Hello once more


Well as you know it has been a while since I wrote anything at all. Lots of reasons but the biggest for this blog is that I just haven’t had the drive to write. Generally I write something but for months now I have been unmotivated.

While my own personal work, books, stories, poetry, drabble and dribbles, etc are on the back burner but my mind keeps going. So how about we do more analysis of trends in fiction of all kinds.

As a fan of good characters I have been enjoying the current takes on Sherlock Holmes. In the past decade there are three different takes on This classic character. Yes I am talking about all three today. From Robert Downey Jr’s movie take to Benedict Cumberbatch’s British Sherlock and Johnny Lee Miller’s American take on the same character.

In each we see a different face on the classic character.  The modern takes are in many ways so much better because the character has become very three dimensional. He is no longer the two dimensional character of the 1800s. He no longer is just the cold, ex druggy with just one drive. Now we see the reasons behind how he became who he is. Why he had the drug habit, why he only seems to trust a very small amount of people and why he is willing to go to extremes.

Plus one of the best parts is that they have, in this current century, started to make the female characters three dimensional. The recent takes on Sherlock’s paramore, on Doctor Watson’s wife and on Mrs Hudson has been so very much fun to watch. No longer in modern fiction can we have half the population under explored and that makes for fine watching.

Now as a writer I have done my best to explore characters in many ways. Sherlock is not one I have tried other than in a video game. The Great Detective is of course the basis of many of the detectives we read, watch and play to this day.

 

 

The difficulty of picking a title


All writers know that we need a good title to catch the attention of our readers. After an eye catching cover, the title really brings people to at least take a moment to look at your book.

Now as many of you know I have been writing for a long time. Coming up with titles is a real pain. There are thousands of books out there, all using titles that you just might have wanted to use. What to do right? Searching every single e-retailer would make any author throw up their hands and just give up. Thing is you just can’t do that with every story you write. Think about it folks. The average novel writer might just put out one book every year or two, but those who write shorter fiction like I do would be going back and forth, changing their title a thousand times before they could publish.

As an example one of my earliest online stories was a Ranma 1/2 fan fiction that I titled Sins of the Father. Go to Amazon and you will easily pull up 20 pages of work with similar titles, 15 on the first page alone. They come from every single genre out there for sure.

Now I could go on and make a chart of how many other titles that I can used would have multiples but it would be depressing.

How about we be original folks


There is a lot of argument all over the web about making more inclusive characters in books, comics, tv and movies. Now I am totally for having characters of every race, color, religion, sexuality, etc. What I am not for is taking well established characters and forcing them to be something their creators did not intend just because it is a current thing.

Taking heroes and making them villains because people don’t want heroes anymore is just wrong. Deciding that two same sex characters who are FRIENDS have to be in a secret sexual relationship just because we are now more accepting of those of different sexualities doesn’t make sense. We have gone over board lately. Two people of any sexuality can be just friends, very close and not want to have sex.

If people are so desperate for great characters who are evil or gay or transexual or anything, then you need to WRITE them, MAKE them.

This blog is yes a complaint from a writer and reader and fan who is getting really annoyed with people.  As a watcher, a reader and yes a fan, I want new and wonderfully rich  characters to sink my teeth into. I don’t want beloved characters that I have read or watched gutted and made into something they never were meant to be just because some young person wants them changed to fit their idea of fandom. It might be me being an older fan but I think it is really just I love looking for new and amazing characters to love and enjoy.

I have for decades read fanfiction and this is never more clear than in the fanfiction world. There are thousands of authors out there writing new stories in old worlds. The best of them stay true to the characters they have come to love and they add in new characters that interact and fit into the worlds they are playing in.

In fanfiction people have been exploring those topics that are so hot right now for ages. The best of the authors there have been taking characters who are ambiguous and make them fuller is okay. They make the stories rich and intriguing. They don’t take established characters who are either straight or traditionally sexed and turn them into a chimera of themselves.

You fans out there need to realize that these characters, including the ones I write, are not yours to take and warp into your version. They are gifts to you to enjoy, to get a brief glimpse into the mind of the creative souls who make the characters. Realize that the writers, the creators, pour their heart and souls into these people, the children of their minds and hearts. Don’t mess with them. Read them, watch them, love them but if you desperately need a character to be more like you, Write them, Create them and then gift them to the world.

 

 

Back to diversity research


This morning I spotted an interesting video on facebook about the changing face of male beauty around the world. Yes I said male. We all want to have a good looking, sexy male in our book to bring in the readers. But back to the video. In this they went through countries around the world and showed what was the current trend in the various countries. Every one of them was buff, mostly hairless on their chests/bellies and had thick hair, mostly dark and yes most of them are lighter of skin tone. Though there was more diversity than you would expect. The ones from India, South Korea and Nigeria were interesting to me.

Now for the research part. You see after watching the video, getting tired of all the comments that I see online and on tv, I wanted to see just what is the biggest racial group and this is what I found. It isn’t white (we knew that). it isn’t black (no matter what they say), it isn’t Latino (really folk it isn’t), the largest racial group in the world with 18% of the over 7Billion people on this plaent, is Han Chinese! The old rumor of the Chinese taking over the world from when I was growing up is close to true if you look at the numbers. The next largest group is those of Indian (from India that is) descent. So the two biggest groups are of the Asian world.

Now I have written characters who were of Japanese descent, native American descent, a few of African descent and a lot of course of Irish/Scottish (my own personal racial group). We do write what we know of course. I write characters that I want to read.

My question for reader this week is what do you want to read? When it comes to a hero does he need to be tall, dark and handsome? Have a square jaw, 12 pack of abs and more muscles than brains? Or can we do real men? Ones who might be short or thin or fat, pale or darker ?

The links for the research I did are these

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_the_world

http://www.queerty.com/heres-how-the-male-standard-of-beauty-changes-around-the-world-20150319?utm_source=bb82&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=malebeauty&ts_pid=2&ts_pid=2   This is the video