The Viking Diaspora

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The Viking Diaspora →

Following the path of the Vikings, the Danes and Norse who raided and settled.

movingpeoplechangingplaces.org

via DESABRAISBROS.

3D Movies Will Fail!

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In my opinion it’s a scam to charge more money for the same movie.

3D doesn’t add much extra to the experience except for making your wallet lighter and costing a whole lot more to produce, this concept is designed to fail. The cost of production is too great, the price of tickets is ridiculous. It’s all going to end very badly.

Some people may remember going to 3D movies as kids, it was huge, the technology was very different, but it died out. You have to wonder why the big push for 3D movies, again?

I myself have to wear glasses, now when I go to a 3D movie I’m provided with the clunky annoying 3d viewing glasses. After a short while my eyes feel strained, even more than when I forget to wear my glasses while working on my computer. The problem I find is the picture is too dark, images come out blurry and it forces your eyes and brain to work hard, then bring on the headache, a 3D induced headaches, their a dimensional of a problem.

The 3D gimmick, yes I find it is a gimmick detracts from the movie, it pulls you right out of the experience. Now don’t get me wrong there have been some success, Avatar for one. But who could argue that movie wouldn’t have been a success in tradition 2D viewing. It was a great storyline, the actors jumped into the project and it showed on the screen. But now what do we have for 3D movies. They throw 3D in movies that were filmed in 2D, most are cartoons, like the big flop “Mars Needs Moms” They are re-releasing old movies and putting them out in 3D, “Star Wars – Episode 1 The Phantom Menace (1999)” “Beauty and The Beast (1991)” “The Lion King (1994)” there’s so many more, thin tactic to pump out 3D and make money at the expense of moviegoers.

Some films like ‘Green Lantern (2011)’ failed to meet expectations, in some cases the movie was hit and miss, there was good parts but a weak plot.
http://collider.com/green-lantern-2-details-darker-edgier/107145/ 
& a movie lively one http://www.toplessrobot.com/2011/06/topless_robot_presents_the_best_scenes_from_the_gr.php

Lets head over to ‘Priest (2011)’ it was an average experience, filmed in 2D and converted into 3D, has terrible reviews, it just wasn’t there.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)’ reviewers called the film incoherent and confusing, it was just noisy action sequences.

Clash of the Titans (2010)’ well known as one of the worst 3D movies put out there. Even the big actors couldn’t save this one. This was the second 3D movie I went to. After seeing Avatar I had high hopes but this one plummeted. The screen was too dark, a prime example of a filmed 2D movies converted to 3D to try and make a buck.

Conan the Barbarian (2011)’ this one hurt, I’ve had previous bad experiences with 3D movies but I really enjoy the Robert E. Howard Conan and thought I would give it a shot. They went for 3D effects rather than developing characters and story. There was no passion in this film and it showed on the screen. I can honestly say this was my last 3D movie, and it will be my last 3D movie I would ever spend money on.

So please if you are going to shove 3D movies down our throats at least give us something worth watching. What have we ever done to deserve such torture? I don’t want the 3D induced headaches, the silly uncomfortable glasses or an empty wallet, I do want to support the actors, writers, directors and everyone else that puts their time and effort to entertain the masses, but I’m sorry 3D movies are just not the way to go.

Ian

HOW IMPORTANT IS ENVIRONMENT?

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Picture this: Your characters are in a gun fight. Bullets flying through the empty air. Nothing but white space all around them. No people running out of the way. No glass to crash through. No busy streets with gridlocked traffic to trap the fight and build tension. No buildings to jump off to avoid the inevitable explosion from a well hidden bomb. No breeze. No season of the year,(Colored leaves scattered over the ground, knee high snow drifts, or sweltering heat from the never ending laser beam of the sun.)

Your environment paints a picture of your world. It pulls the reader in and says to them, “This feels real.” Leave it out and you have the above white space floating around in their imagination; nothing but white space.

How do you choose environment for your characters? That depends on genre of the story. If it’s sci-fie, you might consider a spaceship or an alien world. Romance, Paris or an empty park filled with flowers and colorful trees. Action, I prefer environments we can relate to in everyday life. Offices are not a bad choice. The bank you pass every day. Maybe the school or college you attended.

Pictures are very helpful. Google has a wonderful source of reference, just remember not to use them for commercial use. Then you get sued and you end up like the guys in the first paragraph. (Maybe you take less drastic measures.)

We’ve established that environment is connected to Genre. It is also connected to character type. For instance, You might not find the homeless man who witnessed a murder hanging out inside a jewelry store. You might not find the well dressed assassin hanging out at Walmart.

Where you place your characters tells us a lot about them. How they live. What kind of money they have. What kind of friends or enemies they might have. How they might live. All of these things play on each other.

We humans have been building places to exist since the beginning. We’ve thrived in every environment from the deserts to the swamps. In the mountains and even underground. It’s our job to put our characters in a place they belong.

Can these rules be broken? Yes, break these rules. Maybe your character being in an environment they don’t belong in is part of your story. Maybe they don’t know they don’t belong there. Maybe part of their journey is coming to know that fact.

Weather is definitely important. Is it raining? Is it cold outside? If so, can we see their frosted breath? (Little kids at a bus stop pretending they’re smoking, pushing their breath out with their fingers holding imaginary cigarettes.)

When writing about your environment, remember your six senses. (Yes, SIX) Smell, touch, hear, taste, see, sense. Have you ever walked into a room and had a weird feeling like you’re being watched? SIXTH SENSE.

How do you use the senses. You can use them all but It’s not necessary. A few should be more than enough. Some author’s like to write a paragraph or two and set the scene before their characters interact with the environment. A great example of this style is used often in a book called: Of Mice and Men, a novella written by Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck. It is also a great example of writing accents.

I prefer to layer my description between dialog and action. I find it makes for a story that flows and is never interrupted by a constant output of information. The last thing I want is to push a reader out of the story to talk about a tree for three pages. Total overkill will make someone close your book.

When writing, try to find your own path. Use the method that works best for you and if you’re ever unsure how to handle your environment. Step away from the computer and go take a walk, environments are all around you.

UNLIKABLE CHARACTERS

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What is the deal with people these days? They want us to believe that everybody is a drug addict looser who is so awful you don’t want to even look at them. They portray men as wimpy feminine sissies who are incompetent and woman are selfish evil reptiles with nothing on their minds but sex and hate.

What are we letting them turn our heros into? I won’t stand for it and neither should you. There is nothing good on TV anymore, they show us something that has a sliver of interest, then you get to know the characters and you become disappointed and detached.

What is the problem? Well, that’s simple. Everybody in almost every story of this age has become completely unlikable. They will argue that people have to have flaws. Okay, I get that. What is with all the drugs? Has everyone become some kind of lawless hack that has no talent and can do nothing but be disgusting? NO! But that’s what they want us to believe.

Ever notice that anything that sparks your imagination gets canceled and any shallow piece of garbage that you have no interest in goes on for years before someone wakes up and strips it away?

Even your villains should have something that makes you like them. What is the point of writing about such horrible creatures that no one could possibly like? If you pronounce your “ing’s” at the end of your words and are clean and sober they say you’re all high and mighty. The truth is that those sick people are just weak. I don’t want to read a book or watch a TV show or movie about such pathetic idiots.

I will not step down and be weak because that’s the common decision. Neither will my characters. You should love your characters, even the bad guys. Your hero’s need to be bigger than life. Your villains need to have a reason for being.

Would Batman still become Batman if his parents were not murdered by a mugger? Probably not. Give your characters a reason why they act the way they do.

The men and women I write about are powerhouses who effect everything around them. They are soulful and alive, with dreams and aspirations. They are who I want to be, how I want the world to be. You can be anyone, do anything. So why can’t your characters?

Death to unlikable characters! BOO! We don’t need them, I don’t want them. I understand having one or two in a story but not all of them. That just sucks the life out of you and makes you not want to watch, read, or write them.

Have some courage and just be yourself. Let your characters do the same. If every character in every story was nothing but a mass of flawed mess, why would we ever want to read them? Not every man is a sissy and not every woman is a soulless bovine. Don’t let them ruin our heros.

DON’T LISTEN TO LAZY WRITERS!

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Unfortunately there are some authors who are lazy and really don’t care anymore. They will say things like: “I never describe my characters. I leave that for the imagination of my reader.” OR “I never describe my environment because I want the reader to picture the story anywhere in the world.”

The above is what I like to call a big unhealthy load of lazy writing. Don’t listen to these people. They are obviously dead inside. You can call them out on it and say, you don’t describe these things because you can’t picture it.

The market of Independent authors is full of people who just don’t even want to try, which makes it harder for the rest of us. I urge you to imagine your characters and locations.

I don’t know what your method is when you write but My story unfolds in my mind like a movie. I see very vivid scenes and people who are alive and struggling in the world. You should feel like these characters are important to you. These places have to mean something to these people you are breathing life into. They live in that world, give them somewhere to exist.

These lazy writers will tell you to only use “he said, she said,” as dialog tags. That is incredibly boring. I don’t care for those kind of books. That tells me that the author couldn’t be bothered to imagine their characters actually speaking or what their mannerisms would be. What a snore-fest.

They will tag all these stupid rules onto your art with no purpose other than to draw a line in the sand. Your words are a warhead, blow up their sand into oblivion, having the whole beach rain down over their lazy heads in white hot sandy grains and jagged shards of fire forged glass.

When I am creating a character, I will often type in a description and download a picture of a stranger from the internet. I will look at their face and decide what kind of person they are. Then, I will look at cities, pictures of towns, bus stations, busy streets, and create their environment. You need the steam rising from the manholes. The grey sky smothered in gathering clouds. You need the faceless strangers, heads down, pushing through the traffic, just trying to get to work. It’s our world, don’t let lazy writers take it away from you.

Indie Author War

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Being an indie author is a lot of hard work. We are in a war against posers, scam artists, and publishing companies who want us to fail. Between all the haters bashing us all over the internet and the publishers afraid they are becoming obsolete, things tend to look bleak. The only thing you can do as an author is write, right?

Wrong!

As an indie author, you are expected to create the absolutely best work you can for very little money (if any at all.) If someone can sift through the scams and garbage that has littered our beloved internet to find your masterpiece, which you have priced insanely low so someone will read it, they may be skeptical to purchase your book.

How can you get them to buy your ebook? Good question. First off, many great authors are not graphic artists, often their covers suck. If you cant make an enticing cover, you need to have $50 to give to an artist. There are so many ebook cover artists out there. Some are good and some are just expensive. What can you do? You need amazing cover art.

They say, never judge a book by its cover. REALITY CHECK! People do, it’s how we make decisions. In the stores, we look at the cover, then we read the back. If it seems interesting enough, we may open it up and read a few pages to get a taste of the author’s voice, if it still held our attention, we buy the book.

Online, they see your cover first. Some sites allow you to write a description of your book. If they are still awake by the time they finished reading your blurb, they scroll down and read what other people say about it. If there are no reviews, it’s slim that they will buy your ebook.

Trying to get someone to leave a blurb is often like pulling teeth. I often get emails from people telling me how much they love my work. I ask for a blurb but not many people write one. Why is it that people are afraid to leave comments? I see it all the time. Please leave a blurb, tell your favorite author that you like their work where it can help them.

As indie author’s we have to do all the networking, all the marketing and advertising. If you tell anyone about your book in a convo, it is dissected by your reader, searching and prying for those self selling monsters. The worst thing is to be labeled as a spammer. There are so many scam artists out there ruining the names of indie authors one must wonder if they’re hired by scared publishing companies.

I personally have no problems with the publishing companies. I’m not looking to be a publisher. They do some very hard work and they have whole teams of people to put out one book. We have to take the weight of the world on our shoulders and do all that work ourselves.

It is a huge learning curve and a mistake can cost you months or even years of hard work. If your work is edited to perfection, your story is incredible, your cover is beautiful and gleaming, people may still not buy your ebook. Why? Another good question. Marketing your book will eat up a lot of your time, figuring out what is spamming and what is advertising is a shaky bridge that is hard to cross. There are no real rules to this business yet. You will buy many books that will argue that there are, some will be good and others will be $12 of pure filler that leaves you no better off than when you started.

The only thing I can give you is this: Be a sponge, soak up every bit of information you can get, good and bad. File it in your brain until you forget your name. Never quit because you will regret it. Write three times, edit six.

Good luck

Where Do I Find Inspiration?

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It is all around us, blooming in gardens, soaring across the sky. Don’t be blind to the things around you. Take a moment and just watch. Explore the world around you and let the fresh air cleanse your mind, body and soul.

You might be panicking at this point, knowing you have lots of work to get done or a deadline you can’t miss. Worrying about it may drive a bigger wedge into you then nothing will get done.

Walk:
Head outside, take a deep breath and relax. It may be hard to let go of something, but remember the sooner you let the tension go the faster you can return to work and get it completed. Take a calm walk, if you need to decide on a location to get to.

Watch and Listen:
There is inspiration all around us, do a little people watching. Explore your environment. You can do this part if you are out on your walk or shopping, it is easy to do all the time. Listen to the people around you, the way they talk, the things being said. Watch their actions and use it to fuel your ideas.

Meditation:
I have never mastered meditation, but don’t let that stop you. There are many great sites and books that are out there about the subject, do a google search and find the best one for you.

Check out some art & photography:
If your surroundings are subpar, online pictures can be a great resource for you.

Many websites are out there:
www.deviantart.com – A great community of artists and those devoted to art.
http://photography.nationalgeographic.com/photography/ – The source for pictures, I mean come on, this is the National Geographic. Who hasn’t been inspired from one of their photos.
http://inspirational-images.tumblr.com/ – A collection of Motivational pictures and quotes.

Talking:
I know it may see simple but it really works. I have a writing partner, so I know the benefits of having someone to discuss my work with. Anytime I stumble in my work or have a bad case of writers block, I have a conversation about what I’m working on and the concerns I have that won’t let me continue. We talk about it and always fix the problems or break the block.

Personal Experiences:
A great tool is to build your world around personal experiences. Dig back into things that you had to push through, fights, arguments, personal problems. Why let it torment you, use it to fuel your words.

Don’t you dare give up.

Ian Desabrais

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