking Days of our Lives stuff here when every character dies [or is assumed dead] a half dozen times. Especially when they mysteriously come back with a new face and accent, ten or twenty years younger. I don’t care about TV World where Dean’s death is just this episodes cliff hanger. I mean a world crafted with a little realism, where death SHOULD matter.

What are your rules for resurrecting a much beloved [or loathed] character, is there a line that shouldn’t be crossed? Maybe you think the line should never be crossed.

I’m curious.