16.11.06

A Super Villain, no less.

I'll take this over a dry CBC interview any day.

In case you're wondering, here's the e-mail that precipitated such a head-swelling compliment:

All right! Halfway done, and into the third week already!

If you're not yet at the halfway point, don't worry. A lot of week one is occupied with plot and character development. On top of that, the goal seems far away, and you feel like you can take your time. It isn't until week three that you hit your stride. And when you do, look out.

This is your moment to shine. Your chance to start hammering away at that word deficit. You've got an appointment to keep -- this is where you surprise yourself with just how creative and insightful you are.

Plot wrapping up early? Introduce a new villain, and squeeze him between the second and third chapters. Then, when he re-introduces himself later, it'll look like foreshadowing.

Characters not going anywhere? For starters, there's always something your characters can talk about. Their favourite NHL team. Memories of fishing with their grandfather. Drinking stories! The more time you give your character, the easier it becomes to decide how they act.

Failing that, throw a new character into the loop. See how he/she interacts with your other characters. Does the new character add a plot twist? So much the better -- now you've got something else to play with!

And really, that's what writing is all about. You get to sit down in a sandbox, make your own toys, and then you get to play with them. 50,000 words isn't a goal -- it's an excuse to stay outside until suppertime.

Now go out there, and get some sand in your shorts!

Your faithful ML, Denton

6 comments:

TilJ said...

You made SuperVillian status!

No, you may not borrow my krytonite.

Denton said...

...you've had kryptonite all this time?

Fortunately, the super-villain contract includes a license to develop and manufacture Dentonium.

TilJ said...

After thinking about it for a bit, I have decided a good human should have a little bit of every SuperVillian armament--just in case. We should fear those that claim to be more than human and that some call SuperHeroes, for they not only are not us (in the broadest sense of the term) but in the long run they must inevitably compete with us for resources.

It's also Saturday morning, before my first cuppa, and I've been reading game theory on Wikipedia again ;-)

For that matter, I never understood krytonite. Even the name hints at more: Kryton, Crypto. Mysteries, secrecy, and concealing of the truth.

WIkipedia says that it comes from the planet Kryton, Superman's birthplace, but how could an intelligent species develop on a planet that was so toxic to them? Yeah, the Wiki entry explains a modern attempt to retroactively fix that glaring hole, but I'm not convinced. Millions of people accepted the mythos before it was "fixed", there's something there felt "right enough" and which I didn't get. Odd.

TilJ said...

Hrmmmph. I can't find any such thing as Dentonium.

Because, with your karma, I had actually assumed that an element existed with your name in it.

Denton said...

1. There's a small detail in the Superman mythology that's survived every "re-imagination" he's gone through in the last thirty years: Early on, Superman actually came into possession of a Kryptonite ring. Did he cast it away into the sun, or lock it up in his Fortress of Solitude? No. He understands game theory better than you think...

He gave it to Batman.

2. That's a good point about Krypton, but I think a key point is that in the earlier days, he lost his powers under a red sun. Or, to be more precise, he gains his powers under a yellow sun, which Krypton never had. Superman's powers derive solely from the fact that he's an outsider, an alien. That's his blessing and his curse. He can never go home, he can never hang up the cape and be normal, he can never stop being Superman. The red sun, the Kryptonite, and the destruction of Krypton all work together in reinforcing that fact.

I doubt the early writers ever consciously made it a theme, but perhaps that's the reason Kryptonite felt "right enough".

3. Believe or not, the naming rights to that element have been tied up in a patent dispute for the last eleven years.

Fortunately, super villains can disregard that legality issue entirely.

Denton said...

Well, not that "Dentonium" has to be an element. If it were, I'd have to settle for some theoretical 120-amu atom with a half-life measured in femtoseconds that can't exist outside of a supercollider. I came too late to that party -- time to more on to, I don't know, fourth-dimensional elements or something.

*blink*

You know, that's not a bad idea.

About The Author

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Canadian explorer. Chemist by training, biologist by nature. Long-time supporter and participant in National Novel Writing Month. Known as "Aquadeo" in most Internet circles. Also known as "that guy with the pants" to people who have seen me in certain pants.