The Joys of Writing: Characters Taking Over

A recent sketch of me by my good friend, Kelly-Jo Romard. With Dill on my shoulder, I figured this was a good time to post it.

While I’m blanking on any names off hand, I’ve read interviews from writers where they discussed a character taking over. That character will surprise them, throw a wrench into the works, or do something so unexpected and yet totally in character that the writer is forced to shrug and roll with it. They’ll make changes to the plot to accommodate the character. In this sense, the character has become something else bigger than the writer. They’ve become a very real character.

For the longest time, while I understood what these writers were saying, I’d never really experienced it.

Until Dill.

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Nick’s Picks – Andre the Giant: Life and Legend

Writer & Artist: Box Brown, Publisher: First Second, Price: $17.99 U.S./$19.99 CAN

Andre the Giant was a very big man. If there’s one thing you get out of reading Box Brown’s graphic novel biography on Andre the the Giant, it’s that Andre was a very big man. Now, that’s not a slight on the comic. Quite the opposite. Box Brown’s choice to focus on Andre’s gigantic size is, by and large (no pun intended), one of the comic’s best qualities. That particular focus works well for the visual storytelling medium.

But how is the book as whole? Well, let’s talk about that.

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Sleep Apnea Begone – Part 1: Waking Up the Neighbours

Yeah, I modelled for this. What the hell.

This particular entry is a bit more personal than I’d prefer to post on here, but it’s something I’d like to talk about in greater detail and would like to share with all of you.

So, let’s talk about my recent diagnoses with severe sleep apnea.

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Spoiler: Superheroes are Silly

J’ohn J’onzzz, aka The Martian Manhunter

Recently, film writer David Goyer made some disparaging remarks about She-Hulk and Martian Manhunter. Chris Sims over at Comics Alliance wrote about it recently, which you can read here. In short, Goyer believes She-Hulk is basically a porn star character made specifically to give Hulk someone to bang. Which is ridiculous on multiple levels.

In the same interview, he also called The Martian Manhunter “goofy.” Maybe he just has a problem with green-skinned characters or the colour green in general (except the piles of money Hollywood keeps inexplicably throwing at him.).

Dammit, J’ohn! Not again!

However, he does bring up a good point Martian Manhunter: he is goofy. Or silly. Or ridiculous. Or whatever other description you want to use. He’s a shape-shifting, green-skinned telepathic Martian who can also turn invisible and becomes powerless from fire. Not Kryptonite, a rare element from another galaxy. FireAs Batman said to him once, “I have a $70,000 sliver of a radioactive meteor to stop the one from Metropolis. All I need for you is a penny for a book of matches. ” (Darwyn Cooke’s New Frontier). How could anyone be a superhero, rescuing people, with a weakness to fire? It’s ridiculous! And don’t get me started on the dude who talks to fish.

But here’s the kicker: the superhero genre is inherently silly. It’s part of what makes it so great.

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Amazon, Hachette, and flaming bullshit

Nick C. Piers:

As an author myself, this is absolutely despicable. I hope Amazon changes their tune very soon.

Originally posted on Jay Kristoff - Literary Giant:

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Beautiful people, a moment of your time, if you will.

I won’t bang on at length about this (there are many who will), but there’s some important stuff you should be made aware of.

If you are a book lover, THIS SHIT AFFECTS YOU.

If you are a reader, THIS SHIT AFFECTS YOU.

I presume you’re one of these, because you’re on my blog. So please take 5 minutes of your day, and read on.

In short:

* There is a big French publisher called Hachette. They publish many amazing authors (not me, har har, ego joke) and many incredible books. If you look at your shelves, you’ll find books from Hachette or its imprints.

* is currently engaged in “business negotiations” with Hachette, and is seeking “more favourable terms” in their new contract. In short, Amazon want Hachette to lower their prices, so…

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The Joys of Writing: Idea Bouncing

A common question asked of many writers is “Where do you get your ideas?” Inspiration, of course, comes from multiple sources. Sometimes, a dream inspires a new story. Seeing a movie or reading a book sparks an idea. Just seeing something in public might set something off in your noggin.

Many times, though, it’s just a matter of getting a hold of a friend or an expert and picking their brain.

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Pro Se Presents: The Podcast!

Pro Se Press’ head honcho, Tommy Hancock had me on his podcast recently. We discussed The City of Smoke & Mirrors, my influences and inspirations, the writing process, and whether there’s a Dill/Don Komodo BDSM slash fiction out there (probably not, yet). Have a listen.

But for the love of Kirby, don’t make a drinking game out of the number of times I say “um” or “y’know.” You’ll be dead soon enough.