Posts Tagged ‘science fiction’

I wrote a short story for a client, and it turned out really good. Then, after all was said and done, my client mentioned he stole the idea from the Internet.

If all you need to do is right-click on something, why be original? Creativity isn’t rewarded, it’s just copied. People who want to copy something because they like it, but don’t realize there’s a value there.

There’s an assumption that if it’s online, it should be free. If this was the case, no one would be making any money off their creations and you’d see much less of it online.

Anything can be ripped off. That’s why it’s even more important to be 100 percent original. Don’t fall into the easy trap of generating content mashed up from other people’s ideas. You won’t stand out. You’ll be exactly like everyone else who is doing it.

We don’t revere people like Steve Jobs because he copied other people. He got the respect he did because he created something new.

When anything can be copied off the internet the only thing I have is originality. People want original content, not the same old thing. That’s why, for instance, Charlie Sheen jokes got old very quickly.

My writing might not be much, but at least it’s my own.

 

 

Here’s my YouTube channel. You’ll find some very funny and some very wrong short films here:

http://www.youtube.com/user/verylittleknowledge

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Last week, I sent out a post-apocalyptic story with a really disturbing ending. My wife hates this story.

I first checked out The Absent River Review, a collection of fantasy, horror and science fiction. The work on this magazine was very clean and professional. I read “Gnawing At The Root” by Kevin Pinkham. The required word count wasn’t right.

But Interzone had the right word count. I sent it there for consideration. One thing I like about their submission guidelines:

  • Please include a covering letter but don’t worry too much about it, just introduce yourself and list any relevant credits, things like that. If you’ve never been published before tell us that too — we’ve published many debut stories over the years.

After everything you read about submissions, it feels good when a prominent publisher says “relax.”

Every week, I try to send something out to publish. I’ll write about it here, every Submission Sunday.

The technology of something doesn’t matter to me.

We were watching “Untraceable” last night. There was a scene in which Diane Lane explains how this website owner was keeping his site from being shut down. It was very elaborate. The person she was explaining this to said “I don’t understand a single word you said.”

Was it all gobbledygook? Or was there a science behind it? Probably somewhere in between. The writer knew enough about computers to propose something that made sense, but that a hacker would get annoyed by.

So is that the level of science we need to be writing at? Either you’re an expert or just don’t bother?

We should know enough about the subject that we’re not totally wrong, and that the majority of the audience wouldn’t know any better. There’s no way to do any better, unless we’re an expert at that particular realm of science. And we’re not scientists; we’re writers. At best, we should contact experts to get their takes on what we write.

I’m sure a NASA worker grew up watching movies about space, and now looks at some of his favorite movies as maybe a little trite. He probably can’t get excited about any new space movies coming out and hates it when he’s at a party and someone wants to talk to him about a new space movie.

In science fiction, there’s a distinct audience for “hard science fiction” or “sociological/soft science fiction.” One concerns itself on the science, the other more on the fiction.

Maybe some people who really like hard science just can’t suspend disbelief long enough.

Ray Bradbury wasn’t a rocket scientist, but he sent people to Mars. Isaac Asimov wasn’t a robotics expert.

I remember reading Michael Crichton’s “Timeline,” and there was a very detailed explanation of the quantum physics behind time travel. It seemed believable when I read it. This means that I was able to suspend disbelief. Immediately after the book was finished, I forgot everything because I just don’t have a technical mind.

I don’t care how they go back in time, I just want to know what happens when they get there. I don’t care how they get to Mars, clone a human, give someone superpowers, jump dimensions, hack a website…just tell me a good story after it happens.

I just need a short explanation of the “why.” In a way, it might as well be magic.

Disclaimer/background: I’m a traditionalist. I don’t think people should break rules of storytelling unless there’s a good reason. I write comic books, short fiction and children’s books. Just to put my comments in perspective, these are my interests and favorites: My favorite superhero is Spider-Man, and I also like Justice League and Batman. My favorite comic writers lately have been Kurt Busiek, Peter David, and Geoff Johns. I am a huge Transformers fan. In children’s books, I go either simple or meta: either really simple stories or books about stories. In movies and books, I am more impressed with something small that makes me feel something rather than something I’m told is a “must-read” or a must-see.”

I make silly videos and post them here:

http://www.youtube.com/user/verylittleknowledge

What I learned from reading and writing

While reading, I’ll sometimes pick up on a little insight that I hope will make me a better writer. A subtle nuance or something so exciting that I have to tell someone about it.
I also have a terrible memory. So these lessons might fade away. In fact, I have no way of knowing how many times I’ve forgotten what I’ve learned.
Therefore, I started this blog. As I read comic books, children’s books, literary fiction and horror, science fiction and fantasy, I’ll post my thoughts here. From time to time, I can look back, refresh my memory and refocus my writing.
And hopefully, you can find this helpful as well.
I don’t like to be negative. I will try to stay away from criticizing when a writer has done something I think is wrong, unless it’s something we can learn from. I certainly wouldn’t want someone to do that to me. Besides, it’s easier to tear down than build up.
I’ve been sending short stories, children’s books and comic books to publishers with little success. So, I’ll chronicle some of that for people who are going through the same thing. Maybe we can learn from each other.
I’ll try to post weekly, but we know how that works.
I’ve written municipal news for local newspapers for more than five years. I’m a regular contributor to TDMonthly.com, a toy industry magazine. My humor writing has appeared in Knockout, (Knockoutmag.com) and Awesdumb.com. I self-published a super hero spoof, Dave the Potatoe. One short story of mine was published in a 1996 New England Writer’s Network. I create fake news clips and other things at: http://www.youtube.com/user/verylittleknowledge
Enjoy!
~Chris Lundy